Be Ready for Tenant Problems

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It can be risky being a property manager with the wide variety of problems a tenant can create. This can include not paying rent, trashing the house, constant complaints, and other miscellaneous problems. Below are steps to mitigate these problems and allow property managers to protect themselves.

Have a Written, Thorough Contract

A lease agreement will bind the tenant to rules that property managers need them to follow in order to have a healthy relationship with their tenants. The lease should include all aspects of the agreement including, but not limited to, rent payment details, property repair details, responsibilities of each party, and other miscellaneous rules. Without a written contract, the property manager will not be able to hold a tenant liable for repairs or late rent. It may be best to ask for help in writing a lease agreement to make sure all details are addressed to avoid any future tenant issues.

Screen Tenants

Before renting any space to tenants, it would be wise for property managers to screen them and make sure that tenants will not trash the property and will be able to pay. This includes background checks, calling references, running a credit check, calling previous landlords, and verifying their current income. It would be best to require that the tenant’s income is three times more than the monthly rent, which is typically standard. This will help mitigate any payment issues.

Don’t Let Problems Continue

Many landlords that have problems with tenants typically allow the start of bad tenant behavior by being flexible. In order to prevent problems getting out of hand, landlords should be strict with the written rules described in the lease. This prevents future problems and allows a longer lasting relationship between the property manager and the tenant. Monetary punishments should be included in the lease and should be strictly enforced with no exceptions to be fair to all tenants. Grace periods can be used for late payments but typically no longer than five days and this should be standard between all tenants.

Remove the Problem When Necessary

If tenants are still creating issues even after the property manager has implemented the rules above, it may be easier to remove them from the property. If they have broken their lease agreement, the property manager may decide to remove them before the end of their lease. Evicting the tenant can be difficult so it is best to hire a lawyer to help with the process. However, if they are just difficult tenants, such as constantly complaining, the property manager can choose not to give the option of the tenant to renew their lease agreement. This will save time and money later down the road.

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Photo Credit – Tanamera Construction

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