To pay or not to pay

I’m torn here. I’ve seen in several posts that landlords have paid bad tenants to vacate the property in good, clean condition rather than go thru the cost and hassle of an eviction. But I also see property manager say “that is a terrible idea!”. I can see both sides, but I never had to evict in my previous “landlordship”, but being that I am again looking to own income property I wonder…
What are your thoughts? Good or bad idea? Why?

Those who say it’s a bad idea have more than likely been burned in the past doing it. Others may rent primarily to section 8, or like, who 99.9% of the time (in my area anyway) just don’t have the capacity to leave it clean.

I would say that any landlord would need to decide based on a case by case situation whether or not to take that risk. Are you a gambling kind of person?

If you’re paying, why not just pay a lawyer.

Think of the tenant as a child, what are you teaching them. Don’t pay a deadbeat a penny, don’t even consider selling yourself to these people. No offense, but if you pay them I hope they take the money and stay.

I don’t do too many evictions, but in almost all cases, when I have to ask tenants to leave, it;s done on very friendly terms. I helped pay some guys moving expenses, or forgave some rent. In the case of an undercover cop, I let a few months rent slide.

My dad’s from the old country, and he’s got the “take no prisoner’s approach”. he nails them to the wall, a philosophy similar to “property manager”

One guy he threw out was so upset he broke all of the electric sockets, ripped some out of the walls, and poured cement down the drain pipes.

I don’t have to tell you how much it cost to repair, and time the unit is out of service.

I never had anyone doing this to me. In fact, the one guy I evicted, and owed me six months rent starting paying me $50/week to clear his balance with me, after filing banckruptcy, two years later. He thanked me or standing by him during a difficult time in his life when all others deserted him and called him a liar and thief.

Frank Chin,

I wish the world worked the you mentioned Frank. Hopefully it works that way for you, but unfortunitely that method of landlording would not last for even a minute where I invest. In a perfect world your style would be great.


Landlording has nothing to do with relationships, personal hardship stories, or standing by tenants. I wish it did, but it doesn’t. You provide a quality place to live, fix things when they break, and in return they pay rent. They either have the money or they don’t.


If someone came to your house and robbed you at gunpoint, would you agree to pay them some extra money so that they wouldn’t rob you again? That’s all you’re doing when you pay a deadbeat tenant to leave. You’re paying them to steal from you and every other tenant you have will expect the same.


It’s the same thing as settling a lawsuit instead of fighting it in court. Sometimes it’s just cheaper to pay to make it go away. I encourage tenants to leave without court in some situations. It can be cheaper than a few months of no rent. It all depends on the situation. Do what is best for you.

We don’t settle lawsuits either. We AGGRESSIVELY fight all attempted lawsuits. Giving in to one tenant and their lowlife, scumbag contingency lawyer when you have a large rental portfolio just means that you’ll have a BUNCH of tenants wanting to win the landlord lottery! No thanks!


It’s interesting to see both sides of this. I remember signing a lease on an apartment a long time ago and looking over all the legal terms. They pretty much owned me if I didn’t pay. I wondered why they were so agressive. Then it hit me that they must have had to deal with so many deadbeats as a company. (Hey, I paid my rent on time :biggrin) As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that it is all too common for folks to not pay.

I’m with propertymanager and the rest. I feel like if you haven’t been paying you’ve been stealing from me. I’m not going to give you any more money than you’ve already taken. I guess it’s part of my personality to be “cold” (read - it’s just business, MY business) when needed.

This was good dialogue to see the different sides. I can respect both sides, but I just can’t see paying someone to leave. But hey, if it works for you…

I will say that old “cement down the drain” thing does sound a bit scary, not to mention expensive.

Sorry paying someone to leave makes no cents to me why would you reward someone that is steeling from you
Have you ever noticed that they tell you they do not have the rent with a beer in one hand and a cig in the other hand and a tee shirt from a strip club on? And they cannot understand why they have no money :banghead

I like to be a little careful about what I am paying forward.

If a bad tenant is paid cash for being a miserable lying cheating booger, then he is being trained to extort from future landlords.

Not only that, but he tells all his friends about how they can get free rent for a month or two and leave with all their deposit and extra cash besides.

It’s better for landlords, as a collective group, if what happens to deadbeats is they get kicked out quick and have their stuff tossed out on the curb, and a black mark put onto their credit report to warn future landlords.