Some are drug addicts who eventually get involved with the police who come knocking at wee hours of the night, waking up everyone in the complex. Others suffer mental illnesses and quit their medication a few weeks after they move in, and all they do is scream at the top of their voices all night long. Nobody in the building can get a good night sleep. And others drink all weekend long, come back in the company of their drunken friends and start fights- which often culminate in the destruction of property.
The biggest challenge is to flag rowdy tenants using conventional screening techniques and interview. It’s not easy! Some will get through. They show you what you want to see during the interviews. Drug addicts can be quite functional too when they want to. And how would you even screen for a psychiatric condition? Some of these tenants picking fights with their neighbors are first-time offenders hence no prior records. It’s not your fault; you couldn’t have known they were trouble unless you are a psychic.
Dealing with Rowdy Tenants
Bad tenants are the bane of any property management professional. Whether it’s either of the situations described above or rent payment issues (late payments or no payments at all), once tenants go bad, they become a headache for you, fellow residents, and the general public. As a savvy property manager, you have to handle the situation professionally. But how do you do that? Here’s a guide on how to deal with the most common tenant scenarios on US properties:
Seek the help of an attorney for local laws regarding personal items if you have reason to believe someone has abandoned the property. Many states have stringent regulations vis-à-vis the handling of a tenants’ personal belongs if they abandon the property. Resist the urge to toss all these items out- you don’t want any trouble with the law.
Needy Nit-Picking Tenants
This is the type of problem tenants who will flood your voicemail and email with complaints about everything from their neighbors to the state of the property. They want new flooring, new appliances, and will request repairs every now and then. Whatever their requests are, take them seriously, document all their demands and treat them with respect.
Tenants Involved in Illegal Activities
If you get any reports that a tenant is up to no good, do your own research and establish a basis of the accusations. For instance, if you have been receiving phone calls and emails from your tenants informing you that a particular tenant is involved in illegal activity —say the use and distribution of narcotics, gather the relevant evidence and contact the authorities.
Property Destroying Tenants
Some people just can’t leave rental space how they found it. Make a formal request for repairs if you discover that a tenant has caused damage to your property beyond the typical wear and tear. If the damage is too big to the tenant to handle, fix it yourself and send them the bill. Arrange for a payment schedule or suggest that the bill can be paid using the security deposit. Make sure that the whole process is properly documented. Issue a Quit of Cure notice if none of the above work. If there’s still no response, ask the tenant to vacate the property. The lease should detail the responsibility of the tenant in the event of deliberate or negligent damage to the property.
Noisy, Disruptive Tenants
All tenants have the right to a quiet enjoyment. But, when this right is incorporated into a lease agreement, tenants are prohibited from engaging in activities that disturb other residents, intimidation, using racial slurs, or sexual harassment. Record and document any complaints you get from neighbors, whether they are hosting raucous parties, playing loud music, or fighting. Noisy, disruptive neighbors are a menace to residents and the property management company.
Late Paying and Non-Paying Tenants
Late paying and non-paying tenants are a problem to any property management company. Late or no payments at all will have a direct impact on the company’s revenue stream. The lease should clearly outline what is considered a late payment and the subsequent repercussions. Issue a non-payment of rent notice if the tenant fails to pay rent entirely. Timely rent payment is one of the key responsibilities of a tenant.
Whatever you do, stick to the policies and procedures outlined in the lease. When a person agrees to rent a property, they are committing to the policies and regulations outlined in the contract. Give them a hard electronic copy of the lease, they probably won’t read it, but that’s standard procedure. It’s for your own good.
Every tenant should be treated with high levels of professionalism —even bad tenants. But this shouldn’t come at the expense of safety. Contact the authorities immediately if you feel like the situation is exposing anybody to danger. For instance, it a tenant is mixed up in illegal activities, call the police and let them handle the situation. Dealing with rowdy tenants can be stressful and all property managers in Rio Vista know that much, but how you treat them makes all the difference. Other tenants will be watching how you handle the situation, and if they don’t like how the situation is handled, they may not want to renew their leases.