Troublesome tenants - you know the ones…They never seem to pay rent on time, host ruckus parties twice a week and give a new meaning to the phrase ‘wear and tear’.
Of course, most of these issues can be avoided through the appropriate screening of tenants, but if you are yet to get your screening process down to a fine art, you may find yourself in a bit of pickle. Eventually dealing with these sorts of issues will become second nature to you, and hopefully, with experience, these issues will arise less and less.
In the meantime, however, we have compiled our top tips for landlords dealing with tricky tenants so that you can handle tenanting issues like a true LandlordBoss.
Arguably, the most frustrating of all troublesome tenants is the tenant who won’t pay rent. Chasing up unpaid debt is time-consuming and bad for business, especially if you have multiple properties with unreliable tenants.
If you think your tenant is behind on rent, double-check your bank records to ensure you haven’t missed one of their payments, then refer to your lease to check whether it contains a clause allowing for a certain grace period after the rent is due (this may depend on which state you are in).
Use your best judgment - if your tenant is usually reliable and pays rent on time, hopefully, a written reminder will be enough to get your tenant back on track. The reason your tenant defaulted could be as simple as a bank error or bounced payment.
If not, your next best steps may be to look into the proper notice periods required for your state and terminate the lease immediately for non-payment.
Aside from tenants who can’t pay their bills on time, our second biggest peeve is the grubby tenant. You know what we're talking about - dirty dishes all over the sink, rubbish everywhere (except in the trash can) and overgrown lawns…
These living conditions are not only unhygienic, but they can also attract a whole lot of unwanted attention from bugs and rodents, and that can have a negative impact on the actual and perceived value of your rental property.
Landlords cannot require tenants to clean unless their current behavior is causing harm to the property, other people or themselves, or is violating health or fire codes. So it is important to set cleaning expectations and responsibilities from the outset - in the lease. Check if this is allowed in your state.
If the above sounds all too familiar and you have found yourself with a dirty tenant, refer to your lease and see if it has a clause that requires the property to be kept tidy. If not, you may have to wait patiently for the lease to expire and if your lease allows it, charge them the costs of a cleanup.
Who doesn’t love a good house party? I will tell you who! Landlords. Everywhere.
We have all been 21 once… Houses packed with students, red cups, beer pong… but these sorts of people can make the worst tenants.
Make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure that your rental doesn’t also become your neighborhood's ‘go-to’ spot after the bars close.
Refer to your lease and check if there is a ‘no party’ clause. If you do have one of these clauses and you become aware that your tenant has hosted a large party, they could be in violation of the lease and this could be grounds for eviction.
Particularly if your rental is in a college town and/or you are renting to students, make it clear in the terms and conditions of your lease that you will not tolerate parties. Examples of this could include having a ‘no party’ clause or a limit of say 10 guests on the property without permission from the landlord. It may also pay to reinforce to your tenants that any illegal activity, including underage drinking, will result in eviction.
Remember, these top three tenanting issues could all be prevented by an appropriate screening of tenants. What might take you a little extra time in the screening process, could save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
We hope you found this blog interesting! However, do note that it should not be used as a substitute for competent legal and/or other advice from a licensed professional.
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