Should You Try to Make it Easy for the Tenant to Leave Voluntarily?

Sometimes you can offer to alter a tenant’s lease so it expires sooner. The tenant may be happy to go along with this alternative if they know you have grounds to win an eviction and you give them time to find another home.

This technique is especially effective in the case of tenants conducting illegal activities on your property—if they know you can prove it. If you have been managing your property according to the law and you have evidence of a tenant’s illegal conduct, the tenant may be willing to settle out of court by agreeing to move out.

You should not use this technique unless you have sufficient evidence. You may want to write the tenant a letter stating that you have reason to believe that they are engaged in illegal conduct on the premises in violation of the lease. In the same letter, you may offer to release the tenant from the terms of the lease if they agree to leave.

If the tenant will not leave, proceed with eviction procedures as soon as possible. But, you may not lock out the tenant or forcibly remove them.

Be careful about accepting rent when you know a tenant is behaving illegally. The court may determine that you renewed the tenancy and you may jeopardize the success of your eviction proceeding. Check your local statute and case law.