Property Management Blog

What to Do When Tenants Overstay Their Due?

Terry Mrochko - Friday, August 16, 2019
Property Management Blog

The sad reality of a landlord's life is the moving out and moving in of the tenant, what's even sadder is the time in between. It's a fact, and no one can deny it, tenants come and go, but the bills stay put. The vacant period between the moving out of the old one and the moving in of the new one is a hard time for any landlord.

No landlord wants their tenant to move out, but they do, hardly any tenant stays in one house for a long time, they always find something bigger and better. With a vacant house, the cash flow ceases, not an optimum scenario for the landlord.

In a perfect world when one leaves the other will be ready to take the vacant house, a steady cash flow scenario that never breaks, but this isn't the way things work in the real estate market. Some lucky landlords do things professionally and try the ultimate scheduling of moving one out and moving the other in the very next day.

But this scenario can go wrong in so many ways; the car can break down, the movers may not show on time, the tenant decides that he doesn't want to move out. What should one do in such conditions?

The landlord with precision schedules a new tenant to move in the very next day, but things went sideways, what are his options?

Imagine yourself in the shoes of the new tenant, with all your stuff in a moving van outside the house that you are supposed to move in, but the old tenant isn't out yet. It's not only the truck of your belongings, but also the utility guy who came for connections as well as the satellite TV installation people. What are you going to do? Are you supposed to reschedule everything? If yes, then who is to bear all the extra expenses? The emotional stress, the physical stress, there is so much to think about. Who is answerable to all this?

Between the two tenants is the landlord, who is the one to answer for all this. Although it's not  landlords mistake, he will be held accountable for this situation as he was the one who promised the vacant house to the new tenant.

Here's how you can resolve this issue:

  • Never schedule the new tenant the next day, rather keep room for at least two days between the moving out and moving in. This gives you room to wiggle; the decrease in cash flow is nothing compared to what you will have to pay as reimbursement to the new tenant if things don't pan out the right way.
  • Charge, the old tenant for his overstay, $100 days, is a good penalty for a stubborn tenant who doesn't leave when he is supposed to. This, at least, gives you a little security.
  • Add this clause in your lease agreement and make sure that the new tenant knows about this from day one. This way, you will have a firm hold on your tenant.
  • Always be firm with your old tenant, make sure they know that you will not take the moving out lightly and they will have to leave on the scheduled day or else there will be dire consequences. Push them out of the door if you must, but be strong on your point.

Most landlords are prepared for such scenarios. Be one of the smart landlords and be ready for such issues. With a bit of planning and pre-set rules, you can avoid getting stuck in this situation.

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty. 

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