How to Handle Difficult Tenants

Owning a rental property is a great way to earn passive income but unfortunately, you run the risk of encountering difficult tenants at one stage or the other.

 

Such tenants seem bent on giving you a hard time through incessant complaints and other debilitating demands. Some may even cause significant damage to your property or consistently pay their rents late.

 

Let’s look at some of the ways you can deal with such difficult tenants

Have a strong background screening method, this will help you sift out a lot of the potentially troublesome tenants before you hand them the keys.

 

Checking their references and calling their workplaces is a good way to find out more about a prospective tenant. You can also research their rental history through appropriate websites.

 

If you come across a blemish on their records, then it may be better to look for another tenant. Hire a property manager Depending on the circumstances, hiring a property manager can be your best bet in ‘dealing’’ with difficult tenants. The property manager will handle all communications and perform other tasks like the background checks highlighted above. An added advantage of hiring a property manager is that tenants may be more polite and professional if they know that they are dealing with a professional property manager. However, you should consider the costs of hiring the manager against doing the legwork yourself.

 

You should also make sure the property manager is experienced and capable of running your affairs well. You can get connected to such competent property managers here at http://www.floridapropertymanagement.com. Have a watertight lease agreement

 

A compact lease agreement should cover the most common problems and how they should be dealt with should they arise. For example, late or non-payment of rent is the biggest problem facing landlords and in your lease agreement you can state that there will be a charge of say $10 for each day the tenant delays in paying rent You should then enforce this agreement form the word go because if you slacken just once then it may

 

turn out to be difficult to put your feet down later on. Calmly and confidently communicate with the tenant When there is a problem with the tenant you should calmly and confidently address it at the very first chance you get. For example, if a fellow tenant complains about noise or if you see that they are not taking good care of the property then you should talk to them right away. This will make the tenant know that you are in charge and at the same time it will give you a chance to hear the tenants side of the story. The tenant may have considered the ‘loud volume’ as normal. You may also get to find out that there are other conflicts between the tenants and the loud volume issues are just symptoms and not the root problem. Write down all communications with the tenant this will be helpful when you want to evict the tenant or something like that. For example, if the tenant makes a promise to pay rent on a certain date and defaults, you can use that as evidence later on if you have written it down.

 

Writing communications down will show the tenant that you are serious and professional in the way you conduct your business. This will make them more likely to comply with any promises they make. Ask them politely to leave If you feel you have had enough of the troublesome tenants, you can then ask them to leave. You will be hoping that they are sensible enough to leave without the embarrassment of an eviction notice.

 

You should explain to them clearly why you feel it’s better for them to leave. This is not the time to be emotional rather, you want to be objective and solve the problem at hand. If all else fails, eviction is the last option if you have an unrepentant tenant, then you should have to evict them for the sake of your sanity and as a way of protecting your property. You would want to make sure that you do that in accordance with the landlord-tenant laws and the provisions of your lease agreement. This will ensure that your tenant will not have legal grounds to give you one last (and probably bigger) a headache. A written record of your past interactions with the tenant during the times you tried to reason with them will be very helpful here. Before they leave, you must ensure that they repair everything they might have broken.

 

Conclusion

In all your dealings with difficult tenants, you want to keep your focus on the ultimate goal which is to protect your investment so that you will benefit from it for a long time to come. You should also be very careful especially if other tenants are aware of what is going on because they may ‘learn’ to be difficult as well if you do not handle the situation well. The good news is difficult tenants are not as common and you should not encounter too many of them as a landlord.