Tenant not paying rent and not responding to any communication

6 Replies

We have a tenant who has not been paying rent for the past 2 months. On top of that, tenant does not respond to any communication regarding payments or the unit in general. My property manager says that we can not evict them due to CDC Covid moratorium. Has any one experienced a similar situation? How do I proceed or move forward in this case? I would really appreciate some insights/feedback on how to deal with this tenant.

Also the tenant's lease has ended as of last month. If we give the tenant 30 day notice (as per lease agreement) to vacate, would that be considered as eviction?

Not to sure in these times with the COVID issues, but if the lease is up and no response, you might be able to consider it abandoned. IF they are still there and the lease is up, I think you can inform them of your choice to "not renew" to get rid of them. At this point you maybe able to make a case they are no longer "tenants" but rather squatters. Each state is different. Might be prudent to seek legal advice on this one. 

@Raj Kom  The CDC eviction moratorium only applies if the tenant submits the signed declaration form to you. You’re not even required to notify the tenant about the CDC eviction moratorium though, or the declaration form. 

So based on what you wrote (the tenant not communicating with you), I’m going to assume they haven’t submitted this form. So I personally wouldn’t let the CDC order prevent you from taking action.

As to your other question, a 30-day notice to terminate a tenancy is not the same as an eviction. However, if the tenant doesn’t voluntarily move out at the end of the 30 days, an eviction will likely be required to regain possession of your property. 

But one strategy I’ve heard mentioned is to serve a 30-day notice to terminate and then, if the tenant doesn’t voluntarily leave, evict them for being a holdover tenant instead of non-payment of rent. 

Even some attorneys I’ve heard speak on the matter agree that this would effectively circumvent eviction moratoriums (including the CDC order) that prevent evictions based solely on non-payment of rent but allow them for other reasons. 

Consult your own local landlord-tenant attorney to be sure as these types of things can be highly location-specific.

Good luck with this situation and hope it works out for you. 

Post the property with a pay or quit notice. Follow your state requirements exactly. It's amazing how these notices seem to create rent money out of thin air. If no rent received within the notice period, then file the eviction. As stated, the CDC eviction moratorium has lots of caveats and requires action on the tenant's part.

I had the same situation recently here in Virginia and served a 30-day non-renewal letter.  State laws require the tenant to provide proof that A) He lost his job due to Covid, B) is paying the most that he can and C) fill out the necessary forms.  My tenant did none of that and thus I am meeting the sheriff at the property this Thursday.  

@Ken Musial Virginia tenant landlord laws are changing on January 1 btw.. make sure to check them out (in case you didn't already know). Requires the landlord to do more regarding RMRP.

The CDC thing doesn't apply to their lease ending. Your property manager is mistaken.