In property management, problem tenants are an unpleasant but sometimes inevitable part of life. While a strong tenant screen solution helps to sift out bad applicants and protect your business, some troublemakers will still find their way to your properties. Not only is it important to know how to keep good tenants happy but knowing how to deal with problem tenants is one of the most essential skills to have. No screening system yet can detect the chronic complainers who will drive you insane with their demands. While thorough screening helps, there are always unforeseen circumstances that might hit at any time. A few tips for single-family rental homes problem solving with your tenants are in this article. Property managers might also use them on mobile homes for sale or any other type of lease.
Late Rent Payment
If you’re wise you make it very clear at the lease signing (in a friendly way) that your property management system is rigid and there is no leeway about late payment penalties – that the accountant must account for the late fees in the cash flow at year’s end. Be firm You should indicate that action will be taken. If you notice a pattern in one of your tenants being consistently late, talk to them about it to find out why. If the pay date and rent due date do not line up work with them to change the due date. If worse come to worse you can issue the Pay-or- Quit letter which is a document sent to the tenant telling them that must move or pay rent. Keep in mind that during the pandemic late fees and eviction process have been altered. So be sure you follow the eviction moratoriums.
On the list of most common problems with renters, property damage comes right after late rent. This includes unapproved improvement, negligence, and property abuse. Your lease probably does spell out that the property must be left in the condition it was in before move-in, and if the new paint is neon pink, it’s their job to re-paint before leaving or cover the cost with their damage deposit. Before deduction from a tenant’s security deposit, or charging them for repairs, be sure you understand your state laws and local laws when it comes to security deposits. Inspect your rental units, the lease should state that this will occur with proper notice. Be sure and have a clause in your lease about terminating the lease agreement. A Cure or Quit notice is usually the one to include in the lease agreement.
Some renters will sublet part or all of the property without bothering to check whether you allow it. And now, in the age of Airbnb, some have been booking short-term vacation rentals on the sly. In some areas, it’s against the law. At the very least, it’s a lot different having a parade of strangers occupying the property than having the people you screened and approved there. Speak to your legal advisor about adding a clause to your lease that prevents unauthorized subletting or unapproved long-term guests
If something is not working properly it is right to complain. But a tenant constantly requesting maintenance for things like the door is sticking, they do not get enough hot water, just minor DIY issues are just wanting to take advantage of your maintenance time. Don’t be a sucker for whiny tenants; you have enough real issues to take care of. The fact is that you are not obligated legally or otherwise to jump into action every time they call. When the time comes to offer renewal incentives, you may want to think twice about offering renewal to this type of tenant.
A dog that loves to chew or a cat that marks its territory with urine can do major damage and even make the property hard to rent after move-out. If your rental does allow pets, periodic inspections are necessary to ensure that they are not causing damage. Pet rent and pet training documentation can also serve to mitigate risk when renting to pet owners. These days a lot of tenants own exotic pets, so be ready to answer whether it’s okay to have, say, a couple of ferrets living in the home.
Remember that even if a tenant is arrested, their lease does not become automatically void. Do not tolerate tenants’ disruptive behavior. Include an explicit provision in the lease or rental agreement prohibiting drug dealing and other illegal activity and promptly evict tenants who violate the clause. Consult with security experts to do everything reasonable to discover and prevent illegal activity on your rental property.
Tenant Screening is Super Important
Your biggest weapon against terrible tenants is the lease agreement between the two parties.
Have photos of your rental from as many angles as possible. Date and store them before the tenant moves in. Photos will help you compare for damage at the end of the lease.
Perform regular inspections twice a year to address issues as soon as possible.
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