If you have tenants who aren’t paying rent then you’re facing the same dilemma that many landlords go through at least once. It’s frustrating and unfortunately, your options are limited. Here’s how Michigan landlords are dealing with tenants who don’t pay rent. Of course, the best defense is a good offense. This means that if you are careful about doing a background check on your tenants, and if you have a good rental agreement in place, then those things will help you a great deal.
4 Strategies for Dealing with Bad Tenants in Michigan
#1. Avoid the situation
You could avoid the situation and hope they pay. This is definitely not the best option but it is an option that many landlords take. You can just ignore it and hope they’ll pay on time next month and maybe even catch up. Frankly, it may not happen (it rarely does) but it could happen so we’re including it here as a possibility. When dealing with tenants who don’t pay rent, we don’t recommend this strategy because it opens the doors to the possibility that your tenant will take advantage of you.
You could negotiate with them because maybe they just need a different payment schedule. Not everyone can pay easily each month. Some renters can pay better by the week because it’s a smaller payment. You can get them to do some work around the property in exchange for a discount on the rent. If you choose to negotiate with your tenant, make sure you get an agreement from them that works for both of you, otherwise, you’ll just feel even more frustrated!
You can also employ a strategy called cash for keys. Cash for keys is where you basically pay the tenant to leave. Many landlords will offer the equivalent of a months rent somewhere else. This gives the tenant some motivation to leave and start over somewhere else. Many landlords are against this because it’s rewarding a tenant for bad behavior, but in some cases, it’s much more affordable than having a tenant who won’t pay month after month.
You can try to evict them, although be aware that this can be a complicated, time-consuming process that may involve some legal hassles too. Eviction is very difficult to do, especially since many laws favor the tenant over the landlord. It may be worth doing this in the long-run if you can get a paying tenant into your rental property afterwards.
One technique that is worth trying is to have your attorney send a notice of eviction or just contact the tenant. Oftentimes, this scares the tenant into paying or at least opening the lines of communication if they’re avoiding you.
Another option is to sell. Many landlords don’t want to deal with the headache of a bad tenant. Whether you inherited the property or just don’t want to deal with rentals, you don’t have to continue if you don’t want to. Selling a property with a bad tenant can be difficult given the circumstances, but it is possible. Selling traditionally with a realtor may be difficult if the tenant won’t cooperate. You can also sell to a we buy houses company. They’ll typically pay less than retail but they’ll take over the bad tenant and give you cash for your house.
Wrapping Up – Dealing With Bad Tenants Who Don’t Pay Rent in Michigan
Dealing with a band tenant is tough. It’s a stressful situation that often ends up costing you a good chunk of money. I can’t say enough how important it is to screen your tenants properly and ensure your rental agreement is rock solid. You can avoid so much potential hassle by doing your best to get good tenants in place. With that said, sometimes a bad tenant ends up in your rental. When it does, remember you have options. You can do nothing but long term this is never a good idea. Try to negotiate with your tenant. Cash for keys is a tough pill to swallow but it’s always cheaper and faster than an eviction. If they aren’t willing to cooperate, you have to take eviction and get an attorney involved.
If you’ve decided being a landlord isn’t for you, you can always sell the property. We’ve helped landlords in touch spots before and we’d be happy to discuss your property if you feel like you’re in this situation. Hopefully this article helps with dealing with bad tenants who don’t pay rent.