How to Deal with Difficult Tenants
One of the challenging tasks in property management is dealing with difficult tenants. Being difficult can mean many things, such as being unreasonable and belligerent, not paying the rent on time, creating disturbances, fighting with other tenants, and so on. Difficult tenants not only waste a lot of time of the property manager, but also create a negative atmosphere on the premises. Here are a few tips for handling difficult tenants.
Making Everything Clear
In property management, it is always wise to keep everything in black and white and show what is expected from the tenants, and what tenants can expect from the management. All these expectations can be clearly stated in the agreement, so that the tenant has a clear picture. These points can include garbage removal practices, expected level of cleanliness, laundry schedules, procedure for reporting issues, minimum maintenance required from the tenant, common maintenance procedures followed by property management, policies for late payment of rent, expected noise levels, and minimum etiquette expected towards other tenants.
With certain tenants, it may not be enough to mention these expectations in the agreement. In such cases, the property manager should take the initiative and educate such tenants whenever the opportunity arises.
Being Professional and Maintaining Good Relations
The property manager should always have a professional attitude, which means neither being defensive nor being aggressive. Arguing with an angry tenant will only make matters worse, and being submissive will not be productive as well. It is important to speak calmly but firmly and communicate effectively. At the same time, it is also important to maintain good cordial relations with all tenants.
The best way of showing that the property management cares for the tenants is to listen to all complains attentively. The next step would be to respond and fix issues in a timely manner. Additionally, also have a system in place for the tenant to report late fixing of issues and the inconveniences they had to endure. This will help tenants to air out their problems and grievances, without causing any major disturbances.
Updating the Screening Process
The problem of difficult tenants can be avoided largely by having an efficient screening process for prospective tenants. Property managers should patiently carry out background checks, check out feedback from previous property owners, investigate credit worthiness, and check, to see if the individual or any member of the family has a criminal record. A clever questionnaire can be designed to reveal behavioral aspects of people, and their attitudes. Employ all the latest technological advances and tools available to create an efficient screening process.
Having Full Knowledge of Laws
The property manager should have full knowledge about the laws governing tenancy and tenant rights. It is important to understand tenant’s rights, and know all the procedures and protocols that will come into play in the event of certain situations and incidents. The most important aspect is to know the rules regarding rental delinquency and non-payment of dues. A difficult tenant can very easily turn into a bad tenant, and the property manager should know all the legalities for evicting such a tenant.