Best Ways to Deal with a Difficult Tenant
Most tenants abide by the terms of the lease contract. They pay as agreed, take proper care of the property, allow inspections and can be considered a “good” tenant. Our company categorizes over 95% of our tenants as such. . However, if the economy sours and tenants struggle financially, 20% of tenants go from “good” to “bad”.
They are not bad people, but they want their problems to become your problem. If a tenant had not paid all of the rent or they are not in compliance with the contract. Instead of jumping into a costly and time consuming eviction process, there are a few other options we utilize with these types of tenants.
- There is a New Sheriff in Town – Sometimes, just hiring a property management company solves problem. Many tenants take advantage of their relationship with the owner to start bending the rules. Owners hire our company. The tenant understands that special treatment could be construed as discrimination. They know that if they don’t pay as agreed or comply with the contract, we will use every tool at our disposal to make them do so. In previous cases we are hired with a tenant six months in arrears, and once were involved, everything owed is paid to the owner.
- Solve the Problem- Some tenants are withholding payment or being difficult because they have a problem that the current owner is ignoring. Tenants are entitled to a unit free of health and safety concerns as well as quiet enjoyment of the property; once they have that, they abide by the contract.
- This is not a Good Fit – Some tenants are just not a good fit for the property or the owner. We will allow a tenant to breach the current contract if they allow us to find a replacement. Although, they will pay for the cost to acquire a new tenant.
- Stipulate a Payment Plan – After you have filed an unlawful detainer in court, you can negotiate a stipulation agreement with the tenant that creates a way for the tenant to pay for what they owe in arrears, remain in the property, but if they violate the terms of the “stip”, they can be quickly removed from the property.
Start the Eviction – If the tenant does not respond to the above stated strategies, you must start the eviction process and not hope for the best. You must be willing to use the courts to impose your rights. It will cost you up to $1,500 if the tenant contests the eviction, and may take up to 45 days, but it is critical to remove a bad tenant and find a good one.