inherited tenant not paying rent

18 Replies

Need advice from BP landlords! I've just gotten a new OOS SFR with inherited tenants that have eight months left on their lease. fifteen days into the first month as the new landlord and no rent. They want to do repairs to the house in lieu of rent. I told them to give me a list of what they think needs repaired and I would have contractors lined up in within 24 hours. so, how do I get these folks back in line or should I just start the eviction?

you must check your local laws to know for sure the timeline is legal . Basically here’s what I do rent is due on the first if it’s not paid by then I can apply a 50$ late fee which I will do if they peeved me off enough .. on the 5 day I put up quit or pay notice on the 15 day you file for eviction with the local magistrate ideally by the months end a police officer is throwing them out on the street where they belong . I believe you will first have to post a quit or pay before you file eviction so I’d do that immediately or if you can file right away because of their lateness then do it . Don’t hold off do it as soon as possible . Get the ball rolling these people are obviously grifters who will drag this on . Get them out ! there is no reasoning with these people based on what you are saying . Everyday is lost money you won’t get back they are stealing from you 

I would start eviction

BUT be prepared for them to fight it based upon bringing a complaint against you for not making needed repairs. 

Read your states landlord tenents laws 

So, by telling them you'd have contractors lined up in 24 hours, it almost sounds like you agreed that you would allow them to cover repairs instead of rent?  I would just take a look at their list before you start the eviction process and have an honest conversation with them.  Who knows if there were any repairs that were being neglected by the last owner.  You can look at the repair list, and if there are things that NEED to be done, you should cover, but they still need to pay rent. Read up on NC landlord tenant law while you're at it, and if it doesn't work out, move to evict. 

Dillon McGough

First step is post/send a pay or quit notice the day after rent is due if not received, usually the 2nd of the month. This is a standard business practice used to train tenants to understand that late payment is not tolerated. You then proceed, based on state time lines, if eviction is required.

You should not be concerned with your tenants defending themselves with claims you are not maintaining the property. Your response to them was prompt and covers your butt. Your tenant request to trade work for rent is a clear indication they will not be able to afford rent and you will definatly need to get rid of them. Never ever allow a tenant to trade work for rent. They never follow through, do very low quality work and are drawing you out to allow them to live rent free for as long as possible before eviction. 

Go forward with necessary repairs, using contractors, and get rid of these tenants asap. Do not waste time they are on the path to eviction.  

@John David Burton In North Carolina, tenants cannot withhold rent for any reason while still living in the unit. They can perform constructive eviction only if habitability requirements have not been met by the landlord. You should find out what problems exist, as you may have responsibility there. Otherwise, I would start eviction proceedings.

My initial reaction, as I would advise any client is to start eviction. However, you don't know what the prior owner had agreed to in writing with them, so it is likely best to have an attorney handle it for you. Have the tenants provided any documentation of anything to you? 

Sounds like you are jumping the gun a bit. I would agree with Dillon McGough, look at their list and see what repairs may be pending. It could be that they have been fighting for these things to be fixed, and the previous landlord promised you would be the shmuck to ensure it happened. Your unit, your responsibility to keep it in full repair. Just part of being a landlord. Have a good calm discussion with the tenants, bring in an unrelated 3rd party if you need to to keep things civil. You have only owned the place for 15 days, maybe you should get to know these people and the buildings' situation a little bit before you move to evict. 

No problem taking the time to have a discussion regarding repairs necessary however that has nothing at all to do with them paying rent. Two entirely separate issues that should be handled separately. First discussion is in regards to paying rent, it is past due and must be paid immediately or you evict.

Withholding rent is a unforgivable offence in my books and clearly indicates a entitled individual that needs to be terminated with prejudice.  To stay they would need to pay immediately and get on there knees to beg forgiveness.

I buy properties in bulk and run into this a lot. I get the list and we do fix / repairs and or put on a list. We do let them know that rent is still due on the 1st and they argue it we let them know they can take the rent to the court house [our law, they never do they dont have the $] and then we file. I always bring up the facts about holding the money at court house etc and us just purchasing the properties and repairing And we always win. 99.9% they just do not want to pay. Start the eviction process

Start eviction! Not paying rent or withholding rent to get repairs isn’t and shouldn’t be tolerable. Tenant should pay rent as agreed.  Period. The repair issues is separate.   

Thanks to all who replied. I have given pay or quit notice and opened a dialog about needed repairs. Seems there was trust issues on both sides with previous landlord. I will do my part to fix whats needed, still waiting for rent. North Carolina says I have to give them 10 days before eviction so I shall see.

If you are still waiting for rent they have violated your trust beyond the point of return. Regardless of what happens I would not be keeping these tenants. When I deal with situations like this after I speak to them I expect full cash payment of rent the same day. No excuses otherwise I know they are simply playing me and will never be worth while tenants. If you were to consider keeping them you would have to break them and it simply is not worth the effort.

Get rid of them or you will regret it.

I've found that tenants that don't intend on paying rent frequently butter you up, and try to get friendly with you, OR...they start talking about capital improvements to the place...It's a tactic to make you think they care about you or the property, so that you are less inclined to start an eviction against them. 

These are inherited tenants, and this is clearly a power play against you, "the new guy" to see if you can be pushed over.  (Think how a normally well-behaved class acts with a substitute teacher.)  I've seen this in my own experience and it certainly gives me another variable to assess when buying an occupied building.  I only offer MTM leases to my tenants, but these vestigial leases have caused me to have to evict twice.  I certainly build in the cost of eviction and loss of rent whenever there are tenants in place with a term lease.

Originally posted by @John David Burton :

@Bryan Devitt They say heat didn't work when they moved in in March.  I think it's just a ploy to avoid rent. 

 March? MARCH?? File for eviction the second you can and don't even give them 1 extra day in the future