June 20, 2019

Got Bad Tenants? Don't Fear Them—Deal with Them

What's the thing you fear most about being a landlord? If you answered "dealing with bad tenants," you're not alone.

There are many enjoyable aspects of being a landlord. The income is certainly nice! However, when it comes to dealing with bad tenants, some landlords can lose sleep over potential nightmare situations. How you handle a horrible tenant situation can affect your bottom line: it also affects how much you love (or hate) being a landlord. 

Don't let the fear of dealing with bad tenants keep you from owning rental property in the Detroit Metro area! Take a look at these tips for dealing with troublesome tenants.

What Is a Bad Tenant?

"Bad" tenants are those renters that seem to fight you at every turn:

  • They are consistently late on the rent.
  • They frequently file complaints on property conditions.
  • They ring your emergency line off the hook for non-emergency issues.  
  • They damage property.
  • They have loud parties and have no regard for the guidelines in your lease agreement.
  • They leave without giving notice. 

Unfortunately, some folks seem to take pleasure in making a landlord's job difficult. Several types of tenants might not be "bad," but they cause headaches for landlords, nonetheless.  While some tenants are nothing short of a nightmare, it is possible to "re-train" tenants if it's not ideal to remove them from your property. 

Get Your Tenants on the Same Page

Re-training your tenants starts with making sure they know the guidelines. 

Before you signed a lease with tenants, you reviewed every detail and guideline in the agreement with them. When they make a mistake or violate any part of the agreement, review the guidelines with them again. 

A rental agreement form with glasses, keys, a pen, and cash

It's critical that your tenants know that the rules are in place for a reason. They must follow all rules or face penalties as outlined in your lease agreement. If you find it hard to disconnect emotions from your property, working with a property manager provides a buffer between you and your tenants. 

When It Comes to Maintenance Issues

Some of the biggest "bad tenant" headaches involve maintenance issues or damage to property. 

When it comes to routine maintenance or fixing things that break from normal wear and tear, landlords are responsible for repairs within a reasonable amount of time. You're also responsible for covering the cost of routine or wear-and-tear repairs.

However, when it comes to damage caused by tenants, work with your tenants to arrange payment for the repair work and materials. 

  • Fix anything that causes an immediate hazard to your tenants or neighbors. As the landlord, you are responsible for providing a safe environment—even if your tenants create a hazardous situation. 
  • Apply fees or additional charges as outlined in your lease agreement. Make sure your lease agreement has specific penalties you can enforce for excessive damage. 

A broken window on a house

Protect yourself, as well. Be sure that your lease clearly states how and when you can enter the property and the notifications that are required.

Know the Law

As a landlord, be sure you know the laws that protect you, as well as the laws that protect your tenants. 

Tenants have rights: violating those rights makes a bad situation even worse! Do everything you can to resolve a situation peacefully with a bad tenant. Good documentation helps you defend your position and make your case should you need to engage a lawyer. Before you move forward with an eviction process, consult a professional property management company: any misstep on your part as the landlord can result in a lawsuit.

Prevention Is Best

While there isn't a foolproof guarantee that any screening process will 100% exclude all potentially bad tenants from your Detroit Metro rental property, a thorough screening process is your best bet to avoid bad tenants. Running credit history and a background check can help you identify professional tenants and tenants who have a history of bad behavior and evictions. 

If you don't have the resources (or the time) to put each applicant through an extensive background screening process, your property management company can do this for you. Save time and money, plus get more accurate results when you work with a professional property manager to screen potential tenants. 

A Property Manager Can Decrease Your Stress

Being a rental property owner and DIY landlord means you have probably had to deal with tenant conflict and tough situations at some point. 

However, the right property manager can take that burden off of your plate. Don't lose out on the many benefits of having rental investments! Whether it's confronting a tenant about late rent, responding to noise complaints, or handling other issues caused by bad tenants, let JMZ Management take the wheel. You reap the benefits while we professionally manage the difficult tasks involved with owning and managing rental properties and tenants. 

When you're ready to hire a property management company, look for the company that best serves your needs. Download our FREE Guide to Hiring a Property Manager in the Detroit Metro Area!

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Topics: bad tenants, landlord tips, tenant relations, property manager