If you are a landlord, one of your worst nightmares is probably dealing with problematic tenants. There seem to be some people who always cause a fuss, and with whom everything is a hassle. If you ask landlords, they will prefer quiet tenants who never cause problems and always pay on time. Sadly, that’s just not a reality, and you are bound to have many different experiences. Let’s take a look at a few practical tips for landlords dealing with difficult tenants.
Losing your temper will not help, and neither will raising your voice. Watch what you say and never threaten your tenants. You can remind them of their legal obligations, but do so in a calm manner. If you start getting angry, you might enter a heated debate and cause problems for yourself when you are not thinking clearly. Most of the common mistakes that landlords make can easily be avoided if you keep a cool head.
Try to solve disputes before they escalate
One of the best practical tips for landlords dealing with difficult tenants is to solve any issues immediately. Do not wait for things to escalate. You can threaten to pursue legal action and file a lawsuit. However, that can be a slow and challenging process. You are much better off solving minor issues as they come up rather than turning to lawyers and courts to solve your disputes.
How to recognize problematic tenants
Your best course of action is to try to avoid difficult tenants in the first place. Try to find a suitable tenant by going through a screening process. Instead of going with your gut, you should make an informed decision once you have some information on the future tenant. By having tenants who don’t cause any issues and always pay rent on time, you will save yourself a lot of stress in the long run.
Have airtight paperwork
Paperwork and checklists are there for a reason. You can hire someone to help you compose the forms you need and make sure the lease is airtight. Once you have all your bases covered by proper paperwork, you will have strong evidence to back your case if any problems do arise. Make sure your tenants sign all the forms and inform them of their legal obligations.
Remind tenants of the move out inspection
Your tenants will be required to return your property to the state it was in when they first rented it. Even if it’s their obligation to do so, some people still need a nudge. Remind the tenants that the move-out inspection will happen, and they need to have your property in good condition.
When doing regular inspections, you should remind them that they need to fix things around the home. Don’t have them wait until the last minute to start getting the place in shape. Avoid problems by getting your tenants to do repairs on time.
Dealing with late rent
Although some landlords charge tenants below market value and should probably do a rental analysis, even they will tell you they’ve run into tenants who are late with rent. Basically, this has nothing to do with how much you are charging them; some tenants will occasionally be late. You shouldn’t have to rely on tenant promises that they will pay the rent on time. Talking to them might yield results, but there is no guarantee that things will change.
You could enforce your legal option and file for an eviction, but perhaps they are just a few days late every month. Eviction can seem like a very harsh option, so you might be looking for some other ways for landlords to deal with difficult tenants. We recommend that you hire a property management company to deal with the tenants for you. The management company can collect rent for you, saving your nerves and your time.
Begin the eviction process
If things have gone too far and you don’t want to deal with the problematic tenants anymore, you can start an eviction. Remember that you need a valid reason for this step. Here are the situations in which you can file for eviction:
- The tenants are not paying rent. Failure to pay the rent is the most common cause of evictions in the US.
- Not moving out after the lease is over. Once the lease expires, the people living on your property are no longer tenants; they become squatters.
- Violation of the terms of the lease. This can include anything from damaging the property to illegal activities on the premises.
Keep in mind that laws regarding evictions in California have changed to extend the eviction moratorium. We recommend trying to find alternative ways to settle disputes with tenants.
Help your tenants move out
Yes, you read that one correctly. Problematic tenants might not like living on the property, so you can try to come to an understanding. If they choose to move out, you can help them out and ensure everything goes smoothly, for your sake. Although it’s the tenant’s obligation to move, you can find professional movers and a reliable crew you can work with. Reliable movers won’t damage your property or any of your belongings. Make sure you are present for the day of the move to oversee how things are going. Don’t let problematic tenants take their frustrations out on your property or damage the furniture as they are exiting. Just let the professional movers handle everything while you sit back with poise, avoiding any confrontation.
No one wants to deal with problematic tenants, but from time to time, every landlord will have an unpleasant experience with a tenant. We’ve given you some practical tips for landlords dealing with difficult tenants, and as you can see, many of them rely on remaining calm and involving other professionals. If you have particularly nasty tenants with whom you don’t want to deal yourself, you can hire property management to deal with them for you. Don’t let difficult tenants get in your head. Some people are not worth losing sleep over.
Article courtesy of: Betty White