Tenant behind almost 3 months & COVID eviction Moratorium

3 Replies

I need some help with best strategy for rent collection here.

I purchased a building in January - in March, COVID hit. This building has 3 tenants I inherited and the previous own didn’t a horrible job screening.

I have tenant who is behind by over $1,600 in rent and fees which is almost 3 months rent. Will not answer the door, can’t catch him coming in and out, won’t answer calls, texts, emails. Won’t budge with a 14 day notice. Nothing

He also has a dog and fish tank which violate his lease.

Does anyone have any suggested strategies, things that have worked for them - I get these are unprecedented times....


Most likely you are going to be stuck with a non paying tenant for some time.  They are avoiding you, they either have no money or think they can get away with this.   Despite Covid, they will owe you this back money.  I forgive this sometimes, if the tenant is cooperative.  Else you have a judgement, which you can report to their credit.  They will have a difficult time in getting an apartment for years.  You can garnish their wages if you can figure out where they work.

The eviction moratorium is for the non-payment of rent. You can still evict for other violations (if the courts are open and not backlogged). Most renters will leave if you give them a 30-day Notice of Termination for lease violations. I would just post a notice on his door that you are terminating his lease for failure to pay rent and the other violations. See if he gets out. 

I would also post notice of inspection on a regular basis and then inspect just to keep an eye on things. If he starts getting nervous, he may just abandon the place without any notice and you'll want to catch that quick so it's not sitting empty for a month.

Nathan is right.  You can post notice and evict for the lease violations.  Also non-payment is only if their income went down because of covid.  You can also give him notice that you are doing an inspection on a set day (don't tell him it is to check if the dog and fish tank are there, but that is what you'd want to check for).  Do it during the week, so with 24 hours' notice if he's working he has less time to hide things.

If the tenant was communicating with you, I'd suggest partial payments and a payment plan, but as they aren't willing to work with you, you are better off with a new tenant.