One of the worst parts of being a landlord is dealing with difficult tenants. If they’re in violation of their lease agreement, it’s easy – you can evict them for breach of contract. But what happens if they’re loud or you suspect they’re doing something illegal but can’t prove it?
There are some sneaky ways to get rid of bad tenants. The key is to be smart and tactful about it. Read on to learn more about how to convince your bad tenants that they should leave on their own.
Raise the Rent
If your tenants aren’t in a rent-controlled agreement, one option for getting them out is to raise the rent. This may convince them to move on, on their own if they aren’t doing anything that officially violates your lease agreement. And even if they don’t move on, you’ll be better compensated for the trouble they cause.
You do need to be careful to review the laws in your city and state regarding property leasing. Some jurisdictions restrict the amount you can raise the rent in one go. You also can’t increase the rent on a fixed-term agreement before the lease date is up.
Don’t Renew Their Lease
Depending on the terms of your lease and the laws in your area, you may be able to get rid of your tenants by just not renewing their lease. At the end of some leases, you have the option to extend the option for your tenants to renew their lease.
If the tenants are causing problems without violating the terms of their lease, you may not be obligated to offer them the option to lease again.
If you do plan not to renew the lease, be sure you extend notice of non-renewal to your tenants within the legal window. Depending on your area, you may need to give them a month’s, two months’, or even three months’ notice.
Thank your tenants for their time (even if you haven’t appreciated it), explain your move-out policies, and tell them how they can get their security deposit back.
Help Them Find a New Place
If you’re trying to nudge tenants to find a new place, one great way to do that is to help them find that new place. Showing the advantages a new home can offer can be a tactful way to convince them to leave. This way will require some more legwork and subtlety on your part, but it’s good for not burning bridges.
Do some research into other reasonably priced living arrangements in the area. If you know (and don’t like) the people who rent the property, you can offer to make an introduction. If you do provide these introductions, be sure you don’t lie to them about the tenants in question – that’s a good way to get a bad professional reputation.
Threaten Them with a Lawsuit
If you believe your tenants are doing something illegal in the apartment but you can’t prove it to evict them, you can still tell them what will happen if you do find evidence. Once again, with this approach, you have to be very careful to toe a line. But there’s no rule against letting them know the consequences of a full-scale investigation.
If you want to make sure you don’t violate any laws during these discussions, you can have your lawyer draft a letter to send to the tenants. Tell them that if they don’t either stop their illegal activity or vacate the premises, you’ll launch a full lawsuit investigation into their activities. That may be enough to encourage them to leave before the fight begins.
Buy Them Out
Unfortunately, even if you go through full eviction proceedings, you’re looking at spending three months and as much as $10,000. A cheaper, quicker way to manage it is to consider offering your tenants a sum of money to just move out with no fuss. Yes, you may lose a few hundred dollars in the deal, but it can save you a lot of time and money.
Make sure you define specific terms for their move out. You don’t want to pay bad tenants a few hundred dollars to move out and then come back to a trashed apartment. That’s part of the appeal of avoiding the official evictions process – evicted tenants mean damaged property almost every time.
Find Evidence of Illegal Activity
If you really do have good reason to believe your tenants are doing something illegal on your property, one of your best options is to gather evidence. The system may favor tenants in many areas, but if any illegal activity can be proven, the law is on your side. But you have to be careful about how you go about getting that evidence.
As the landlord, you have the right to perform regular inspections of your property, but you do have to give notice that you’re going to be doing them. This could give your tenants time to hide any evidence, but inspections aren’t the only reason you could have for going on the property.
The air conditioner may need some tuning up, and if you happen to find evidence of illegal activity while you’re in there, then the ball’s in your court to deal with it.
Find More Sneaky Ways to Get Rid of Bad Tenants
Trying to find sneaky ways to get rid of bad tenants who aren’t violating a lease agreement can be tricky. The key is to look at your situation and find a diplomatic way to resolve things. Take a hard look at the laws in your state, and consider persuading your tenants to leave on their own.
If you’d like help managing your property, check out the rest of our website at Bergen and Company. We provide hands-on property management and investment services so you can reap the rewards of owning property without having to deal with problematic tenants. Contact us today to learn how we can make your life as a landlord much easier.
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