The holidays are around the corner and, as a landlord, you may be worried about problem tenants sabotaging your celebration. What can you do to prepare? Let’s go over the most common tenant issues during the holidays and what you can do to prevent or resolve them.
Common Property Manager Problems During the Holidays
Are you worried about the following?
Tenants Skipping Out on Rent
The holidays are expensive. People buy groceries for festive dinners, plenty of decorations and gifts, and some may even give unto others. Tenants get carried away and often forget to pay the rent, or they hope you’ll be understanding of the season. Understanding does not pay the mortgage.
Do not feel bad for insisting on rent. In fact, give your tenants a polite reminder when rent is due, and if they protest, remind them of their contract. It’s better to pay the rent than be evicted during the holidays.
Property Damage and Extra Maintenance
Often, during the holidays, tenants have family and friends over for parties and dinners. It is not uncommon, then, for there to be accidental property damage.
Provide tenants with a list of numbers for professionals who can make emergency repairs. This way, you do not have to drop everything to fix a stopped-up disposal or other appliance, or address other issues.
You might consider performing regular maintenance in advance of the holidays, so everything is functioning, and there are no later incidents.
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, unless it’s the house that’s on fire. Did you know most holiday fire hazards are because of electrical lighting rather than the fireplace?
Do yourself a favor: get an electrical inspection to ensure wiring and outlets are safe. Then, provide tenants with an outline of safety hazard instructions, so they’re mindful of their Christmas tree and lights, and fireplace and candles.
Your tenants may go away for the holidays, and this puts the property at risk of a break-in. You, as a landlord, can install a security system and put up cameras, but what you should do (also) is remind your residents to do the following:
- Lock all doors and windows
- Put valuables out of sight
- Leave outside (and some inside) lights on
Consider also requiring residents to buy renter’s insurance to protect their belongings.
Whether they’re staying or going away on holiday, tenants often forget to winterize the property. If this is your responsibility, as the landlord, winterize the pipes before it gets too cold. But, if you require your tenants to be responsible for this particular maintenance, send them a reminder, and maybe include steps and a list of items.
Say It All in a Newsletter
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to address every concern mentioned above is to email (and direct mail) a newsletter to tenants. The newsletter should include:
- Rent Reminder (and Due Date)
- List of Contacts
- Safety Walkthrough
- Vacation Prompts
- Notice of Dates You’ll Perform Inspections and Maintenance
Let tenants know you will be unavailable (on which dates) and give additional information you feel is important.
Don’t Let Bad Tenants or a Problem Property Ruin Your Holiday
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do: bad tenants will never change, or a problem property will always have its issues. Evictions are costly, as are constant repairs and renovations. If you are thinking it’d be better to sell and start over somewhere else, you can always sell to a real estate investor for cash.
Most investors make a cash offer on a property “as-is,” be it damaged, vacant, or have bad tenants living there. That’s right: investors do not require an eviction before closing. They also void traditional sale items like mortgage approval, an appraisal, and inspection. Moreover, they pay all closing costs and additional sale fees.
Once you accept an investor’s offer, all you have to do is choose the closing day, which can be in 30 days or less – whatever fits your schedule.
You can enjoy a quick closing and be free of bad tenants and your problem rental in time for the holidays.