Advice on non-paying month to month tenant

7 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.

No need to too hard. My guess is they have lived there a long time. Call them and have a conversation. Let them know it’s way under market and you need to get closer to that. A tenant who’s been there three years is gold. See if it can get $1150 or something. Don’t forget all your soft costs this is going to cost you. Move out, marketing, and at least a months vacancy.

That’s my opinion anyway and what we do at our Indianapolis outfit.

Your only reasonable approach is the "pay or quit" approach, and give them whatever state notice is required to terminate a month to month arrangement (30 days usually). If they can't come up with $900 they certainly can't come up with $1300. Since it is a habitual problem you might as well get it addressed now, as these things tend to get worse, not better. Why accept below-market rates from someone who can't even pay on time? 

yep @JD Martin is right, there is no long term solution with this tenant. They gotta go

Getting them to make payments is already difficult, you said, and it's below market rent. How long are you going to take low, and late rent? what if they want to stay another 10 years? It's costing you much more to have this stress and below market rent, than it would cost to just turnover.

when rent is past due you issue a pay or quit notice. always. this protects your interests if tenant does not pay.

unrelated to the pay or quit notice is whether or not you want him there. if he is struggling to pay rent at 900, there is no reason to keep him there since market is 1300. I completely agree with the person who said long term tenants are gold. long term tenants are only gold if they are paying market rent. you should issue 30 or 60 days notice to vacate, along with the pay or quit notice. then fix it up and get a market rate renter in there.

Do you have a late fee, or when is late in the rental agreement?  Am I reading this right, that there is no lease agreement?  The tenant has no signed agreement to the amount of rent & the length of time they are there?   I would address this first, & be in touch with my real-estate lawyer to draft up an agreement for the next tenant.

If your tenant is struggling (and has been struggling) to pay the $900 rent in a "great area" the handwriting is on the wall on this one.

This tenant needs to go; whether it's via an eviction due to failure to pay rent or you deciding to terminate the lease.  This is a no-win situation for you.

While 3 year tenants are gold, non-payment 3 year tenants are tin. 

If the area is that great you should be able to replace this tenant at market rate quickly.


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

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