WHAT TO DO WITH PROBLEM TENANTS?

What to do with problem tenants
What To Do with Problem Tenants?

You sign the dotted line and officially become a landlord, the moment is filled with fireworks and dollar signs. Life is good.

But, what happens when your ideal tenant turns into a bigger responsibility than you imagined? What to do with problem tenants?

The ways you can deal with problem tenants are endless. The best, and obvious, resolution is through communication with the tenant.

It’s not always that easy. So, what to do with problem tenants when communication doesn’t work?

Other resolutions include:

  • Keep a record of all correspondence
  • Know the Law
  • Always enforce your policies and procedures

When communication with the tenant doesn’t resolve the issue, your next thought may be to evict the tenant. Although this seems like the next easiest solution, we recommend trying several other, cheaper solutions first.

The eviction process can be quite expensive and time consuming. The process also may make the situation with the tenant worse and they may become spiteful.

So what?

If your tenant becomes angry there is the possibility that the tenant may resort to damaging your property thus affecting the value of your property.

If you can’t communicate and you can’t evict the tenant…

You may still be wondering:

What To Do with Problem Tenants?

Late Rent Payments

A common issue with tenants is that they do not pay rent on time. This could be a result of the tenant experiencing financial problems such as unemployment.

If this issue arises, we recommend resorting to communication. Reach out to the tenant and understand the reasons behind their failure to pay rent and possible solutions that favor both parties.

You can also try discussing a new structure of payments. For example, you can accept partial payments and the tenant can pay you as  much as they can, when they can.

If you are unable to resolve through other payment plan options, the next option would be to change the living arrangement.

For example:

If available, you can move the tenant to a cheaper apartment or add roommates to the apartment to cheapen the monthly payments.

The updated living arrangements don’t have to be permanent, they can be temporary until the tenant is able to pay rent on-time and in full going forward.

Strict Screening Process

Not all people will make great tenants for your specific property. But, it is possible to develop a process to eliminate the chances of having a problem tenant.

It it highly recommended to follow a strict screening process with tenants to ensure they are financially and personally a good fit for your property.

This includes a thorough background check of each tenant that includes checking employment history, tenant history (calling previous landlords, doing credit checks, criminal record checks, etc.

Once the background check is complete, we also recommend you interview each tenant to ensure you feel they will be a good fit for you and your specific property policies.

Disruptive Tenants

Other problem tenants may include ones that are disruptive to other people in or near the property such as neighbors.

You may be wondering in this instance:

What to do with Problem Tenants?

As the landlord, one of the first ways to address this is to inform tenants that any issues with neighbors must be resolved themselves.

Tenants should resolve any disputes without you having to come in and you will only be involved when the circumstance calls for your involvement.

For example:

If a tenant is constantly involved in disputes and/or altercations with neighbors it may call for you to step in and remind the tenant of the lease agreement and the consequences that follow such continuous disruptive behavior.

These are not the only problems you may face with tenants, there are many more problems that you will face as a landlord.

These are a few suggestions on how to resolve the most common issues of what to do with problem tenants.

However, when dealing with any problem tenant it is advisable as a landlord that you understand the laws that regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants.

Create your own policies and procedures in accordance with the law and ensure that your tenants are aware of these and are constantly reminded of them.

You as a landlord have a duty to yourself and to your tenants to ensure that you follow your policies and procedures.

You should also ensure that there is documentary evidence of any issues that arise between yourself and the tenant, the tenant’s acknowledgement of the policies and procedures and any other correspondence regarding the tenancy thereof.

Important Note:

Remember that your tenants are humans and as such they should be treated with a certain amount of respect; treat your tenants how you would expect to be treated by your landlord.

A  happy tenant makes for a happy, stress free and paid landlord.

But, we get it. It’s hard to consistently keep tenants happy and have little to no issues. If you’re like many (including myself) you may ultimately decide it isn’t worth the hassle to own a rental.

If that sounds like you and you’re thinking, “I want to sell my house fast ,” you’re in luck!

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For continued reading on landlord and investment property, check out: Landlord Problems with Tenants and Landlord Tips and Tricks

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