Posted by Mitchell Vinnitsky

5 Ways to Avoid Eviction

With the moratorium finally being lifted, evictions are once again an available option for landlords. That said, anyone who’s gone through the process knows how long, drawn out and incredibly expensive it can be. Seeking alternatives to this can help you keep your vacancies at a minimum and avoid the costly and time-consuming process of having to go to court. Here are a few other strategies you might consider instead.

Work with Them

If you have a decent relationship with your tenant, you may be able to open the lines of communication and get them to shed light on the reasons why they’re doing what they’re doing. For instance, they may be late on rent because an accident or unexpected illness has kept them out of work. Or, if they’re continuously violating parking rules, it may be due to a disability you aren’t aware of. If the reason is legitimate, you may be able to work with the tenant to find a solution you can both be happy with. But you won’t know unless you ask.

Offer Other Options

If you own a building with various sized units and a tenant can no longer afford the rent for their larger apartment, rather than kicking them out, perhaps you could offer to move them to a smaller unit that better suits their budget. That way you’ll retain the tenant, enable them to start paying their rent in full again and have a larger unit available to re-rent at the higher rate. It’s ok to think outside the box a little as long as the tenant is otherwise good and you’re comfortable with them staying.

Renegotiate

No landlord ever wants to lower the cost of rent, but sometimes doing so can be worth it over the long haul. Remember – evictions are costly, both in terms of money and time. Is it really worth the hassle? Especially if the tenant is otherwise great? Reducing the rent by just $50 a month might be all it takes to get them to stay. And while it’s true you’ll end up losing $600 a year in rent, you’d likely pay double or even triple that amount on an eviction. In other words, carefully weigh your options.

Compromise

Let’s face it. We’ve all fallen on hard times at various points in our lives. If this is the case with your tenant, you may want to consider being kind and coming to a compromise. For example, if the tenant is in arrears by 2 months, you might offer to forgive one of the months and set up a payment plan to pay back the other. The arrangement you come to – and how much you’re willing to give up – will ultimately be up to you, but it’s certainly something that could potentially keep you out of court.

Offer Cash for Keys

If the tenant isn’t worth retaining, or you can’t come to a compromise you’re both comfortable with, another way to avoid eviction is to offer them cash in exchange for vacating by a certain date. If you do decide to go this route, make sure you have an official agreement drawn up that you both sign. Also, keep in mind that the move-out process for this is the same as any other. The security deposit (minus any legitimate deductions) must still be returned in a timely manner, according to the laws and regulations in your jurisdiction.

Evictions are par for the course for landlords. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the only option, however. Perhaps one or more of the above suggestions could help you reach an alternative arrangement that’s much more favorable and affordable.

What about you? Do you have a success story to share about a time you avoided eviction and salvaged a tenant relationship? We’d love to hear it! Please share in the comments section below.

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