Non-paying month to month tenant advice

6 Replies

Hello everyone! I have a property rented in Miami, Fl and have a month to month tenant (no lease agreement) who is currently 6 days past due on rent and struggling every month to make to payments. This is a 2/2 apartment in a great area and rent is currently 900 a month. Rent has not been raised for about 3 years and I know we can easily get 1300 from this apartment. So now my question is what should I do in this case and what is the right way to do it. As of right now my plan is to sit down with the tenant and discuss the options he has which I see as the following: Option 1: Give him the “Pay or quit form” 3 days notice then proceed to eviction Option 2: pay for month due and move out at end of paid month Option 3: Pay for month due and continue paying at new rent of 1300 Option 4: Cash for keys? How much should I offer if at all Any other options, feedback or opinions would be greatly appreciated! P.S. this is my parents property which they inherited and became accidental landlords with, I know it’s been poorly managed and I’m taking over it and getting it all straightened out.

I don't have this situation, so take this with a grain of salt, but I would start by finding out what the legal rules are in Florida. In Georgia, it is 60 days notice for month-to-month, but a really quick eviction process for non-payment. If your tenant is struggling with the current amount they probably are not a candidate for a step up process to market rates. 
Whatever you do, communicate clearly your expectations for how they can get their deposit back when they move out. Checklists for what to clean. I know of one successful landlord that provides a price list for any repairs they will have to do, including replacing light bulbs. BP recommends "Landlording on Autopilot" and that has a slick "cash for keys" script in it. Good luck!

@Carlos Garcia I would offer cash for keys. If they can't pay $900 they probably can't pay $1300. Sounds like they could use the cash right now and that would get them out the fastest. If they don't take that then start eviction ASAP. 

Is the unit truly worth $1300/month as is?  When they move out will you do work to get it re-rented?

Are they always late?  Do they seem to be struggling financially?

If they seems redeemable as tenants, I would raise rent to $1100 and be firm  about paying on time.

I would give written notice of ending the contract.  As the move out date comes closer and they appear to be struggling, consider cash for keys to help get possession.

Thanks everyone for the input! it seems pretty clear I need to get this tenant out of there, I’ll keep you guys updated on the situation and what ends up happening

Late to the game but option #1 should be your first option and should have been started the day after rent was due. Once you have issued the pay or quit you are then in a position to pursue any other options on your list.

Non paying tenants should always be issued the pay or quit notice the day after rent is due. Once you are legally protected you may choose to negotiate a solution. If rent is not paid as part of the negotiation you proceed with the eviction.

Obviously this tenant needs to go.

I love how you are the one that's worried about what you should do when really it should be the tenant worried about how they can become current or how they can get you to give them more time. Start the eviction process now. I know it sounds heartless but you aren't a non profit. No rent no stay. People will float you as long as you allow it. Especially if she has been struggling. Have you talked to her about why she habitually paying late? Are you charging her a late fee after the due date? Evict. Not sure why you would offer her cash for keys.

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