It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned professional or just had to become a landlord because you couldn’t find a buyer in time, at some point you may eventually face the quintessential “tenant from hell”. They pay rent carelessly late, they damage your property, they don’t return your calls, or they let their kids turn the walls of your property into their personal drawing canvas. So how can you avoid this problem without spending the time and money involved in eviction court?
What can you do to protect yourself and your property from bad tenants?
First of all, make sure you screen your tenants. You may be in a hurry to fill your vacant lease but don’t rush past an adequate background check. Check your future tenants credit score, verify their income, and most importantly, call their previous landlords and references. This is the best way to know what the future will hold for you and your new tenant.
Another step to prevent your tenants from damaging your property and peace of mind is to create a written agreement along with your lease. Make a list of any personal rules about your property and have your renters sign it. Never be a “handshake agreement” type landlord, this will only backfire on you. Get everything in writing.
What if I have a tenant that’s violating the lease, engaging in criminal activity, or disrespecting my property?
Make sure you review your lease to see if they are directly violating any clauses in it. If so, you immediately have the legal upper-hand. No, you don’t need to get aggressive or confrontational. Think about the best way to handle this situation and approach it calmly; losing your cool will only make things worse. Talk to your tenant in a calm but firm manner about what they are doing and how you expect the problem resolved. Let them know you are prepared to take legal action and evict them if the behavior isn’t corrected.
The most important thing you can do after letting your tenants know they are violating your rules is follow up. If your tenant isn’t paying your rent on time or is breaking some rule in your lease agreement, follow up immediately and continuously until they do. Ring their doorbell day after day until you have your rent, or your issue resolved. Show your tenants they are expected to follow your rules. If you don’t have the ability to physically follow up do it through email or phone and keep record of your correspondences.
What if you simply want to be rid of your bad tenant problem?
Are you ready to stop putting up with this headache all together? You have a few options to consider if you don’t want to deal with your tenant problem anymore. Some landlords will actually offer their tenants money to leave, this seems counter-productive for someone trying to make money off their leased property, but this can be a viable solution if you need your tenants gone. You can also evict your tenant if you are no longer willing to deal with their behavior. If you’re taking this route you will want to hire a lawyer and act fast, this process can often be long and expensive.
If you are done dealing with the headaches that come with landlording and bad tenants all together you can always sell your property. Let someone like us take your problem off your hands. Even if your tenants have left your property in desperate need of repairs, we will buy it as-is and give you cash. You can stop wasting your time and energy working with tenants that disrespect and damage your investment.