Advice? Tenant giving trouble, but evicting might be worse...

5 Replies

So we have inherited tenants in a house hack. They were paying, but were late last month. We found out the person on the lease broke up with her boyfriend and moved out. He (not on the lease) is still there. We contacted the person on the lease and managed to get May's rent. June's rent was due on the 15th, and the person who is now living there by himself doesn't seem to be able to afford it.

Here's the problem. These tenants have been there for 8 years and have really trashed the place. We hoped they would stick around so we could save another 6 months in order to do a really good renovation. If I evict him, I'll have to go in now with about 60-70% of whats really needed (as no one else would EVER rent the place in it's current condition) but I suppose I could get it "rent ready" with the funds I have now in a couple months. 

I talked to the tenant today. He's working and suggested a short term roommate to be able to make rent, but so far they only have 20% rent paid and July's rent is due on the 15th. 

Should I bother giving him leeway to come up with the cash so I can buy myself another 6 months to save or do I bite the bullet now and do a half *** job renovating in order to get someone else in there?


Don’t waste anymore time with this loser . Start eviction . You don’t have reserves or any money to do a good renovation? Do you have a w2 job to help pay for a rehab . You don’t want to do a half %#^ job on this . If the place is a pig stye only a pig will be willing to be your next tenant

If they stop paying rent 99 percent of the time the answer to this is to begin eviction process.

This isn’t one of the 1 percent cases. Evict.

The longer he stays, the worse it will get. He's not on the lease, he's behind on rent, and he admits he can't afford the rent. What part of that makes you want to keep him?

I would post written notice on his door that if he's not out within three days, I'm filing for eviction and coming after him for every penny owed. If he refuses to leave, file for eviction and go after him for every penny owed. You'll never get the money but at least you get rid of him.

This is why it's important to inspect every unit before purchase (including physical inspection, payment history, lease terms, etc.) and why you should have a reserve.

Great advice guys. You're right. I'm only delaying the inevitable (especially when I plan to renovate in 6 months). I guess it's time to see how frugal I can be with the reno and still make it great! Eviction process starts pronto.  

@Jj Horst

"Wish in one hand and $**t in the other and see which fills up first." Landlording is a brutal business and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is either ignorant or trying to make money off you.

This is maybe the twentieth time I've seen almost exactly the same post in the last year. You currently do not have a tenant in the unit. You have a trespasser. Stop dealing with him. Short-term roommate...who's going to vet the roomie? Let's say he comes through for June by some miracle. You're going to go through the same drama for the next six months or however long you rent to him. He's shown his red baboon butt and he won't be particularly shy now about showing it again.

Your hopes are dead. Your planned extensive renovation is dead. You are going to eat some costs and spend more than you budgeted for. Finding a quality tenant to rent your apartment in 6 months in the dead of winter was a wrongheaded plan anyway.

You next step is to stop asking questions on Bigger Pockets and contact your local real estate lawyer to see how to best get this dude out quickly. If you do not have one, that is, if you went into landlording with no trusted lawyer's card in your wallet, you made a big mistake. Find a local law firm quickly and pay as much as you need to for their valuable guidance and representation.

All I can say to make you feel better as you, yes, bite the bullet and forget about more leeway, is tell you that I've made the same and bigger mistakes that you have in the past, and I've come through. Good luck, JJ.