No landlord likes dealing with troublesome tenants. From consistently late rent payments to complaints from other renters to sketchy behavior, it can be tricky dealing with problematic renters.
If you find yourself needing to handle a situation like this, keep the following tips in mind as you begin addressing the issue with your tenant.
Know The Landlord/Tenant Laws In Your State
Every state varies in their laws governing landlord and tenant rights, so be sure you know the laws in your state. Contact your attorney and visit your state’s Department of Housing website to gather all the pertinent information you need to mitigate your situation accurately.
Uphold The Policies And Procedures Of The Lease
Your lease should include all policies, procedures, and rules for the rental. Be sure to walk the tenant through every aspect of the lease before they sign and make sure they have a hard or electronic copy for their records. When dealing with a dispute, uphold the contract they signed.
Whether good or bad, document every single interaction, notice, attempt to contact, etc. you have with the problematic tenant. Make note of every phone call, every late rent payment – everything – so you have proof that the renter isn’t abiding by the lease he signed when he moved in.
Be Direct And Professional
When a tenant gets riled up, it can be easy to get riled up, too. However, you must remain calm and professional in situations like these. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you.
Also, be direct in your approach. For example, don’t say, “Let me know when you’ve removed the garbage.” Instead, say, “Remove the trash by Friday evening or pay a $200 fine.” Never leave room for the tenant to think you aren’t serious about your role as landlord.
Be Understanding, But Firm
There will be times when emotional issues keep tenants from being able to pay rent on time. While their stories may be legitimate and sad, it’s important you remain unwavering in your approach to uphold the policies of their lease. It’s also important that you only discuss these matters with the tenants named in the lease even though other family members may want to get involved.
Don’t Share Tenant Issues With Others
Some situations are sensitive in nature and hard for tenants to talk about. As such, you should be mindful of their privacy and avoid discussing the problems with other residents or neighbors. Treat your tenants as you’d prefer to be treated.
Safety First – Always
If ever you feel as if your safety, or that of others in the area, is at risk, call the police. No amount of professionalism will work on an outraged renter intent on destroying the property or hurting someone.
If you suspect illegal activity is taking place inside the apartment, do not try to address the situation yourself. Contact the authorities and let them handle it. Once the situation is under control and the rental secure, you can begin eviction proceedings.
It’s never easy dealing with problematic tenants, but it’s part of the job when you’re a landlord. Follow the tips above when handling a troublesome tenant to avoid escalating the situation to a dangerous level.