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When Eviction is The Wrong Call

Stressed Tulsa Property Manager on the Phone For Tulsa property managers and landowners, evictions are an unpreventable part of doing business. Eviction isn’t always the most appropriate option when you have a tough renter to deal with. Both you and your tenant may have to spend time and money on the eviction process. Usually neither the landlord nor the tenant profits from the eviction proceedings. Therefore, it may not always be the best decision to evict a renter. You and your tenant will likely be better off if you can find alternatives to eviction in these scenarios.

Your Otherwise Good Renter Falls Behind on Rent

To have a lucrative rental property, you must have a decent renter. Even good renters occasionally have financial setbacks, job losses, or other circumstances that make it impossible for them to make ends meet. It is evident that failure to pay rent in a timely manner constitutes a breach of their lease. But it may not be smart to evict a tenant for failing to pay one or more rent installments. This is particularly true if the tenant has a background of on-time payments and a strong commitment to managing the property’s cleanliness and maintenance.

In such situations, it may be preferable to work with your renter to find a means to assist them in catching up on missed rent payments as an alternative to eviction. This can be an effective plan for avoiding the cost of evicting and replacing your renter while also gaining your renter’s deepest gratitude, granting that the renter’s financial issues are temporary. In the long run, this strategy is more likely to help you recover all of the unpaid rent and keep a good renter if you’re ready to suffer a small financial cost in the short term.

You Don’t Have Clear Legal Grounds

There are some circumstances in which eviction can result in more legal issues than it would fix. Avoid these at all costs. Ambiguity in your legal case for eviction is one of these circumstances. If your renter has been making complaints on the habitability of the home, either to you or to the local housing authority, when you haven’t taken steps to resolve the complaint, your idea to evict the renter might be viewed as retaliatory and be declined.

Another situation would be if your eviction could be interpreted as a form of discrimination against a tenant who belongs to a protected class. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing decisions, including evictions, based on a renter’s religion, age, race, marital status, sexual preferences, and more. Your renter may sue you if your eviction is thought to be discriminatory.

Lastly, tread carefully when accepting partial rent payments before or after seeking to remove a tenant for non-payment of rent. You could lose your legal right to remove the tenant and be in a very sticky situation if you take any rent from the renter. This is based on the fact that taking partial payments creates an implicit agreement between you and your tenant that a judge will likely interpret as a continuance of your lease arrangement, even if it is not in writing. It is best to wait until the issue is more evident if you don’t have clearly established legal grounds for an eviction.

You’d Rather Keep Your Money

Not only are legal fees involved, but the entire eviction procedure is costly. Chances are, once your tenant learns that you intend to evict them, they will stop paying rent and, in many cases, refrain from cleaning or maintaining the rented property. Oftentimes this results in lost revenue and increased cleaning and repair expenses.

Try paying your renter to leave instead of going through the price and trouble of eviction. This sort of “cash for keys” arrangement can help a renter who is struggling financially to leave on good terms or persuade a stubborn renter to leave sooner rather than later. You may think it’s pretty weird to offer money to someone who owes you money, but a lump sum cash payment of several hundred dollars is considerably less than the cost of evicting the tenant.

Avoid Eviction with Quality Property Management

Finding a reputable tenant with a past record of timely rent payments is one of the best methods to avoid evictions completely. But that can be difficult, especially if you have other things to do. At Real Property Management Abound, we properly vet each applicant for a rental unit, selecting only the most qualified people. In the event that issues do occur later, our Tulsa property management experts can assist in advising you on the best course of action to take. Contact us online today to learn more!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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