During this challenging time, many landlords have fallen behind on their mortgage payments due to unpaid rent. Landlords must understand they cannot take matters into their own hands by making their tenants suffer by changing locks, shutting off the utilities, refusing repairs or any other method to keep the tenants from accessing or inhabiting the property. However, some landlords may want to consider this concept called “cash for keys.”
When a landlord, exchanging cash for house keys, the landlord generally will ask their tenant to vacate the property peacefully in exchange for an agreed-upon sum of money. Be mindful, cash for keys is separate from the tenant’s deposit. Just because they leave doesn’t mean they forfeit that deposit automatically. You are still required to process the deposit as you normally would, which is to do a formal move-out inspection and deduct for back rent, damages, and unpaid utilities. In most states, landlords are required send tenants a written, itemized list of all deductions and the remaining amount.
Before you get started, there are important legal steps a landlord should take into consideration. If you are a landlord that needs legal assistance with the proper legal documentation, contact Martin Law Group. We are providing free consultations for the month October.