How to deal with unruly tenants
Do you have renters that you just don’t know how to manage? Being a landlord comes with its own share of unique challenges, such as having to deal with terrible tenants. Oh, they can rile you up! You don’t want to turn a blind eye to the pressing issues that need to be addressed, but you’ll also have to be tactful and respectful.
How do you navigate your personal and professional relationships with problem renters? Here is a short guide.
Lead by example
One of the most important strategies for pacifying unruly tenants and finding an opportunity to connect with them is to show them how you want to be treated. Granted, it might be tempting to give in to your emotions and match their behavior, but this will only spell more issues along the way.
Instead, be proactive, transparent, and consistent. Provide concrete examples of what you expect from your renters instead of being aggressive. If a tenant is always late with their rent payment, for instance, be clear about the implications of their behavior. If someone keeps holding noisy house parties even on weeknights, establish boundaries and enforce them.
Aside from being upfront about how you expect to be treated, protect yourself and your rental property by keeping written records of everything. Unit inspections, for example, should include accounts of what transpired from the start to end. This will help ensure that you’re covered in case of disputes.
Similarly, documentation can diffuse potential problems even before they arise. Some tenants might find fault with something only because they don’t have access to all the information that you have. If they see irrefutable proof, they might be more receptive to you.
Don’t forget to take photos or videos of important processes. If push comes to shove and you’ll need to take the legal route to settle issues, your timestamps will support your version of the story and solidify your stand.
Always strive to be calm and composed
It’s important to keep your composure when dealing with problem tenants. It will prove to be difficult, especially if you’ve been fielding the same concern with the same tenant for months on end. But with a calm and clear mind, you can do the following steps that can lead to resolution:
- Evaluate things rationally and professionally
- Be willing to listen and keep an open mind
- Separate your personal feelings from the situation; and
- Be gracious enough to extend the benefit of the doubt to your tenant
Now, what do you do if you’ve tried all of the above and you still haven’t found a way to get through to your unruly tenants?
Consider asking them to leave
If you’re confident that you’ve exhausted your reserves and you’ve hit a dead end, it’s time to politely ask unruly tenants to leave. You can start by sending them a formal notice to vacate your premises. How early you can do this depends on where you live; some states require either a 30-day or 60-day notice. In Texas and the CARES Act, 30 days is the standard. The tenant must also be given at least three days to leave.
Be very clear about why you’re asking your tenant to leave. Make sure you stick to the terms of your lease or rental agreement when you do. This will help streamline the efficiency of the eviction process and head off any potential disagreements that may crop up.
After issuing a notice to vacate, you’ll need to file an eviction suit. The tenant can appeal the judgment, after which a hearing will take place. If the final judgment rules in your favor, you can request for a writ of possession, which you can use to finally remove the tenant from your property. Remember: without this, the tenant can remain in your property.
Read more about the eviction process here.
Enlist professional help
If you don’t feel like you’re up to the task of managing tenants, much less legally forcing an unruly tenant out, hire a College Station property management company. They can:
- Help ensure that all legal conditions are satisfied, so you and your rental property are protected
- Facilitate better outcomes as it will effectively communicate the gravity of the problem to your tenant
- Save you considerable time; and
- Leave you free to focus on other important things
At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Caliber Realty, property management is essential to ensuring the success of your rental or investment property. Contact the team today by calling 979.694.8844 and see how they can champion your rights and welfare as a landlord and help protect your rental business every step of the way.