Could Rising Lawyer Fees Financially Cripple You, as a Landlord?

There are a number of things landlords don’t consider when first entering this lucrative – yet complex – industry.

If you’ve not done your due diligence nor had the proper “education” about what being a landlord entails, then you might be unpleasantly surprised by the rising lawyer fees, should you ever encounter a problem with a bad tenant.

Unfortunately, not all tenants are good tenants. And research suggests that inexperienced landlords who do not run background checks on their tenants correctly are at the biggest risk of having to pay for legal evictions (which come with steep lawyer fees).

Lawyers in the property industry can get away with charging extortionate rates as their work is time-consuming and requires irreplaceable skills. Landlords who try to cut corners with legal costs only end up getting themselves in even more hot water, and end up parting with a greater amount of money.

So, lawyer fees can seem like an inevitable part of being a property landlord.

Or is it?

We discuss the financial implications of legal fees for landlords in today’s blog, as well as how you can avoid them completely. 


When do Lawyers Get Involved? 

Nobody wants their situation to escalate to such a point, that they have to hire lawyers. The term itself is a connotation of fear and stress among many landlords and something that you’ll likely try to avoid as much as possible.

However, the most common reason for a property landlord to pay for lawyer fees is due to tenant evictions. Across the UK, USA, and Dubai tenants are “favored” by authorities and largely protected. No matter how much grief a tenant is giving you, it is not permissible to ask them to vacate your property immediately, in most scenarios, because they have tenant rights. 

So, if a tenant eviction needs to go ahead because tenants have damaged your property, been socially disruptive, or have not been paying rent, you will need to get a lawyer involved and pay them to sort the issue out, legally, for you. 


The Cost of Lawyers

The average cost of a rental eviction from start to finish is between £1300 and £2200 (and generally, the equivalent in the USA, and perhaps more in Dubai).

This is excluding the money you would most certainly lose in unpaid rent, potential property damage, turnover costs, etc. The above figures strictly refer to lawyer fees only.

The difference in cost here would depend on whether you opt for the cheaper but slower County Court eviction or the slightly faster High Court eviction. This is relevant for the UK and USA, in Dubai the court system is slightly different (federal and local systems) – but the general idea remains the same.

If you’re struggling with cash flow because of months of unpaid rent, the cheaper option might seem more attractive. However, this process can take up to six weeks in a small town; and up to double that amount of time in a larger city. So, you’re looking at an additional 12 weeks with no rent, and court fees on top of it.

Let’s use the UK’s County Court eviction fees as an example – which is still largely similar to what you’d find in the USA and Dubai. The cost breakdown would look like this:

Stage 1: Serving Notice £99 
Stage 2: Possession Order £883 
Stage 3: Bailiff to Enforce Possession Order£348 

The total cost of legal fees: £1330 (as a minimum) 

While a High Court eviction (or the equivalent of in Dubai) is a much faster process, you need to fork out a lot more money in a much smaller time frame. Don’t forget, after the tenant has been legally evicted, you would still need to spend time and money looking for a new tenant – and the longer this takes you, the more money you lose in unpaid rent.

A rough estimate of High Court eviction costs can be seen as follows: 

Stage 1: Serving Notice £99
Stage 2: Possession Order £883 
Stage 3: Bailiff to Enforce Possession Order£1219 

The total cost of legal fees: £2,200 (as a minimum) 
There is the likelihood that after your tenant has been served (Stage 1) they will cough up any unpaid rent or give you some kind of guarantee of being a “better” tenant. At this stage, it isn’t necessary for you to follow through with Stage 2 and Stage 3 – but you could end up digging yourself into an even bigger financial hole, by making do with a tenant who clearly has the potential to give you problems.

Sadly, the financial cost of lawyer fees isn’t where it ends. Thousands of landlords have claimed from all over the world that they find the involvement of lawyers in their business to be incredibly stressful and time-consuming – with some even reporting symptoms of depression.

Cost Of Lawyer 1

Eradicating Lawyer Fees Altogether

Regardless of what the industry tells you, there is a way for you to never experience an unfortunate encounter with steep lawyer fees ever again.

The answer is to nip this situation in the bud by ensuring that bad tenants and tenant evictions never come up. This is easily achieved when you partner with Luke Stays and rent your property to our team instead. We understand the pain hardworking landlords go through and have already helped hundreds of landlords worldwide, by becoming their “best ever tenant”.

Our short-term rental management and rent guarantee solutions not only ensure more revenue and no void periods, we also find the best tenants and guests for you (and assume full responsibility), so you will never need to pick up the phone to a lawyer, with bad news, again.

This could save you tens of thousands of pounds in lawyer fees over the course of your life as a landlord (as the average landlord is likely to experience more than one tenant eviction, without our help) – and also enable you to channel your time and energy into more important areas of your business.

To find out more and be done with lawyer fees altogether, get in touch with our friendly team – who’ll be at hand to answer any of your questions. Our team is well-versed in property management and the business of landlords across the UK, USA, and Dubai.