Problem tenants can be a real drag. It makes the already tough job of being a landlord even more difficult.
Check out these tips for dealing with tenants who like to create trouble:
- Stick to the lease and be consistent with late fees, serving notice and giving them lease violations.
- Pick your battles. Not everything is going to be worth falling on your sword for—it’s likely you’ll have a lot of issues you need to stand firm on so don’t waste them on frivolous (albeit annoying) issues.
- Be prepared to video tape everything. And we mean everything. Documentation is your new best friend.
- Never let interactions with the tenant become heated. Know your limits and push button issues and try to avoid them.
- Set out clear guidelines on communication—rise above your tenant by keeping any and all discussion via email, phone, snail mail or face to face. NO FACEBOOK or TWITTER communication!
- Don’t be afraid to call the police if you feel threatened and the issue has escalated beyond a calm discussion.
- Deal only with the individuals who are on the lease; boyfriends, mothers, fathers, etc., do not get a vote in any issue relating to the property or the lease, nor should you have any discussions with them.
- Remain professional. It can be hard not to tell someone to take a hike but as a business owner you need to conduct yourself with the utmost professionalism.
- Always schedule your entry date and time, show up, complete the inspection/perform the maintenance, document everything and move on. Never linger or show up unannounced.
- Never enter the property when children are alone. A tenant could use this as an example of invasion of privacy or threatening behavior.
Good luck and Happy Renting!