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When Eviction is The Wrong Call

Stressed Stockbridge Property Manager on the PhoneAs a Stockbridge landlord and rental property owner, evictions are sometimes difficult, but often necessary. It’s understandable to think of eviction when you’re faced with a difficult tenant. However, there are other means to deal with the situation. Evictions are time-consuming and expensive for both you and your tenant. In fact, most of the time, neither the property owner nor the tenant benefits from the eviction process. Due to this, it could be that evicting a tenant is the less ideal thing to do. In situations like this, it would benefit you and your tenant to find an alternative solution to eviction.

Your Otherwise Good Tenant Falls Behind on Rent

A good tenant is key to owning a profitable rental property. Sometimes even good tenants can run into economic difficulties, lose a job, or otherwise find themselves unable to meet their rent payment. It’s undeniable that non-payment of rent is a clear violation of their lease. But evicting a tenant for missing one or even several rent payments could be a premature decision. This is especially true if the tenant was previously paying on time and is doing a good job keeping up with cleaning and property maintenance.

Hence, a good option would be to discuss payment schemes with your tenant so that they can catch up on missing rent payments — this would be a good alternative to eviction. There’s not much to lose in this approach, especially when you know that your tenant’s financial difficulties are temporary. This is a great way to avoid the expense of evicting and replacing your tenant, all while earning their gratitude, as well. Be willing to take a short-term financial hit, knowing that in the long term, you will be able to recover all of the missing rent payments, all while being able to hold on to a good tenant, too.

You’d Rather Keep Your Money

An eviction process tends to be quite costly, even apart from the legal fees. There is a very big chance that your tenant will stop paying rent when he/she finds out about the plan to evict him/her out of the rental home. Once the payments stop, so will the cleaning or upkeep of the property. This often leads to both lost income and higher cleaning and repair expenses.

So that you don’t have to deal with the expense and hassle of the eviction process, consider simply paying your tenant to move out. This type of “cash for keys” arrangement could enable a tenant experiencing financial difficulty to leave on good terms, or even for the tenant to make an early exit. Even though it may seem awkward to offer money to someone who owes you money, but a lump sum cash payment of several hundred dollars is far less than you’d spend forcing the tenant out through an eviction.

You Don’t Have Clear Legal Grounds

And, it could be very possible in a situation like this that an eviction will lead to more legal problems than it could solve. No landlord wants to be in this situation. For example, your eviction could be filled with ambiguity in regard to legal grounds for it. If your tenant has complained about the property’s habitability, either directly to you or the local housing authority, and you haven’t taken steps to address the complaint, your attempt to evict the tenant could be deemed retaliatory and dismissed.

Another very possible scenario is that the eviction will be viewed as discriminating against a tenant who is part of a protected class. Evicting a tenant based on their age, religion, skin color, family status, sexual preferences, and more is illegal, and you could end up getting sued by your tenant if you try to do so.

Finally, stay away from partial rent payments before or after the eviction for non-payment of rent. Accepting any amount of rent from the tenant will only mess up any legal grounds you have for eviction. This is because accepting partial payments creates an implicit agreement between you and your tenant that a judge will likely deem a continuation of your lease agreement, even if it isn’t in writing. It’s best to hold off on any major decisions, especially when you know that you don’t have any clear-cut legal grounds for the eviction.

 

One of the best ways to avoid evictions entirely is to find a good tenant with a strong history of on-time rental payments. The only thing is, how can you be sure that your next tenant is that kind of tenant? At Real Property Management Anchor, we carefully screen all rental applicants to find only the best possible candidates for your rental property. Then, if any problems do arise in the future, our Stockbridge property management experts can help guide you through the best course of action to take. To learn more, contact us online or call 770-506-1237 today!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.