Whether you’re looking into purchasing your first rental home or you are already renting your property out, most landlords encounter difficult tenants at some point. From paying their rent late to disturbing the neighbors, there are numerous reasons why tenants can cause problems.
Whatever the issue, it is essential that you nip it in the bud and take steps to ensure these issues don’t arise again. Here is a short guide to help landlords manage difficult tenants.
Screen All Potential Tenants
When renting out a property, the most fundamental aspect you need to get right is to find the right tenants. No matter how lovely a person seems over the phone or when you first meet them, it is always a good idea to screen potential tenants.
Pay attention to their credit and employment history, and keep an eye out for red herrings. For reassurance, try to obtain one or two references. By screening potential tenants, you can narrow down the most suitable people to rent your property.
Consider the Type of Rental You Offer
If you have always offered conventional rental agreements, it might be worth exploring other options, especially if you are tired of the traditional landlord operations plagued by tenant issues that are often difficult and take a very long time to remedy.
Whether they’re looking for short-term or long-term accommodation – be it to live in or for a vacation – many people nowadays look for a room for rent online instead of going through the old-fashioned rental process.
This is something to keep in mind, as you might be able to swap your workload as a landlord for a less stressful one and even increase your income by renting your property out in this slightly more unconventional yet very profitable way.
Identify the Real Issue
One of the problems with tenant issues is that they can snowball quickly. However, identifying the underlying issue can help you resolve it before it gets worse. In some cases, showing that you care enough to pinpoint the problem can result in better relations between yourself and your tenant.
Sometimes unexpected circumstances can occur, which can result in temporary cash flow problems. As soon as a rental payment issue arises, it is important to find out the reason behind it. If the cause is genuine, you can come up with reasonable payment solutions to help your tenant out. Not only will they appreciate your understanding, but it will also reduce the risk of receiving no payment at all.
When it comes to complaints from the neighbors, the issue is often related to noise. If you rent the entire property out to tenants, ask them to resolve the problem with their neighbors personally. If that fails, you may need to intervene and play the mediator between the tenant and the neighbors and come up with a solution.
Subletting Without Permission
Finding out your tenant has placed a rental ad up or has actually rented a room out to a stranger without informing you can be infuriating. You can reduce the chance of this happening by making it clear at the start that this is unacceptable and including it in a clause on the tenant’s contract. You can also schedule property visits and look out for signs of other people living on the property.
Again, property visits are useful in this situation as they can help you keep on top of any damage as soon as it occurs. Make sure you have a thorough contract in place that clarifies the party responsible for repairing and paying for property damage.
Keep a Written Record of Everything
An effective way to protect yourself as a landlord is to keep a written record throughout the duration of a new tenancy. This includes all financial transactions, complaints from tenants and neighbors, and photographic evidence where appropriate. Keep your documents and evidence in a safe and secure place – your record might come in handy should you need to take legal action against your tenant.