General Landlording & Rental Properties

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David He
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Should I file eviction on Tenant of new property I just acquired?

David He
Posted Jan 15 2022, 20:59

Hello fellow landlords,

My wife and I are new landlords. We just bought our first rental property last week and inherited the previous tenants. We've read the multi-family millionaire book and are planning to apply the house hacking strategy by moving into one of the units while renting the other unit. 

The unit we're planning to move into is occupied by a tenant on a month-to-month lease and we already gave her a 30-day notice that we will not be renewing the lease. Her last day will be February 21, 2022. 

I spoke to her for the first time yesterday, and she agreed to the move out date and agreed to Venmo me rent on that day. Technically, her rent was already past due since she was supposed to pay by the 5th of the month. But I figured maybe with the change of ownership, she decided to pay the new landlord directly.

However, after receiving no rent and no reply after I sent her my Venmo account, I sent her another message today asking if she got my last message and reminding her to make the rent payment asap. Still, no reply and no payment.

I'm a bit concerned by this behavior as I don't know if she plans to refuse to pay rent because she only has a month left figured she can live for free. While I do have her security deposit from the previous landlord but I don't want to use that as rent since it would not cover any damages. 

From what I've read about eviction in my state (South Carolina), I need to first give a 5 day notice for non-payment of rent before filing a lawsuit for eviction. And any eviction would most likely occur after February 21st, which is when she was supposed to move out anyway. I hate to go through all this trouble to get her out when she is already supposed to get out. 

But on the other hand, since she didn't honor her word about paying me rent yesterday, I don't want to take the chance that she would still remain on the property by the time that my wife and I ready to move in. And also, if she got an eviction on her record, it would help protect future landlords from renting to her.

If this were your tenant, would you file for eviction for non-payment when she was supposed to move out anyway? 

Thanks!
David

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