No landlord wants to deal with a bad tenant. However, handling tenant problems is something that comes with the job of being a landlord–no matter how hard you try at picking the best tenants for your property. Before contacting a process server agency to serve eviction papers in New York or any other place, here’s what you can do to deal with problematic tenants:
The number one problem that almost all landlords face is a non-paying tenant. This type of tenant fails to pay rent on a regular basis, often ignoring late payment notices and calls from you, their landlord. Sometimes, a non-payer has no valid reasons for missing rent (e.g. spent the rent money on unimportant things). But for most non-paying tenants, there is usually an underlying problem for their missed payments (e.g. getting laid off, having a medical emergency).
If your tenant is the latter, compassion and understanding will make the situation better for both of you. After all, forcing them to move out may be more expensive on your part since you have to get the unit ready for the next tenant, as well as run the risk of extended vacancy. Instead of eviction, here are some solutions you can offer:
- Restructure payment schedules to make payment easier for the tenant
- Decrease the rent at least temporarily
- Move them into a smaller place or accept another tenant as their roommate
- Use their deposit for the month’s rent
These are the tenants that either deliberately or unconsciously break the rules specified in the lease. As a landlord, rule-breakers pose a threat to your building’s safety, the welfare and satisfaction of other tenants, and maybe even the legal status of your property.
When a tenant breaks the rules once and then stops upon your reminding, it’s usually an honest mistake on their part. However, if a tenant continues to break the rules, here are some strategies to fix the problem before you resort to eviction:
- Revisit the lease agreement with them during a face-to-face meeting
- Consider creating an addendum to their lease
- Imposing fees for rule-breaking to avoid future incidents
The destructive tenant is one who, either deliberately or accidentally, causes damage to the property. This type of tenant is a nightmare for many landlords because firstly, the damage can have permanent consequences on your property. Secondly, it can cost you a lot of money to get the place fixed even if the damage is not your fault.
To deal with this type of tenant, a landlord can use these solutions:
- Investigating the damage thoroughly to determine the cause (e.g. drunkenness, mental instability)
- Consider having the tenant get renter’s insurance
- Report the damage to the authorities if necessary
- Politely asking them to pay for the damages if they want to continue renting
- Offering to help fix the damage if it was caused by an accident
This article highlights just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bad tenants. But as a landlord, you will most likely encounter these three tenants during your career. Before you consider evicting them, which can be a difficult and expensive process, find solutions that can settle the problem peacefully and as hassle-free as possible.