Upwardly mobile hipster kids are eager to fork over a few thousand bucks for any modest studio in a trendy neighborhood. Do you own a building in one of those up-and-coming spots? Well aren’t you are a savvy speculator.
Unfortunately, you’re probably saddled with a handful of low-income or, even worse, rent-stabilized tenants. You need to get them out of there so you can double the rent for some graphic designer who just moved from Ohio! But, understandably, you don’t want to be mean about it.
Therefore, you have to avoid all the standard slumlording strategies. You can’t neglect maintenance and repairs. You can’t cut off the heat and hot water. You can’t send fake eviction notices. You can’t bribe them with pitiful buyouts that seem like a ton of money to a poor person. You definitely can’t threaten them.
So here are ten gentle strategies for motivating low-income tenants to move out so you can jack up the rent guilt-free while maintaining plausible deniability.
1. Frame your tenants for a victimless crime that carries a relatively light sentence at a minimum security prison. Insurance fraud or tax evasion would work.
2. Host a community-building backyard cookout. It won't be your fault when the s’mores campfire accidentally sweeps through the first-floor apartment (Bonus points for collecting insurance money and jacking up the rent).
3. Commence relentless doxxing campaign in which you share your tenant's home address and vital information.
4. Borrow your tenant's computer and stumble upon some shameful photos, texts or internet search results that inspire your tenant to change cities once they are shared online.
5. Play the long game: Begin dating your tenant. Encourage him/her to break their lease and move in with you. Cohabitate for roughly two months. Gradually lose interest in them. Retreat from their touch. Mysteriously fail to come home after a work party. Sit them down for an important talk later that week. Tell him/her it’s not working out.
6. Another long game: Find out where your tenant works. Research the company. Apply for a job in a supervisory role. Prepare for interview. Nail it. Get hired. Conduct quality review. Propose a cost-saving employee reduction plan. Receive praise from budget-conscious administration. Lay your tenant off. Expect them to pay rent despite reduced income.
7. Pump marijuana smoke through the radiator. Only a herb with no chill would complain. Your tenant would likely save face by quietly moving.
8. Be too nice.
9. It would be pretty messed up if some of those notorious “sewer alligators” crawled up through the pipes. Just saying.
10. Cut off the cold water.