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When Eviction is The Wrong Call

Stressed Idaho Falls Property Manager on the PhoneAs an Idaho Falls landlord and rental property owner, evictions are, every so often, an inescapable part of the job. Supposing you find yourself handling a difficult tenant, eviction isn’t all the time the right course to opt for. Evictions can absolutely be time-consuming and financially excessive both for you and your tenant. But as a matter of fact, neither the property owner nor the tenant benefits from the eviction process. For this reason, sometimes evicting a tenant may be the wrong move. In these situations, you and your tenant will probably be better off choosing better alternatives to eviction instead.

 Your Otherwise Good Tenant Falls Behind on Rent

A good tenant is essential to acquiring a profitable rental property. But now and again, even good tenants can come upon 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 a definite violation of their lease. However, evicting a tenant for overlooking one or even several rent payments may not be the right thing to do. This is primarily true if the tenant was previously paying on time and is really doing a good job keeping up with cleaning and property maintenance.

In such situations, the suitable alternative to eviction may be to join together with your tenant to identify a procedure to help them get caught up on the missing rent payments. If the tenant’s financial difficulties are fleeting, this can be an excellent way to keep yourself from the expense of evicting and replacing your tenant while, moreover, receiving your tenant’s profound gratitude. By being truly willing to take a bit of a financial hit in the short term, over the long term, this will probably be able to help you effectively recover all of the missing rent payments and keep a good tenant.

You’d Rather Keep Your Money

The eviction process is absolutely expensive, and really, it’s not only because of the legal fees that you will have to pay along the way. The odds are that supposing your tenant knows you will be trying to force them out of the rental home, the rent payments will be put to a stop, and so would any cleaning or upkeep of the property. This oftentimes results in both lost income and higher cleaning and repair expenses.

Bearing in mind the expense and hassle of the eviction process, you might take into consideration the alternative of just simply paying your tenant to move out. This sort of “cash for keys” arrangement could make a tenant going through financial difficulty leave on good terms or encourage a stubborn tenant to move out sooner rather than later. It might sound weird to offer money to someone who owes you money, but even a lump sum cash payment of several hundred dollars is significantly less than you’d spend forcing the tenant out by means of eviction.

You Don’t Have Clear Legal Grounds

One final matter, quite a lot of situations exist where an eviction could presumably create more legal problems than it would solve. These should be prevented at all costs. One simple example of these situations would be ambiguity in your legal grounds for eviction. If your tenant has been complaining in connection with the property’s habitability, either openly to you or the local housing authority, and you haven’t taken initiatives to address the complaint, your attempt to evict the tenant could be deemed retaliatory and dismissed.

Another instance 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 wind up getting sued by your tenant if you do this.

Also very important, be alert 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 complicated 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 suitable to wait until the situation turns out more clear-cut.


One of the best solutions to avoid evictions entirely is to go in search for a good tenant with a strong history of on-time rental payments. Though that can be really hard to do, particularly if it’s not the only task on your to-do list. At Real Property Management Southeast Idaho, we seriously screen all rental applicants to find only the best eventual candidates for your rental property. Then, if any complications do appear in the future, our Idaho Falls property management experts can expertly help guide you through the best course of action to take. To learn more, contact us online or call 208-522-2400 today!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.