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.