Q: We have a monthly tenant in a house we decided to sell. We have her first chance, but she could not qualify for financing. We found a new buyer and gave our tenant 30 days' notice to move out because the buyers want to move in. We are a few days from closing, and our tenant is not packing and does not seem to have any intention to leave. What can we do? — Violet
A: Since your tenant is on a month to month lease, you provided more than the required 15-day notice you are not renewing the lease for another month.
This terminates the monthly lease allowing you to file an eviction lawsuit to have the tenant removed.
Be careful not to accept more rent after termination because doing so will start a new lease, and you will have to begin the cycle again.
While filing an eviction suit eventually will get your tenant out, it may not occur for several weeks. A landlord may not force their tenant out by, for example, cutting power or changing the locks, and must wait for the lawsuit to take its course.
I have found that many people jump right to a dispute and skip over potentially easier solutions. Once you discover what your tenant’s hold-up is, try to address it. If the problem is not finding a new rental, help her look.
If she needs help with moving expenses or the extra expense of starting a new lease, writing your tenant a check may be quicker and less expensive than writing one to your attorney or paying the mortgage while finding a new buyer.
Just be sure to get the arrangement signed and not give her all the funds until she is out of the house.