California Eviction Process - Part 2: Cash For Keys

Cash for Keys - California EvictionThis is part 2 of our four part series entitled “California Eviction Process”. I will discuss a process known as Cash for keys which is the first of 5 possible outcomes when evicting a tenant in California.

Cash For Keys/Relocation Assistance – Outcome #1

This is your best outcome and we highly recommend it.  In this situation, simply approach the person(s) living in the home and ask them if they are willing to leave if you provide them with money to help them pay for relocation. When a tenant has to move, they are hit with moving expenses and deposits on the new rental. Many tenants do not have the money or are not willing to pay for relocation unless they absolutely must. Hopefully, you can reach an agreement to pay the occupant(s) to leave without having to go the eviction route.

Pay someone to move out?  Really?  Are we crazy?! No. This is what is going on in the market right now. You will be surprised, may tenants are expecting you to show up and make them such an offer. And yes, in most situations, this is a MUCH faster and cheaper way to get a house emptied than eviction. There are two huge “costs” that exist if you do not offer cash for keys; 1) legal costs, and 2) lost rental income.

Legal costs can easily eclipse a few thousand dollars and depending on where the property is, you will be losing another couple thousand per month in lost rental income. Negotiate well with the occupant(s) and hopefully you can come out ahead.

Cash for Key’s Negotiation Tips

  • Get an eviction started immediately with an attorney. They will begin having the proper notices posted, letting the occupant(s) know you are serious.
  • Explain to the occupant(s) the negatives of having an eviction on their record. They will be evicted, so they WILL be leaving the house eventually. If they do so with an eviction on their record, it will be VERY difficult to rent a new place.
  • Never make the first offer, try to get them to let you know how much they want to leave.
  • Tier your offer. Do not offer the full amount to have them move out in 30 days. Offer one amount for 30 days, a little more for 20 days and a little more for 10 days.
  • Draft a Relocation Agreement for the occupant(s) to sign. This agreement should be reviewed by an attorney and should contain at least the following information: date, location of property, legal names of all adults residing at said property, legal name of owner of said property, amount of money to be given, vacancy date, items the occupants CANNOT take with them, the condition the property must be left in, what the occupants should do with the keys, a release of liability, a release of all claims to the property, a release of all claims to any personal property left behind after the vacancy date.

Read the whole series on eviction:

*** is not affiliated with any law firms, we are not lawyers. Always consult an attorney prior to attempting to evict an occupant. Landlords and Occupants have rights, consult an attorney to ensure proper protocol is followed, laws are observed and no rights are infringed upon.***
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