As a landlord, you will always make an effort to determine whether your potential tenants will be good. However, you’re bound to encounter a bad tenant sooner or later. Even if you try numerous different screening techniques and firmly lay the house rules when they move in, certain tenants will start causing problems sooner or later. It’s hard to see which ones you will actually have issues with, since almost all tenants will appear perfectly fine when they move in.
There are a few different types of bad tenants. Of course, the most common type is the non-payer. Despite the fact that there could be many explanations as to why this tenant doesn’t have money for the rent, they are liable for the payments if they agreed to the conditions of the lease. Another common type is the tardy payer. This is a tenant who is always late with the rent payments. Nevertheless, they always pay what they owe, but could cause you a lot of stress when trying to find them and wondering whether or not you will get your money.
Then there are the rule-breakers. These tenants never seem to abide by the rules the get from the property manager. Finally, there are the destroyers – tenants who either intentionally or unintentionally damage or destroy your property. Even though you may currently face problems with bad tenants on a regular basis, there are some great ways to deal with them.
Keep Written Records
Although keeping written records will increase your workload, it’s important that you do this, especially if you’re dealing with bad tenants. By keeping written records of everything, you won’t have to worry about a tenant disputing a charge with you. Apart from writing everything down, it’s recommended that you also take images and videos with a timestamp whenever you get the chance. By doing this, your tenants won’t be able to dispute security deposit deductions.
Hire a Property Manager
Dealing with bad tenants can be extremely frustrating, which is why you should consider letting someone else handle them. If you don’t have the nerves to deal with tenants who are damaging your property or never pay their rent on time, then you may want to hire a property manager. By doing this, you will gain a lot of free time. Not to mention how your stress levels will reduce.
Before you hire a property manager, make sure to find out which specific services they offer. This way, you will know whether they can help you or not. You should also make sure to check if the property manager has any references or reviews.
Negotiate before Threatening
A lot of landlords immediately start threatening their tenants with lawsuits as soon as they begin seeing some problems. However, if you threaten them from the beginning, they will most likely call your bluff. After all, everybody knows that lawsuits are both very expensive and time-consuming. This is why you should always try negotiating with your tenants before you start threatening them.
Find an Attorney
If negotiation doesn’t do the trick, then you should start looking for a good attorney. Keep in mind that you should have a good reason for a lawsuit. “It’s important to have evidence that a tenant has done something wrong. You can’t simply sue someone just because you don’t get along with them,” advises real estate lawyer Adam Bailey. You should consider suing only if the tenant fails to pay their rent, if they violate the lease terms or if they don’t move out after the lease ends.
It’s always a good idea to remain calm when tenants cause problems. Even though you’ll most likely get angry, it’s important to remember that being hot headed may cause you even more problems.