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Effectively Handling a Tenant Who Is Behind On Rent

GavelAttorney Thomas Simeone, partner at Simeone & Miller, LLP, was recently featured in an Avvo story detailing the best ways to handle a tenant who is behind on paying rent. The article details whether, as a landlord, you should threaten the tenant with eviction, offer an option to break the lease, and what options you may have.

As a landlord, having a tenant who is constantly behind on rent can leave you dealing with constant frustration. There are various laws in each state that help determine how these situations should be handled. Landlords should know that eviction is often costly to them and is sometimes a drawn out process that only increases the stress of the situation. What should you do if you have a tenant who is not cooperating and is holding out on rent?

First, consider how they are feeling and what could trigger them. Do they fear losing the home? Would the threat of action cause them to pay the rent, or would it cause them to rebel further?

If you threaten action, the tenant may decide to pay because they fear losing their home. They may already be dealing with some financial problems, and not wanting to put themselves in a worse position, may search for alternatives to help make the payments. Sending out the Notice to Quit gives the tenant a date by which they must pay or face eviction. This triggers emotions and will force them to act one way or another.

Many tenants who go without paying do so because they are not motivated to do so and eviction actions or options to break the lease may not change that. They may feel they can stay and not pay anything because they have been doing it for so long. An eviction would only prolong this situation as the landlord goes through the necessary process and the tenant will continue living in the home without paying rent.

For many cases like this, having a lawyer help you determine the most effective options is helpful in securing the outcome you desire in the long run. Landlords need to understand their options and take the steps necessary to receive rent or evict the tenant without enduring the costly process and losing more money than they already have.

Follow the link above to read the full text of the article. To speak with Mr. Simeone or another attorney at Simeone & Miller, LLP, please contact us.