Cash for Keys is when a property investor provides a cash incentive for an existing tenant to move out on an agreed upon date. The exact amount of money offered varies, but it is typically enough to cover the cost of moving and deposit for a new place.
Property investors may choose to offer Cash for Keys in order to provide existing tenants with a way to move on. Typically, when a tenant is disgruntled and doesn't pay rent on time or any longer, the landlord has to decide if they want to go through the eviction process or do something else.
In most states, landlords cannot harass tenants and have to abide by the laws set to protect both tenants and landlords. Cash for Keys is an alternative that can be less costly and faster than a legal eviction.
If you're thinking about offering Cash for Keys, make sure you understand the local law and that it's legal to do so. Typically, an attorney can help landlords draft a Cash for Keys agreement that includes provisions where tenants affirm that they'll give up possession of the property and that they'll waive their right to trial.