How can real estate investors deal with renters that seemingly want to be evicted?
It may sound crazy, but real estate investors are increasingly reporting that they are running into situations where tenants actually want to be officially evicted.
Is this just an exaggeration, or is this really a trending issue more landlords need to be watching out for? Perhaps more importantly, how can real estate investors protect themselves against it and what practices should be deployed when it is encountered?
Minimizing Risk Begins with Prevention
Clearly, in many cases, real estate investors could save themselves a ton of frustration and money by selecting good tenants to begin with. This should happen before you even begin screening prospective tenants. Start by choosing how to market for renters and which referral sources to work on developing.
However, screening is critical. Being too tough and restrictive can absolutely be damaging to your business. Yet, if screening is neglected and no effort is made, investors are just asking for trouble. You must find a happy median.
Recognizing the Real Issue When Delinquency Happens
Obviously, no one rents to anyone thinking that they will default, but they do. The fact is, even the best screening process can result in a bad tenant. It is important to prepare yourself accordingly.
Before taking any action, ask yourself why they really aren’t paying and what direction this particular scenario could turn.
Are the renters simply late? Is the situation short term or long term? Perhaps more significantly; did the situation arise due to circumstances out of the occupant’s control, or are they simply choosing not to pay?
If it is a case of job loss, time off work due to illness or other family emergency, perhaps working with the tenant is the best way to go. The same may apply if the occupant has a warranted complaint with usability or the condition of the property. Weigh your options before taking action.
However, if it appears that this may be an ongoing issue, it’s time to decide what stance to take.
To Evict or Not?
If there is hope of salvaging the situation, it can be more motivational for tenants to take the ‘good cop’ role. In the current rental market, it is good to have a flexible landlord with a good rental rate locked in. Anything else, and a tenant may be subjected to the ugly side of a lease.
If the tenant doesn’t seem to have any intention of paying, keep on top of the paperwork and continually progress the eviction process. Depending on your state and situation, the correct notices and waiting periods may differ slightly. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Taking the first step is enough to motivate most tenants.
In the meantime, many real estate investors are finding success and more profits in bargaining. It may be worth paying them to leave, as to avoid a costly eviction process.
Still, there are some renters that appear to be determined to ride the eviction process all the way through.
Why would someone want to be evicted? There are actually several reasons, including:
- Weeks or months of free rent
- In order to qualify for government assistance
- They may want to go pursue litigation against the landlord
If you can solve any potential problems out of court, do it. Odds are you can’t mess up their credit any worse and they will never pay any judgments you win.