Best way to deal with problematic tenants
While being a landlord comes easy to some, the others end up with the tenants from their worst nightmare. Most tenancies will run smoothly and successfully, but there’s always a chance that you will have to deal with problematic tenants. This can be quite stressful, but there are some effective ways that you can try to resolve the issues with your tenants.
The most common problems for landlords:
- Overdue rent – Make sure that you put in your agreement when is the rent due for every month. If your tenants are late with rent from the start, take a firm stand. Five days over-due that you let slide can be three weeks next time. Only make exceptions for tenants that are not causing any problems and that generally pay on time.
- Damages – The tenant’s contract should state that tenants will leave the place like it was before their moving in. Of course, simple apartment decoration changes can be made, but only with your consent. During the monthly inspection, you may notice damages to the rental units. If the tenants won’t handle it, call the maintenance to repair it, and then send the bill to your tenants.
- Re-renters – In the age of Airbnb, there are some tenants that will rent an apartment just so they can re re-renter it without your knowledge. That’s not just deceiving, it also illegal in some areas and the clear breaking of the lease agreement.
- Renters that complain to everything – The tenant’s contract should clearly speculate which are your repair and maintenance obligations. When you have to problematic tenants that complain of every little thing, legally you’re not obligated to jump into action and fulfill their every whim.
Prevention is the best cure
Of course, the best way to deal with problematic tenants is to avoid them through a screening process.
Maybe you like your tenants the first time you meet them, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be problematic. That’s why you always have to check the tenant’s references.
Your potential tenants should give you the references from their workplace as well as from a past landlord. If they are using the moving services from local movers Manhattan, you can give them a call and ask are the tenants respecting their obligations toward the company. Unreasonable requests for the movers or refusing to pay for the provided service is a red flag that you may have some problems with them.
If all the tenant’s references check out, you still can’t be 100% sure that they won’t be problematic in the future.
Make sure to draw up a tenancy agreement that protects both sides.
Also, always take at least one month’s rent as deposit and carry out a thorough inventory of your belongings and the condition of the home before your tenants move in.
Be calm and professional when you deal with problematic tenants
When you need to deal with problematic tenants, that can create some really stressful situation.
As a landlord, you can’t overreact, and you have to keep your cool and be professional at all times.
That will stop the problem from escalating even further.
Explain your demands why their behavior is not appropriate in a clear, firm and polite manner.
Remember them that they have signed the tenancy agreement which is a legal document that outlines the conduct and obligations that you expect from your tenant.
When you deal with problematic tenants, it’s important to keep records in writing of all your communication with them.
Don’t delete any messages if you are communicating with your tenants in that way. Save all the email regarding the issue in hand. If tenants are death to your warnings, record the calls when you speak with them.
When further action is necessary, these records will be proof of your professionalism and attempts to resolve the problem.
Kill them with kindness
When your tenants don’t want to obey their obligations, you should try to get on their good side. Go an extra mile and be extremely kind and polite with them. Be very responsive to their calls and messages, wish them a nice day or happy holidays. Offer to do some cost-effective kitchen renovation project or to help with some personal issue
Only very rude people will treat badly the person that is kind to them. If your tenants belong to that group, it can be impossible to make them respect the lease agreement. The best way to deal with problematic tenants that don’t respond to kindness is to take the things to the next level and ask them to move.
Ask the terrible tenants to leave
If you’ve tried everything and you can’t find the common ground with your tenants, you might want to consider asking them to move out.
It can be very difficult to make them leave voluntarily, but not impossible. Send them the Notice to Vacate to inform them that you would like for them to leave. Make sure to clearly explain the reasons for this request. Some kind words and even recommendation for another building will also be helpful. If you want to get on their good side, recommend some reliable movers and moving services Manhattan that can help them with their move.
Last resort: Eviction
If you did your best to settle a dispute and eviction is inevitable, you could seek advice from the Landlords Association on how to proceed.
Eviction is the measure that should be used only in the extreme cases, as the last resort.
It is a very difficult and expensive process since you can’t physically remove the tenant from your home. Or try to do that, ever. Also, shutting off the utilities, removing the tenant’s belongings, or changing the locks are against the law and have severe legal coincidences.
You have to know the federal and state law about the eviction, so it’s best to consult a lawyer.