Creating a Win-Win Scenario when You Want a Tenant to Move On

It can cause a lot of stress for everyone involved when you have a tenant who you wish would move on. Whatever your reason for wanting the tenant out, it's best for you and them if the process of getting them out of your rental property is as amicable as possible. While there's no easy way to tell someone it's time to get out, there are some things you can do to create a win-win scenario -- and when you do that, things are easier and more pleasant for everyone involved.

Cash for Keys
One of the easiest and most effective ways of getting tenants (especially problem tenants or tenants who are behind on rent) to move on is to offer a cash incentive for the tenant to leave the rental property in good condition before they leave. On one hand, it can be annoying to offer cash to a tenant who already owes you money, but giving the tenant an incentive to leave peaceably and without tearing anything up can actually save you more money than it costs you. For a tenant who has hit hard times (either legitimately or through their own poor decisions), the prospect of having some cash in hand may be enough to get them to pack up, clean the place up and move along.
Another benefit of offering the tenant cash to move out is that it gives them an incentive to leave the place in the best shape they can. Of course, your expectations have to be realistic. If the reason you want them to move out is that they've already trashed the place, you may have to be willing to negotiate just how much they need to fix the place up. Keep in mind that the end goal is for them to move on. If you do make a cash-for-keys offer, make sure that your expectations are clearly understood. Put them in writing to protect yourself and the tenant.

Keep Your Communication as Friendly as Possible
Whether you choose to offer a cash incentive or not, simply communicating with your client can help you determine what you need to do to get them to move out amicably. You may be in a position to make the move easier for them. If you're having trouble getting them to move on, approach them in a reasonable, friendly manner, explain that the situation isn't working out (and why, if you can do so without causing unnecessary confrontation) and ask if there's anything you can do to help them move on. Try to keep your tone of voice and your body language as friendly as possible.
Remember, the goal is to create a situation where you both win. In most cases, tenants don't want to stay in a hostile or disagreeable rental situation any more than their landlord. It can cause as much stress for them as it does for you. Therefore, anything you can do to help them move on is a win for both of you. Sometimes simply offering to help them out can diffuse a hostile situation in which a disgruntled renter might otherwise damage your property or have to be removed through legal means.

POSTED July 23 2015 1:43 PM

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