Every landlord, property manager or community association has had a bad tenant. They get constant complaints from neighbors, they lie and argue, they trash the property, they don’t pay rent on time… whatever it is, bad tenants can be really difficult to deal with.
One of the best ways of dealing with bad tenants is to try to avoid them all together. You may not always be able to do this, but taking a few simple measures can go a long way in decreasing your chances of having to deal with an awful tenant.
Tip 1: Screen
Screening is the best way to avoid a problem before it starts. Simple screens will help you weed out tenants who will likely cause issues in the future. Do background and credit checks, call previous landlords and references, conduct an interview and verify their income. You don’t want to get to the last step of renting out your property just to realize you wasted your time because the potential tenant doesn’t have the income to afford the monthly rent.
Tip 1: Write it Down
Make sure the lease includes EVERYTHING. Arguing over whether or not something is allowed is a pain, so it’s best to spell it all out before hand. Give the tenant a list of rules and make sure they have a written copy of what they can and can’t do. It’s not enough to tell a tenant they can’t have a pet, it needs to be clearly stated in writing. Have a qualified lawyer create a watertight lease to make sure that it will hold up in the event it is put into question.
Tip 1: Be Strict
Don’t be afraid to scare your tenant a bit. Being strict will make it more likely that the tenant follows your rules. If rent is due on the first, don’t let them pay it on the 15th. Most places offer a grace period of a few days before issuing a late fee. Some properties will waive the first late fee, but make sure that you don’t get too lax. The last thing you want is to have to deal with getting the full rent on time each and every month.
Tip 1: Address The Issues
If there is an issue, no matter how small, address it. If you start letting the small things go, you may be setting yourself up for disaster. The tenant may start breaking bigger rules and causing you problem after problem. You want to have open communication with your tenant. Give them a chance to change their behavior, and if they don’t, then give them a final warning before taking serious measures. Many tenants will react to warnings and if they don’t, you probably don’t want them living on your property.
Tip 1: Get Rid of The Problem
If you’ve done all you can to avoid bad tenants and you still are having continuous issues with one, get rid of them. It’s not worth the headache to let them stay and then have to deal with problems month after month. Some places offer “cash for keys,” in which they pay the tenant to leave. This may sound like something you don’t want to do, but sometimes it’s worth it in the long run. If you need to evict the tenant, do it quickly and make sure you hire a qualified lawyer.
Fore more information on this subject and to read the full blog by the Peyton Bolin legal team, click here.