Tenant Isn't Paying - What can we do

16 Replies

Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel :

I have one tenant refusing to pay and isn't being very helpful. I purposed cash for keys but still waiting for her decision, if she stays what can I do?

 Have you asked her why she is refusing to pay rent? You can always go through with an eviction, depending on what area of the country you are in.

Originally posted by @Steven Wilson :
Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel:

I have one tenant refusing to pay and isn't being very helpful. I purposed cash for keys but still waiting for her decision, if she stays what can I do?

 Have you asked her why she is refusing to pay rent? You can always go through with an eviction, depending on what area of the country you are in.

She's in tough spot and her boyfriend moved out and she can't afford it.  I'm in Connecticut and we have a freeze on evictions until October

 

Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel :
Originally posted by @Steven Wilson:
Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel:

I have one tenant refusing to pay and isn't being very helpful. I purposed cash for keys but still waiting for her decision, if she stays what can I do?

 Have you asked her why she is refusing to pay rent? You can always go through with an eviction, depending on what area of the country you are in.

She's in tough spot and her boyfriend moved out and she can't afford it.  I'm in Connecticut and we have a freeze on evictions until October

 

Now youre in the tough spot. Try to see if she can pay Oct rent. If not, how much can she afford, if nothing at all then you may need to follow through with the eviction in October, but see if she can afford even just a little for the time being.

 

Originally posted by @Steven Wilson :
Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel:
Originally posted by @Steven Wilson:
Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel:

I have one tenant refusing to pay and isn't being very helpful. I purposed cash for keys but still waiting for her decision, if she stays what can I do?

 Have you asked her why she is refusing to pay rent? You can always go through with an eviction, depending on what area of the country you are in.

She's in tough spot and her boyfriend moved out and she can't afford it.  I'm in Connecticut and we have a freeze on evictions until October

 

Now youre in the tough spot. Try to see if she can pay Oct rent. If not, how much can she afford, if nothing at all then you may need to follow through with the eviction in October, but see if she can afford even just a little for the time being.

 

So I tried to working something out with her, she can't afford even 100 dollars.  Her last check was for 300 dollars and she cant even pay her bills fully.  I'm trying to let her know that she just digging into a bigger whole and needs to look to downsize.  The apartment is to big for her and her daughter any ways.  


This week her fridge went bad, so I replaced it in less the 24/hours and wants me to pay her 75 for lost food.  So it's very frustrating to me

 

Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel :
Originally posted by @Steven Wilson:
Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel:
Originally posted by @Steven Wilson:
Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel:

I have one tenant refusing to pay and isn't being very helpful. I purposed cash for keys but still waiting for her decision, if she stays what can I do?

 Have you asked her why she is refusing to pay rent? You can always go through with an eviction, depending on what area of the country you are in.

She's in tough spot and her boyfriend moved out and she can't afford it.  I'm in Connecticut and we have a freeze on evictions until October

 

Now youre in the tough spot. Try to see if she can pay Oct rent. If not, how much can she afford, if nothing at all then you may need to follow through with the eviction in October, but see if she can afford even just a little for the time being.

 

So I tried to working something out with her, she can't afford even 100 dollars.  Her last check was for 300 dollars and she cant even pay her bills fully.  I'm trying to let her know that she just digging into a bigger whole and needs to look to downsize.  The apartment is to big for her and her daughter any ways.  


This week her fridge went bad, so I replaced it in less the 24/hours and wants me to pay her 75 for lost food.  So it's very frustrating to me

 

It may be time to wait until October then evict her, but I would consult an attorney on how to address that and inform her. Also just a recommendation, get a property manager, you will thank yourself the next time a situation like this pops up.

@Jeremy Hamel

I have owned multifamily in CT since 2006 and lets be honest, the eviction moratorium is going to keep getting extended well into 2021 in CT. You are on the right page with cash for keys, that is what I would do. Everyone has a number that they will move for. You just have not arrived at it yet. I would ask her what she wants to move in 7 days. I normally request them to have the apartment broom clean but to just get her out is the number one priority. I always have them sign a lease termination letter as well. If she is hesitant maybe offer her $1,500 cash or 1-2X the rent IF the apartment is clean and in good shape when they leave.

I highly suggest you speak to an attorney before moving forward in any direction.

@Jeremy Hamel  ummmm, no, you can't evict her even on 10/1/20.  I'm in CT too and it's my understanding the CT housing courts are not even hearing cases.  Please, if you find any loophole to remove tenants, let me know!  My current strategy is to be a full-time nag, send them constant letters, reminders, texts, notices etc.

Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel :
Originally posted by @Steven Wilson:
Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel:
Originally posted by @Steven Wilson:
Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel:

I have one tenant refusing to pay and isn't being very helpful. I purposed cash for keys but still waiting for her decision, if she stays what can I do?

 Have you asked her why she is refusing to pay rent? You can always go through with an eviction, depending on what area of the country you are in.

She's in tough spot and her boyfriend moved out and she can't afford it.  I'm in Connecticut and we have a freeze on evictions until October

 

Now youre in the tough spot. Try to see if she can pay Oct rent. If not, how much can she afford, if nothing at all then you may need to follow through with the eviction in October, but see if she can afford even just a little for the time being.

 

So I tried to working something out with her, she can't afford even 100 dollars.  Her last check was for 300 dollars and she cant even pay her bills fully.  I'm trying to let her know that she just digging into a bigger whole and needs to look to downsize.  The apartment is to big for her and her daughter any ways.  


This week her fridge went bad, so I replaced it in less the 24/hours and wants me to pay her 75 for lost food.  So it's very frustrating to me

 

I agree with Charles that you're on the right track with cash for keys. I would be very careful about bringing up her daughter or familial status in any way. I am certain you are not discriminating or intending to discriminate against her for her familial status, but do everything you can to even hint at appearing that way. She's not paying and that's that. Courts do not take kindly to potential fair housing violations.

Not a lawyer, you should definitely seek a lawyer. We are in very uncharted waters.

We are not in Conn, but here is what I did to get a tenant to pay / move. We provided the tenants with 3 options; 1 - get on a payment plan - we absorb late fees and they pay a portion by Friday, 2 - be named in a lawsuit in small claims court for all of the rent owed plus late fees and served them when discussing options, 3 - move out in 2 weeks and we forgive the outstanding rent. They chose option 3, it is a variant of cash for keys. We tried working with them (5 adults in a 4br SFR) for two months to no avail, they simply chose not to pay. Also note that there is a moratorium on evictions where we operate.

I suggest consulting an attorney to be sure of the right legal steps to take (be sure you are keeping accurate records or a log of all of this) and I would also talk to a property manager because that person will be well acquainted with such situations.  Good luck!

Originally posted by @Alex Corbishley :

We are not in Conn, but here is what I did to get a tenant to pay / move. We provided the tenants with 3 options; 1 - get on a payment plan - we absorb late fees and they pay a portion by Friday, 2 - be named in a lawsuit in small claims court for all of the rent owed plus late fees and served them when discussing options, 3 - move out in 2 weeks and we forgive the outstanding rent. They chose option 3, it is a variant of cash for keys. We tried working with them (5 adults in a 4br SFR) for two months to no avail, they simply chose not to pay. Also note that there is a moratorium on evictions where we operate.

This really good stuff.  Thanks for sharing!  I will try some of these.

 

Just looking in from the outside, it seems like your tenant has all the power in this relationship. That is a major problem. You will need to take control, which means a change of approach.

First question, was the boyfriend a joint tenant on the lease? If yes, then you need to go after him to collect money. Joint tenants must move in, move out and pay rent together. If he was not on the lease, that is a mistake you will not want to repeat. The boyfriend will not be happy when you start going after him for money, but he may be able to apply some pressure on her that you cannot.

Second question, did you give her a deadline for her answer on the cash for keys offer? If yes, that is good, but make sure you hold firm. You have no credibility, currently, because you let her push you around. Drawing a line in the sand and holding firm is how you get credibility. She doesn't give you deadlines, you give her deadlines. It is not too late to tell her, "this offer expires and it only get's worse from here". If she doesn't take your offer, you will make sure she gest evicted. That will make it very hard to rent from other landlords. On top of that you will get a judgement for money owed. You will hire collections agencies to go after her and you will seek a wage garnishment so they take it out of her paycheck. She needs to "feel the pain" that will result if she doesn't take your offer. Right now she thinks you will do nothing. She probably thinks you are spineless pushover who will keep offering her more money to leave. 

She is the one who broke her contractual agreement with you. She should be scrambling to come up with money. Scrambling means calling family, friends, church, charities, etc. There is no way if she tried that she would not be able to get some money. I would tell her point blank, that you don't believe she is trying. I would give her a list of charities and suggestions for how to find help. Tell her you will be calling the charities to make sure she reached out. Document everything.

Make it clear that her refusal to leave will hurt her for years to come. Her choice.

Originally posted by @Jeremy Hamel :

This week her fridge went bad, so I replaced it in less the 24/hours and wants me to pay her 75 for lost food. So it's very frustrating to me

You need to have wording in your lease that you are not responsible for damages caused by appliance failure. As for the $75, tell her you'll knock it off the past due rent. 

Originally posted by @Charles Carillo :

I have owned multifamily in CT since 2006 and lets be honest, the eviction moratorium is going to keep getting extended well into 2021 in CT. You are on the right page with cash for keys, that is what I would do. Everyone has a number that they will move for. You just have not arrived at it yet. 

That number has to be pretty large right now as these aren't normal times. Think about it, the tenant is living in a unit and likely won't have to pay rent for a minimum of another several months. When the courts open there is going to be a massive backlog of all types of cases. Will the liberal CT judges allow the tenants even more time to "work with the landlord"? Will the police process the evictions?

What is the downside to the tenant? A massive judgment against them that they will likely never be able to pay? A black mark on their credit? In liberal areas, landlords soon won't be able to look at a tenants credit. Evictions will be sealed. 

Cash for keys? Sure, better make it 5X+ monthly rent and forgive all past due rent.