Best way to pay a tenant to leave - Posted by Mike

Posted by Rob FL on May 25, 1999 at 11:40:42:

My lease is the same way. I just wanted to explain to him some pitfalls of paying someone to move out.

Best way to pay a tenant to leave - Posted by Mike

Posted by Mike on May 24, 1999 at 21:15:45:


I’ve got myself a non-paying tenant. I’ve heard of people paying the tenant $100 or so to just leave. I figure this is better than going through the eviction process.

What I’d like to know is, if I do this, should I have the tenant sign something acknowledging that this payment is to cover “moving expenses” and he should be out by a certain date? On the other hand, would this type of situation be construed as a bribe and better to not have any written documents?

Also, what is a reasonable amount of cash to offer to get rid of the problem?

Any comments are greatly appreciated.


I agree W/ Joe - Posted by PBoone

Posted by PBoone on May 25, 1999 at 15:22:20:

Paying a person just to walk away is good in theory but the times we tried it was a joke.
We are in the business to offer clean safe housing for the community not FREE housing with a bonus at the end for leaving. Our stance now is fair fast and firm.
Let me add… 98% of the tenants that we have the pleasure of knowing have been extremely good people with no problems. The other 2% taught us that money is not the motivator.
My ADVICE try the way that is best for you.

Don’t! - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on May 24, 1999 at 22:29:15:

You guys must have very different tenants than I do. This idea of paying and coming to some sort of an understanding never worked for me.

In case you haven’t yet figured it out . . . the rental app isn’t there just to check out your prospective tenant. It’s other purpose is to be able to track down your tenants employment and assets should they decide not to pay.

And if they don’t pay, I’m going to pound on them from day one. I’m going to sue, I’m going to win, and I’m going to hound them for the dough until they pay every last nickel. That means garnishing their employer, seizing the bank account and pretty much being a pain in the you know what.

The last clown that wouldn’t pay and wouldn’t leave ended up paying me three times what it would have cost him to just pick up and go. And I got it all . . . at $100 a week from his employer.


Re: Best way to pay a tenant to leave - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on May 24, 1999 at 21:40:31:

I assume you have talked with the tenant and know why they are not paying. If you haven’t you need to do that immediately.

If you pay them $100 or so, just account for it in their deposit. If you had a $500 deposit, then you keep $400 for unpaid rent and refund them $100. The money you keep is what needs to be accounted for not the money you give.

Also don’t give them any cash before they are completely out. If they need to rent a moving truck, you pay UHaul directly. Otherwise they may blow that $100 on beer and forget you asked them to move.

I always get my tenants to sign something when they move out. I tell them that the law allows me 15 days to refund their deposit, and unless they sign right now they won’t see one dime until the 15 days are up. The paper they sign says they acknowledge any deposit deductions, they terminate their rights of possession, and a few other things.

Re: Best way to pay a tenant to leave - Posted by Bill K. (AZ)

Posted by Bill K. (AZ) on May 24, 1999 at 21:33:18:


You DEFINITELY want to get your agreement in writing. The agreement needs to specify that the tenants are receiving the money to surrender the premises “on or before” a given date. In addition, you may want the agreement to state that:

  • the premises must be left clean with all debris and personal items removed
  • all property fixtures are to remain intact
  • you, landlord, are allowed to retain all monies paid to date
  • that the tenant releases you from all claims arising out of their tenancy.

You need to have this signed, and you might want to have it notarized.

Finally, the money should be deposited with a neutral third party who does not release it until you inspect the premises AFTER the tenant vacates.

Offer as little as they’ll accept. Ask them what it’ll take to get them to leave voluntarily. If they’re unreasonable, you name a figure. They might start high, but readily accept something much lower.

I hope this helps.

Bill K. (AZ)

Deposits . . . - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on May 24, 1999 at 22:33:51:

In our rental agreement, the deposit is forfeited if we have to evict. That means it doesn’t get applied to the unpaid rent or get refunded because they left the place clean. Poof . . . it’s just gone.

Otherwise, the judge wants to credit it to their unpaid balance.