When a good tenant loses a job and cannot pay rent, what should you take into consideration before you evict them? Each week veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi answers questions from other landlords and property managers around the country about their rentals.

Dear Landlord Hank,

If you have a good tenant who pays on time for a while and recently lost his/her job and difficulty paying the rent, how long you let it goes before you evict them?


Dear Landlord Sayed,

In the past, if I’ve had a good tenant that ran into hard times, I’ve done everything possible not to evict the tenant.

I start with having a conversation with them.

If they aren’t going to be employed again and able to pay rent in a VERY short time, then I suggest they contact their church and any city or county organizations that could provide some short term relief (money for rent).

If you know they aren’t going to be back on their feet any time soon I also suggest they move in temporarily with a friend or family member so they can conserve their resources and preserve their good credit.

In some cases, tenants have had to move home or even to a different state.

I tell the tenant that I am counting on the rent to be able to pay for the building and can’t have a unit not carrying its weight.

I’d like to let them stay for free but am not able to do so and that they need to move immediately.

If they can move in next week to 10 days and you really believe them, I’d give them that chance.

If they aren’t going to move, then eviction is the only course of action that makes sense.

You can’t mix business and charity or you’ll be out of business yourself.

It sounds to me from your question that you think you’ll have to evict.

Find out how to do so in your area today so you are aware of the process.

It’s unpleasant but necessary, sometimes.


Hank Rossi

Other recent Dear Landlord Hank posts you may have missed:

How Do You Raise Rent For A Long-Time Tenant?

 How Do You Know When To Change Property Managers?

 Where Do You Draw The Line On Normal Wear And Tear?

Dear Landlord Hank: Do You Conduct Rental Inspections? How Often?

Dear Landlord Hank: How Do I Motivate My Tenants To Conserve Water?

Is An Old Drug Conviction A Big Deal?

Dear Landlord Hank: Should I Give A Tenant More Time To Pay?

Dear Landlord Hank: Tenant’s Sewer Line Clogged With Tree Roots

About the author Landlord Hank:

“I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc, in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta. “ Visit Hank’s website here.

If a good tenant loses a job how long before I should evict them

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