Friendly alternatives to evicting bad tenants

One of the most dreaded events in the life of a landlord is when you have to give a tenant the boot.  Whether it’s because they don’t pay rent on time, tear up their unit, or cause some other nuisance, bad tenants can turn a profitable rental property into a property management nightmare. Eviction and Cash for Keys can be good options for handling the getting rid of the worst violators, but many times tenants are not bad enough to go to that extreme. Additionally, many property owners find themselves uncomfortable with the direct nature of these methods. Either way, there are less confrontational ways to clean out bad tenants.

Lease Renewal

As a general rule, the best time to get rid of a bad tenant is at the end of a lease term. If you keep up with yearly leases, which you should, you can simply inform your tenant that you will be parting ways at your next expiration. Given proper notice, most tenants will move out without incident. There is a long laundry list of reasons you can use to justify not renewing. Pick on or more that are appropriate for the situation, and formally ask the tenant to vacate at the end of their lease term.


Updating a unit can offer a great opportunity to not only improve your property, but to remove bad tenants.  If you plan on doing repairs, and use this point to justify requesting they move out, most tenants won’t feel slighted. It offers a great excuse to part ways for both yearly (at the end of the lease term of course) and month-to-month leases.

Raise Rents

Raising rents can also be a good way to clean house. Higher rents generally mean higher quality tenants. Most trouble-tenants will leave on their own when facing a rent hike. This method works best when you have not raised rents in a long time or inherit tenants upon a new purchase.

Remember that the best method of avoiding this hassle is to never allow bad tenants into the property in the first place. Strict background and credit history checks can go a long way in keeping troublemakers out. Putting a sub-par tenant in a building may help fill a vacancy today, but it can cause headaches tomorrow.

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