Despite all of your best screening efforts, every investor eventually deals with a difficult tenant. If you chose a tenant before you started using a thorough screening process—or a good tenant turns into a difficult one—it's almost a rite of passage to handle a terrible tenant at some point in the growth of your portfolio.
Fortunately, if you have a good screening process, bad tenants are few and far between. However, when challenges come up with a tenant, it's critical to handle them properly. How do you know what to do? As you add more properties to your portfolio, you increase the risk of bad tenants purely by volume.
Before letting terrible tenants get the best of you, here's what the professionals at RentHub Property Management recommend you try when dealing with difficult tenants in your Frisco rentals.
What Is a "Difficult" Tenant?
While you'll have plenty of excellent tenants come and go from your Frisco rental properties, you'll never have a "perfect" tenant. Some tenants might miss a rent payment or accidentally cause damage to your property. In most cases, working with a tenant peacefully can easily resolve most situations.
A difficult tenant causes problems repeatedly—and often on purpose.
- They miss payment after payment.
- They cause damage and refuse to work with you on repairs.
- They break the rules of your lease.
- They create a lot of noise and disturb other tenants or neighbors.
- They are a hassle in every aspect of being a tenant.
When you have a tenant like this, respond to the situation like a pro! Keep in mind that these solutions will generally apply to every kind of difficult tenant except for one: the "Professional Tenant." When you have a Professional Tenant in your property, you need to call in the big guns—and fast. When it comes to these nightmare tenants, work with your legal counsel or your trusted Frisco property manager.
Find Your "Zen"
Whatever you do to keep calm, find it—and hang on to it when a tenant becomes difficult. Remember: in the landlord-tenant relationship, you are the professional end of the business. No matter what your tenant does:
- Maintain your composure
- Respond calmly (yet confidently)
- Be patient.
A hasty or angry response can escalate a situation: staying calm can help you remember to consult your lease agreement and proceed according to the rules and consequences outlined within.
Your tenants are not your friends. You'll find it easier to emotionally distance yourself from a terrible tenant situation if you maintain a professional boundary with your tenants. If you do open up your Frisco rental properties to friends or family, it can be tough to impose fines and enforce the rules of a lease agreement when your relationship with your tenants is personal.
- A successful landlord is friendly yet professional with tenants.
- Avoid renting to family or friends.
- Maintain professional boundaries with your tenants at all times—or work with a property manager to do this for you.
Remember that you run a business! Don't let relationships compromise your ability to collect the rent every month or keep your Frisco rental properties in excellent condition.
The ability to create and maintain professional boundaries between you and your tenants is one reason why many investors turn to property management. A property manager acts as a shield between you and your tenants to reduce your risk.
Keep Impeccable Records
Document everything! From the application process to the lease agreement, keep well-documented records of anything involving your tenants and property.
Documentation becomes especially critical when dealing with a problematic tenant. In the event that you need to seek compensation for damages, apply fees, or pursue eviction, you need good records to back you up. At RentHub, we view eviction as a last resort—however, it's considered good practice to keep a file for each of your Frisco rental properties and tenants. Include records for:
- All versions of the lease agreement, including pet addendums
- All incidents of late rent, noise complaints, or lease violations
- Emails or text messages when trying to resolve a situation peacefully
- History of security deposits, rental payments, and property inspections.
If that sounds like a lot of paperwork, it doesn't have to be! Use an online document management system that also allows tenants to pay their rent online, review documents, and check the lease agreement on-demand.
Let It Go
Even the best landlord can't change bad tenants into better tenants. Some bad tenants will always be terrible—Professional Tenants, we're looking at you! When they wear out their welcome in your rental property, they'll find another place to live—often without providing notice—or by dragging you into painful legal battles.
Professional tenants look like ideal renters during the application process, but after they move into your home, they turn into a landlord's worst nightmare. You might think a hoarder or a tenant who never pays the rent on time are worst-case scenarios. However, when you meet and deal with a professional tenant, you'll realize why they are some of the worst kinds of tenants.
You Don't Need to "Fix" Bad Tenants
Landlords don't have a responsibility to change a bad tenant into a good tenant. Your job is to find the best peaceful resolution to every tenant situation—including walking through the legal eviction process if necessary. Always consult a lawyer before beginning an eviction or work with a trusted Frisco property manager. They'll help you understand the correct way to remove the tenant from your rental properties.
Make sure to check out our other blogs if you have questions about Property Management best practices!
Avoid Bad Tenants With a Frisco Property Manager!
Terrible tenants cause stress—and can be an expensive problem to resolve alone. The best way to avoid bad tenants is to use a thorough screening process and weed them out before they ever become a problem for your properties. However, as any investor who has dealt with tenants who hoard or a Professional Tenant knows, they can often be hard to spot.
If you're currently dealing with a bad tenant, you don't have to do this alone! Turn to expert property management in Frisco for an ally you can count on!
You can download our free Guide to Finding the Best Dallas Property Manager if you need helping picking the right property manager for you.
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