How to Deal with a Difficult Tenant

When it comes to rental horror stories, you might have dealt with a scum landlord. Whether they were slow to do repairs or held onto the security deposit for dear life, dealing with them left a bad taste in your mouth.

Dealing with a low-brow landlord is tough, but dealing with an unruly tenant is worse. Since most landlords run a tight ship, trying to reason with, or evict for the matter, a tenant who seems to have it out for you is another story.

Read on to learn what you need to do if your perfect tenant turns out to be a dud.

Know Your Rights

Regardless of where your property is located, you have the legal right to file for an eviction. Granted, there is a procedure all landlords need to follow prior to filing. However, know that you do have the right to ask any tenant who won’t pay rent, causes damage to your property or simply is out of control to vacate.

Keep a Cool Head

Prior to filing for eviction, you may want to speak with your tenant. If it’s a matter of always paying rent a few days late, inquire as to whether they’re having financial troubles. If so, you can try to work something out with them, let them pay in installments or give them the option to vacate on their own.

Keep Accurate Records

You need to keep a detailed record of all communication with your tenant. Even if they won’t respond, you need to document every time you tried to call, stopped by or sent certified mail. If you do end up in court, having documentation will strengthen your case.

Follow the Rules

Unfortunately, even if you have just cause, you need to follow the rules. Follow all rules and regulations you set forth in the rental agreement. In addition, make sure you provide additional copies of the lease to the unruly tenant as well. Even if they refuse to acknowledge it, you can still send it via certified mail.

Stay Safe

If all attempts to connect with your tenant fail and you go to the property, play it safe and take someone with you. When it comes to collecting money or asking tenants to vacate, some tenants may respond with anger or violence. If you feel this might be the case, you can always ask for a police escort.

Finally, don’t take your tenant’s behavior personally. Even if you were once on friendly terms, emotions can take over when it comes to dealing with landlord-tenant issues. Play it safe, follow the law and if necessary, seek out legal assistance.

Evan Shaner