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3 Legal yet Sneaky Ways to Get Rid of Bad Tenants

3 Legal yet Sneaky Ways to Get Rid of Bad Tenants

Jan 07, 2021

Being a landlord is hard work. You deal with property issues, taxes, and much more. So what about when your renters become the problem? The questions are big ones: How to get rid of a tenant? Is it possible to remove a tenant immediately? Can you sell your rental property with tenants still in it? Well, the good news is that there are recourses at your disposal. With this in mind, let’s look at three legal, sneaky ways to get rid of bad tenants.

A run-down white house with weeds all around it and graffiti on the window.
Bad tenants can be a landlord’s worst nightmare.

Looking for legal but maybe-just-a-bit-sneaky ways to get rid of bad tenants? It can be a frustrating process for all parties when you have a difficult tenant, and finding a solution is important. Depending on your situation, you can try these three non-traditional tactics: offering a “cash for keys” deal, creatively going on the offensive, or selling to a renovation team to circumnavigate the eviction process.

Best Case Scenario in a Typical Bad Tenant Eviction Process

Bad tenants cause a lot of headache. Whether this is your first time staring down the barrel of the eviction process as a landlord or you just want a refresher, here’s generally how things go:

How to Get Rid of a Tenant

Phase 1

If you’re looking to evict, your tenant must have done something wrong. There’s a difference between tenants you don’t like and truly bad tenants. It should go without saying that you must have a solid legal reason to remove tenants. You don’t simply want sneaky ways to get rid of bad tenants; you want creative and LEGAL recourse. Discrimination, retaliation, and reasonable nonpayment do not meet the legal or ethical standard. When we talk about evicting a tenant, that tenant is typically guilty of one or more of the following:

  • Failing to pay rent without legitimate cause
  • Engaging in unruly behavior at the property
  • Engaging in illegal activity on the property

Phase 2

Having spent several months patiently discussing payment and/or remediation options to no avail, the landlord moves on to the eviction process. This involves placing an Official Notice on the problem tenant’s front door and hiring an attorney to file the eviction papers in court.

Phase 3

There are sneaky ways to get rid of bad tenants like these partygoers who have bottles of alcohol lined up on the counter.

Now comes the wait. When you eventually get in front of a judge, you get to present your evidence. Should your problem tenant choose to do so, they may present their side as well. If the judge grants you a “set out,” the bailiff, landlord, and movers will meet at the property to execute the eviction and remove the tenant. In some cases, landlords may contact authorities to be present for this step. Use your judgment.

Phase 4

Time to make repairs and get the house back in shape. In theory, you can bill these cleanup efforts to the former problem tenants. However, you’re probably going to have a very difficult time collecting on that. On the upside, you’ve finally regained control and solved your biggest landlord problem. From here on out, you hold the cards.

Phase 5

Yay — the home stretch! Once your property is listed again, it’s time to take applications, show the unit, run background and credit checks, ask for pay stubs, and go through that whole rigmarole. But once you place your new renter (hopefully a more responsible one), you can finally get back to your life pre-eviction process!

"For Rent" sign in a window with a number to call.
No problem tenants need apply!

3 Sneaky Ways to Get Rid of Bad Tenants without Going Through the Eviction Process

For landlords who want to know how to get rid of a tenant without all the mess and effort of the eviction process, here are a few ideas. In short, this is how to remove a tenant immediately… this is how to get a tenant out fast.

Offer a Cash Reward

This one can make a lot of sense in the right circumstances. While the idea of actually handing over money to a nonpaying tenant may sound extremely unappealing, it might actually be worth it. Considering the effort and expenditures that can go into evicting a tenant, offering a cash reward to leave may just be a more financially sound decision for you than going through with the whole eviction process. Sometimes an efficient solution is more valuable than fighting a righteous but time-consuming fight. But if want to know how to remove a tenant immediately without handing them an envelope of cash, keep reading.

Go On the Offensive

When you’re looking for sneaky ways to get rid of bad tenants, sometimes thinking creatively is your best friend. Angela Woodhull, a landlord in Florida, reported using a hilarious problem tenant strategy that, while we cannot recommend wholesale, seems to have worked well in her situation (this post appears to have since been moved or removed). If you’re looking for creative ways to get rid of squatters, Angela’s approach is a potential solution.

Basically, she had a horrible renter who was doing some shady, illegal stuff and hadn’t paid a cent of rent in six months. The guy would come and go for short periods of time. So, in a bold move, Angela showed up at the home with her friends and essentially began living there. They kicked back, put on the game, had a few beers, and hung out until the tenant arrived. Even a past landlord of the bad tenant (this tenant had a real reputation) showed up to watch the sit-in unfold. This is definitely one of the more creative solution I’ve seen for how to remove tenants immediately.

A redheaded male renter in front of an unruly bed.
Looking for creative ways to get rid of squatters? Try thinking outside the box a little.

What If Neither of These Options Works for My Situation?

As effective as offering a “cash for keys” deal can be, it obviously requires a financial hit. And as entertaining to read about as that second strategy is, it requires a lot of effort plus the potential for some unsettling conflict… and no positive outcome is guaranteed.

If the sound of going through all of this makes you tense up, there ARE other options. One of these , of course, is that you can go through the lengthy eviction process outlined above. But although that’s on the table, it’s also expensive and pretty time-consuming.

But even if neither of these options works for you, there’s still hope!

An elbow bump from two people in suits.
Upward Home Solutions logo.

Sell the Property to a Cash Buyer

How would you like to cash out and not deal with the problem anymore? While evicting bad tenants who don’t pay their rent can be an arduous process, you don’t actually have to go through all of that if you don’t want to.

As a local direct buyer, we sometimes get the question: “Can I sell my rental property with tenants in it?” Some folks assume that’s an obvious “no,” but you actually can. UHS buys properties even when landlords are in the middle of evictions. We’ll even buy if you’ve tried going through the eviction process and have had trouble getting it done. This is an attractive option for many landlords because it lets them leave the sneaky ways to get rid of bad tenants up to us.

So whether you have tenants on the lease or not, whether the property is occupied or not, selling to UHS has been a welcome solution for many landlords over the years.

The Final Word on Getting Rid of Bad Tenants

There are several creative ways to get rid of squatters or problem tenants on your property. And while I know you’re looking for sneaky ways to get rid of bad tenants, some of the best approaches are honestly pretty straightforward. Many don’t even require you to suffer through the eviction process! Deciding how to get rid of a tenant may be a process, but there’s always a way forward. Whether you end up trying to “buy out” your bad tenant, get a little creative, or sell to a team of local renovators, we wish you the very best!

Questions or Further Thoughts on How to Get a Tenant Out Fast?

Got other legal tricks to get rid of bad tenants? We want to hear about them! Send us the best ways to get a tenant to move out that have worked for you. Let us know what’s worked for you on social media or message us through the site. Good luck out there and stay safe!


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