Handling evictions can be tough under normal circumstances. Add in a global pandemic and all kinds of new regulations and moratoriums, and you’ve got quite the challenge on your hands. In light of all the COVID shut downs, job losses and subsequent financial impact, legislation was passed preventing landlords from evicting certain tenants.
Now that these temporary regulations have begun being lifted in many areas, landlords are now finding themselves finally able to deal with problem tenants, but there is still some tip-toeing to be done. If you’re in the same boat, here are a few tips that could save you time, money and tons of headaches.
Have a Conversation
Communication is key for any successful relationship, and this includes landlords and tenants. Rather than move to evict right away, see if there’s any way to sit down with your tenant and have a candid conversation. If they have been doing certain things that you feel may warrant an eviction, speak with them about it first. Remind them of your policies and see if it would be possible to give them another chance. Oftentimes an honest conversation can generate positive change without the need to evict.
Consider a Compromise
If the reason you are considering eviction is due to non-payment of rent, considering a compromise may end up being easier and less costly for you in the long run. For instance, if you’ve maintained a good relationship with a particular tenant who is now having difficulty paying the rent, perhaps offering to set up a payment plan or agreeing to a temporary rent reduction might make sense. You’ll save yourself time and aggravation and your tenant will appreciate your willingness to work with them.
Offer ‘Keys for Cash’
If you’ve ever gone through an eviction, you know what a hassle and expense the process can be. One way to avoid this experience is to use the “cash for keys” strategy. With this approach, the landlord typically offers to pay a sum of money, providing an incentive for problem tenants to move out voluntarily. While this will certainly cost you money out-of-pocket, it’s often favorable because it’s much faster and more affordable than a formal eviction. (Be sure to consult with a legal expert to verify that this is a legitimate option for you.)
Even before COVID, evictions were complicated and expensive. The pandemic has further exacerbated this. By considering various other options, you may be able to save yourself time, money and aggravation while also keeping your occupancy up.
What about you? Have you implemented any creative strategies to deal with post-pandemic eviction situations? We’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comments below.