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Michael Filppu
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  • Evansville, IN
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Problem tenants on a month to month lease

Michael Filppu
  • New to Real Estate
  • Evansville, IN
Posted Aug 26 2022, 10:40

I purchased a duplex a year ago with inherited tenants. One moved out immediately, and I took that opportunity to fix up that side of the duplex. Now it is fabulous and rented. The tenants in the second side smoke indoors, continuously pay rent a little late, and a contractor is telling me their side is not safe to live in. I sent a certified letter giving them 30 days to move out. They are not receiving the notice that I will not be renewing their lease. What are my options at this point? They say they are willing to meet up and talk about it. I’m willing to offer cash for keys. What can I do if they will not receive the notice?

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Conner Olsen
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Austin, TX
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Conner Olsen
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Austin, TX
Replied Aug 26 2022, 10:49
Quote from @Michael Filppu:

I purchased a duplex a year ago with inherited tenants. One moved out immediately, and I took that opportunity to fix up that side of the duplex. Now it is fabulous and rented. The tenants in the second side smoke indoors, continuously pay rent a little late, and a contractor is telling me their side is not safe to live in. I sent a certified letter giving them 30 days to move out. They are not receiving the notice that I will not be renewing their lease. What are my options at this point? They say they are willing to meet up and talk about it. I’m willing to offer cash for keys. What can I do if they will not receive the notice?


 Can you just hand it to them in person. Maybe take a video of the exchange to prove they received it?

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Michael Filppu
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  • Evansville, IN
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Michael Filppu
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  • Evansville, IN
Replied Aug 26 2022, 14:57

I attempted the very thing you are suggesting. They have not opened the door for me.

Thank you for your reply. 

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John Teachout
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Concord, GA
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John Teachout
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Concord, GA
Replied Aug 26 2022, 15:20

Just because they won't sign for the notice doesn't mean it wasn't sent. Document everything. Next time the rent is late, even a day, post the property with a notice of eviction. It sounds like it's going to go that route anyway.

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Chris Seveney
  • Investor
  • Northern Virginia
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Chris Seveney
  • Investor
  • Northern Virginia
Replied Aug 26 2022, 15:25

@Michael Filppu

Get an attorney and file eviction.

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Richard F.#2 General Landlording & Rental Properties Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Honolulu, HI
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Richard F.#2 General Landlording & Rental Properties Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Honolulu, HI
Replied Aug 27 2022, 10:26
Aloha,

As always, CHECK YOUR LOCAL Landlord/Tenant LAWS. It is likely you can simply post the notice securely on their front door, taking a photo and/or having a witness for evidence of posting. The notice, depending again on local law, may simply need to be a notice of non-renewal. Once they are past the required vacate date, then immediately initiate the eviction in the manner prescribed by law, which MAY require an attorney, or you simply file a standard form at your court for a very small fee.

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Bill Brandt
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Bill Brandt
  • Investor
  • Las Vegas, NV
Replied Aug 27 2022, 10:33

Unless you “just learn the procedure, regardless of lost time or added expenses” then go ahead and do it yourself. OTHERWISE, hire an eviction attorney. It’s all they do. They’ll do it right, they’ll do it legal and they’ll do it fast. You may get your place back weeks if not months faster and the additional rent will pay for their services. 

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Bob Stevens#3 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Real Estate Consultant
  • Cleveland
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Bob Stevens#3 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Real Estate Consultant
  • Cleveland
Replied Aug 27 2022, 10:35
Quote from @Michael Filppu:

I purchased a duplex a year ago with inherited tenants. One moved out immediately, and I took that opportunity to fix up that side of the duplex. Now it is fabulous and rented. The tenants in the second side smoke indoors, continuously pay rent a little late, and a contractor is telling me their side is not safe to live in. I sent a certified letter giving them 30 days to move out. They are not receiving the notice that I will not be renewing their lease. What are my options at this point? They say they are willing to meet up and talk about it. I’m willing to offer cash for keys. What can I do if they will not receive the notice?

Evict them, but you really should hire a PM co and let them handle 
Good luck 

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Bob Stevens#3 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Real Estate Consultant
  • Cleveland
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Bob Stevens#3 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Real Estate Consultant
  • Cleveland
Replied Aug 27 2022, 10:35
Quote from @Bob Stevens:
Quote from @Michael Filppu:

I purchased a duplex a year ago with inherited tenants. One moved out immediately, and I took that opportunity to fix up that side of the duplex. Now it is fabulous and rented. The tenants in the second side smoke indoors, continuously pay rent a little late, and a contractor is telling me their side is not safe to live in. I sent a certified letter giving them 30 days to move out. They are not receiving the notice that I will not be renewing their lease. What are my options at this point? They say they are willing to meet up and talk about it. I’m willing to offer cash for keys. What can I do if they will not receive the notice?

Evict them, but you really should hire a PM co and let them handle PS, tape the letter to their door, 
Good luck 

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Nathan Gesner
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
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Nathan Gesner
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
ModeratorReplied Aug 27 2022, 18:24
Quote from @Michael Filppu:

I purchased a duplex a year ago with inherited tenants. One moved out immediately, and I took that opportunity to fix up that side of the duplex. Now it is fabulous and rented. The tenants in the second side smoke indoors, continuously pay rent a little late, and a contractor is telling me their side is not safe to live in. I sent a certified letter giving them 30 days to move out. They are not receiving the notice that I will not be renewing their lease. What are my options at this point? They say they are willing to meet up and talk about it. I’m willing to offer cash for keys. What can I do if they will not receive the notice?


Post the notice on their door and tape it heavily so it can't accidentally disappear. Take a time-stamped photo as proof. Make sure the notice is clear that failure to vacate will result in eviction and additional charges.

  • Property Manager Wyoming (#12599)

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Replied Aug 27 2022, 19:06

Not sure I'd believe the contractor -did you hire them?  You sent the notice via certified mail, so you should have proof that it was delivered.

Have another notice served and either video yourself doing it or pay someone (a professional) to serve it.

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JD Martin
  • Rock Star Extraordinaire
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JD Martin
  • Rock Star Extraordinaire
  • Northeast, TN
ModeratorReplied Aug 27 2022, 22:32

You've already received good advice regarding the notice. My questions:

1. Why do you want them out? Will you stand to make a lot more money with new tenants? 

2. Do you charge them late fees and do they pay them?

3. Have you verified this contractor claim and where did it come from? 

If you're not going to make big money with them moving, you should think it through. Since they smoke inside, assuming they've done it forever (since they are inherited) you're already screwed there. The place is going to need a complete repaint inside and maybe further work. If you can get them straight on the rent by making it clear you have a strong policy, you may not need to go any further. 

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Michael Filppu
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  • Evansville, IN
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Michael Filppu
  • New to Real Estate
  • Evansville, IN
Replied Aug 27 2022, 23:36

Let me try to answer all of your questions. First off, yes, I have received a lot of great advice and I am grateful for it. Most of the tenants’ bad behavior I can blame on myself and the previous owner. While I was fixing up the first side of the duplex, I tried unsuccessfully to get them to be off the property smokers. I let some of their other behavior slide because their side paid for the entire mortgage while I did renovations. Since a family has moved into the renovated side, they complain consistently of the smell of cigarette smoke. The place needed major renovations since before I purchased it. It had a leaking roof, an old coal-fed furnace, and a host of other problems. I thought I would have time to save up for some of these repairs, but now it looks like everything is happening at once (with the other repairs, the furnace and roof have already been finished). With the smokers out, I can make the place entirely updated, and make a lot more in cash flow every month. The contractor is not telling me anything I didn’t already know, I had just hoped it would have been a little later. 
I hope this added a little bit of context and answered some questions. I am grateful for everyone’s responses. Thank you.