Tips for Dealing With Bad Tenants

As a landlord, one of the last things you hope to deal with is a bad tenant. The eviction process can be lengthy and may not actually end with the difficult renter leaving your property. You cannot physically remove a tenant or their belongings from your property. That is illegal. Here are some tips to help you resolve your situation.

Encouraging Them to Leave

This may seem like an unusual thing to do, but start by encouraging a bad tenant to leave. As a landlord, you are responsible for keeping the property livable. It is illegal to change the locks to get renters to leave; however, there’s no law that says you can’t encourage your tenant to leave. Evictions have long-lasting impacts on one’s credit and can be a good motivator for them to move out.

Money Talks, Tenant Walks

You may reject the idea of paying your tenant to leave. If they’re late on rent or aren’t taking care of the property, it may be worth it in the long run to pay them to move out. You’ll need to fully explain the situation and show them the upside of them leaving without an eviction on their record. Sweeten the deal by paying a lump sum that accounts for alternatives to staying, such as local rental prices.  If they agree, draw up a formal agreement that both of you sign.

Starting an Eviction

If a renter isn’t willing to move out on their own accord, you’ll need to begin the eviction process. Before filing, inform them that you’re starting the process. Explain how they are violating the lease agreement. Be resolute on the permanence of the eviction, but give them a final chance to move out on their own. While no landlord expects to have to evict tenants, it happens to the best of them, even Steven Taylor.  

Bad tenants are a fact of life for landlords. Avoid breaking the law to try to get them to move out. Have a frank conversation with them about the situation and find legal ways to encourage them to move on.


David Curry

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