Cash for Keys or Eviction we gave the tenant a choice

7 Replies

Good Morning BP, I am currently helping my out of state investor manage his properties.  I handle the maintenance and most decisions regarding his properties, we do have a property management company handling the rents and admin stuff.  

Anyways, here is our situation, in March our former property management company placed a tenant and his wife in a unit.  In June we let informed the property management company that we were switching companies (due to some issues with billing and such) at the end of the month.  July comes and the new company took over only to find out that the tenant had not paid Junes rent, can you see why company 1 was fired?   

When the new company inquired the tenant informed us that his wife had moved out and that he had been laid off (think the two were connected in a way) and that he would pay a little each week to get caught up.  

I told the property manager to offer 350 for cash for keys if he was out by Friday, as a manager he had never heard of something like this and after a little resistance and me explaining the number difference he agreed.  If the tenant does not agree to this then we will file an eviction.  I will keep the community informed as to how this plays out.  This is a first for me and for the landlord so we will be learning a lot in the next few weeks I guess.  

@Charles M. So reward the tenant for stealing services and not paying his rent ? Nonsense! Cash for keys should be a Hail Mary last ditch effort to get somebody out . When a tenant doesn’t pay you hit them fast with a late fee , if they still don’t then it’s the quit or pay notice then if they still don’t it’s eviction notice and filing . It should never get to a months time without filing eviction . So many people on here are timid and wait months before doing anything . Money and time is being lost every day .

@Dennis M. I understand your point.  I am not rewarding bad behavior, I am trying to hedge against my investor losing more time and money.  The 350 we were offering the tenant was $50 more than what the filing fees and eviction process would cost, not including court costs to do all of this.   Not to mention we have to wait another 30 days between the conviction and then having to schedule the sheriff to execute the eviction.  All the while the tenant will not be paying rent and possibly destroying the property costing more in renovation time and fees.  Yes we can have a judgement against him and eventually we MIGHT get the money back from the judgement but I am not holding my breathe for that.  

The property is in a very desirable school district and is a 2/1 unit and school starts in less than a month.  If the tenant had agreed to our offer we would have had been able to turnover the property and have time to list it and possibly rent it before the school year.  Now we are looking almost October until we get the guy out.  That is the getting into the "slow" time for rentals around here and may have to sit on it another month or two vacant.   

Unfortunately, principles do not pay mortgages but creative ideas do.  To me its not about punishing the tenant as much as it is making sure my investor makes money.  I may hear a lot of flack for doing it this way but when you sit down and look at the numbers they back my plan.  Its not about emotions its about money.  

I personally have a no bribe policy. If you are going to go down that rabbit hole you should not offer a bribe before you start the eviction process. Most tennats know they can drag out a rent free situation for months otherwise.

By not filing first yu are wasting valuble time in protecting your investment.

Always begin th eviction before you offer a bribe otherwise they have no incentive to accept.  

If you're tossing out 350 now, the tenant knows there's WAY more on the table. If you're doing cash for keys it's gotta be a counter vs your initial offer... Should of let the tenant tell you the dollar amount they need to get out, counter with eviction, then they counter, then you get your real number...

I appreciate everyone's input.  The end result is that our manager offered cash for keys on Thursday, the tenant said he would get caught up on back rent this Saturday now that he has a new job and his pay week was Friday.  I'm sure I could stop typing there and everyone else would guess what happened next.  Tenant avoided manager on Saturday and papers were filed today.  I know it is not typical to offer C4K up front but we were just trying to speed the process up of turnover since we are so close to the school year.  Guess we are committed to the eviction process now.  Will keep everyone up dated as we go.

Just an update, the tenant was a no show/no pay on the Saturday of last week, Monday morning eviction papers were filed.  This will be a first for me so I am looking forward to getting it over with and getting a new tenant in there.

Good on you for finally starting the eviction process. So lesson has been learned. You give an inch, they take a mile. There's no reason to set tenant expectations if you don't intend on following through. I'm going through the same situation right now. It's hard laying down the law on tenants but it must be done. That's why the veterans tell us to treat REI like a business from day one.