What do you do if your tenant will not vacate?

What do you do if your tenant will not vacate?

It’s all part of a property manager’s job. Sometimes, despite all the care you take and the screening you do, you come across a bad tenant. It’s something you as a property manager have to handle. There are many different situations which arise because of which a tenant might refuse to vacate a rental property. They could be just losers or they could be severely inconsiderate. Some people do not know how to let go very easily.

As a property manager you have to handle the situation with tact, diplomacy, and professionalism. Your approach should be firm yet fair and reasonable. Invariably this works well even if at the end of the day you lose some money.

More often than not if you treat you tenants with respect – and they are your bread and butter – you lessen the chances of a dispute which invariably is unpleasant and leads to a loss of money.

But there’s no guarantee this approach will always work. Sometimes a situation arises where the tenant-property manager relationship goes sour. It’s all part of property management.

No Two Situations are the Same

State and local rules vary as do tenants. And each crisis has its own peculiar set of circumstances. You might come up against a situation where you need legal advice. Unfortunately, this may cost you money but you have to grin and bear it if your tenant refuses to vacate when the lease has expired.

Here is some general guidance on different scenarios to handle difficult situations:

Situation 1: Your Tenant Pays the Rent and Refuses to Move

There are various reasons why you want the tenant out – you might want to renovate, move in yourself, there is a problem with their tenancy which is in violation of the lease, the tenant may have lost their job because of government regulations or high taxes just like so many other people are experiencing and now they cannot afford to pay rent, or maybe you just want to raise the rent and they cannot afford it nor refuse to accept this higher monthly bill. Call them on the phone and explain your point. A prudent way of going about this is to grant them with some extra time to get things situated so they can move out with a decent place to go. Hey, at least they are still paying something.  

If this doesn’t work then give them a written notice as a follow up. But always ensure you adhere to local laws which apply to the tenant notice.

Situation 2: Your Tenant is Broke

They do not have any money so they cannot pay the rent (a circumstance already mentioned). See if you can work with them and find a mutually acceptable solution. If that’s not possible you may have to file a lawsuit for eviction of an unlawful detainer. But make sure you give them proper notice first according to the law.

Possible Solutions:

Sometimes it pays you to meet with your tenants. Offer them money to move out and leave the premises in good condition.

Alternatively you can bring in a mediator to negotiate on your behalf. This is one approach that produces solid results and costs a lot less than legal fees plus it’s a fast-track solution than going through the court system.

If despite your best efforts they just won’t leave, then an eviction lawsuit might be your only option.

Talley Properties Inc.

Talley Properties of Charlotte NC is an established property management company who has been around the block a few times. Its specialty is rental residential and commercial properties in the mid to high-end segment. This is one of the best known property management companies in the area which has earned an enviable reputation with property owners and tenants alike.

How to Tackle Damages by a Tenant

A nightmare for a property manager and something he does have to face at times is when a tenant significantly damages a rental property. No doubt you hold the security deposit against such events but it’s preferable to take steps to prevent it and know what you have to do if repairs become necessary. The security deposit does not cover the extent of the damage many times either.

Damage or wear and tear?

Reasonable deterioration resulting from normal conditions is to be expected and may be written off as regular wear and tear. Examples of this are broken wall switches, faded paintwork, wear of tiles or carpet, and similar occurrences, all of which form part of maintenance expenses borne or owned by a landlord.

Damage is a different matter and which constitutes an abuse of property or the result of an accident. Examples are stained carpets, broken windows, holes punched in the wall, broken doors, cabinets, knocked down ceiling fans, and an extreme accumulation of dirt. Such instances of damage fall within the purview of the tenant for which he/she is responsible.

Prevention Preferable to Cure

It’s far better to take steps to prevent damage rather than have to handle it after the event. Your starting point is before the lease is signed; this is when you must ensure that the prospective tenant is fully aware of his responsibilities in taking care of the rental property. It pays to tactfully remind the tenant about the security deposit you hold and how it will be applied in event of a contingency.

While no property manager wishes to sound aggressive with a prospective tenant, it doesn’t hurt to caution the tenant diplomatically, especially if this is one who is living on his own for the first time or one who has a track record of infringements in previous rental premises. It will pay you in the long run to make your views clear. This is when you have the tenant sign off on what you have said and that they understand the policy.  

Be Clear

Once the lease agreement is signed and you are walking your tenant through the rental property, point out specific areas where additional care is required. This is particularly important in older properties with original windows and fixtures. Some tenants, especially first-timers, might not be aware of how to keep everything in sterling condition and might have to be enlightened on basic maintenance practices.

When Property is Damaged

If a responsible tenant intimates you of damage, if it is minor you might recommend a reputable tradesman who can repair it, the cost of which the tenant will have to bear. Extend your assistance so a tenant can repair the damage to your satisfaction at the cheapest possible price.

If the damage is extensive you might have to have it repaired yourself and send the bill to the tenant to pay. But first explain to the tenant what you plan to do.


If you have had to make the repair and the tenant won’t pay, gently remind him about the security deposit you hold from which it will be deducted. If the damage is in excess of the security deposit then send the tenant a detailed bill. If he cannot pay this amount with one payment, work out a schedule. If he refuses to pay, then serve him notice to either pay up or they will have to be evicted and if the damage is severe enough, they could be sued.  

Talley Properties

Talley Properties of Charlotte, NC is an icon in the region having been in the property management business for over three decades. Because of its efficiency and satisfactory services, the company has now expanded to manage commercial and residential rental properties in the surrounding counties.

Issues Arising Out of Property Management

There’s more to property management than finding and screening good tenants, maintaining “curb appeal”, and rent collection. Property management can at times be an exercise in frustration with a whole lot of issues arise which have to be attended to immediately by the property manager. Take for example an apartment complex housing multiple tenants. You are rarely without a problem of one kind or another which range from minor to major, but all these need instant attention.

Handing Over the Reigns

Because of all these niggling problems which never go away, an investor or homeowner soon realize that it is in their best interest to entrust the management of their rental property to a professional property manager and use their time more effectively.

Apart from routine issues like screening probable tenants, looking to the maintenance of the property, collecting rents, and supervising eviction procedures, a property manager has to submit periodic reports to the investor or homeowner and deal with a variety of other issues including tenant requests and problems.

Peace of mind for a landlord comes with the assurance that their rental home or condo is in the capable hands of a conscientious and competent property manager who has on call a list of reliable contractors to deal with routine problems such as blocked drains and toilets, leaking faucets and pipes, and slow draining showers and bathtubs.

Common Courtesy; The Basics

It up to the manager to recruit a reliable contractor whose rates are reasonable to paint and rehab an apartment unit when a tenant moves out and before the new tenant moves in.

Another issue that property managers routinely have to deal with is property damage. In the case of interior damages where the tenant is clearly responsible the repair cost can and is to be deducted from the security deposit paid at time of signing the lease agreement provided this falls within the laws which cover issues of security deposit. But this invariably becomes a contentious and sometimes unpleasant issue.

A Personal Upgrade

The manager has to protect the property from damage in other situations, like for example if the tenant wants to install a satellite dish which is permitted in the lease agreement. The property manager must be present during the installation to ensure that no damage takes place. Where satellite dishes are concerned, roof installations are generally discouraged or disallowed because of the possibility of damage which results in expensive repairs. Generally such installations are confined to the sides of a building exclusively.

A Management Company that Knows its Role

Talley Properties is a well-established property management company that operates out of Charlotte NC and manages properties as far afield as the neighboring counties. This company has established a list of reliable contractors across its areas of operation through which it is able to respond and attend to problems before they become serious issues. Talley Properties which manages high-end to mid-range commercial and residential properties provides the full range of property management services. However, it is flexible and customizes its services according to the needs of the property owner.

Tenant Screening:An Absolute Must

With property prices dropping to new lows, many more people are beginning to invest in real estate. Novice investors firmly believe that the key to success in real estate investment is to strike a ‘great deal’ after which the money will roll in. Many property managers are plagued by first-time investors who just want their property tenanted as soon as possible because the rent money is needed to meet the mortgage. But as any seasoned property manager will confirm this is not quite how it works, and being in a hurry to tenant a property often results in bad decisions which return to haunt the owner.

Who is this person?

To minimize the risk of making a bad tenant selection, tenant screening is an absolute must. It is only through tenant screening that a clear picture of the tenant’s background will emerge. You’ll be able to learn his/her rental history, credit report, employment record, and whether the prospective applicant has a criminal record. Based on this information, you as the owner or property manager can make an informed decision as to whether the tenant will be a proper fit for the property. This is something which shouldn’t be taken lightly because making a bad decision and signing a lease agreement with a bad prospect could well have avoidable and serious consequences.

Going No Where Fast

To cite an example, if an applicant has a track record of not paying bills on time then chances are that he will have the same attitude toward his rental obligations. A renter of this nature could easily turn a profitable real estate investment into a millstone within months.

Then there are tenants who neglect their rental homes resulting in big repair bills. A situation like this can be avoided with a quick call to their earlier landlords.

But a seasoned property manager will tell you that today’s tenant screening process is far more complex than ever before.

Talley Properties of Charlotte NC, which has been in the property management business for the last three decades, has developed a scoring system or its own to decide if an applicant comes up to the standard they set for occupying a property they manage. When the applicant provides details of all information required, points are awarded under the various heads, and based on the total the prospective tenant is advised whether or not he or she is acceptable.

Designing a Scoring System

A well-thought scoring system ensures consistency of tenant screening. This also protects the property manager from any Fair Housing claims a denied applicant could bring. Since the current economic situation is not improving and the specter of another recession looming and with high unemployment rates, you have to protect yourself because you do not want to have a lot of people living in your property who cannot or refuse to find work. This is another significant factor to bear in mind.

In the final analysis, an investor or owner should not allow the pressures of a mortgage payment cloud their judgment. As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Keep Your Hands Clean and Look to Talley

Talley Properties is the preferred choice of a property management company for many homeowners and investors with rental properties in and around the Charlotte region. It has achieved this status through experience, being ultra-careful, and developing a sixth sense for making the right choice.

Is rental property management the way to go?

As a greater number of investors are beginning to appreciate the advantages of putting their money into rental property, more and more landlords are beginning to realize just how much time and effort it takes. Prospective tenants have to be screened, the property has to be maintained, an eviction has to be handled or a property cleaned after a tenant leaves.

Wide Degrees of Latitude

As a consequence many landlords resort to hiring property management companies to look to the day-to-day running of their. Some landlords have a pleasant working experience with the companies they hire, while others have horror stories to narrate, which underscores the need to properly screen a property management company before hiring.

Some rental property owners firmly believe that they can manage their properties themselves, often remotely. This is sort of how America tried to manage the Korean War which did not work until the generals and military brass actually went to Korea, changed management, and found out what was really happening. Moreover, if you are the one that would prefer to hire a property management company then you should know what it is they will and won’t do as part of their function.

Key Factors

When you hire a property manager or company, you could expect the following:

Vacancies to be advertised

Tenants screened and placed

Security deposits, rents, and late payment fees collected

Standard upkeep taken care of such as lawn and pool maintenance and trash collection

Common repairs like backed-up toilets and the like attended to

Units cleaned and prepared for rental when a tenant moves out

Leases renewed

Complaints from tenants about deficient facilities handled promptly

Complaints about tenants from neighbors (unsupervised children, noise etc.) handled swiftly and tactfully

Evictions and related paperwork done when required

Cash flow statement of income and expenditure prepared

Short term and long term budgets prepared and submitted

General reports at periodic intervals

Some managers might even make the mortgage payments

Micromanaging is normally Counter-Productive

When you hire a property manager you can ask him to use a superb and professional electrician or plumber whom you can recommend but you cannot insist on that. The same applies to the lease and the screening process. Most well-established property management companies will have their own established service providers, tradesmen, and standardized processes in place which they would prefer to use.

One thing you cannot ask of a property management company, and which no management company will agree to, is to assume your liability. As the landlord you are finally responsible for your property and whatever happens on it. Most property management companies will decline to manage a rental property which is not insured properly. The company might insist on a contract which releases it from responsibility for almost everything short of deliberate misconduct. The company might even ask the property owner to add the company on the liability coverage he buys.

A Company that has Earned its Stripes

Talley Properties is arguably the oldest property management company which manages rental properties in the Charlotte region of NC. It has been providing exceptional property management services for over three decades which has enabled it to now cover a wider geographic area. Talley Properties’ specialty is high end to mid-range rental properties both commercial and residential. It is flexible in its approach to the kind of services it provides but will not compromise on standards. For more details about the company and the quality of properties it manages, click on <>.

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