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Can Tenants Be Evicted for Becoming Unemployed?

For landlords, making sure that tenants can pay the rent is essential. However, what happens when a tenant who was qualified when he or she rented the apartment and has a reliable record of paying on time suddenly becomes unemployed? Many landlords in this situation wonder if they can—and should—evict the tenant. If you’re facing this situation, your property management company can be an enormous help in navigating the choices you have to make to protect your interests without violating tenant-landlord laws. Here is what you need to know.

Pre-emptive evictions are generally not allowed.

Typically, evicting someone because you think they may struggle to pay the rent is not legally acceptable. If you evict a tenant in this situation, the courts will likely not honor the eviction, and you run the risk of facing fines for forcing a tenant out of your property illegally. If you have a month-to-month lease, you may be able to exercise your option to not renew the lease any more, but longer term leases generally do not allow you to evict in this case, unless there is a specific provision that says you can.

Unemployed tenants may still be able to pay the rent.

Finding out that your tenant has become unemployed is not the same thing as finding out that he or she can’t pay rent. Tenants may have other sources of income or savings that allow them to pay their living costs, even without a job. If your tenant has a good track record of paying on time, attempting to evict him or her because of unexpected unemployment could backfire, as you could be running off a quality tenant who had the means to pay anyway.

Your property management company should be involved.

It is better for you and your tenant to let your property management company handle any communication about post-unemployment evictions. The property management company will ensure that you follow the complex laws regarding eviction and tenants’ rights and help you make the right decision, based on the tenant’s situation.

Let MRS Property Management takes care of the tenant screening, rent collection, and maintenance process for landlords, so you can focus on running your business. Find out how our property management company in Beverly, MA, can help by calling (978) 578-2793.

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