I have a tenant who has been consistently late with the rent from the beginning, (sometimes by up to a full month) even prior to covid. I cut the rent in half for four months and it is gradually going back up to the full amount. She is now two months behind and unemployed, she says due to covid. She claims that she has applied for rental assistance but hasn’t offered any proof (I’ve asked). If she gets it, the state will pay me directly for up to six months, ending in January. The lease expires in November. She is a single mother and is now pregnant again. The state has a “no eviction for non-payment of rent” order in place. My question is, am I obligated under a no eviction order to re-new the lease? Technically, I am not evicting, simply not re-newing as she would no longer meet the minimum income requirements for a new tenant. Does a landlord even have give a reason for not re-newing? I’ve never wanted to do it before.
I’ve posted about this tenant (making more with subsidies than when she was working and still being late with greatly reduced rent) before and pretty much got blasted for being a heartless ogre. The situation has bad news written all over it. She keeps the place like pig sty, caused plumbing problems by flushing stuff, etc. and I really don’t want to rent to her any longer and would not be renewing, in any case. I’m guessing a court would say that this is an eviction by another name, if it came down to it.
Ogre or not, am I legally obligated to re-new? The current lease says one year with month-to-month after that, if both parties agree.
The worst case is that she doesn’t get the aid and gets to squat until the state lifts the order. I’d evict and she’d still owe the back rent but the chances of ever seeing that are zero. Best case is that she gets the aid and finds a new job or gets re-hired at a sufficient wage before the aid runs out and everything is honky dory. I’m really hoping that’s how it goes but I just don’t see it.
I get the feeling that landlords are viewed as cash hungry monsters but I have exactly one unit and bills to pay like everyone else. There are no PPP programs or stimulus money or tax breaks for me. How long would you pay for someone else’s housing?