Leasing out your property can be a great investment. It yields good return but almost nine out of 10 landlords will face at least one or two bad tenant during their ownership. Therefore, knowing how to handle such problems is a crucial part of being a landlord.

Q: What are bad tenants?

A: Difficulty with tenants can range from unduly rent payment, neglect and damage of property, bad temper and misbehavior, breaching rules and regulation to taking advantage of you. This mix can drive you crazy, especially if they are constantly nitpicking and getting in fights with other tenants or if they have a tendency to be rude to you or others in your property.

Q: How should you handle such tenants?

A: Have a good relationship, and try to develop mutual trust from the beginning. Be helpful and honest about faults and repairs. Try to complete your tenant’s requests on time and try to be flexible. Being responsible and pleasant may result in reciprocal behavior. Even if they do not respond kindly or act in the same manner, if it seems like you are avoiding them, you will cause more problems. Keep a connection with the tenant, and remain professional.

Be objective. The most common problem is failing to pay rent on time, but whatever problem arises, it is good to be assertive. Let your authority be known, and be courteous but professional. Remember this is your business and being too friendly and casual may leave a window open to manipulation.

Always have your agreements on paper. The best way to deal with problematic tenants is by having an airtight contractual agreement. Have a small punishment for every breach of the contract; for example late fees, damage compensation or a security fee deposit at the time of leasing. A one week notice to comply clause can work wonders, as it gives your tenant a fair amount of time to resolve any problems. These official papers have more significant impact on people than verbal warnings. Always keep records of what notices you are sending and their replies, including any necessary bills for repairs or any transactions. If the need for a law case arises, your case will be much stronger if you have evidence.

Be proactive. Schedule one monthly visit or a phone call with your tenant, to check in and be informed. It is easier to take advantage of negligent landlords. If you hear about any disputes your tenant caused with other residents or your employees, take immediate action. Talk it out with them; listen to their problems before reprimanding anyone or taking decisions.

If the tenant continues to be difficult, consider an eviction notice as per your contract. Screen your next tenants to avoid repeating the same scenario.

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