How To Evict a Tenant: The Ultimate Guide

84 Replies

 I have a tenant who I think is trying to take advantage the virus situation.  He has had a history of late pay.  In the pass, he paid and called it a day.  This is the longest time frame he gone without paying 18 days.  Has anyone had an issue with tenants not paying do to the virus?

Hello- anyone out there know if you can evict a tenant if their lease is up but they refuse to sign another lease ( they want tenant at will) ? The lease ends May 31, and they have sent a check for June rent which we have not cashed as then this will auto convert to a tenant at will. They are also refusing a $100 a mos increase per mos.  (combined these folks make over 500k a year!).  

In MA - which has a moratorium on evictions currently due to covid.

Unfortunately you can do nothing to get them to leave.  As you noted, in Massachusetts ALL non-essential evictions are on hold regardless of whether you receive federal funds for tenants or if you have a federally backed loan. 

You can't evict for nonpayment, no fault/no cause, or any fault/cause except

  1. Criminal activity that impairs health and safety of other residents, health care workers, emergency personnel, persons lawfully on the subject property, or the general public (collectively, “others”);
  2. Lease violations that may impact the health or safety of “others”.

So the only evictions that can proceed will be directly related to health and safety.

 Unfortunately, the MA specific moratorium doesn't have a clear end date yet.  It runs until August 18, 2020 or 45 days after the end of the state of emergency declared March 10 - whichever comes later. 

There seems to be two categories of non-paying tenants. First, one that had lost their job as a direct result of COVID-19. The other is someone that is simply working the system just because they can.

I will work with someone that is in the first category but not the other! 

Be sure to work with an attorney that specializes in eviction. My attorney does 250 eviction claims per month!

Sharing this so other landlords may benefit.  We had a slow paying tenant here in Minnesota - late 80% of the time from the get go - stop paying rent in June.  We tried negotiating, payment plan, nothing worked.  They blamed Covid although there were 3 out of 4 working adults in the house (4br) with 2 kids.  When we sent them a written notice to leave after a month of non-payment the tenant actually called the Atty Generals office.  We decided on a variant of cash for keys.  Presented them with 3 options on Sunday - pay $1,000 by Friday and get on a payment plan, continue to refuse to pay and we go after you in small claims court (served them at the same time) or move out in two weeks and we cancel the lawsuit.  They chose #3.  They played the game well and caused us to lose $$$ - we get to keep their deposit against the rent which helped offset 1/2 of it.  I post this here to let you know there are options even when you can’t evict.  Had these tenants lost their jobs from Covid we would have worked with them, but they were simply taking advantage of us and blaming the situation.

Has anyone received a notice from a tenant to "...TEMPORARY HALT IN EVICTION TO PREVENT FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19"?

We were seeking to evict tenants who have only paid $200 since May and are almost $2000 behind in rent. Their circumstances have not changed much as far as work, in fact one of them who was not previously working began a working in June and the other is still working as before. 

The form gives the tenants protection from eviction until January 2021 and the language is so vague as to what they are required to pay in the mean time that they will most likely live rent free, owe over $4000 at the time of eviction and move out paying nothing before the court date! They have no intention of making partial payments and they get to live rent free for at least 7 months with trump's blessing! 

What remedy do we have as landlord?

@Melissa Walker Fortunately for me none of my tenants have giving me that notice.

Did those tenants file that in small claims? or did they hire a lawyer? what kind of court? 

And it is sad how any and all government officials (elected or not, local or federal) just cave under any pressure when it involves covid. I'm with you there. 


Same problem here, we were handed the same notice: "...TEMPORARY HALT IN EVICTION TO PREVENT FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19".
it seems that we can do nothing, just wait and let them live in our property for free and owing nothing when they vacate. What a disgrace!!