We have a tenant who's been renting for about 3 years, currently on a 2 year lease that is coming to an end shortly. This tenant when good, is good, but when bad is really bad. Has been late on rent numerous times and when they are it turns into lots of drama.
With the lease coming up for renewal we need to make a decision to send them a letter telling them the lease won't be renewed and it's time to leave, or we could tell them the lease won't be renewed and let them go month to month.
Part of me says to get rid of them and find a new tenant. Part of me says to not renew but let them go month to month so not if but when they go bad again on the rent it would be simpler to evict.
What do you think? Am I over estimating the benefits of letting them go month to month?
When you terminate a tenant's lease with you it is not an eviction, but a "Termination of Tenancy". A lot of people mistake not renewing a lease as an eviction (tenants mostly).
I think giving them the option to go on a month to month is a good thing. This way you only have to give a 30 day notice (or whatever amount of days notice your state allows you to give to terminate their tenancy) and you would so via a Termination of Tenancy Form. (not an eviction form). If they don't leave then you need to fill out a Summons and Complaint to start the "eviction" process.
But it is summer and people are on the move. So you will have to decide what you want to do.
Do you want to save the tenancy? Does the tenant want to save the tenancy? It seems to me your first action should be to get the tenant into compliance with the terms of the rental agreement. To do this you need to act in a manner that is polite, swift, firm, and fair every time the tenant strays.
Be open and honest in your communication with the tenant. Let them know you are considering not renewing the lease because of the past violations and the associated drama. Try to understand their view on this as well. Ask them, "If you were me, what would you do?" If you both decide to give it another try, re-establish the ground rules. Go over the entire rental agreement terms. Let them know, if you and they agree to continue the tenancy, that they must be prepared to pay rent on time and abide by all of the rental agreement terms.
As to whether to go with a lease renewal or month-to-month... we always prefer month-to-month because it favors us more than the tenant. But if you are in a location where a winter vacancy could be hard to fill, then having a lease end in the temperate months may be a better option. Two year lease terms have never made sense to me. Remember, even with a lease you can terminate for cause if the tenant fails to perform according to the terms of the rental agreement.
I have always preferred to automatically have the leases go month to month after the one year lease has been fulfilled by the tenant..
what i like to do is speculate a late rent penalty in my leases to ensure the rent is paid on time, and i'm never lenient..if they refuse to pay it, it's a cause for eviction since it's speculated in the lease..this always encourages tenants to pay on time..i hardly have problems..