As a Riverview landlord and rental property owner, evictions are sometimes unavoidable. Eviction shouldn’t be your go-to answer, though; especially when you have a difficult tenant. Evictions are often time-consuming and pricey 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. As such, you and your tenant would benefit from finding alternatives to eviction.
Your Otherwise Good Tenant Falls Behind on Rent
A good tenant is a 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. Sure, non-payment of rent is a clear violation of their lease. But evicting a tenant for missing one or even several rent payments might be too much. 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.
For this reason, it would be a good idea to look for an alternative to eviction. Maybe you can talk to your tenant and look for ways to help him/her make up for the missing rent payments. 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. Being willing to take a temporary financial hit will most likely help you recover all of the missing rent payments in the future, and keep for yourself a good tenant, too.
You’d Rather Keep Your Money
An eviction process tends to be quite costly, even apart from the legal fees. Once the tenant gets word that he/she is about to be evicted from the rental home, he/she will eventually stop paying rent — this means that cleaning or upkeep of the property will also stop. This often leads to both lost income and higher cleaning and repair expenses.
The expense and hassle of the eviction process are not worth it; it’s better to just pay 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 to have them out of the property sooner than expected. It might sound odd to offer money to someone who owes you money, but even 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
Also, there are potential situations where the eviction could open up legal problems instead of solving any problem at all. You do not want this at all. An example of this is the ambiguity in your legal grounds for eviction. 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 thing you want to consider is that your eviction might be considered 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, it would be wise not to accept partial rent payments before or after eviction for non-payment of rent. Protect yourself from losing legal grounds for eviction by not accepting any amount of rent from the tenant. 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 would be wise to wait for the dust to settle before deciding on the eviction — especially when the legal grounds for it are a bit murky.
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 Empire, 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 Riverview property management experts can help guide you through the best course of action to take. To learn more, contact us online or call 813-867-7300 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.