As a landlord, dealing with bad tenants can be a headache, and it can be tempting to try and evict them as quickly as possible. However, the legal eviction process can be time-consuming and expensive, not to mention stressful for all parties involved.
In this article, we’ll go over six ways to get rid of bad tenants without going through the eviction process, as well as your rights as a landlord.
Understanding Bad Tenants and When to Use Eviction
Before we get into how to get rid of bad tenants, it’s important to understand what makes a tenant “bad.” In general, a bad tenant is someone who violates the lease agreement, causes damage to the property, disturbs the peace, or engages in illegal activities on the premises.
If you have a bad tenant, it’s important to act quickly to prevent further damage or problems from arising.
In some cases, eviction may be necessary to deal with bad tenants. Here are some situations when eviction may be appropriate:
- Non-payment of rent
- Damage to the property
- Violation of the lease agreement
- Illegal activity on the premises
- Disturbance of the peace
- Refusal to vacate the property after the lease has ended
Your Rights as a Landlord
You have certain rights when it comes to dealing with bad tenants. These rights vary depending on the state you’re in, but in general, you have the right to:
- Collect rent from your tenants
- Take legal action against tenants who violate the lease agreement
- Enter the property to make repairs or show it to potential renters
- Receive compensation for damages caused by the tenant
- Evict tenants who refuse to vacate the property after the lease has ended or who violate the lease agreement
It’s important to familiarize yourself with your state’s landlord-tenant laws to ensure that you’re within your rights when dealing with bad tenants.
Method #1: Cash for Keys
One way to get rid of bad tenants without going through the legal process is to offer them cash for keys. This is essentially a bribe to get the tenant to vacate the property voluntarily. The amount of cash you offer will depend on a variety of factors, including the tenant’s financial situation, the value of the property, and the cost of eviction.
While this method may seem like an easy way to get rid of bad tenants, it’s important to approach it carefully. Make sure you have a written agreement with the tenant that outlines the terms of the arrangement, including the amount of money being offered, the date by which the tenant must vacate the property, and any other conditions. It’s also a good idea to have a witness present when the agreement is signed to avoid any misunderstandings.
Method #2: Politely Ask the Tenant to Move Out
Another way to get rid of bad tenants is to simply ask them to move out. This may seem like a long shot, but in some cases, tenants may be willing to leave voluntarily if they’re given enough notice and the right incentives.
When asking the tenant to move out, it’s important to be polite and respectful. Explain your reasons for wanting them to leave and offer to help them find a new place to live. You may also want to offer a financial incentive, such as returning their security deposit in full, to encourage them to leave.
Method #3: Don’t Renew Their Lease
If you have a bad tenant on a month-to-month lease, one way to get rid of them is simply not to renew their lease. This can be an effective way to avoid the legal eviction process, as long as you provide the tenant with the required notice in accordance with your state’s laws.
Before taking this approach, it’s important to make sure that the lease agreement allows for non-renewal. Some leases may automatically renew unless notice is given, so it’s important to check the terms of the lease before proceeding.
Method #4: Find Evidence of Illegal Activity
If you suspect that your tenant is engaged in illegal activity on the premises, such as drug use or production, you may be able to use this as a basis for eviction. However, it’s important to have evidence to support your claims, such as police reports or witness statements.
If you do find evidence of illegal activity, it’s important to act quickly. Depending on your state’s laws, you may be required to give the tenant notice and a chance to remedy the situation before proceeding with eviction.
Method # 5: Use a Home Buyer
Maybe it’s simply time to sell your house. Let a cash home buyer buy your property and they will handle the bad tenant situation. Many cash buyers are set up to buy a house “as is” in any condition, which means that you don’t have to worry about dealing with the tenant issue yourself.
Recognizing Common Types of Terrible Tenants
While it’s important to know how to get rid of bad tenants, it’s even better to avoid them in the first place. Here are some common types of terrible tenants to watch out for:
The Chronic Late-Payer
This tenant is always behind on rent and may have a variety of excuses for why they can’t pay on time. Worse they may be relying on you to simply overlook their arrears.
The Destructive Tenant
This tenant causes damage to the property, either through negligence or intentional destruction. They are costing you money with each repair and that is a sure sign they need to be evicted.The Unruly TenantThis tenant may not
This tenant disturbs the peace with loud music, parties, and other disruptive behavior. They are disruptive to the other tenants and can cause damage to the property.
This tenant accumulates a large amount of clutter and junk, making it difficult to clean or maintain the property. A hoarder can actually be a hazard to the health and safety of other tenants and should be evicted if necessary.
The Unresponsive Tenant
This tenant is difficult to reach and often fails to respond to phone calls, emails, or letters. They may also be uncooperative when it comes to repairs and inspections.
The Rule Breaker
This tenant violates the terms of the lease agreement, either through illegal activity or simply by ignoring the rules.
Best Practices for How to Deal with Terrible Tenants
If you do end up with a terrible tenant, it’s important to deal with the situation proactively to minimize the damage. Here are some best practices for dealing with terrible tenants:
Set Clear Expectations
Make sure your lease agreement is clear and concise, and that your tenants understand the rules and consequences for breaking them.
Screen Your Tenants
Take the time to thoroughly screen potential tenants, including conducting background checks, credit checks, and reference checks.
Keep a paper trail of all communications with your tenants, including emails, text messages, and phone calls.
Be Firm but Fair
When dealing with bad tenants, it’s important to be firm but fair. Follow the terms of the lease agreement and state laws, but also be understanding of the tenant’s situation.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Regularly check in with your tenants to make sure everything is going smoothly. This can help prevent small problems from turning into bigger ones.
If you are ready to sell your house fast for cash, and skip the whole bad tenant battle, consider using a home buyer for an all-cash sale.
Top 6 Tips to Getting Rid of Your Bad Tenant
- Act Quickly: Don’t wait to deal with bad tenants. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get them out.
- Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with your state’s landlord-tenant laws, and make sure you’re within your rights when dealing with bad tenants.
- Be Professional: Maintain a professional demeanor when dealing with bad tenants, even if they’re being difficult or combative.
- Be Proactive: Don’t wait for the situation to escalate before taking action. If you suspect that a tenant is engaging in illegal activity or causing damage to the property, act quickly to prevent further problems.
- Offer Incentives: If you’re having trouble getting a bad tenant to leave, consider offering them an incentive to vacate the property, such as cash for keys or a return of their security deposit.
- Consult with a Legal Professional: If you’re unsure about your rights or the best way to proceed with getting rid of a bad tenant, it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal professional.
Conclusion: Getting Rid of Bad Tenants
Dealing with bad tenants can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, but it’s important to act quickly to prevent further damage or problems. By following the methods outlined in this article, as well as the best practices for dealing with terrible tenants, you can get rid of bad tenants without going through the legal eviction process.
Remember, it’s always best to take a proactive approach when dealing with bad tenants, and to consult with a legal professional if you’re unsure about your rights or the best way to proceed. By taking the necessary steps to get rid of bad tenants, you can protect your property and your investment, and ensure that your business remains successful in the long run.