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When Eviction is The Wrong Call

Stressed Cambridge Property Manager on the PhoneAs a Cambridge landlord and rental property owner, evictions are occasionally an unavoidable part of the job. Once you find yourself meeting a difficult tenant, eviction isn’t really always the correct way to go. Evictions could be time-consuming and financially wasteful both for you and your tenant. In reality, neither the property owner nor the tenant benefits from the eviction process. In light of this, sometimes evicting a tenant may be a bad decision. In these situations, you and your tenant will perhaps be better off by selecting better alternatives to eviction instead.

 Your Otherwise Good Tenant Falls Behind on Rent

A good tenant is relevant to possessing a profitable rental property. Occasionally even good tenants can meet economic difficulties, lose a job, or otherwise find themselves unable to meet their rent payment. There’s no question that non-payment of rent is an obvious violation of their lease. Though evicting a tenant for missing one or even several rent payments may not be a good call. This is particularly right if the tenant was previously paying on time and is accomplishing a good job keeping up with cleaning and property maintenance.

In cases like this, the ideal alternative to eviction may be to collaborate with your tenant to find a method to help them get caught up on the missing rent payments. Only if the tenant’s financial difficulties are not permanent, this can be a perfect way to prevent the expense of evicting and replacing your tenant while likewise obtaining your tenant’s sincere gratitude. By being ready to take a bit of a financial hit in the short term, over the long term, this method is highly likely to assist you to recover all of the missing rent payments and hold on to a good tenant, also.

You’d Rather Keep Your Money

The eviction process is costly, and not merely because of the legal fees that are involved. The probabilities are that if your tenant perceives you will be trying to force them out of the rental home, the rent payments will cease, and so would any cleaning or upkeep of the property. This frequently gives rise to both lost income and higher cleaning and repair expenses.

Given the expense and hassle of the eviction process, you might think of the alternative of merely paying your tenant to move out. This sort of “cash for keys” arrangement could allow a tenant suffering financial difficulty to leave on good terms or support a stubborn tenant to move out sooner rather than later. It might sound strange to offer money to someone who owes you money, but even a lump sum cash payment of several hundred dollars is much less than you’d spend forcing the tenant out over an eviction.

You Don’t Have Clear Legal Grounds

One last note, a lot of situations exist where an eviction could possibly create more legal problems than it would solve. These should be prevented at all costs. One instance of these situations would be ambiguity in your legal grounds for eviction. If your tenant has raised a complaint related to the property’s habitability, either straight to you or the local housing authority, and you haven’t taken actions to address the complaint, your attempt to evict the tenant could be deemed retaliatory and dismissed.

Another occurrence would be if your eviction could be construed as discriminating against a tenant who is part of a protected class. Evicting a tenant based on their age, religion, skin color, family status, sexual preferences, and more is illegal, and you could actually end up getting sued by your tenant if you try to do it.

Also, be wary about accepting partial rent payments before or after trying to evict for non-payment of rent. If you accept any amount of rent from the tenant, you may lose your legal grounds for eviction and find yourself in an extremely difficult situation. This is due to the fact that accepting partial payments creates an implicit agreement between you and your tenant that a judge will likely deem a continuation of your lease agreement, even if it isn’t in writing. If you don’t have clearly defined legal grounds for an eviction, it’s ideal to wait until the situation seems more clear-cut.


One of the effective ways to avoid evictions entirely is to search for a good tenant with a strong history of on-time rental payments. However, that can be a dilemma, primarily if it’s not the only task on your to-do list. At Real Property Management Boston, we attentively screen all rental applicants to find only the best potential candidates for your rental property. Then, if any issues do happen in the future, our Cambridge property management experts can help guide you through the best course of actionto take. To learn more, contact us online or call 617-522-0099 today!

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