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Cash for Keys – Is It the Best Eviction Alternative?

Property Management and Tenant Placement

Cash for Keys – Is It the Best Eviction Alternative?

cash for keys

Are you searching for information on cash for keys and wondering if it’s the best eviction alternative? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will break down cash for keys and offer you tips on how to move forward with utilizing this eviction alternative.

What Is Cash for Keys?

Cash for keys is an eviction alternative that landlords in Portland, and across the United States, have been using for years.

The basics behind cash for keys is simple; the landlord offers the tenant a lump sum of cash if they’re willing to move out by a certain date

Once the tenant moves out, the landlord checks the rental property to confirm that the tenant has indeed moved all their belongings and then they pay them cash for the move-out, and in some cases, the landlord also pays for their moving costs as well.

Although cash for keys is sometimes controversial, the reality is that this eviction alternative can save a landlord thousands of dollars and the hassle of having to go through a long, dragged-out process, of having to evict a tenant from their rental property.

Although it only costs just $88 to evict a tenant in Portland OR, the reality is that evictions can drag on for a very long period, and prove to be costly because, tenants in the state of Oregon have rights that must be respected, and the landlord must not deny the tenant their rights while the eviction process is played out in court.

How Does Cash for Keys Work?

To have a successful cash for keys transaction with a tenant, the landlord first must determine what the right amount is to pay them based on the unit or property where that tenant currently lives.

In some cases, a landlord may be able to negotiate cash for keys deal with a tenant and walk away with only paying them $500 but, depending upon the rental property, the landlord may have to increase the amount of cash that they’re willing to pay the tenant to entice them to move out.

When To Start a Cash for Keys Agreement

Once a tenant agrees to cash for a keys cash-for-keys deal, the best time to move forward is immediately after the tenant and landlord have a verbal agreement.

Besides being a basic transaction, the tenant must also agree to the following points:

The Rental Property Must Be Cleaned and In Move-In Ready Condition – This is an essential part of any cash for keys agreement because, once the tenant moves out, the landlord should be able to enter the rental property and repair any damages, or make improvements to the property quickly and easily.

To ensure that the property is cleaned and moved in ready condition, every landlord should take pictures and video of their rental property before a tenant moves in because, once the tenant moves out, the landlord can easily compare the condition of the property at the move in, to the shape that the tenant left the property when they moved out, to determine if the tenant met their obligation to leave the property and move in ready condition.

Give The Tenant A Day and Time That They Need to Be Moved Out – Besides leaving the property in move-in-ready condition, the landlord must also provide the tenant with a specific day and time that they must be moved out of the property.

This is important because tenants who don’t have a deadline will take their time moving out, and there’s no point in a cash for keys agreement if that tenant doesn’t have a sense of urgency to be moved out of the property by a specific date.

Most landlords typically give tenants four days to be moved out of a rental property in a typical cash for keys agreement. This gives the tenant ample time to find a replacement property, or storage facility in the area to store their belongings, then rent a U-Haul, and remove those belongings from the property.

Inspect The Property – Once the day arrives that the tenant is supposed to be moved out of the property, the landlord should meet them to inspect the property, just to confirm that they’ve met their obligation to leave the property in move-in-ready condition.

Ideally, a landlord should have somebody accompany them during this inspection, just to ensure that they are protected in case the tenant can be classified as ‘disgruntled’ or possibly unscrupulous.

After inspecting the property, if the landlord confirms that the tenant has left it in move-in-ready condition, and kept their part of the bargain, the tenant must be required to sign an agreement stating that they relinquish their tenancy at the property, just in case they later claim that they didn’t move out when the landlord changes the locks.

Change The Locks Immediately – Last of all, but most important, after the tenant has signed the agreement, and they were paid the cash for moving out, the landlord must change the locks immediately to ensure that the tenant cannot easily re-enter the property after they’ve been officially moved out.

If the tenant paid a security deposit when they moved in, the landlord may still deduct past due rent or repairs, but, they are required by law to itemize those deductions and pay the remaining balance of the security deposit to the tenant within a timely manner.

Cash For Keys Eliminates Headaches

Let’s face it, no landlord likes to evict a tenant, especially if they’ve been renting from that landlord for any length of time but, cash for keys is a viable solution that solves a problem and frees the rental property, or unit within a multifamily property so that that rental can start producing cash flow once again.

Across the United States, landlords who choose cash for keys over eviction have reported that it leads to better move-outs because tenants are motivated to leave the property in move-in-ready condition because they don’t want to jeopardize losing that cash that they were promised by the landlord.

Ultimately, landlords must determine the right amount of money for the cash for keys agreement by thinking about the income that the property generates and factoring in how much money they would spend in a drawn-out eviction process, versus paying the tenant cash to move out.

Contact Rent Portland Homes – Professionals

At Rent Portland Homes – Professionals, we specialize in local property management for the Portland, OR area.

Besides rent collection, maintenance, property marketing, and tenant placement, we also specialize in evictions, saving owners the time, money, and hassle of having to be involved in all the complicated day-to-day operations of property management themselves.

To learn more about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by calling (503) 447-7735 or clicking here to connect with us online.