Inherited Property - Nonpaying Tenants

8 Replies

I recently inherited a single family home from my grandfather that has tenants whom have lived in this house for several years. My grandfather informed me that the tenants have not paid rent in seven months. Rent is $400/month therefore making them about $2,600 behind.

My question is should I even bother with having them sign a lease with me (currently they are month to month...actually living free) or start the eviction process? They were taking advantage of my grandfather because he is 90 years old. My theory is there is no better predictor of future behavior than past behavior. I have other rentals, but never had a situation like this. Looking for input. Thanks.

Start Eviction process ASAP!!!! Show them you mean business. My live got SO much better once I treat my rentals like a business. 

cash for keys: now

Don't waste time or money trying to get them to pay up. 

7 months? Get them out immediately.

not even a discussion. 

Send them up the lazy river.

There's no way they will pay up.  Get rid of them and get good tenants in place.  It'll make your grandfather happy to see that you are able to maintain the asset he gave you.

@Jeremy S. Its funny you say past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. I will never forget seeing a collections guy make a presentation to a landlord group once and he just looked at the crowd and that is exactly what he said. It made quite an impression on me. He just conveyed this world weary weight of experience. That comment renewed my efforts in screening tenants and informs the way that I respond to tenant issues. But like everyone says, this is a clear case and your instincts are correct. They must go. Taking advantage of a 90 year old man is reprehensible in my view. Aside from the debt these people are of low moral character and you should not have them on the property.

@Stephen E.  As I was typing that I knew I was answering my own question. I heard Judge Wapner say that many years ago as a kid on People's Court and it stuck with me. 

Originally posted by @Michael Herr :

cash for keys: now

Don't waste time or money trying to get them to pay up. 

Ditto. "Cash for Keys" will be your quickest route. Eviction process will eat up more of your time, money, and sanity. Serve the "Pay Rent or Quit" notice now and then offer them cash for keys. If they don't vacate quickly with that, then proceed with the legal eviction process. If you must evict and have never done an eviction, do it right by hiring an attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant law & evictions.

Also, do a property inspection now and document what you find. Don't just go in there; serve them a legal Notice to Enter. Then watch the property like a hawk. Remember to keep cool. Be polite, fair and firm. Know landlord-tenant law better than your tenants. The goal is to get them out quick, while reducing the risk of damage to the property.

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