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Say, for example, you have a tenant who’s lived in your rental property for three years. He’s never been late on rent. Then, suddenly, he’s two months behind. You assume the worst and start thinking about eviction. Instead of talking to him, you serve him a notice.

Now, take the same scenario and stop before serving your tenant. Call him on the phone. He says he’d lost his job but just got a new one, apologizes for being late on the rent, and asks if he can have a few months to make up on back pay. You say yes, get paid your full due, and you never involved the courts in the first place.

Granted, this is a pretty rosy scenario. But the fact is, many landlord/tenant disputes are due to misunderstandings. Try a phone call or involve a mediator. Mediators are professional negotiators and they can help both parties reach an amicable resolution. Sometimes, mediations end up with the tenant moving out anyhow. The process is far less hostile than a court proceeding and, if it fails, you always have redress through the normal eviction process.

There’s nothing to lose by trying to solve the problem yourself or with a mediator. But there’s a lot to gain.

Remember, there are only a handful of reasons to evict a tenant. And, as we mentioned, if mediation doesn’t work, you can always start the eviction process with an eviction notice. 

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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