Problematic tenants are an inevitable part of property management. Whether by causing property damage, disregarding lease agreements, or refusing to pay rent, these tenants can make your job as a property owner or manager difficult and frustrating. Here are five practical ways you can handle these tenants 1. Communicate clearly, and firmly
Communication begins with your lease agreement. This document should be as straightforward as possible on what will and will not be tolerated from a tenant and the repercussions of defying this agreement. For example, are pets tolerated? If pets are not tolerated, what happens if a tenant is caught with a pet within the premises? How will you handle late rental payments? What are the rules on throwing large parties? Etcetera.
When these tenants flout the rules, act swiftly. Refer them to the lease agreement they signed, and don’t give them the idea that there is a way around the issue. Letters, phone calls, emails, and physical conversations should always be formal, concise, and firm.
2. Keep a record of everything.
Your record of things is your best ammunition against problematic tenants, especially with issues like property damage, pets, etcetera. Keep receipts, copies of the lease agreement, and pictures or videos of any misbehavior. However, if you cannot be physically present to get evidence (photographs or videos) in real-time, ask another tenant or the security personnel to get it for you. You may need to present evidence before a judge if things get more complicated, and the evidence you have collected against the tenant will be your greatest weapon.
3. Call the police if they commit a crime.
Some tenants are not just problematic to you but also to society at large, and you might need external help dealing with them. What happens if a tenant begins selling drugs on the property or physically attacks a neighbor? If they threaten the peace and safety of the neighborhood, then they should be handed over to the authorities for the sake of everyone else. Remember, you have a responsibility to call the police if a crime is committed on your property.
4. Know your legal limit and stay within it
You might have to resort to eviction when it comes down to it. In such cases, know the legal extent of your power, and do not exceed it, lest it becomes bullying. All property managers should be familiar with the legal process of an eviction notice and should abide by it. No matter how problematic a tenant may be, you have no right to intimidate, bully, or cause them any harm.
5. Engage a Real Estate Professional
If you are a property owner, it is advisable that you engage the services of an estate survey firm to handle all dealings with your tenant. This allows you to focus on your core business, and leave the facility management to the professionals. The facility manager will advise you on appropriate rent prices for your property, vet potential tenants, enforce the lease agreement, and handle quit notices if the need arises.
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