Dealing With Problem Tenants

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
How Landlords Should Deal With Poor Tenants

How Landlords Should Deal With Problem Tenants

Practical Advice For Dealing With Problem Tenants

It is important for all landlords to be consistently polite, courteous and professional at all times when dealing with problem tenants, even if the tenants don’t behave quite the same way.

Renting property is your business and you need to you treat it as such and always behave in a manner that reflects your professionalism.

Landlords should endeavour to visit their rental properties periodically to monitor the conditions the tenants are living in and identify any maintenance issues as they arise and deal with neighbour-related problems immediately. If you know that the property needs work create a maintenance schedule at the beginning of the tenancy and ensure that the tenant is aware of what will be done and when the work is intended to be carried out.

Talk to the neighbours to gauge your tenant’s conduct. Are they having loud parties every night? Are they continually disturbing the neighbours, and have the police ever been called? Don’t assume that everything is fine – be proactive and stay informed, you need to know if you are renting to a problem tenant.

Landlords need to remember that if you plan to enter the property you are required to give at least 24 hours notice in writing to your tenant before doing so, regardless of whether there is a problem or not.UK private rental sector landlords should keep detailed accounts of all correspondence, financial and legal transactions with tenants, as it’s important to have a paper trail of any issues dealt with, as well as warnings or requests issued, so that you can refer to them should the need arise in future. Keep copies of all emails or letters to and from your tenant, and write down the dates and details of any telephone conversations you have.

Landlords should try to build a good working relationship with tenants and when repairs on the property are required, it is important to listen to the tenant, respond quickly and fix the problem properly within a reasonable timescale. Recurring issues and unnecessary delays can cause resentment and distrust and can turn a previously good tenant into a problem tenant.

Protect the rental property by ensuring you take out the right landlord insurance policy that will cover the fabric of the building and provide some degree of landlord contents cover to the fixtures and fittings of the property, emergency assistance and accidental damage.

It is possible to minimise potential damage to the rental property by using hard-wearing, durable materials including washable paint, stain-protected carpet in a dark colour or pattern, good quality vinyl or ceramic tiles and smoke detectors at key points in the property.

If the landlord spots a problem that is being caused by the tenant’s lifestyle, such as property damage or overall lack of cleanliness, a polite verbal or written request to the tenant could serve as a mild warning and should help to resolve issues in a positive manner.

If the tenant’s behaviour is considered to be anti-social or in direct violation of the law, such as noise infringements or heated parking disputes, it is a good idea to refer the matter to the police, who will deal with such issues and the tenant could end up with an anti social behaviour order, a fine or an official warning.

If the tenant fails to pay the rent, and the rent arrears are in excess of 8 weeks, the landlord can legally begin repossession proceedings to evict the tenant and gain possession of the property. Legal4Landlords are the UK’s leading tenant eviction specialists and can deal with the eviction process quickly, with the minimum of fuss.

The best thing landlords can do is to thoroughly reference all tenant applicants, by screening tenants before offering a tenancy, it can help avoid issues later on. Landlords may be keen to rent out their property quickly, but tenant referencing will save landlords time, money and distress by ensuring the tenancy goes to the right applicant from the start.

Tenant referencing will reveal the tenant applicant’s rental, employment and credit history and any good prospective tenant should be able to provide solid and checkable references. It’s vital for landlords to have a clear understanding of the tenant to whom they are entrusting their investment property to.

The landlord also has both legal and moral obligations for the safety of all tenants in their rental properties and every effort must be made to ensure that all safety checks are carried out as required by the law, such a gas safety checks carried out annually and any issue that could potentially cause injury or endanger life must be dealt with immediately

If all this information appears to be a bit much to deal with, it may be worth considering employing the services of a good property managing agent, who should be used to taking care of such matters for landlords for a monthly fee.

This was written by Mike Clarke. Posted on at 2:03 pm. Filed under Eviction, Referencing. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.