What would you do? Tenant wants to move after only 3 days in home

6 Replies

Hey guys quick question.

I have a new tenant moving who moved into a 2 unit of mine I purchased and rehabbed. The first night she stayed there she said she had bedbugs. So I was able to get someone there the very next day. So the tech laid out a 5 visit plan starting with the first visit that day. Long story short the tenant has only stayed there 3 days out of this month and has missed the follow up appointments. Now last night she tells me she can't stay there any longer because of the bed bugs. I started have seconds thoughts about her after she misses a couple of the showings at the beginning. She is asking for her first months rent back. There was a one year lease signed. What should I do? Cash for keys? or other options live full evictions. Thoughts...

If possible just let her leave on her own as it isn't worth the headaches, I wouldn't try to enforce the remainder of the lease.  The tenant could have other reasons for not wanting to stay and may just need an excuse

you want to fight with her over the next 362 days? if not, let her go.

I personally would take some compensation. What does it cost to fix bed bugs, market for a new lease, unexpected downtime, etc? 

Let her leave.  She will likely be a pain to deal with.

As far as returning any rents or deposits - where did the bedbugs come from?  If she brought them in with her, I would keep every GD penny of deposit and rent she's paid.  And I would probably ding her credit for the exterminator cost.  

But if the bedbugs were already there you might not have a really strong leg to stand on if she pushes back about getting her deposit and rent back.  Pick your battles on this one.   

Bedbugs are typically brought in by individuals. Perhaps she brought them in and didn’t even know it? Either way, you don’t want to keep someone who doesn’t want to be there. Right thing probably to do is let them out and reup the unit.

Bed bugs don't just appear on their own. You said this home was purchased and rehabbed. How long was it vacant? Bed bugs can last for about five months without a host so if it sat vacant longer than that, there's little chance they would have survived. Even if they did survive, what are the odds they would have jumped on her the first night she occupied the home? Slim.

The more likely situation is that she brought them in with her. The burden of proof is on her.

I would tell her she can move out but she will forfeit the rent and deposit. You will need to use that money to pay for the bed bug treatment.

Cash-for-keys is a terrible idea and should be removed from your vocabulary. There is a solution 99.9% of the time that does not involve paying a bad tenant.