As a Lombard landlord and rental property owner, you must understand that evictions come with the job. A difficult tenant isn’t always solved by eviction, though. Evictions are not only time-consuming, but they can also be quite expensive for both you and your tenant. In fact, most of the time, neither the property owner nor the tenant benefits from the eviction process. So, don’t automatically think that evicting a tenant is the right course of action. When you find yourselves in a position like this, it’s better for you and your tenant to find an alternative to eviction.
Your Otherwise Good Tenant Falls Behind on Rent
A good tenant is 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. There’s no doubt that non-payment of rent is a violation of their lease. But evicting a tenant for missing one or even several rent payments might be too much. 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.
As such, a better alternative to eviction would be to work something out with your tenant so that he/she can get caught up in the missing rent payments. When you know that the tenant’s financial difficulties are temporary, extending this kind of grace to them will earn their heartfelt gratitude; and, you can avoid the expense of evicting and replacing your tenant! Being willing to take a temporary financial hit will most likely help you recover all of the missing rent payments in the future, and keep for yourself a good tenant, too.
You’d Rather Keep Your Money
The eviction process can cost you a lot of money, and that’s not just from all the legal fees you have to pay. There’s a big chance that when your tenant finds out that you are evicting them out of the rental home, they will stop paying rent. So, the cleaning and upkeep of the property will also stop. This often leads to both lost income and higher cleaning and repair expenses.
To avoid the expense and hassle of the eviction process, you might even consider 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 urge them to be out of the property sooner. Isn’t it weird to offer money to someone who owes you money? Remember, 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
Also, there are potential situations where the eviction could open up legal problems instead of solving any problem at all. This is a situation you want to avoid. Why? Because it’s very possible that your legal grounds for eviction are all but ambiguous. 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.
Also, an eviction might be interpreted 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, don’t fall into the trap of accepting partial rent payments before or after eviction for non-payment of rent. This will only lead to losing on legal grounds for 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. To protect yourself from getting into trouble, don’t force an eviction if you know that the legal grounds for it are undefined.
One of the best ways to avoid evictions entirely is to find a good tenant with a strong history of on-time rental payments. Where do you look for these kinds of tenants? At Real Property Management DuPage Preferred, 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 Lombard property management experts can help guide you through the best course of action to take. To learn more, contact us online or call 630-427-2200 today!
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