Tennant gives owner ultimatum- What do yo udo?

16 Replies

A peer told me their rental story nightmare. They had a tenant move in and he paid on time every month for the first few months. Then he missed a payment and when confronted he said "If you evict me, I'm going to trash this place. If you don't disturb me, I'll leave in 4 months and leave the place unscathed." So the landlord let him stay for 4 months without paying, he then moved out without damaging anything. How would you handle this situation (besides better screening)?

I’d file to evict 

and put in claim

for a threat of harassment and 

destruction of property. 

4 months of rent wasted and then STILL believing a person at their word that they will leave with out ruining anything or deciding they want another 4 months rent free? He is lucky that the tenant actually held to his word. There is a reason that the contract exists. As long as your lease is within state laws, hold them to every word and have an exit strategy for when they do not.

 File to evict and take the loss if it comes to that.

But seriously, if that response was in writing it can be used as evidence. Of what, I'm not sure. But I wish there was a way to keep people like that in a database.

@Justin Swann No way! You file, evict, and file a claim for unpaid rent and any damage they do.  Taking a scammer at their word that they will leave voluntarily after threatening you?!  There isn't even a thought or decision here... had they come to you with a heart tugging humanizing story at least there is a chance you might consider especially if you feel the circumstances extraordinary, or be upfront and honest about whatever hardship they are facing and perhaps you have a solution that works for everyone - but a threat?  ... 

Just my 2 cents, but I never let the lowest common denominator chose the path forward.

Just to clarify choice of words, when the tenant was "confronted" does that mean that the owner/landlord started off with an attitude or was angry about the nonpayment?

One of the first steps for new landlords to learn is to not take tenant issues personally. Always respond professionally without emotion. Show friendliness so that you're approachable, but stand firm by the laws and the lease.

Sometimes, the threat is empty and they won't follow through. But either way--damage or not--I would just not respond to the threat and go file for rent court/eviction. Let the legal papers do the talking and not respond to calls, texts, or emails if possible.

I've had a tenant that was evicted say something like, "Better keep an eye on this place. I'd hate for something to happen to it." I did not respond. Nothing ever happened anyway.

I'd file an eviction so fast it would make his head spin.   Having a tenant trash a place is the risk you take when you become a landlord.  So, its a non-threat.  Yeah, it might happen, but it might with any tenant.

This sounds like a professional tenant.  I doubt its the first time they've done this.  Screening should have caught this.

Having already given up four months rent, I would have taken the guy to small claims court, got a judgment, and turned it over to a collection agenty.

 I would like to tell you my higher values would prevail and would file for eviction, the truth Is my reponse would relate more to the condition of the unit. If it needed gutting out anyway, or it had just been rehabbed, the potential for financial loss would vary significantly. 

First day late start the eviction process. Regardless of what the tenant says. If the tenant makes a treat then filing a complaint may be necessary, but it is a different issue. One thing is for sure, never believe what the tenant says. As far as i understand your friend's situation, I think he was very lucky that this guy left.

In my non attorney opinion is this,... The tenant is extorting you. I would take this case to your local attorney general, District Attorney, Police Department. And immediately file for eviction. if necessary I would file a criminal action. what he did is totally illegal theft of service an extortion. Throw the bum out

In my non attorney opinion is this,... The tenant is extorting you. I would take this case to your local attorney general, District Attorney, Police Department. And immediately file for eviction. if necessary I would file a criminal action. what he did is totally illegal theft of service an extortion. Throw the bum out.