There are some tenants you just want to disappear.
Maybe they don’t pay rent, have unauthorized people or pets in the house, are damaging the property, or keep calling with unreasonable repair requests. Whatever the reason, you want them gone. And if you want to know how to get rid of a tenant without eviction, rest assured — there’s a way.
Start By Talking to the Tenant
You’ve got options if you want to avoid the costs and time involved in an eviction. First, try calling them to work something out. If the tenant’s unhappy and wants a similar outcome as the landlord, then it may not be worth going through the time and the money of an eviction.
See, the goal of an eviction is to regain possession of the property. But if the tenant isn’t there anymore or agrees to leave based upon a mutual agreement, then it’s quicker and cheaper to deal with the tenant directly.
So is this a good option for you? Let's find out.
What Does the Tenant Want?
Ask yourself, “What does the tenant want? Why am I considering eviction? What are they requesting?” If it makes sense to give the tenant what they want, do it. An eviction ruling doesn’t mean you’ll get any money. It just means you have a judgment against the tenant.
Usually, they want money. So, if you can pay them or reduce their balance, they may be enticed to leave.
We had a tenant we didn’t want to go through an eviction process with. So we said, “Hey, the owner has agreed to give you $500 if you’ll put in writing that you’re out of the property and surrender the keys. We’ll split ways. We’re not going to come after you. Here’s $500 to leave.” With this agreement, the owner got possession of the property immediately and didn’t have to go through the whole eviction process, which would have taken at least 30 days. Instead, she paid $500 and moved on.
Another financial option is to reduce money owed. So, if someone owes an HOA fee, see if you can reduce it (or cover it) as a part of the agreement that they’ll move out.
Why Not Evict?
The biggest benefit of skipping the eviction process is time — for you and them. See, the eviction process takes 30-33 days in Texas. And you can’t market the property during that time. It’s not a legal issue but rather puts leasing agents in an awkward position. If they show up and someone’s being evicted, the situation doesn’t look good for them or future tenants. So, even if you have to pay a little more for a tenant to leave peacefully, you’ll likely be able to fill your vacancy quicker.
Plus, it works to your tenant's advantage too. Eviction stays on their record for seven years. So, if the reason was minute in the scheme of things (maybe they were going to move anyways or they missed a fee), you don’t need to go through the process and permanently scar their record. You’re doing them a favor and saving yourself a lot of time.
At LEAP, when we’re involved in these types of situations, we present options to our clients. We tell them scenarios of how this could work out and let the owner make the decision. Then we handle the communication and follow through with the plan.