Owning a rental home offers several significant financial benefits, making it a sound investment for many. However, even the savviest property owners may eventually encounter a landlord’s worst nightmare – a difficult tenant. If you’re considering purchasing a rental home, but are concerned about navigating potentially tough tenant terrain, don’t be. While dealing with a challenging renter may prove unavoidable, you still have options.
Follow a few simple tips to best manage the situation for a positive outcome:
Let’s call this our “be friendly…but firm” approach. Always treat your tenants professionally and ethically; however, don’t be afraid to establish a few clearly defined boundaries, policies, and ground rules right from the start of your renting relationship. Managing expectations of what is (and is not) acceptable will help your tenant quickly realize he/she isn’t going to get away with certain behaviors.
Put It In Writing…And Be Specific
Standardized leases are convenient, but problematic renters can easily find loopholes in vague, generalized language used on a template agreement. Outlining all of your specific policies, requirements, and expectations in a customized lease can save you ample stress and headaches in the future. Additionally, whenever your renter fails to adhere to your rules, write that down as well. Not only is it important to keep a log of every situation, you can also use the details to serve them with a “Notice To Comply” to further reinforce requirements. Final tip – you can also use certified mail to ensure your tenant does receive any critical or time sensitive notifications.
Yes, really. While your first reaction may be to avoid a difficult tenant at all costs, you may actually be creating more problems for yourself long term. Encourage professional, objective communication at all times. Returning calls, texts, and emails can go a long way in eliminating misunderstandings and help keep your renting relationship on track.
Act Before It Gets Out Of Hand
Even great tenants can become problematic if they realize you’re slow to respond to their agreement breaches. As soon as there’s a misstep, whether it’s a missed payment or disregard of renter requirements, react. Proactively and decisively managing an episode as soon as it happens can prevent future incidents.
Hire A Property Management Firm
Perhaps the best way to effectively handle a difficult difficult? Partner with a professional property management firm to oversee your rental. An experienced property management team acts as a liaison between you and your renters to handle all the uncomfortable conversations for you. You get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your interests are protected at all times without the stress and worry that comes from engaging with someone not respecting your agreement for the ultimate landlord win/win.