In the captivating world of property management, landlords often find themselves confronted with a formidable challenge—problem tenants who stubbornly cling to their rental properties, refusing to bid them farewell. 

While the threat of a lengthy eviction process looms as a last resort, the realm of possibilities beckons us to explore creative ways to get rid of bad tenants.

Recognizing that each situation is unique, we will explore various strategies that landlords have employed successfully in different circumstances. We will consider their different ways to get rid of difficult tenants and instead find the right tenants for their properties.

It is important to note that these approaches are not intended to circumvent the legal pathway or compromise the lease terms of your tenant. Rather, they offer alternative ways to get rid of bad tenants respectfully to avoid eviction court costs.

Different Ways to Get Tenants Out

Ask politely

If you get along well with your tenants but need them to leave because of changes in your business plans, you can handle the situation without going through an eviction process. A good way to do this is by talking to them openly and asking if they would be willing to move out on their own accord.

By showing a willingness to make the moving process more manageable for them, you increase the chances of renegotiating the lease agreement to a shorter term. 

Maintaining a positive and respectful attitude during the conversation helps good tenants feel more comfortable and understand your reasons. 

Providing assistance will make the prospect of moving more appealing and create an opportunity for both parties to find themselves in a better situation.

Offer cash incentive

There comes a time when a tenant needs to vacate a property for several reasons. 

Whether you're selling the property or you're tired of dealing with unpaid rents, the tenant must move on. In such situations, giving a cash incentive is the most effective way to encourage a bad tenant to voluntarily leave without the need for filing for an eviction.

The concept behind this strategy is simple: you offer financial compensation to your tenants in exchange for their timely departure. 

It may appear counterintuitive to give money to problem tenants who already owe you in the first place. However, it is sometimes more beneficial to conclude the relationship swiftly by investing a bit more, rather than prolonging the matter through legal action.

Check for any illegal activity 

If your tenant is engaged in illegal activity, it can provide grounds for eviction and help get them out of the property sooner. 

You need to have detailed records of any evidence that demonstrates the tenant's engagement in illegal activities. This evidence can include photographs, videos, witness statements, police reports, or any other relevant documentation that supports your claims.

Depending on the severity of the illegal activity and the guidelines outlined in the lease agreement and state laws, serve the appropriate notice to the tenant. This might involve a notice to cure or quit, a notice of lease termination, or a specific notice addressing illegal activities. To ensure compliance, adhere to the legal procedures and timelines for serving eviction warning notices.

A lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law can provide valuable advice. They help ensure you follow proper legal procedures and guide you through the steps necessary to address the tenant's illegal activities.

How do lawyers help with evictions?

Increase their rent

Sending a rent increase letter can also be a way to encourage bad tenants to move out.

Market comparison

When tenants see that the rent is much higher, they might start looking at other places to rent. If they find a similar or better place for a similar price, they might move there instead.

Choosing to Leave

Raising the rent gives a consistent message to tenants that the landlord takes different kinds of tenants or that the property is more valuable now. This might make troublesome tenants decide to leave on their own to avoid dealing with the higher cost or meeting the new requirements.

Financial impact

Bad tenants who cause problems or keep bothering the landlord for small things may not want to stay when the rent becomes more expensive. They might not think paying more for a place that gives them trouble is worth it.

It's important to note that some places restrict how much rent can be increased in a certain period. It's also crucial to communicate openly with tenants, address issues quickly, and follow proper procedures if eviction becomes necessary.

Propose legal recourse

When all else fails, note that you cannot forcibly remove tenants. Nonetheless, serving eviction warning notices may intimidate them. However, legal threats should be used as a last resort and always handled in compliance with the law. Acting within legal boundaries and seeking professional advice will help you navigate the process correctly and effectively.

First, seek legal advice to ensure you understand the proper actions to take. Consult a lawyer who can guide you on the best course of action and provide advice on handling the situation effectively.

In your communication with tenants, maintain a professional tone and avoid harsh or threatening language. Instead, show them the lease violation notices you have sent and their potential consequences. Communicate the importance of rectifying the situation or peacefully vacating the premises.

To strengthen your position, demonstrate that you consistently enforce your lease agreement. When they are paying rent late, promptly serve an eviction notice in accordance with the legal requirements. If necessary and the tenant refuses, proceed with filing the eviction in court once the mandatory waiting period has passed.

How do you serve an eviction notice?

Once you understand state laws surrounding an eviction process, you can consider serving eviction warning notices. Make sure the eviction notice includes all pertinent information.

You may deliver this notice in person or through certified mail. Keep records of all communication, such as delivery day, tenant responses, lease violation notices you have sent, and evidence of non-payment of rent.

If the tenant fails to comply with the eviction process, you may have to proceed with legal action. Either you file an eviction lawsuit or seek assistance from the local housing authority.

Reasons you want tenants out of your rental property

Many landlords may want their tenants to vacate a property for various reasons. Here are some of them:

Non-payment of rent

If tenants consistently fail to pay rent or are significantly behind on rent payments, a landlord may seek to remove them from the rental unit.

Lease violations

When tenants repeatedly violate the terms of the lease agreement, such as engaging in illegal activities on the premises, causing damaged property, or disturbing other tenants, a landlord may pursue eviction.

Property damage

If tenants cause substantial damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord may ask them to leave.

Unapproved subletting or unauthorized occupants

Suppose tenants sublet the property without the landlord's permission or allow unauthorized individuals to live on the premises. In that case, the landlord or property manager may take steps to have them vacate the property.

Breach of contractual obligations

If tenants fail to fulfill their contractual obligations, such as not maintaining the property as agreed or violating specific clauses in the lease, the property manager may consider removing them.

Renovations or major repairs

In some cases, landlords may want tenants to temporarily vacate the property to carry out substantial renovations or repairs that require the unit to be unoccupied.

Reasons you may want tenants to leave

Tips to avoid bad tenants

To work around this distressing predicament, the key lies in proactively avoiding difficult tenants from the outset. 

Screen your potential tenant 

Employing a robust tenant screening process can be your shield against future toxic renters. You significantly increase the odds of success by diligently examining crucial factors like credit reports, income verification documents, criminal records, eviction reports, rental history, and past landlords.

With proper tenant screening, you can mitigate the risk of problematic tenants, sparing yourself from unnecessary anguish.

Hiring a property manager or adopting property management software can facilitate this process.

Draft a solid lease agreement

Let's say the tenant is not willing to leave, and there are no provisions in the lease agreement allowing you to terminate the tenancy upon sale. In that case, you might consider negotiating with the tenant.

You can avoid this issue by drafting a solid lease agreement from the beginning. There are many resources available online to guide you in drafting a good lease agreement based on your needs and location.

Communicate expectations clearly

Clearly outline the terms of the lease agreement, including rent payment schedules, maintenance responsibilities, and any specific rules or regulations. Communicate your expectations to avoid misunderstandings later on.

Promptly address maintenance and repair issues

Respond to maintenance requests and repair issues promptly. A well-maintained property encourages responsible tenant behavior and reduces the likelihood of conflicts.

Make regular inspections

Conduct periodic inspections to ensure the property is properly maintained and address any potential issues before they escalate.

Enforce lease terms consistently

Consistently enforce lease terms and address violations promptly. This sends a clear message to tenants that rules and obligations must be followed.

Tips for avoiding bad tenants

Final word

The crucial takeaway here is that resorting to court proceedings isn't always the sole option for removing tenants from your property. There are creative ways available that enable you to accomplish this task legally and independently. 

By familiarizing yourself with these approaches, you can confidently navigate the process within the bounds of the law.

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!