Property Management Blog

How to Cope with Tenants Losing Their Jobs

PMI Signature - Thursday, May 4, 2017

As a rental property owner and landlord, there are a number of factors that you have to be concerned with. Besides collecting rents, maintaining the property, and responding to tenant complaints, there are other concerns such as what you need to do if a tenant loses their job.  

When a situation like this arises, there is an increased possibility that they will start having difficulties paying the rent on time, if they are able to pay it at all.  

Here are some things to consider if this happens to you.

Communicate with the Tenant Proactively

No matter what type of business you own, good communication is essential.  In most cases, you will probably be the last one to learn that a tenant has lost their job.  You or your property management company must keep the lines of communication open with the tenant.  Rent payments that start lagging behind month after month or seeing that the property is not being maintained well are good indicators that something is wrong.  So maintain open communications with your tenant. They are equally worried about paying on time and just being a little lenient can go a long way.

Discuss Payment Arrangements

If you’re willing to work with the tenant, determine how much latitude you are willing to give them.  Once you find out they are no longer employed, you might want to discuss some type of payment plan and timeframe with them so they know what you expect of them.  If this is not something you want to consider, then maybe your best option is to start the legal process (see below).  One way or the other, this decision will depend on your circumstances and any agreement that has been established between you and your property management company.

What are Your Legal Options?

Be aware of the legal options or processes that are available.  On one hand, losing a job is an unfortunate experience.  On the other hand, landlords don’t enjoy the thought of having to evict someone.  However, you still need to act on this immediately and explain to the tenant that they will have to move out if they are unable to pay rent.  Naturally, this is going to be difficult for most landlords to contend with and it will be just as upsetting for tenant if not more so.

As the owner of your own property, this is one of those challenges that you or a property management company may have to deal with.  However, you or the company that is managing your property is responsible for protecting you monthly rental income as well as your bottom line.  Start by informing the tenant what their deadline is before the legal process starts and let them know that they will need to make arrangements for moving out.  You may want to discuss your options with an attorney as well.

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