My tenants can't find a new rental to move into

16 Replies

I am going to sell a rental SFH and have notified my tenants. They have been on a month-to-month lease and have already stayed past the 45 days I gave them to vacate. They want to move to another part of town but despite having applied at many places, they haven't been accepted, apparently due to low credit scores. I know I'm legally allowed to kick them out onto the street, but I really don't want to do that. Does anyone have ideas about how to help them get a place? Has anyone else had this happen? I suppose if I threaten that I will evict them on a certain day, it would give them the motivation to apply for places less desirable that they may be qualified for. They have been very good tenants for me, so I'm hesitant to do something like that.

@Todd Markey

Hel-LO, it's time for them to GO! They rented month-to-month from you. Did they need more of a wake-up call that sooner or later they would have to leave?

Sit them down and have a talk. Explain that they're holding you up and costing you money. You didn't put that bad credit on them. They have to take responsibility for their credit decisions, and just because they didn't realize that this was one of the consequences in their risk calculation to screw their creditors, that doesn't make it any less real. Likewise, the fact that they didn't properly realize how good they had it with you for so long isn't your problem. Make a new deadline, and stick to it. Don't mention eviction, but after that, you start the eviction process and you keep going until they leave. This is where all the carefully repressed disgust inside you for people who do things like not pay their bills on time, choose to rent instead of own because they can't be bothered with taking responsibility for their own housing, and live pretending that they don't have their neck stretched under someone else's jackboot should be allowed to bubble up and come to the fore.

I bend over backwards for my tenants. When it's time for things to change, it's their turn to bend over backwards for me. And if they don't want to bend, if they don't realize that my solicitude and kindness to them in the past was a choice, not the only way I know how to live and deal with people, not a weakness to exploit, then they get a less pleasant and accommodating landlord in their lives. And once the forbidden door to the forbidden room is open, it's not my problem if they're surprised by what they find in there.

Write them a recommendation letter with details of their past payments. You can help and be empathetic, but I find it hard to believe they can’t find anything. Maybe they just can’t find something cheap and nice - so why move when you’re allowing them to stay?

If you gave them notice to move but then you let them stay on, you probably need to give them a new notice- and do not waiver this time.  Let them know that the day after their deadline, you will have workers scheduled to clean carpet, do work in the home and they must be out.  Let them know if they find a place sooner, you will let them leave sooner.

Alternatively, you can list the home now while they are in it. With the inconvenience of having people walk through the property, they will be even more motivated to leave and they will see that they postponement techniques are no longer working. 

This is business. You've given them time. Now they need to move, or buy the place themselves. 

@Todd Markey . You could lose your buyer by allowing the tenants to leave. I would nicely but firmly tell them you have an offer which so contingent on the property being empty and that you can’t extend their lease by even a day. When they realize that you are not going to allow them more time, they will find somewhere to live, even if it is not what they would prefer. If they feel that they can stay in your property until they can find a nice place which they can afford and be approved for, they will hold out for that.

@Todd Markey Before we purchased our first multifamily, a property manager said to me "If you're not willing to kick out a pregnant woman on Christmas Eve, you should not manage your own apartments." The comment was extreme, to be sure, but with more than a kernel of truth. 

Unfortunately, there are only two ways for it to end. They either move out or they don't. If you want to be nice you can give them either more time or a monetary incentive (cash for keys). I have dealt with this and if the tenant thinks you are soft and will not have the sheriff remove them at some point, then they will stay. It's a very unpleasant business and the reason why many people should not be landlords. I have given extensions but made it very clear that after the extension they will be removed in accordance with the law regardless of whether they have found a new place.

closing usually take a month or more

Personally I would have just let them stay until I actually sold the house and then serve a 30 day notice

For all you know it could take you a year to sell

Why do you want them out now?

As long as they are paying and pose no problems to you selling then I would let them stay. They second they dont pay or a buyer wants them out before they sign then I would give them eviction notice (if you dont have time to give them proper notice but it sounds like you have already). Just because they want to move to a specific area of town is not your problem. 

I also try to be as nice as possible to everyone regardless but there comes a time when push comes to shove and you have to do what you have to do regardless.

@Todd Markey Thats very noble amd admIrable of you but the realIty Is that Its not your problem. . Landlording has enough problems and aggravation as it is . No sense in letting their problem become your problems ! , you didn’t trash their credit and squander their income .. they did and now you must do the dirty deed as a business owner . It sucks It has to be thIs way but It’s a dog eat dog world and people will steam roll over you if given the chance