So you have your first bad tenants. This happens to every real estate investor from time to time, but do you know how to handle it?
Problematic tenants can cause major problems for your rental property. Whether it's intentional or not, you need to solve the problem. We want to help.
Read on to learn all about what you should do when you have a tenant that isn't on their best behavior.
1. Identify The Problem
First, figure out what the actual problem is with the tenant. This will help you determine the next plan of action.
Has a tenant missed a rent payment (or worse, several rent payments)? Are other tenants complaining about their behavior? Do you suspect they've been subletting without your permission?
Try to pin down the exact issue before you move forward so you know what to discuss with the tenant and how the complaints apply to their lease agreement.
2. Have a Conversation
Before you start panicking, talk to your tenant one-on-one. Most of the time, you can resolve tenant issues by having an open conversation. Some tenants don't know that they're doing anything wrong, so a bad tenant is often an ignorant one.
When you talk to your tenant, try to do it in a non-threatening way. Explain the issue and show your tenant what part of their lease they're violating.
If it's a rent payment issue, consider looking for solutions like payment plans.
Make sure that you have a paper trail. After the meeting, send an email to your tenant that covers everything that you've discussed. If there are problems in the future, this will help you.
3. Send a Warning
If the behavior continues, you might have to start sending official notices. Sometimes, tenants who don't respond to a casual conversation will be more attentive if they see something official.
Again, keep a copy of the warning in your own records. If you have a tenant portal, it's helpful to send the warning there or via email, so the tenant can not claim they didn't get it in the mail.
4. Vacate vs Eviction
Sometimes problems aren't solvable. In this case, it might be time to ask your tenant to vacate the property. It's best if you can do this without having to start the eviction process.
Most of the time, tenants will agree to vacate because they don't want an eviction in their rental history.
If not, look at local laws and regulations to make sure that you're within your rights to evict your tenant. There are some restrictions on eviction, and you don't want to get into legal trouble.
5. Hire a Property Manager
Managing problematic tenants is a lot of work. Consider investing in a property management company to help you out. They can handle the process of dealing with bad tenants, either resolving problems or starting the eviction process.
They can also help you find tenants that won't cause problems in the future.
Bad Tenants are No Big Deal
Every landlord has to deal with bad tenants from time to time. Remember, the best-case scenario is that your problematic tenants don't realize what they're doing. In this case, resolving disputes is easy and painless.
If you have further tenant problems, it might be time to hire a property manager. At HomeRiver Group, our Hawaii property management team can help. Contact us so we can start working together today.