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How to Deal With an Unemployed Tenant Who Can’t Pay Rent

APG Properties

When a tenant becomes unemployed and is having difficulty paying their rent, some landlords feel the only option is to begin an eviction and ultimately find a new tenant. However, it may make sense to find a way to sustain the tenancy.

Why?

This avoids the risk of a prolonged vacant period, as well as the lengthy process of eviction. You may also lose a tenant with whom you have built a solid relationship.

Here are some things to consider if one of your tenants loses his or her job:

Communicate Proactively

No matter what type of business you own, good communication is essential.  In most cases, you will probably be the last one to learn that a tenant has lost their job.  You or your property management company must keep the lines of communication open with the tenant.  Rent payments that start lagging behind month after month or seeing that the property is not being maintained well are good indicators that something is wrong.  So maintain open communications with your tenant. They are equally worried about paying on time and just being a little lenient can go a long way.

Discuss Payment Arrangements

If you’re willing to work with the tenant, determine how much latitude you are willing to give them.  Once you find out they are no longer employed, you might want to discuss some type of payment plan and timeframe with them so they know what you expect of them.  Ask them to set a specific date for getting a new job or acquiring the money to pay you.  How far out this date should be or how much time you want to allow is again up to you.  If that date comes with out any payment, then it may be time to encourage them to move out.

Encourage a Move

Losing a job is an unfortunate experience, but landlords don’t enjoy the thought of having to evict someone.  However, you still need to act on this immediately and explain to the tenant that they will have to move out if they are unable to pay rent.  Act on this quickly and be firm. Your goal now is to get possession of your rental unit back asap so you can get income flowing again.

Conclusion

We know that losing a job is hard. But while landlords can and perhaps should be understanding and even sympathetic, you are also running a business.  That however does not mean that you cannot work with tenants to find the best possible solution for everyone.
APG Property Management