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When Eviction is The Wrong Call

Stressed Taunton Property Manager on the PhoneAs a Taunton landlord and rental property owner, you need to embrace the reality of evictions. 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. Hence, evicting a tenant isn’t necessarily the best scenario. It’s quite likely that, in these circumstances, you and your tenant would do well to look for 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. It’s certain that non-payment of rent is a clear violation of their lease. And yet, evicting a tenant for missing one or even several rent payments might prove to be a bit reckless. 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.

Thus, it would be wise to look for an alternative to eviction. Perhaps confer with your tenant and discuss ways how they can catch up with missing rent payments. For as long as the tenant’s financial difficulties are temporary, then this should be a great way to move forward. You spare yourself the expense of evicting and replacing your tenant while earning their heartfelt gratitude, too. A financial hit in the short term won’t be too bad. You will eventually recover all of the missing rent payments in the long term, and you get to keep that good tenant, too.

You’d Rather Keep Your Money

The eviction process will include a lot of payments, even apart from all 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.

Because of the expense and trouble of the eviction process, you can even think about just 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 to allow them to leave the property sooner than later. As strange as it sounds 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

Ultimately, you don’t want to create a situation where your eviction leads to legal problems rather than solve anything at all. This should make you think twice about your decision. It’s not impossible for an eviction to be based on ambiguous legal grounds. 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.

And, it’s quite possible that your eviction will be looked upon 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, make sure you stay away from accepting any kind of partial rent payments before or after trying to evict for non-payment of rent. You could lose legal grounds for the eviction if you choose to accept 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. How do you do that, though, when you have other things to do? At Real Property Management Success, 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 Taunton property management experts can help guide you through the best course of action to take. To learn more, contact us online or call 908-239-7579 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.