Evicting A Bad Tenant

by Joe Trometer
(Michigan, USA)

Tenant Passed-Out on Sidewalk

Tenant Passed-Out on Sidewalk

Evicting A Bad Tenant

How Much Stress Can A Landlord Tolerate?

The photo is the result of a neighbor's call about a Tenant passed-out on the sidewalk. I feel the neighbor should have called Emergency-911 but, this intoxicated behavior was not unusual.

To me, as the property manager, problematic renters cause me more stress than the rent money is worth!

How do I evict a Tenant that has paid on-time,


For more than three years?

As a Landlord, an investment property owner,
collecting rent is priority one!

Cash flow on investment properties always looks good on paper!

There is no line-item on the real estate investor cash-flow sheets for dealing with Tenant problems!

Even though I paid my Tenant Service Company to research the renter's application, there was no history of Tenant behavior problems!

Such As:

  • Public disturbance

  • Public intoxication

  • Complaints from other Tenants

  • Complaints from the Neighbors

  • Numerous Police visits

  • Visits to my home at all hours

  • Tenant asking for rides, money, medicine, etc.

  • Trash in the yard

  • Unauthorized occupants

  • Loud music

  • Indecent exposure

  • Just to name a few occurrences!

I did my best to calm each situation the renter created.

At first I offered helpful suggestions and reasoning to solve these uncomfortable situations.

Keep in mind, collecting the rent is priority one! If you're a Landlord like me, we depend on our rent cash-flow to keep our businesses running.

What Happened Was...

The more I gave, the more the renter took advantage!

I needed the rent money to make my mortgage payments, many Landlords can relate to that.
Then it came to that time,
when collecting the rent from this mischievous renter,
became quite stressful.

Enough Is Enough!

The Tenant Violation Notice...

In the event I decide to evict such a Tenant, I better have my paper work in order!

I began writing a Tenant Violation Notice for every incident of problematic behaviors in case I have to defend my reason for eviction in Court.

I found a Violation Notice has no effect on an intoxicated resident.

Having my Attorney serve the Tenant with Eviction Papers did get their attention. They were apologetic and asked in desperation not to be evicted, and I sympathized with them.

Legal Fees in excess of three-hundred dollars to be paid by the Tenant were my terms to give the Tenant a second chance to maintain their residency and, they paid the legal fees.

Additional Conditions:

In addition to the reimbursement of the Legal Fees, I re-wrote the lease to a
Month-To-Month Rental Agreement.

Eviction on a monthly rental agreement can be served with a thirty-day notice of "Not-To-Renew" their tenancy,
without reasons given!

Just the same, a resident can give the Landlord a thirty-day notice Not-To-Renew their monthly agreement without reasons given as well!

I use a Standardized Rental / Lease Agreement prepared by an Attorney in my State. It's a simple one page contract with fill in the blank entries on the front side of the page.
On the Back side of the agreement is a list of terms and conditions on basic rules of conduct.

I thought the standardized rental lease was straight forward for rental terms a Landlord and a Tenant could follow...

I Was Wrong!

I created an Addendum to Rental / Lease Agreement consisting of nine pages and eighteen line items of additional conditions and rules of conduct as follows:

  • 1) Disturbing the peace

  • 2) Yard boundaries

  • 3) Police activity

  • 4) Unauthorized occupants

  • 5) Outside fires and barbeque grills

  • 6) Garbage pick-up and yard trash

  • 7) Personal belongings in the yard

  • 8) Landlord business hours

  • 9) Renter's Insurance

  • 10) Appliances

  • 11) Pest control and feeding the wildlife

  • 12) Repairs and maintenance

  • 13) Lost keys

  • 14) Smoke Detectors and fire extinguishers

  • 15) 6 Month inspections

  • 16) Smoking policy

  • 17) Termination and renewal of Rental / Lease Agreement

  • 18) Terms for release of rental obligation

How Did I Come Up With The Above List?

Each condition above came from the history of the above mentioned,
and a few from other renting experiences that posed problems or expense to me as the Landlord.

I enjoy home remodeling and real estate investing on fixer-uppers.
Expanding my real estate investor strategy to include managing rental units, has been more challenging than any do-it-yourself construction project I've ever done!

Now with my revised renter's addendum and the eviction of problem causing renters, well, I'll keep you posted.

Joe Trometer

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by: Anonymous

Helpful...I let a homeless friend of my brothers into my basement so he could find work and get a vehicle. Mission accomplished. He's a beer drinking/ chain smoking pest.He pays $25. on a week to week basis. He says I can't kick him out. Police are involved. I'm a senior and have a disability. He knew from the start there was no smoking and no drunkeness allowed. He took over 1/4 of my garage, chain smoking and drinking every nite after work. I put up with it since I was ill. It's to the point where it has become emotionally abusive since he knows I hate the smoke [I have COPD].Long story short-what grounds are there for eviction? He pays. He doesn't get mean.I just don't want hime here anymore.

Great Landlords
by: Anonymous

I wish the landlords would evict "crazy tenants" like that in my neighborhood!

We have one group that moved here from Detroit that have been breaking into cars and homes.

Their landlord doesn't care because he's getting paid each month (with the money they steal).

Another renter on my block that we are 99% sure, was either a prostitute and or a drug dealer, finally got evicted after not paying rent for a couple of months.

Too bad the law sometimes works for those that don't pay.
They need to put some of these slime balls in jail and make them learn a lesson.

Thanks for the great info Joe!

Crazy Tenant
by: Anonymous

Wow... That picture looks like my problem tenant.

We have only owned our rental apartments 45 days!

The crazy tenant first starts sending e-mails bad mouthing his roommate.
Then he starts saying the apartment complex is filled with drug dealers.

Then he gets drunk and starts asking other tenants for money and "weed" because he said, "they look like they know where to get it."

We find out he is sleeping in the same bed with his roommates 14 year old son and says there is nothing is wrong that.
We find out he is a drunk!

He gets lost the 1st time we try to collect the rent, and hasn't paid us yet.

We started the eviction process with a 5 day notice, rights of receivables, and unlawful detainer.

Now the tenant is claiming we are racially discriminating against him.

And oh yeah... The 45 days we have owned the apartments; there have been 9 police reports filed for disturbance and domestic violence against his roommate.

The tenant's latest story is, he took his roommate's son to a hotel to get away from the "bad" environment that we new landlords created.

The mother then attempts suicide because everyone in the apartment is telling her the man is not her son's mentor but his molester.

And now... One of the son's friends mother,
has filed a complaint that the man inappropriately touch her child.

Our Court Date for Eviction is in 5 days... and I hope the judge just puts him the heck OUT!

Lease Addemdum
by: wayde

I have had the same problem with long term tenants with bad behavior.

I find nothing changes a low life tenant's actions or attitude.

Some I have let stay too long.

I too have added many terms onto my 15 page lease.

Joe send me your addendum and I will send you mine.

Reality of Land Lording
by: Bertha Beach

Joe, I found your story timely and humorous.

The picture of the tenant lying on the sidewalk put it over the top.

I have had 2 such cases. Fortunately for me I did not have to evict - they moved on their own. The last one had problem cats. He even left me the cats to take care of!

Lucky landlord!

When we are landlords we unfortunately have to deal with details of people's lives way outside the realm of providing housing.

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