Rent in some areas of southern California are among the highest in the nation, so tenants and landlords alike pay close attention to what’s going on when the economy suddenly hits a rough spot. It’s difficult to predict how widespread trouble paying the rent will be in many cases, but when a major local employer, like a factory or warehouse, lays off employees or shuts its doors, landlords should be ready to deal with tenants who can’t pay the rent.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re trying to remember how to handle these situations is that most of your tenants probably want to pay the rent but can’t. When you have good tenants who are having temporary problems, you may decide to work with them to help them catch up on their rents so they can remain in the mobile home.
As a landlord, you usually have the right to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. There are some exceptions to this, so be sure that you carefully evaluate each situation to determine what course of action is in your best interest. Consider the cost of finding a new tenant and the loss of rent you may experience before the mobile home is occupied again.
There are many options available for how you can work with your tenants during this time. Some landlords might waive rent for a month or more while others may offer discounts. You may also opt to split the missed payments up over several months once the tenant is back to work.
No matter what you decide to do about rent when tenants suddenly have trouble paying, put the plan in writing. This ensures that you and the tenants know the specific plan for handling things. It can also help you spot (and avoid) legal trouble from the beginning.