Suggestions for tenant not wanting to pay the last month of rent

6 Replies

I have a tenant that wishes not to renew her lease which expires this April 30, and also she does not want to pay April rent.  She will not answer my calls, emails, or texts.  Should I place the 3-day notice to quit on her door and start the eviction process even though she is expected to move out by April 30?  Is it worth the effort?  How do I recover the April rent other then keeping her deposit?  Looking for suggestions.

@Tony Anuez

When I was a newbie landlord I was overly tolerant and ended up having to evict the same tenant twice. I lost the first case when the tenant lied to the magistrate and the second time I won the case and judgement... but in truth... I still lost.

The tenant did tremendous damage to a brand new home. I have a judgement worth a few thousand I will never collect on.

But I learned this is a business and must be run like a business and that means super levels of customer service served up with a total intolerance for serious lease violations ecspecially non payment of rent, creating a neighborhood disturbance, etc....

Don’t misunderstand, I want the tenants to enjoy the home and if that means a little extra wear and tear from kids, a garden in the yard, some extra painting when the tenant departs, my efforts to send repair teams same day or quickly for service at my expense, that’s fine... but the lease terms and conditions for payment and local and state law compliance are the lease terms and conditions and they should be adhered to consistently, by all parties.

The tenant that does not want to pay leaves you no option for damage relief....don’t even think about it.

Best of luck.

I agree, put the notice on the door and start the process. If you do not and she decides not to leave on the 30th you have to start it then and lose a full month. 

After this happened to me a couple of times, I now collect first month, last month, and security deposit as part of the move-in fees.

Yes, I would serve them notice, but your problem will be (as was mine) by the time the wheels of justice begin to turn, the lease will be up and you will have some sunk costs that will be a challenge to collect from this person (providing your lease allows it).

That being said, unfortunately you are forced to begin this process, lest you have a non-paying squatter in your rental at the end of the term.

@Tony Anuez

I’m with @Richard Weinberg file the notice.  It stinks everything was fine till the end.  I never have the security deposit the same amount as the rent.  It is always different this way there is no misunderstanding the purpose of the security deposit.  I’ve had pretty good luck once I serve the notice on collecting.  

Good Luck.

You have a lease, enforce it by filing the notice or don't bother having a lease in the future. A lease that is not enforced is not a legal lease.

After they leave if they have not paid and you can not deduct it from their deposit you file the case with your small claims court. Normally the threat of destroying their credit is enough to change their mind assuming you are not dealing with C/D class tenants. If they are C/D tenants let them go, you are never going to collect.