We have a lease with one of our tenants that is automatically renewable unless either party gives a 30 day written notice prior to the termination date of the lease. I gave this person a written 30 day notice of non-renewal of lease but he told me that if we wanted him out, we would have to take him to court.

My question is this: are we going to have to go through the eviction process or will he actually be trespassing when his lease is up? It seems to me that since we have terminated the landlord/tenant relationship by not renewing his lease and asking him to vacate that he will be trespassing.

This may not be an issue since he is habitually late with his rent payments and we have had to give him two separate Pay Rent or Quit Notices. Now that he knows his days are numbered, he’ll probably not pay May’s rent and force us to evict him. Just in case he fools me and pays the rent, through, I would like to know how to get him out…do we evict him or just call the sheriff?

Any help you all can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Not knowing where you’re at, you’ll most likely have to take him to court, and plead for the court to relieve you of the tenant in sufferance (sp?) If he’s current on his rent, it will be tough, because he is the tenant, he has physical possession of the property, and has paid for the use of it.

With proper notice… you might be able to get the Sherrif to serve him with an eviction notice, which would be cheaper than taking him to court? Then if he’s not out, the Sherrif could come back and force him out? That might work.

Yes, Tenants do have rights, no matter how frustrating they may make you, as the property owner/landlord/property manager.

Good Luck!


Thanks kbrandau for responding.

We live in Ohio. The reason we want him out is that he has never paid his rent on time or in one lump sum. He has decided that regardless of what he agreed to do when he signed the lease, he’ll pay the rent whenever he fells like it.

I realize he has rights but we also have rights. If we don’t have a right to not renew his lease because he has not lived up the the terms he agreed to then what is the point of having a lease…it’s meaningless.

Please ensure your rent rolls are up to date, and I would file a complaint with the courts to have him evicted, it should only cost about $65-$100 for the courts, and plead for the courts assistance in relieving you of this tenant, and show the timeline of late payments of rent, and copies of all documentation that is between you and the tenant.

If he’s paid his rent late historically, and has failed to vacate after serving him with notice, the courts should be simpathetics to your cause, but I’ll tell you that the tenants rights stand at a higher level than the owner’s rights.

I’m on your side, because I’ve lived it, but the court may give the tenant a reasonable amount of time to locate suitable housing. But won’t get a good reference from you as the last landloard…

People just don’t think about the chain reaction of what happens to them when they just don’t want to play by the rules…

I know of one landlord that takes their doors off (so he can change the locks) becuase they were late with their rent. They get the message rather quickly.

Good Luck!


We have all the carbon copies of his rent receipts showing his pattern. We also have copies of the two Pay Rent or Quit notices we gave him so I think we are ok on the documentation.

I’d love to take the doors off but I know if I did and the courts ever found out, I’d be stuck with this guy for the rest of my natural life so I’ll have to practice restraint eventhough this is a guy who took his girlfriend to Hawaii but couldn’t “afford” to pay his rent.

Let me give you some solid advice from a guy who has landlorded for 8 yrs and had to deal with a few hardball tenants

First, you can forget about EVER getting another dime from this guy.

Second, I bet this is not the first time he has done this and probably knows the ropes of how to play things along. He will work you over.

As such, you need to IMMEDIATELY serve him with a Pay or Quit and then follow it up by hiring a lawyer or an eviction firm right away. This is not a do-it-yourself job; it will probably cost you $200-$500 ( I pay $400 in Calif. for this service). Sound expensive? Then how about having hime live your house for 3-6 months rent-free. I don’t know the laws in Ohio, but if he works it and you make mistakes, this could happen. Getting professional help probably means you can have him out of there in 30 days or less.

Best of luck

I actually hope you’re right about not ever getting another dime from him…I know that sounds strange but taking a hit of 1 month’s rent would be worth it just to get rid of him…from what I’m hearing, the courts take not paying rent much more seriously than anything else and when I get into court, I’d like to say that from the time of the Pay or Quit notice until the court date, he has not paid any rent.

We have given him two Pay or Quit notices already but wouldn’t you know, despite all his excuses and all his problems, on the 3rd day, a miracle occurred and suddenly, like a gift from God, he had the rent (in it’s entirety).

There’s no doubt that this guy is a deadbeat and if he does know how to play the system, and if a non-renewal of lease notice doesn’t carry any weight with the courts, I’m afraid that we will have to continue playing this game…we give him another Pay or Quit notice another miracle occurs and he pays the rent and then we’ll continue to be stuck with him.

That’s why I’d like to know for sure whether we have the right to not renew his lease and get him out. I’ve called 3 different attorneys and left my question with their paralegals but not one has returned my call. It looks like I’m going to have to make an appointment and pay an attorney $100 or so for 10 minutes just to get them to answer my question…we have given him his 30 day non-renewal of lease notice. Can we get him out and if so, do we have to evict him or is he trespassing and can we simply call the sheriff and have him carted away (what a beautiful thought!).

The fact that he has a bad payment reacord has little or no bearing on the current situation. BY paying the back rent, he has reset the clock.

I assume rent is due on the 1st. I would issue a Pay or quit immediately. This is the frist step to evicting a tenant. You should probably wait until the end of the month to proceed to step two.

You have every right to end the tenacy with 30 day notice if he is month to month. However, if he is a “hold-over”, in most places it is not a matter of calling the sheriff and having him hauled out. I don’t know your states laws but I would be very surprised. You almost certainly have to have a court judgement to have him physically and forcibly removed.

Before you spend money on an attorney, go to your state’s site and search around in a department of consumer affairs (or something similar). I bet there is some basic info explain landlord and tenants rights (state of Calif has this in great detail). Here’s one example I found in less than 60sec searching ohio evictions on the web…

Don’t pay a lawyer to recit info that can be found for free web. You want to pay a lawyer to actually do something for you (like file an eviction lawsuit).

i have some advise that most people wont agree with but i know first hand that it works. PAY HIM OFF. i had the same problem with one of my tennants and i offered him $500 to get out and he took it and ran. this was after him not paying me for 3 months and about $400 in costs. but the fip side to that is a looooong process with more months of non-payment and fees. get him out asap even if you have to pay.

I have heard a lot of people use the pay-off technqiue and having good success. there is definately some practicality to that method.

What worries me is the tenant has already stated he is going to want to be forceably removed. I suspect he is going to try and “milk” the landlord for as many months of free rent as possible, but the “here’s some cash-get-the heck out” method
is certainly something to try before spend more $$ on legal fees.

good luck let us all know how it works out.

There’s a bit of a new wrinkle in the situation…Saturday, we received a letter from our township’s zoning board saying we had 14 days to remove all unlicensed vehicles from our property or they would take us to court. Of course, these vehicles belong to our tenant and, once again, he has breached the rental agreement by having these vehicles parked on our property. We gave him a letter Saturday telling him he would have to remove these vehicles or face legal action. Today, we gave him his 3rd and (I hope) final Pay or Quit notice. We’ll see what happens next…