How to Deal with Difficult Tenants

Managing difficult tenants is no simple feat, but our guide is here to make life easier for you. Learn how to deal with bad tenants and fix the problems caused by them.

Your Tenant is Always Late in Paying You Rent

Late rent payment is one of the most common landlord tenant issues and good news is that there are effective fixes to this problem.

For the occasional offender, you should remind the tenant that his or her rent is overdue with a late rent notice. If nothing happens, then follow up with a phone call to press the tenant for rent payments.

To handle bad tenants who refuse to pay up on time every month, you have to resort to tougher measures. The next time your tenant is late with the rent, send him or her a pay or quit notice directly. This notice will give them 3 to 14 days to pay up or leave the property.

You can also take proactive steps to prevent late rent payments in the future. Before the rent is due every month, give your difficult tenants a phone or email reminder. If necessary, you can even arrange a meeting so that you can personally collect the rent in person.

If you're starting a new lease or renewing an existing one, we strongly recommend to you to impose late rent fees. For more advice and tips, Click here for our full guide on handling late rent payments.

Your Tenant is Unable or Unwilling to Pay Rent

Now we have a bigger headache - No rent means no income for you. If you have tried all possible means and there is just no way to squeeze rent money from your tenant, then it's time for you to take action to reclaim the rent owed and remove him or her from your property.

Before you can get of a bad tenant, you are required by law to give your tenant a pay or quit notice. This notice gives your tenant a last chance to cough up the rent or face eviction.

You still don't get the rent by the deadline specified in the notice, then it's time to file a unlawful detainer complaint against the tenant. This will set up a court date for your eviction lawsuit - Click here to learn how to evict a tenant step by step.

Tenants who refuse to pay rent can be a real nightmare. Be sure to keep proper records of their rent payments and proof of your property's existing condition. This will empower you with solid evidence in court in case they try to damage your property on purpose or file counter claims.

To avoid these rent problems in the future, we highly recommend that you run credit checks on all rental applicants before accepting them as your new tenant. You can obtain their credit reports from a reputable tenant screening agency such as Tenant Verification Service or E-Renter.

Your Tenant Causes Disturbance to Neighbors

Some tenants have nasty habits like blasting music late at night or getting into frequent squabbles. If left unchecked, they may end up harassing their neighbors or other tenants living on your rental property.

How to handle difficult tenants who are a public nuisance: Call them a call and explain to the situation to them. It helps to adapt a neutral tone - Don't be hostile or hurl accusations else they will might get offended and retaliate instead.

If this fails, it is then recommended that you ask the neighbors and other tenants to contact the authorities directly and file a police report. If they refuse to do so, you should at least ask them to give you a written (and signed) record of their complaints.

This way you will have your evidence and witnesses handy if you are ever forced to file a lawsuit to evict these bad tenants from your property.


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