11 Replies

Hello Landlords,  just wanted some advice on my situation, which I am sure has happend to some of you in the past.  I bought a 4 plex here in Florida, 1 year 5 months ago, it came with 3 tenants already, one good and two not.  One of which I ended up evicting 1 year ago, which ended up in a nightmare.  He put liquid cement down the pipes, broke windows, stuffed raw chicken under the carpets and ran me up over 3k in water bills by leaving the water on for the whole time the eviction was going on. Anyway, that's over, but here is my dilemma.
One of the other tenants has been late since the second month of ownership.  He pays me every two weeks but little bits and is now $1375 behind.  I have served him 3 day notices 4 times now, then he promises to pay x amount every two weeks to catch up, but then there is always an excuse why the amount is much less.  We have no lease in place as I have been wanting him out since the begining, so we are on a verbal lease.  I also sent him a certified letter that I needed my place back by x date and he never picked up the letter either.
Last Monday I gave him another 3 day notice and he did not pay or move out by the due date, but now he is sending me text that he is going to pay me 800 by next week and then 1000 and doesn't stop calling me.  I have not answered.  I think the Eviction Company might have served him the 5 day on Friday.  So my question is, should I talk with him to try to resolve this or go ahead with the eviction, but what if he turns nasty like the other tenant?  He actually told me that he would do worse things than my previous tenant did. Please advice, thank you.

WOW! Some people are pretty low down. If I was in your situation, I would give them the required notice to vacate and if they failed proceed with eviction. Hopefully he doesn't tear up your place. I would never mention to other tenants what some slimeball did and give them the same idea. When placing new tenants, I would make the security deposit a minimum 1.5 times the monthly rent.

Make a phone call stating you will pay him/her/them $1000 bucks (or whatever you decide) if they leave quietly without any damage to the property. (What did the other eviction cost you in TOTAL?)
Once you hammer out all the particulars like date of exit, inspection date, etc, put it in WRITING and have them sign it. Be cordial and have the mentality that you are wanting to be helpful.

Originally posted by @John Thedford :

I would make the security deposit a minimum 1.5 times the monthly rent.

^^^ That's what my SD is. Prospects ask if they can pay it in installments -- no. Can I lower it -- no.

Immediately inform the tenant that you will be doing a full inspection of the property. Ask that a police officer be present to insure your protection Go in and test that absolutely everything is working and in good condition. Take pictures of every square inch of the property and inform the tenant, in front of the officer, that if they do any intentional damage it will be your intent to file charges against them. No need to specify what charges. 

I would not offer him a dime to leave instead I would offer to forgive what they owe if they are out in two weeks. If they do not agree continue with the eviction and take them to small claims court for all monies owed and for any damage they cause. Keep in mind you are negotiating with a potential criminal that has shown no issues with threatening you. Under no circumstances agree to accept any money from him to stop the eviction. Only an idiot would trust this tenant.

In business you can not pretend that running and hiding is a solution to your problems. The only way to deal with bad tenants is to evict. You also owe it to all landlords to insure that a eviction is on their record so no other landlords will be placed in your position.


@Yvette M.

Smart! Give the tenants something to lose. Even then you may have issues but larger deposits take some of the sting out of the equation. 

Typically I'm against cash for keys but this is one scenario I'd use it. Sure, evicting him will solve the problem, but it sounds like they have every intent on damaging the property on the way out. I'd offer to forgive their debts if they leave, or even pay for their voluntary forfeiture of the property.

Yes I agree with the deposit, I now ask 3 months rent to move in, but this smuck was already in the house when I bought it and had already used up all his deposit!!!!

He already owes you $1375.00 to date of pay quit, Don't accept another Dime, and don't give him another dime to move. 

I would suggest this, Call him say your coming over to discuss the matter,

Try this, It works, Write  this you agree to have all your personal property gone and that I can change the locks, that the balance on his account and upcoming court fee's will be forgiven, As long as hie leave the apartment in satisfactory condition, ask to see the apartment and take photos say that if anything else is damaged you will file charges, If you can get a police officer to accompany or meet you fine, That's worth a try .

If he wont' sign the paperwork then file and proceed and PRAY.

@Thomas S. hit the nail on the head here. I would also recommend that you hire an eviction attorney and let them handle the entire process. You should be informed of that progress, but not part of it. You have proven that you are not up to the task (yet). So far you have had him for a year and a half with no lease, 4 different 3-day notices, and no follow through. Do not talk with the tenant at all other than to schedule your access to inspect or to (via email) deal with any required maintenance issues. Let the eviction happen without your interference and be ready to turn over the unit, and turn over a new leaf by screening your own tenants, having a written lease, and enforcing it appropriately.

Best of luck!

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