When becoming a new landlord there are many things you will learn as you go but one thing you want to try to avoid is having to deal with problem tenants. Having a good system of choosing your tenants will help to minimize the chances of getting a bad tenant. Even with the most rigorous screening though, you can still end up with a tenant you do not really want.
Common Problems with Tenants
Here are some common problems you could run into with your tenants:
- Noise complaints
- Late rent
- Unauthorized roommates
- Unauthorized pets
- Destroying property
These issues happen often so any landlord is bound to run into one of these at least once throughout their career in real estate. One key rule to go by is to always stay professional, communicate clearly, and take necessary actions to maintain a safe and profitable rental property.
How to Handle Tenant Problems
Here are the steps you can take to help deal with these issues when they arise:
1. Know the laws
Every state has different policies and laws. In order to be able to deal with any issues you are going to want to know the unique laws of landlord rights and responsibilities, tenant rights, and a basic understanding of notices and eviction procedures, if needed.
2. Create your own set of policies and procedures
This is one of the most important steps in the process of dealing with difficult tenants. Write a document of your policies and procedures for handling a tenant problem or complaint, including warnings, forms of communication, notices, and when to escalate the issue. Your lease agreement should detail what tenants can and can’t do at your property, amount of rent and when it is due so that a tenant or yourself can always refer to it. This will help mitigate a tenant not knowing what the rules are. Consult with an attorney for this problem to ensure you are legally covering all the bases. Every situation is going to be different but having a set plan will help guide you through each problem.
3. Don’t make it personal, but be understanding
It is unavoidable that a tenant is not going to pay rent on time or break a rule. Don’t let yourself get caught up in it. Be understanding, but above all, be firm with your tenants when it comes to sticking to your policies. Late payments are serious and can affect how your business is running. At the same time, treat your tenant how you would want to be treated. Hear them out in regard to any issue they are having and try to come up with a plan to prevent it from happening again. If the problem is reoccurring, maybe they are not the right tenants for your property and take the measures needed to keep your business running smoothly.
Dealing with problem tenants is a challenge. Emotions can run high and a small issue can turn into a big one quickly. It is inevitable that not every tenant is going to be perfect. With any problem, try to take action and come to a resolution as soon as it arises. Be firm, level-headed and stick to your policies to help you make the right decisions and keep your properties safe, happy, and prosperous!