In property management, problem tenants are an unpleasant and sometimes inevitable part of life. While tenant screening solution helps to sift out bad applicants and protect your business, but, some troublemakers will still find their way to get you in hot water. Someone whose screening shows to have always been a reliable rent payer might hit hard times and begins paying late. No screening system so far can detect the chronic complainers who will drive you insane with their demands.
Terrible tenants make your job as a landlord, tough. Some of them pay rent late almost every month, while others are careless and damage your property. Many property owners face the hassle of dealing with difficult tenants at some point, and it is not easy to handle them.
Here are few steps you can take to handle problematic tenants.
1. Send Payment Reminders:
If a tenant is consistently late with rent, they may just be forgetting to pay their rent on time, or they might have cash flow issues. You can arrange a meeting with the tenant to discuss their situation and why the rent is always late. You could also waive late fees and other penalties if they promise to pay any late rent in-full.
Sending payment reminders using a mass notification system can help you get payment more quickly. You can send automated voice, SMS text message, and email reminders to all your tenants every month – and ensure their payment on time.
2. Meeting the Tenant to discuss the issue:
If you are having issues with a tenant, but you want to salvage the landlord-tenant relationship, you can schedule a time when you can sit down with your tenant, and discuss the issues you are facing.
If your tenants are willing to make a change, and you’re willing to accommodate them as they address the issues that are breaking their lease agreement, you may keep them as a tenant.
3. Don’t Renew the Lease:
You have an option of not renewing the lease of your tenants. This option depends on your jurisdiction; therefore make sure you understand your local laws related to tenant protections before you take this step.
Usually, you can send a letter to your tenant that informs them that their lease will not be renewed once it expires. You can give them 30, 60, or 90 days notice, depending on your state and local laws.
4. “Cash for Keys” Agreement
A ‘cash for keys’ agreement is a legally-binding contract, whereby you pay a tenant a lump sum amount of money, and their lease is canceled, and they have to leave your property.
This idea can feel a bit uncomfortable to some landlords. Why should they have to pay a tenant for their bad behavior?
Well, it makes financial sense because it can easily cost $5,000 to evict a tenant, and take months to do so. If you have to just pay $1,000 and have a bad tenant move out within a week, you’ll be able to save a huge amount of money and will be able to rent your property to a more qualified tenant right away.
5. Involve Police (In case of Illegal Activity)
In most cases, you can evict your tenant quickly, if there is proof that illegal activity is occurring. They’re breaking your lease, so you can take the proper action to get them out of your property.
But proof is needed here. You cannot get the police involved unless you have proof of criminal activity. If you’re doing a routine maintenance inspection and find drugs, in that case, you can get the police involved.
6. Threatening Legal Action
Sometimes, a threatening legal action may be just what your tenant needs to realize how severe the situation is – and what could be the consequences if you actually do take legal action, and attempt to evict them.
It is recommended to do this only when your relationship with the tenant has deteriorated quite a bit – as threatening legal action will certainly not make them inclined to compromise with you later.
7. Begin the Process of Eviction
In case all else fails, you can begin the process of evicting your tenant. You’ll gather evidence about how they are breaking your lease agreement, so that you can prove this in court, if necessary.
Be ready to hire legal representation. Eviction is a complex process, and it can take a long time. However, if you can prove that your tenant was breaking their lease terms, you will win the case.
Hire a professional property management company to handle your property management issues and free up your time to spend time with family, or look for more investment properties. Request a Management Quote today. You can also call us at 1.888.230.1578.