Everyone has been in that highly difficult situation—it’s time to move, but they don’t know where to find a place that fits their needs in an affordable way. Landlords renting property is becoming commonplace these days, because it can be a great way to bring in some extra income by renting apartments, studio spaces, or entire houses. The problems start when tenants start acting out of line!
If people aren’t paying rent on time, or if they aren’t paying bills, this presents a serious issue to a landlord. Collecting overdue rent and arrears can be a very difficult process at times. Don’t let it get out of control! Keep a level head, collect the money you are owed, and get rid of your tenants. You will find someone deserving of your space in time.
1. Know the signs
If the tenant violates any of the terms in your signed lease, contract, or any other written or verbal agreement, you might have grounds for eviction based on this alone. Watch for tenants who have not paid their rent or bills for a long period, especially if you have a clause against this type of behaviour in your lease.
There might be other signs as well: are they disturbing other people in the building or in the area? Are they excessively noisy, or are they very dirty? If you have a known criminal or a nuisance to society under your roof, it’s time to get them out.
2. Understand the situation
You should always try and understand your tenant’s situation before you do anything too rash. Sometimes tenants hit a rough patch with their finances that can make rent payments a difficulty. Some students can fall on hard times, and single parents might struggle as well.
Assess the situation. You are running a business of course, but see if you can make an exception for them to pay their rent late. Would you feel good about throwing someone out on the street if they didn’t deserve it?
If your tenant is straight with you about where they are at with their finances, and if they can pay a portion or offer something as collateral, consider giving them a second shot. Good tenants are hard to find, and you might gain yourself a loyal guest in your space if you grant them this favour.
3. Find the right time to talk
You might have a tricky tenant who is purposefully avoiding you because they know you are after their late rent payments. Some people aren’t trying to escape their debt—always remember that there is a lot of shame in having debt, and people naturally have a response to avoid discussing this debt with anyone: least of all the person they owe the money to.
Choose a time when you know they are home, but that’s also an acceptable time to reach out to them. Don’t come crashing on their door at 3 A.M. expecting to get a positive result! Find a weekend or a time in the middle of the week that is a polite and courteous time to discuss the matter at hand.
Most tenants will have a good explanation for why they don’t have the money they owe you. Try and put this into perspective for them: you have bills to pay just like they do, and you suffer when they aren’t paying what they owe. They have to do their part to pay their rent!
At the start, don’t threaten the tenant with eviction or other legal action. That will put them on their guard! Be polite, but be firm. Doing so will likely make your tenant pay you the money they owe.
4. Understand the law
If you are still having trouble, it might be time to seek legal action. Be sure to read up on all the legislation for your town, city, region, or country. Find out what the laws of eviction are before you try posting an eviction notice on the tenant’s door.
Be careful—if you do these steps incorrectly, your tenant might file legal action against you. If you don’t know the law, it can easily be used against you.
Study the lease carefully. In some cases it’s better to be safe than sorry. You might need to consult a lawyer specializing in real estate property and housing contracts.
5. Use the law to your advantage
The law is there for a reason: to protect people against others trying to abuse the system.
It’s best to leave evictions to the pros. Use your lawyers or the local police force to do this work for you. You should avoid doing so yourself, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. You don’t want this to come back to bite you!
6. Avoid confrontation
When the tenant is being evicted, try and avoid the area they are getting evicted from. The process of getting rid of a tenant can be emotionally difficult for them. They might even hate you, or at least strongly resent you for finally giving them the boot. Sometimes there’s nothing else you can do!
Avoiding confrontation is not the best strategy in every life scenario, but in this case it might be your best option. Let the authorities do their work! Wait for the situation to die down, and move on with your life.
7. Worst case scenarios
In some cases you might need to safeguard against a tenant who has a vendetta against you. Don’t let them trash your place beyond recognition! You need to rent their space again to someone who can pay on time, after all.
Some tenants just want to get revenge against you for having them evicted. If they were awful tenants and refused to pay you, don’t feel bad. Take the proper precautions!
You might need a court order to prevent the tenant from vandalizing or destroying the property in question. At this point you might need to change the locks to prevent the tenant from gaining access to their former place. Don’t let them take out their anger on your space!
Everyone has a right to a safe place to live, but sometimes life throws up a serious of roadblocks that nobody can expect. When this happens, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to make ends meet. Try and be as compassionate and understanding as you can, but sometimes you just need to get rid of the tenant. Use care, respect, and well thought out judgment when you do so. Good luck!