If you own a rental property, then you know how much work is required to keep things running smoothly. Even when tenants are great renters who pay their rent on time and treat your property with respect, there’s still plenty to do to keep your rental property running smoothly.
However, the work that goes into being a landlord is multiplied tenfold when tenants don’t follow your rules and rather behave problematically. No landlord wants to find themselves in this situation, but unfortunately, most will at some point in their time owning and operating rental properties.
To help you navigate what to do in this tricky situation, here are some tips on how landlords can deal with problem tenants.
Identify The Source Of The Problem
Tenants can cause issues in a myriad of ways. One of the most common ways is delinquent rent payments. However, paying tenants can also be sources of grief for landlords. For example, plenty of tenants are messy and disorganized, but some take it to the next level with slovenly or hoarding behavior that is affecting the air quality of the building and posing the risk of permanent damage to the unit itself. Or, you might suspect that a tenant is housing people who are not on the written lease. The first step is identifying exactly what the issue is so that you may address it.
Issue A Written Warning
Although your tenants’ behavior might have you worried, sometimes the issue can be solved with a simple written warning. Let the tenant know that their behavior is a violation of their contract and that it needs to be remedied as soon as possible. While this won’t always fix the problem, many times issues with tenants can be solved with this simple step. If it doesn’t, you can proceed to the next step.
Send A Formal Letter From An Attorney
All landlords will have to consult with an attorney at some point in their career, unfortunately, so you should have a good one on call. If the letter that you wrote yourself doesn’t seem to make that much of an impact, then you might need to send one that is more formal and that threatens legal action if the behavior is not remedied. In the case of delinquent rent payments, give the tenant a time frame in which you expect to receive payment. In cases of abuse to your property or unapproved tenants, give a time frame in which you expect the mess to be cleaned or the unapproved tenants to have vacated the property.
Begin Court Procedures
Sometimes, trying to communicate with problem tenants just doesn’t work. If this happens, you will have to file a court case against the tenants in question. Remember, even if it’s your property, you cannot simply enter the unit and remove the tenants and their belongings yourself. Once you sign a contract, tenants have the right to stay until they are legally required to leave.
Behave By The Book
Once you’ve won your court case, your tenants will be given a time frame in which they have to leave. Many problematic tenants will wait until the last-minute possible to vacate the premises. Remember, no matter how violated you feel, do not attempt to remove the tenants yourself. It is imperative that you do everything by the book in order to avoid legal recourse. If the tenants still refuse to leave when they are legally required to do so, call the police.
No landlord wants to deal with problematic tenants. However, if you follow these steps and do everything by the book, you can either remedy the problem or have them legally removed from you property.