All landlords, whether amateurs or seasoned professionals, may have to deal with problem tenants at some point in their careers. It’s a seemingly inevitable part of the landlord business. There are effective ways of dealing with tenant issues, and there are methods that just don’t work. Listed below are some of the best ways to deal with problem tenants.
- Professional behavior. First and foremost, you need to always behave in a professional manner, even if the tenant is screaming and/or making a scene. Be polite and nice to the tenant and hopefully they will calm down to discuss the issues. Always remember that this is a professional relationship.
- Better communications. Strive to start and maintain communications with the tenant, even if they don’t seem to want to talk to you. Many times—and especially if money is involved—the tenant will try very hard to avoid you. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open, and try different methods of contact, such as their cell phone, email, and face-to-face visits.
- Be aware of any potential problems. Visit the unit and listen to any issues from neighbors. Also keep an eye out for any maintenance issues or damage you might see on the visit. By learning of any issues as soon as they occur, you can evaluate whether you want to renew the lease for the tenants after their current lease period is up.
- Accurate and up-to-date records. By keeping accurate records of everything that occurs at your property/unit, you can refer back to them at a later date if you need to (for legal action, etc.).
- Purchase insurance. And not just for the property or unit, but also for contents (especially on units that come already furnished), accidental damage and even an emergency help insurance policy.