Bad Tenant - Evict or renew lease?

6 Replies


My family is renting a SFH and the lease is up on August 25th. It will be 2 years in AUG that tenant has beeing renting. She is a divorced mother of two and for the 1st year the lease was paid for 1 year and during the second year it went month to month. We didn't want to renew the lease after the 1st year because there was visible damage to the walls and the inside of the house is in bad shape. How can the landlord protect themselves from being taken advantage of?

We have been fairly reasonable in accomodating normal repair/maintenace requests. She is a constant complainer.

All the applicances including the fridge, stove, microwave, washer/dryer, and the A/C are new and installed within the course of that lease.

The lease terms were that it would be paid 1st of the month but all the rent payments we receive are mid-month (after 2 weeks).

Also, the inital lease term included only her and her two children. After a few months, she has a significant other and older son who moved in the house.

What clauses can be put to protect landlord interests, in regard to any additions, negligence, damage, inspection?

Should we raise the rent now that there are two additional people in the house?

@Farhan M.

I had the same experience and by renewing noting will be solved. You need to ask them to vacate and if they did not evict will just get worse and worst if they are this way. you are in this business to make money and do the right thing. You have already given them the chance to fix the problem so I do see any way why you want to renew it.

Hope this help.

I wouldn't renew.  She isn't paying on time, that's enough of a reason for me.

As far as preventing others from moving in, we have a clause that states how many adults are allowed to live there and also that no guests can stay longer than 5 days without written permission from the landlord.  If they want to sublet or move in more people, those people nee to fill out apps and pay for background checks.

You can also use a "no holdover tenancy" type clause which pretty much ends the lease when it ends rather than converting it to month to month.  This is in my leases since I usually lease the place ahead of it being vacant, so I need them out when they are supposed to be out to prepare for the next tenants.

Serve her notice that you do not wish to continue to rent to her (might be 60 days since she has been there so long, check your state laws) and get her out.  

I would evict them. Give her the 30 day notice abide by all laws. Quit talking about her kids because she will sue you for discriminating her protected class of family status. Just be honest and tell her we no longer want to continue the month to month contract. There doesn't need to be an explanation. Either party can terminate the lease with a 30 day notice. If you dont want a lot of people next time call the fire dept. and ask them what the occupancy codes are per bedroom and then put that in your lease. If you really want her gone pay her to leave. She will most likely accept less than an eviction costs. There may not have been but I would bet there were multiple red flags 2 years ago before the lease signing that were over looked. Take this time now to really learn about tenant screening and set up your standards so you don't put yourself in this situation again. Improper screening can cost way more than any maintenance/capital expense. Good luck man!

30 day notice and that's it, no other reason to argue or debate with her since the lease is month-to-month.  If she doesn't move out after the 30 days then start the eviction process.  If you are not willing to do that then turn the house over to a professional property manager and let them make the tough decisions.

Going forward, there are usually clauses in the standard lease contracts for your area that cover these situations and protect you.  Any standard lease will restrict the occupants and say that any damage that is not regular maintenance is covered by the tenant and not the owner.  Check with a local realtor or another landlord to see what forms are used and see if you can get a blank copy of one.

Thanks everyone for your replies.

@Shorab Khosravi

Yes, thats one option I was looking into about renewing the clauses with certain conditions.

@Kelly N.

Thank you for the advice. Will look into this.

@Andy Sturm

Thank you. If the occupany per person is greater, is sufficient to increase the rent?

@Christopher Gilbert

Thank you for your advice.

There should be a clause in your lease that states that if another adult is to move into the property (or her kids turn 18) then you must approve the tenancy.  Check your lease and enforce it. 

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