HELP! TENANT got lead out of my rental unit in handcuffs!

18 Replies

Hey BP, here is the situation, I just received a text message from the HOA my rental unit is in.

There is a picture of one of my tenants being lead out in handcuffs. I  have last months rent and a security deposit of theirs. 

What should I do? has anyone gone through this type of thing before? They have always paid their rent, I am scared that I will somehow be involved in this? 

Please if anyone has any experience with this type of thing, let me know what my next steps should be. 

Should I ask them to leave? Cash for Keys? 

Thanks BP! 

Scott Goulet

I haven't been through this situation yet, but I would look up on the local court dockets and see what your tenant is being charged for. From there it may be easier to make a decision on what action to take. 

Full disclosure, I have a background in mental health and addiction treatment so I may be in the minority here. But I don't think I would boot them out for a non-violent minor event as long as they are taking care of what needs to be done to prevent going to jail. A lot of the time people will get booked in and released the same day.  

Re-read your lease and see if you have any provisions in it about this kind of scenario. 

An arrest is not the same as a conviction so might not be much you can do unless/until rent isn't paid.

Contact the police and find out the situation. Once you know the details you can then more easily make a decision.

Last months rent will likely be used for October but for now you need to wait and see. But don't wait too long, time is money.

Another situation pointing out the value of only having M2M leases.

Could be as simple as a bench warrant for missed court date for a traffic ticket . Or first degree murder , wait and see . 

few things:

  • do you know what they were arrested for and does it have anything to do with your lease?
  • innocent until proven guilty? You have no idea what happened yet and you're already trying to kick someone while they are down.
  • Are they late on rent? Have they broken your lease?

My bet is they will continue to pay on time, could be something minor, or clerical. Might be something big and still might not effect the lease. Even I've been taken out of a house in handcuffs more than once, and didn't miss my rent, so have hope! You may never know what the situation is, and that's ok, you shouldn't want to know. Wait until they are late on rent and follow the appropriate procedue

Thank you all so much for your responses. It was very helpful. Certainly your responses have calmed me down. Not much I can do short of talking it over with the tenants and the HOA.

Thanks everyone! Luckily the lease is up in a couple months anyway.

You can FOIL a redacted police report so you can get the facts surrounding the arrest.  If you seek that information from the tenant, well, you deserve what you get. ;)

And like @Kyle J. said, an arrest is not that same as a conviction.  As long as they pay their rent, I would not bawk at the tenancy unless the particular crime merited.

I've had tenants hauled off for DUI/leaving the scene of an accident and getting tazed in front of the residence for non-compliance during a traffic stop.  Neither had any rent payments interrupted by their issues.  After the dust settled, I kept the tenant in each instance.

do your search talk to a real estate lawyer.


In Akron, you can look up the inmate roster for the county jail and it will tell you what the charges are and usually the next court date. You can also check for warrants-- last time i had a tenant with a warrant, other tenants told me about it so I was able to verify the warrant and then get him to sign an agreement to give me back possession of the apartment in return for storing his belongings so I didn't have to evict him. Then I just recommended that he turn himself in before the police had to come out and get him. Once a tenant goes to jail, I guess you have to evict him unless he calls you and you can get him to send you written permission to store his stuff and take back possession of the apartment if he can't pay rent. He might call you. People in jail will often call anyone that will take the collect call. IF you have an emergency contact for him, tell that person to ask him to call you.

Originally posted by @Scott Goulet :

Hey BP, here is the situation, I just received a text message from the HOA my rental unit is in.

There is a picture of one of my tenants being lead out in handcuffs. I  have last months rent and a security deposit of theirs. 

What should I do? has anyone gone through this type of thing before? They have always paid their rent, I am scared that I will somehow be involved in this? 

Please if anyone has any experience with this type of thing, let me know what my next steps should be. 

Should I ask them to leave? Cash for Keys? 

Thanks BP! 

Scott Goulet

 Your job is to provide habitable housing to the tenant in exchange for rent. This situation has nothing to do with either of those two things. Don't get confused about what your job is & isn't. 

Dealing with this right now.  

First they late in rent?

     If not who cares.  

Once they are late on rent then post your notice of pay or evict and file accordingly.  

Leave it be.  Unless you have concern to do a safety check of your property who cares.  

I know this sound harsh (I’m dealing with this exact situation in Florida mind you).  

My tenants know my expectations. Rent paid on time or apply the late fee and pay me.  I run a business.  I’m not going to worry why someone got arrested.  Might come renewal time. 

Your last month rent you have is to cover the tenants last month on the lease, not the oh crap stuff happen month.  

If you want to know what they were arrested for google the county arrest record it should be online within 24 hours   

Again I sound harsh and I’m not trying to.  It’s a business decision.  But if they aren’t violating your lease by being arrested wait and see if they pay and go from there. 

once again. Everyone has been super helpful. I really appreciate all the help all of you have given! Now I have some potential steps to take if I need to. 

Thanks so much!

Scott G

Yeah, these things happen man. It could be something very simple, check into it like everyone said. Go from there and come back with follow ups. Financially prepare in the mean time, maybe dust up your ads. In my experience you can't evict someone for committing a crime, unless it happened on/in your property. Check your local laws.

I agree with everyone saying that its not your business if it doesn't effect his ability to pay the rent. My only caveat, is that you should make sure the arrest has nothing to do with your property, I.e. grow room, meth lab, etc. If his arrest is connected to your property in no way, then its not your business unless it effects rent.

@Scott Goulet Hi Scott, Does the city the rental is in have anything through the police department about Crime Free Multi Housing? In the town I work and towns I have rentals in, landlords need to go through a class at the local police department. If a tenent is arrested, they are in violation of Crime Free Multi Housing and are usually kicked out of the residence by the landlord. Not sure if you have anything like that in your town. You can also look up on your county website what the individual was arrested for...usually. Some counties don’t post that info. Just go to the circuit clerk public records though the website and see if you can look up the case by the tenants name. Furthermore, is there any language in your lease regarding arrest on the property? Don’t worry so much, you’re not going to be in trouble because your tenant got arrested. Just do your due diligence on finding out why and take appropriate action. Good luck.

If he is guilty of a crime you should consider getting rid of him just to keep peace with your neighbors and the HOA

Once again thank you everyone, the person who got arrested was actually a friend of a tenant, but they were taken out of my property. 

The situation has been resolved. Thanks so much! 

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