General Question

AshlynM's avatar

If anyone is in the landlord business, how do you handle a problem tenant?

Asked by AshlynM (6519 points ) 1 month ago

What if he refuses to move out?
What if he just skips town and doesn’t plan on paying you for the months he was behind?
He’s already been served a pay or quit notice but that meeting didn’t go so well.
What if we offer him money to get out quicker? If so, how much should we offer?

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8 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Your specific rights are very closely involved with the laws of your city / county / state. They are vastly different in NYC, for example, than they are in San Francisco, or Podunkville. So none of us can give you any sort of rational advice without knowing your location and the laws that are in force there.

As a matter of principle, I would never pay the guy to move out. That’s just paying off a slacker.

Staalesen's avatar

I agree with @elbanditoroso , paying him to move out is like paying a blackmailer..

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

There is always a way to take care of business. I’d talk to other landlords in your area and see how they handle it. Nothing will trump local experience

SQUEEKY2's avatar

If it comes right down to it serve an eviction notice ,then get the Sherif to evict him.

jca's avatar

Find out the law and follow it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Go down to the local courthouse and see about filing an eviction notice. They’ll tell you what specific rules you have to follow.

And absolutely do not offer the guy money to leave. That’s just purchasing even more trouble.

rojo's avatar

I sometimes feels as if the laws are there to protect the tenant, even those who abuse the lease agreement. What everybody else has said is true, each state has its own way of doing things.

But, be forewarned, I don’t believe any are a simple as go down and get a piece of paper and then get the sheriff to kick him out.

All are going to require going to court and all are going to require things be done in a specific order. All will take time, sometimes months.

Here is a good site outlining how we have to do it here in Texas. I have never had to go beyond the Notice to Vacate myself, perhaps because we do as much checking on the tenant before they sign a lease as we can and weed out the bad ones. The act of handing over the Notice or, if they are not there, posting it on the inside of their front door has always been intimidating enough to get them moving. Never go alone, always have at least one witness with you. it is even better if he is about 6’-6”, 250 lbs and named Vito or Bubba Because we are required to give them 3 days to get it together we usually do it on a Wednesday and give them until Monday to be gone. Our theory being, if they have a couple of days to find a temporary place to stay and the weekend to move it is more likely they will just leave.

If you are dealing with someone who is not on his/her first eviction, they will know what you can and can’t do and are probably used to gaming the system in which case you are in for a long drawn out process If not, sometimes the threat of eviction and/or legal action, including getting the police involved will be enough to get them moving out. Since you have already done the pay or quit thing to no avail then you may have to go the court route but it doesn’t hurt to try to intimidate them further. Here in Texas we can file the paperwork for eviction the day after the rent is late. We don’t, but we could and at some point it will save us time.

Your unit will probably be dirty and damaged, One suggestion I have for you is that if your lease allows you to go into their unit without them present, do so and take dated photos or videocam the entire place. That way any malicious damage that occurs at the end can be documented and then, for all our sake, take them to court and sue them for the damage.

And, if they leave without paying you back rent, at least they are gone and you can get it back on the market..

rojo's avatar

From that same site I posted above, This page will lead you to state specific. It does not have all states but hopefully you are in one of them.

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