Dealing with Difficult Tenants

As a property manager, one of the least pleasant aspects of your job is dealing with problem or difficult tenants. No matter how good your new tenant screening process is, there are always going to be those difficult tenants who somehow manage to sneak their way in. Maybe it is the creative tenant who suddenly decides the walls of their apartment need to be painted in neon colors, those who let their pets go on a regular rampage or those who for reasons only known to themselves suddenly start paying their rent late if at all. Not to forget, of course, the ones that simply never stop whining about every little problem.

While there is no “one size fits all” solution, here are a few suggestions to help you deal with a large percentage of problem tenants.

Partial or Late Payments

The best way to deal with those who start making partial payments or are a few days late is to start out on the right foot. During the lease signing process, be sure to gently point out the late payment policy and explain that there is no leeway built into the lease. When they are late send them a gentle reminder via email or give them a call and be strict in collecting what is due. Remember you are the landlord or property manager, not their friend.

The Homewrecker

Tenants who come into your property and cause damage are among the most common problem the average landlord/property manager has to deal with. Start out with a full inspection of the property before a new tenant moves in. After everyone has signed it noting any damage, give the tenants a copy for their records. Performing occasional inspections is a good way to keep any eye out for any damages or unauthorized additions. Advise the tenant that they need to make the appropriate repairs and pay for them or move out. You can always take them to court after they have vacated for the damages.

The Endless Whiner

Most landlords have tenants they almost never hear from, but then there are those who never seem to stop calling. Worse yet it’s always for something small and certainly not anything urgent such as not enough hot water, the air conditioning doesn’t seem as cold as it should be, the front door seems to be sticking. You know the type. But, even though you have an obligation to have these things looked at by your maintenance team, you are not obligated to drop everything and come running every time they call.

The Crazy Cat Lady

Or for that matter, any other type of pet can cause issues. This includes things like cats that like to mark their territory by urinating on everything, the dog who simply can’t stop chewing, fish tanks that leak, and more. If you do allow pets in your properties, be sure to check on their condition from time to time. If you notice any damage, be sure to invoke any consequences laid out in the lease. If you don’t allow pets, then be sure to invoke any consequences before you ask them to vacate the property.