Of all the things the average landlord has to deal with, evictions have to be one of the worst. It doesn’t matter if you have a tenant who has violated the lease in some way or behind on the rent, this part of your job is far from glamorous. By the time you have reached this point, you are susceptible to maintenance issues, physical damage, and any number of delays that eat up time like a plate of cookies. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to handle that consistently late payer and in the worst case, an eviction.
The Point of No Return
So, you have a tenant who has pushed you so far past the “point of no return” and has broken their lease in some way. Of the many different reasons to start an eviction, being behind on the rent is one of the most common. But, you need to look at why they are behind on their rent, never just assume it is because your tenants just don’t want to pay.
A good place to startis to sit down and have a chat with the tenant. If they are withholding part or all of their rent because there is a maintenance issue they feel has not been addressed, your job is to determine why the repairs have not been completed. Perhaps this is the first time you have been told about the problem. This is a good time to work with your tenant to explain why things are not getting repaired and to come to a workable solution that address your tenants needs while at the same time getting your rent payments back on track.
There are going to be cases in which the tenant really didn’t care about small problems or may not even mention themuntil they find themselves coming up short on the rent. Then, suddenly they become a reason not to pay the rent. At this point, you must decide whether it would be better to stick your guns (i.e. no rent no repairs) or consider how this situation might look to a judge. Keep in mind, if you do your part to keep the property habitable, the judge may be more likely to decide in your favor, forcing the tenant to pay up or move out.
There are a few other options to consider before you decide to go to court and file an unlawful detainer. Sometimes you must be willing to spend a little to regain a lot. For example, the average tenant in this position just wants to think he is getting something out of the deal. You might try telling your tenant you will waive back rent provided they vacate the property by a certain date.
You might even consider giving them back part of their security deposit. They can then use this money as part of the deposit for their new home. You may find that being willing to exchange cash for the keys can move things along and save you a lot more money in the future. If after trying to work with your tenant to the best of your abilities to reach agreement, nothing works, you may have no choice but to file for their eviction with the courts and them handle it.