cash for keys

After 8 years in the business, we’ve run into just about every kind of problem a landlord can face. From leaky pipes to bad tenants, you name it. And then, there’s the squatter situation. A tricky problem, indeed. Thankfully, there’s a quick solution to dealing with this issue – it’s called cash for keys. Landlords can create a cash for keys agreement to coarse an unruly tenant to get out of their property. While it stings at the moment to pay money upfront, it can save you thousands of dollars later in legal fees. Not to mention, making a cash for keys arrangement can save you months of stress.

When dealing with unwanted occupants in your property, consider making a cash for keys agreement to bring the terrible situation to an end and get your house back.


What is Cash for Keys

Now, the name ‘cash for keys‘ might sound a bit cloak-and-dagger, but it’s pretty straightforward. Basically, it’s a deal between a landlord (you) and an unauthorized occupant, a.k.a the squatter. The essence of this agreement is you offer them a certain amount of money in exchange for them leaving the property willingly and turning over the keys to you, no fuss, no muss.

Yes, you heard it right. Sadly, you’re paying them to leave your property. It sounds counter-intuitive at first, but believe me, sometimes it’s the easiest, quickest, and most hassle-free solution to get back control of your property.

How Much Cash Should I Pay for the Keys

Are you deciding how much you should pay for the keys to your own home? It’s time to bite the bullet and decide what you’re willing to pay to get your property back. The cash for keys strategy isn’t always cheap, but it’s effective.

Real-Life Example of Cash for Keys – SD House Guys purchased a home years ago. We buy houses for cash in San Diego, California, which made us used to handling money in our real estate transactions. Unfortunately, it was occupied by a squatter who had made himself quite at home. Now, getting agitated or storming in with the law on my side would have only complicated things. So, I decided to opt for a cash for keys agreement.

I approached the gentleman, let’s call him Ralph, with an air of civility and explained the situation. I offered him a cool $1,500 to pack up and leave the property within a week. Now, Ralph wasn’t particularly thrilled with the idea, but he saw the sense in it. We negotiated a bit, and I agreed to bump up the offer to $2,250 if he would leave the house in good condition, clean, and damage-free.

Ralph agreed, we signed a written agreement, and true to his word, he moved out within the week, leaving the house just as I’d asked. I handed over the $2,250, he gave me the keys, and just like that, I had my property back. He took the money and moved into a mobile home nearby. It might sound like a hefty price to pay, but in comparison to the potential legal fees and the time an eviction process might have taken, it was money well spent!


Is a Cash for Keys Agreement Legal?

cash for keys agreement

Many landlords wonder if a cash for keys agreement is legal. I assure you, it is. Cash for keys is a legal and commonly used strategy in real estate. You’re not bribing the squatter. Instead, you’re incentivizing them to vacate voluntarily. However, like any agreement, it’s important to have everything documented, and it may be wise to seek advice from a lawyer just to make sure all your bases are covered.


How to Make a Cash for Keys Agreement?

Crafting a cash for keys agreement is not rocket science, but you have to get it right. First, approach the occupant calmly and explain the situation and your offer. If they agree, then get everything in writing. This should include the amount you’re offering, the condition in which the property should be left, and the date by which they need to leave.

It’s also smart to include that they waive any rights or claims to the property once they hand over the keys. And remember, everything is negotiable. Expect a counteroffer during the negotiation with the squatter. Be prepared to be flexible with the amount you’re offering and the time frame for vacating.

When making a cash for keys agreement, don’t forget these essential items:

  • Initial cash offer
  • Highest cash offer
  • Date they will vacate the property
  • Next steps if they don’t vacate by the chosen date
  • Condition the property should be left in
  • What to do about any leftover belongings

Keep all these bullet points as arrows in the quiver of your cash for keys agreement. Convey each of these details to the occupant in writing and document when you do. This holds them accountable. If the agreement guidelines aren’t met, use your documented efforts as firepower when evicting them through the court system legally.


Does Cash for Keys Work?

While a cash for keys agreement sounds easy on paper, landlords question it’s effectiveness. In my experience, yes, it does, in most cases. I’ve seen it first-hand. Offering a carrot instead of a stick tends to be a quicker, less stressful resolution for both parties involved.

However, safety is an important factor to consider when consulting for your keys with cash in hand. Unruly occupants can be aggressive and sometimes violent. Be aware of your surroundings and never put yourself into a potentially dangerous situation. The keys aren’t worth getting hurt.


Cash for Keys vs Eviction

cash for keys squatter

Remember, eviction can be a long, drawn-out process that costs you time and money. A well-handled cash for keys agreement, on the other hand, can turn a potentially nasty squatter situation into a resolved issue, fast. It’s not always the answer, but when it works, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

In the realm of property management, choosing cash for keys over traditional eviction proceedings can be a game-changer. A streamlined approach, it delivers a triple-threat of benefits: saving time, reducing expenses, and alleviating the burden of stress. Instead of trudging through the mire of legal complexities associated with eviction—an endeavor both costly and time-consuming—, landlords can secure a voluntary departure from the occupant.

With the simple allure of a financial incentive, the tenant is encouraged to leave promptly and peaceably. Avoiding stressful situations like this is key to being a landlord full-time! This method also decreases the risk of property damage, often an unfortunate consequence of contentious evictions. The faster you can get them out through a cash for keys agreement, the better. This strategy is a viable solution for landlords keen on reclaiming their property without the animosity and protracted turmoil often associated with the eviction process.

Save Your Property with a Cash for Keys Agreement

To wrap up, cash for keys might not be traditional, but then again, dealing with unwanted occupants in your property is hardly a traditional landlord issue. With a little patience, negotiation skills, and legal advice, cash for keys can turn a headache into a manageable solution. Next time you find yourself dealing with unwanted occupants, remember, there’s always an option worth considering.

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