Your Tenant Lost Their Job!

10 Replies

If they violate their lease? File eviction.

One of the toughest things to deal with, and made even harder since it's clear you have some sort of relationship with this person.

We've learned the hard way (as it appears you have as well), that being nice to the tenant and allowing them to fall behind on rent usually bites you in the end. 

Even if you don't end up evicting the person, you have to start the process - that way they know you are serious, and will make every effort to pay you. If you don't - then the process drags out even further.

I wish there were another option - but leaving it to people's best interests is a pretty good recipe to lose rent for more than a few months.

Good luck with the issue.

One thing I have learned in life is that the soft people get paid last. That's why you see people squatting in properties behind 1+ months in rent but talking on cell phones and driving cars with payments. If you don't pay Verizon, Comcast, Ford, they just shut you off or come collect their stuff, and then sue you for the difference. Personally, I don't want to have to toss someone out because they lost their job, so I try to only rent to stable people with enough income that they (should) be able to provide their own 6-12 month cash cushion to get them through a rough spot. If you only rent to low-income, non-Section 8, you are probably going to experience this scenario quite often. 

As cruel as it sounds, this is a business and you have to evict them.  You aren't the bank of mom and dad.  You have an obligation to the bank that gave you the loan.

Interesting question.  I don't see anything about the tenant not paying.  So why would they leave?

Originally posted by @Richard C. :

Interesting question.  I don't see anything about the tenant not paying.  So why would they leave?

 That's true! Maybe it was a trick question ;)  . I assume the "lost their job and won't leave" meant that they weren't paying because they were unemployed, and they were squatting on the property. 

It's a tough call. It depends on the type of person they are, as to whether they take their rental obligations seriously. I have a tenant now who was in a serious car accident last December and hasn't been able to work since. Her boyfriend has been paying the rent with his salary, which is supporting their family on not much income. The tenant applied for social service assistance, utility assistance, etc., and they never missed a rent payment. 

Most people, and not just tenants, don't have a cash cushion for emergencies, and are one flat tire away from disaster. Some will leave on their own, some will not. @Carl Ghiselli s advice is spot on.

Jobs come and go. Tenants come and go. If a tenant loses their job and does not meet their financial obligations and what they agreed to in the rental agreement, then the landlord had best proceed with addressing the issue.  If the tenant goes into a tailspin and can't see their way out of their dilemma, a kind word from the landlord and a presentation of community resources can sometimes help the tenant to recover. One must evaluate what it would take to save the tenancy and what risk is involved. Rarely is there a good outcome if the tenant falls behind in paying their rent. But sometimes flexibility pays off, saving the tenancy and building tenant loyalty. There is not a blanket answer and each situation must be evaluated under it's own merit. But in the end, it comes down to choices. The tenant always has choices as to how to use their resources (time, talent and treasure) and so does the landlord.

Marcia Maynard, Fischer Properties | Podcast Guest on Show #83