One of the biggest challenges of managing real estate is dealing with tenants. If you’re a landlord, you have probably dealt with your fair share of difficult, non-compliant, or owing renters. Such inconvenience can make your job more difficult, diminish the value of your property, and reduce overall profits.
Stick around till the end of this article to find out the top 5 tenant issues landlords face and how to resolve them.
Top 5 Tenant Issues That Landlords Face
- Non-payment of Rent
Late or missed rent is one of the sources of most landlord-tenant conflicts. Money can create a lot of friction between parties, especially when both sides feel the other one isn’t considerate. As a landlord, you might feel cheated because you still have to keep up with rental expenses like utilities, taxes, and mortgage repayments. On the other hand, renters might feel the property owner is being unreasonable if they’ve recently lost their job or arrear fees are too high.
- Introduce Automated Payments
If you have problems with tenants forgetting to pay the rent, you can introduce an automated payment option. This structure solves the issue by taking responsibility for remembering to pay rent from both parties. If your renter has problems with cash flow, you can offer them a weekly partial payment that adds to the total amount owed. Thanks to the convenience e-payment offers, there’s no limit to what solutions you can use as long as you communicate.
- Offer an Alternatives
If the problem is that the tenant can no longer afford to meet rental payments, you can offer them alternative accommodation. Instead of starting a lengthy eviction process, give the tenants the option of moving to a cheaper property you might own. This solution works for both parties because they get a budget-friendly place to stay while your turnover rate remains stable. You can start looking for a more financially suitable applicant during the moving process.
However, if you do not own another housing option for the tenant, creating a payment plan is a great idea. Just make sure you work with the tenant to agree on what they can afford and put all of the terms in writing. This can help avoid a costly eviction while helping a willing tenant catch up.
- Missed Red Flags During Screening
Another reason you might be dealing with terrible tenants is that you missed some red flags during their screening. Some landlords make the mistake of incorrectly evaluating candidates before signing a lease with them, which often leads to disaster. You risk getting stuck with troublesome and financially inadequate renters without verifying that a tenant is eligible to live on your property.
- Adopt a Thorough Screening Process
The best way to avoid getting saddled with unqualified tenants is to adopt a thorough screening process. Ideally, it would help to ask each applicant for information about their employment, income, and criminal history, as well as requiring rental references. Of course, you should never take only their word for it. Follow it up by performing a credit check and calling their references. Their previous or current landlord could share valuable insight into a prospective tenant’s behavior. A stricter background check will help you identify the right candidate and avoid problematic renters.
- Outsource the Leasing Procedure
Some landlords might find the screening process too tedious and decide to skip it. However, as we’ve highlighted, that can lead to trouble. You can outsource the task to avoid the stress of thoroughly screening and protecting your property. Hire a professional property management company that fills your vacancies with the best-qualified candidates.
- Not Complying with Maintenance
Careless or intentionally destructive tenants can be a nightmare for a landlord. While you can’t escape the repair and maintenance costs for wear and tear, excessive bills can harm your profits. Avoidable or unnecessary damage to your property can cause friction between you and the renter.
- Deduct Damages from the Security Deposit
If a tenant is responsible for damage such as a stained painting, broken toilet, or a faulty appliance, you don’t have to cover the costs. The law allows you to deduct the funds for repairs from their security deposit. However, it would help if you always recorded why, when, and how much you take for repairs.
- Take Legal Action
Occasionally, you might find yourself stuck with a destructive tenant. In such a scenario, constantly having to make repairs can be frustrating, especially when you exhaust their security deposit. In that case, you can take legal action against them by suing through small claims court.
- Security Deposit Disputes
A security deposit is a fund tenants pay their landlord in addition to their first month’s rent. The purpose of this fund is to cover tenant damage, unpaid rent, and other lease violations. However, since this fee is repayable, it’s a popular source of dispute between property owners and renters. Both parties may have misunderstandings on the purpose of the fund, thus, requiring communication and resolution.
- Comply with Security Deposit Laws
The best way to avoid a security deposit dispute is to adhere to its laws. Each set has its bylaws, and it would be in everyone’s best interest to stick to it. Tenants should know where you’re holding the deposit, how much, and why you’re withdrawing from it. If you still can’t seem to reach an agreement, consider a property manager to help landlords avoid miscommunication and tenant disputes. These professionals act as intermediaries between both parties and can offer an amicable solution.
- Keep Inspection Documents
Curb disputes by keeping inspection documents handy. If you plan to deduct from your tenant’s security deposit to replace a tile, you should have date-stamped photos and narrations of what caused the damage. Such habits will prevent the renter from arguing about the time, date, and events leading up to the current condition. It also ensures that you are on the same page with the deduction.
- Lease Violations
A lease is an agreement between a landlord and tenant that dictates the living arrangement between both parties. While this legal document is enforceable by law, sometimes property owners have issues with tenants breaking their word. Some common ways renters violate their lease is by hosting long-term guests, allowing unauthorized pets, and using the property for other commercial or illegal purposes.
- Educate your Tenants
If your lease is a bulky document, your tenants might not bother reading through it. Although they are responsible for reading and adhering to the rental agreement, you should inform them about the building code. You can make it easier for them by posting flyers around the property.
- File a Lawsuit
After going the extra mile to educate your tenants, and they’re still not compliant, you can take legal action. Contact a professional real estate lawyer and ask them how you can file a lawsuit against a renter for violating their lease. If you’re successful, the court can order the tenant to pay compensation for your troubles.
As a property owner, you should strive to build a healthy relationship with your renters. It can help reduce turnovers, save money on repairs, and preserve your units. Thus, knowing how to resolve these top 5 tenant issues that landlords face is crucial. If you cannot implement these tips yourself, you can always hire a professional property management company to do that for you.