As a landlord, dealing with bad tenants is a part of the job. Although having all great tenants is ideal, it’s not always realistic. If you rent our property, then you’ll most likely deal with a bad tenant or two over the years.
It’s something you’ll, unfortunately, have to expect and prepare for. Even if you take all the right steps to ensure you find a good tenant, someone might look good on paper but prove to be a bad tenant due to their living habits or other factors. When you find yourself in this situation, what’s the next step you take?
In the guide below, you’ll learn a few tips on how to deal with a bad tenant. Continue reading below to learn everything you need to know!
Stay Professional and Polite
When you rent your property out to a tenant, you give them a set of ground rules in their lease. You then expect the tenant to follow the rules listed on the lease. When a tenant fails to follow the rules or makes a mess of the property, it can be frustrating.
As easy as it’ll be to become angered and filled with rage, you must remain professional and polite. You don’t want to act out of emotions and sacrifice your professionalism. If for some reason you and the tenant end up in court, then your professional behavior will help the case in your favor.
Use your lease and other legal terms and agreements to handle the situation for you without having to raise your voice or act unprofessionally.
Schedule In-Person Meetings
When there’s an issue between you and a tenant, it’s sometimes best to sit down with the tenant in-person. When you’re face-to-face with the tenant, you can navigate the conversation better. This is also the perfect time to gather all legal documents in case you need to use them to prove your point.
Is the tenant failing to abide by certain terms on the lease they agreed to and signed? Be sure to highlight this section on the lease and allow them to read over it. A tenant might not remember each specific section of the lease they signed.
When shown to them, it’ll act as a reminder, and it may defuse the situation right then and there.
Keep All Documentation
In most cases, your issue with a tenant will be something that builds over time. For example, if a tenant is playing loud music after hours, this is something that might not be a big deal when done once. However, it becomes an issue if it’s something that happens on a regular basis.
This can be true about many other things as well. If your tenant is constantly breaking the rules, then you need to keep all documentation of this. If you give them a warning, then have them sign it and make copies for yourself.
The more documentation you have against them, the easier it’ll be to legally evict them if needed.
Explain Your Reasoning
When dealing with tenants, it’s courteous to give them an explanation for your reasoning about different issues. Present your decisions with clear reasoning behind them. When you address your tenants with understanding and offer a reason why you must act upon something, there’s a better chance they’ll be more willing to work with you.
If the tenant has or doesn’t have a right to something, then make this clear. You should also make your own rights clear as a landlord so the tenant understands your side as well. Before addressing an issue, it might also be a good idea to think about the questions the tenant might have regarding the issue.
Find the answers to these questions and prepare to give them to the tenant.
Use a Property Manager
Trying to maintain a property and the tenants on your own won’t be an easy task. Unless you’re able to be on or near the property at all times and willing to put in a full day’s worth of your attention to the property and the tenant on a regular basis, you’ll want to consider using a property manager.
A property manager can help you manage the property itself and all the tenants or one tenant (if renting out a single unit). Property managers are trained to handle stressful tenant situations and know exactly how to do so while causing as little disturbance as possible.
Property managers can also help with collecting payments, writing up leases, dealing with property maintenance issues, and so much more!
Hire a Litigation Attorney
When you’re faced with a less-than-ideal tenant, the best course of action to take is to follow the advice mentioned above. After you’ve taken the first steps but still have an unresolved issue, then you still have one more option. Hiring a litigation attorney might be the last step you want to take but could also be what saves you in the end.
Litigation attorneys can protect you against tenant lawsuits. They can also help you process evictions and handle other tenant issues. If you find yourself in a bad situation with a tenant, don’t hesitate to hire a litigation attorney.
Don’t Let a Bad Tenant Ruin Your Day
Bad tenants are a part of renting out property. Although having all good tenants is ideal, you must prepare to deal with a bad tenant from time to time. Using the information given in this guide above is the best way to ensure you deal with your bad tenant properly and in a professional manner.
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