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What to Do When Your Tenant Loses their Job: Tips for Landlords in Richmond, VA

System - Monday, February 22, 2016

When tenants lose a job, there’s a strong possibility that they will not be able to continue paying rent. As a landlord in Richmond, you need to know how you are going to make sure things work out if this happens in one of your properties.

Proactive Communication

Good communication is important. Many times, you’ll be the last person to know that your tenant lost their job. You or your property manager must be responsible for communicating with the tenants. When you notice that payments are coming in late or periodic inspections are showing you a difference in how the property is maintained, you might realize that something has changed. Things happen quickly and you might not know that a job has been lost. Communicate openly so you know what’s really going on.

Landlord-Tenant Law and eviction notice on a desk.

Payment Arrangements

Decide how much latitude you will be willing to give that tenant. Once you know they have lost a job, you can offer them a payment plan on what is owed or you can provide a timeframe that ensures you get the rent paid. If you don’t want to do this, you can go directly to the legal process that will get them out and a paying tenant in. This decision depends on your situation and the agreement that you and your property manager establish.

Legal Options

Understand what legal processes are available. It’s never pleasant to lose a job and landlords don’t like to evict people who are struggling, but it’s important for you to move quickly and help your tenants understand that they will have to move if they can’t pay their rent. This is always upsetting and it’s always hard to do, but your job and your property manager’s job is to protect your bottom line and your rental income.

Provide your tenants with a deadline so they understand at what point that legal process will start. They need to make arrangements.


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