Every property manager will at some point have to deal with a problem tenant. In fact, you might already be dealing with several of them. If so, you know how challenging it can be to get them to modify their behavior so that things go back to being copasetic for you, them, and the other tenants in the building.
In this article, we go over a few types of problem tenants and the steps you should take when dealing with them.
- Noisy Tenants
Every rental property has one or two tenants who are known for their loud music, chattering, and disturbance. If your tenant is intentionally or unintentionally disturbing their neighbors, ask them why they’re doing it and come up with a compromise. For example, if they are musicians and their practice sessions are too loud, ask them to either rent a studio or install soundproofing sheets to their wall. If the issue continues, you may request that they leave the apartment based on failure to adhere to peaceful living conditions.
- Late Rent Payment or Non-Paying Tenants
Everybody faces financial problems at some point in their life. But what happens when your tenant is always weeks or even months behind on their rent payments? Do you evict them at once or continue giving them a period of grace? While your humane side may want to provide them with more time to pay, especially if it is their first time, maintaining a rental property costs money. The best ways to handle this issue is to offer your tenants the option to include roommates into the lease agreement to split the rent or allow the tenant to break the lease by simply asking them to leave.
Some renters you hardly hear from. Others call regularly making one unnecessary request after another: The AC doesn’t seem to be working quite right (though it’s been checked out twice in three days); there’s not enough hot water; a door is sticking – and so on. There are calls even about minor things you’d expect them to handle themselves or the lease requires they do. The best way to handle these types of tenants or issues is to politely but firmly address the tenant about the lease and their responsibilities.
On the list of most common problems with renters, property damage comes right after late rent payers. A common and costly mistake that most property managers make is to rush into action and lock the tenant out of the apartment without taking the proper steps and precautions. You may end up losing the entire security deposit and even get sued by the tenant for spoiled food and utility bills.
In some states, you may be fined up to $100 per day if the tenant is locked out of the rental. If your tenant is still in the apartment, you’ll need to provide a notice of intent to enter the premise form which will allow you to document any damages. Upon documentation of the damages, you may request that the tenant evict the unit.
Dealing with problem tenants can be tiring and time-consuming. The best way to avoid renting your property to problem tenants is to prequalify all intending renters.