Tenant is Shopping Around

18 Replies

So my tenant is on a month to month lease and has been with me for 14 months now. Decent tenant, was only late once and paid the next day as he forgot when the 1st of the month was. When he moves out, I will have to replace the carpet and do some minor repairs to get the property ready.

So, the other day he text me to confirm that he needs to give me a 30 day notice when he's ready to move out, so I figure he's shopping around. Well school starts back up in late August here in Las Vegas.

My question to you guys is should I apply pressure to him by giving him a 30 day notice to move out? Once school starts, it might be a bit harder to find a tenant. My property is within walking distant of a really good high school here.

My price is very competitive right now, you could get something nicer for $100 more, but would be further away from everything. My tenants wife works right around the corner and the property is not in a HOA, so my tenant can park his boat on the drive way. He is on a tight budget, and I think it would be hard to him to find a better deal, but who knows, he may be able to.

I would call his bluff. Say sign a year lease or rent increases $XX. Next time add a clause to your lease having it automatically renew for another year unless notice is given otherwise. Be sure to include a "cost of living" increase in your renewal amount.

BTW - had to smile, tenant having trouble paying rent but has a boat.

What reason would you have to give him a 30-day notice if he is paying rent on time. Find out why he is shopping for another place to live.

Joe Gore

@Bruce L. If I heard right he just asked if he needs to give a 30 day notice, but did not give one to you, correct?

If I was in your position I would want to keep him! Never late, and it is working well.

Instead I would offer him another 1 year rental lease, with a notice to sign by a certain date (whatever is in your contract notice of changes 14, 20 or 30 days?) If your market is flooded with renters then you could entice him to stay by offering not to raise rent for a year lease.

BTW you could charge a higher month-to-month rate if he decides to stay longer without signing the new year lease. But don't just give him notice to move-Keep this tenant!

Here is a form example of a Lease Extension I use: http://www.atcrealestate.com/lease%20extension

I would have a conversation with him and explain your position. Simply say I need you to either commit to another year or I would like to move in 30 days so that I can find a tenant prior to school starting etc. If he is on a tight budget I doubt he wants to pay the additional moving expenses, deposits, etc. He will more than likely renew rather than incur the new costs.

I personally do not to month to month leases as in my area time of year really drives the market!  Therefore I would give notice that we were non renewing the month to month. That either move out or one year lease. I would also put a 2 month break lease fee and a 2 month required notice

If you do add a two-month break fee make sure your lease state that if the tenant breaks the lease, they pay and if the landlord breaks the lease, they pay don't have it one sided.

Joe Gore

Originally posted by @Bill S. :
I would call his bluff. Say sign a year lease or rent increases $XX. Next time add a clause to your lease having it automatically renew for another year unless notice is given otherwise. Be sure to include a "cost of living" increase in your renewal amount.

BTW - had to smile, tenant having trouble paying rent but has a boat.

Call his bluff on ...what? Him verifying with his landlord that 30 days notice to vacant is required? That's a good thing for a tenant to do if he doesn't know how much notice is required (and like plenty, doesn't seem to read the lease).

The tenant hasn't had trouble paying rent, other than one time forgetting it was rent date.

Why force them into an annual lease? I've had month to month tenants stay for years. Increasing the rent for month to month tenants is fine. If this tenant pays and pays on time (his one late excluded) and doesn't cause problems, I wouldn't seek to get him out if the rent was comparable. If the rent is too low, yes, I would increase it for month to month tenants.

Originally posted by @Joe Gore:
No matter if you do a lease for one year or two years if the tenant wants to move they will move.

True. If they're easily garnish-able with easy to find office locations, it's a little harder for them to move and not pay. But usually a tenant who wants to leave will just leave-- or annoy you until you let them out of that 2 year lease. Having longer to find new tenants without a vacancy is nice, but not as nice as the ability to kick out a bad tenant with only 30 days notice if it's month to month.

Sounds like a decent to good tenant,,if you want to keep him you need to get him back in a year lease if you think he is looking. I use the mortgage companies as an excuse ,,,I say they require me to have one year leases in effect or they will penalize me on a refinance on another property (pure BS but they don't know that).

This way you will get a feel for what he is doing, but you aren't telling him he has to sign a lease,,,its a good way to get the conversation started and see what he is thinking

Seems kind of crappy to try to force the tenants hand becasue they called to verify a term of the lease. If you weren't comfortable with the fact that they could leave with a 30 day notice then you should have changed addressed that in the lease with a longer notice (if permitted by law) or having them sign a 12 month lease instead of letting them go month to moth.

it is totally within the landlords right to have them either sign a new 12 month lease, or allow them to stay month to month, just as it is the tenants right to leave with 30 days notice.

I have had some people on month to month for several years, it doesn't bother them and it doesn't bother me,,but 'forcing' them to sign a 12 month lease is simply exercising a landlords right to end the current agreement with 30 days notice.

If its a good tenant I would talk to them, but telling them you really need a 12 month lease, which isn't 100% truthful, is possible a better solution than saying "sign a 12 month lease or your out in 30 days",,this way you get a dialogue with the tenant and you find out what really fits both of the parties needs.


Do not pressure your tenant to move out. Sounds like you have a good tenant that you would do well to keep. Find out if he is considering leaving, if so, for what reason. Address the reason if you can. Try to save the tenancy. It will cost you less in the long run. Tenants will always move when they need to move regardless of the type of rental agreement. Month-to-Month agreements do have their advantages as they allow landlords to more easily address non-performance and quickly end tenancies that are undesirable.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here