Landlords face different problems ranging from proper upkeep of their rental properties to looking for tenants to fill up the vacancies. However, the biggest problem that they face is in the tenant department. Bad tenants slip through even the most stringent of background checks, or formerly good tenants start behaving badly. Whether you are a commercial or residential landlord, they can give you massive headaches. Here are some tips on identifying bad behavior and how to handle it.
The easiest to identify as a bad tenant is the one who pays late or does not pay in full. Sometimes, they don’t pay at all. Considering that the main reason you are renting out is to earn money, someone not paying is your biggest headache. The first thing you should do is to communicate with the client. Sometimes, your tenants don’t intentionally fall behind on their payments.
If they formerly were able to pay on time, then that means that they have fallen on hard times. You might be able to negotiate a better payment plan for them so that they can pay in full but not all at once. You can also change their rental agreement so that they can have roommates. This will help them share the rent. Only when they are stubborn should you contact a business litigation attorney and start the eviction process. But that should be the last resort since it can lose you money. But if it is more profitable to rent out space to a new tenant, then that is what you should do.
Most tenants think that if they pay on time, then you should keep out of their hair. This leads them to do a variety of disruptive behaviors. They might play music too loud or dump their garbage haphazardly. While this is no problem for you, your other tenants might object. They might even decide to move away if you don’t do anything.
You can preemptively deal with this behavior by having guidelines and rules for your tenants. Include in your contract the specific rules they should follow if they want to live in the building. This ensures that everyone knows it. This means that when someone breaks the rules, you have reason to contact them and warn them about the behavior.
Damaging Your Property
Damage to your property lowers its rental value. It would be best if you were alert to tenants who do this. Sometimes, it is not intentional. Some of them might be doing it to help. This is mainly through their attempts to add upgrades to their rental unit. For example, some tenants might think installing shelving is fine. It would be best if you were clear with your tenants that all repairs and upgrades need to go through you.
As for damage from carelessness and even intentional damage, you won’t immediately notice these. You’ll probably find them when the tenant leaves. If you want to reduce the damage, it is best to have regular inspections of tenant spaces. This also helps you detect any potential problems that might come up. If you do find damage, document it immediately and talk things over with your tenant. Explain to them that they also must take care of the property while they are there. If they persist in damaging your property, then you might have to evict them.
Violates Tenant Contracts
Don’t hesitate to enforce tenant contracts. There are a variety of reasons why you might have to. For example, if the contract states that tenants can’t keep any pets, then there shouldn’t be any. It can be tempting to be forgiving about it, but pets can damage your property, especially if they are not housebroken. Another contract rule that often gets skipped over is the presence of unauthorized roommates. Whether it is a friend sleeping on the couch or a tenant renting out the extra room, these can be a problem because they didn’t go through your vetting process. For any violation of the contract, be as strict as possible. Don’t overreact but don’t budge on the specifics of the contract. Tenants should know that you are serious about all your rules.
Getting rid of or disciplining bad tenants is an important part of a landlord’s job. If other tenants don’t see you punish the rule breaker, they will start to think that they have the right to break rules, too. This is something you do not want happening so you should be taking steps to ensure that all your tenants know that you mean business about the rules you set down.