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5 Common Landlord-Tenant Issues and Solutions

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Being a landlord is not easy, especially when you have bad tenants. Here are common landlord tenant problems and possible solutions.

1. Late or No Rent Payment

The most common issue with bad tenants is their inability to or refusal to pay the rent.

SOLUTION

If your tenants often pay late, discover if they are having financial problems. You could set up a temporary payment plan for them and prorate late fees.

If your tenants refuse to pay at all, you can send them a pay or quit notice. It outlines how much is owed plus late fees and when they must pay. If they ignore this, you can pay them to move out. It is a less satisfying option, but your goal then is to find a new paying renter as soon as possible.

If worse comes to worst, you can evict non-paying tenants. This requires lengthy court proceedings and money out of your own pocket though. If the court sides with you, law enforcement will remove the bad tenants by force.

2. Noisy Tenants

Sometimes your tenants are noisy, and they disturb their neighbors. These neighbors then complain to you or maybe call law enforcement.

SOLUTION

It is a tricky situation, but the best you can do is talk to your tenants about the noise.

You might include a clause in your agreement that says what happens if a tenant disturbs the peace. It does not have to be a solution your tenant likes. It can be a penalty fee or so many strikes, and they must leave. Discuss your options with an eviction attorney.

3. Damages (Intentional or Otherwise)

There is nothing more frustrating than a tenant who is destructive to the property. They neglect maintenance, break appliances, stain carpets, put holes in the walls, and leave trash lying everywhere. Sometimes they do it out of spite because you spoke with them on another issue. Other times, they are just dirty tenants.

SOLUTION

To minimize damages, you can have in your agreement that you will perform monthly visits to inspect the property. If there are damages, tenants must pay a fine, and if this bad behavior persists, you will evict them.

4. Rule Violations

Your lease agreement should list tenant rules and requirements. These include restrictions on pets, subletting, noise, etc. If a tenant breaks the rules, the agreement will also outline the forthcoming penalties.

SOLUTION

Most times you can fine bad behavior. Other times, if the tenant does not give you too much trouble, you might adjust a rule in exchange for compensation. For example, if you do not allow pets, but the tenant gets a dog, you can amend the lease to require a pet deposit. That extra money will cover any damages caused by the animal.

5. Tenant Files for Bankruptcy

Most times, when a tenant files for bankruptcy, the court grants them an automatic stay. You cannot evict them and may lose money on unpaid rent till the case is settled. The tenant has 60 days (or more) to decide if they will assume or reject their lease.

This situation is a massive headache, and there is little you can do but file a Stay Relief Motion and wait for the court and tenant decisions.

SOLUTION

Sometimes you need a fresh start. You can sell your problem property and use the money to buy a nice rental property in a better location. However, selling by way of a traditional listing takes time. You often have to evict the bad tenants, make repairs and perform maintenance. It gets costly! Consider instead selling to an investor.

Most investors pay cash for a rental property “AS-IS”. They will buy it with its damages and its bad tenants still living there. Most are also open to seller financing, and you gain interest over time. You do not have to do anything but choose the closing date, which can be in 7 days or less.

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How to Sell an Inherited Property

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Losing a relative is hard enough, but there are many headaches when settling an estate. The biggest of these is deciding what to do with an inherited property. You can move into it, rent it out, or sell it. If you choose to sell, these steps can help you avoid pitfalls and other surprises.

Step 1: Get Through Probate

Probate is the official proving of a Will to verify it’s genuine. During probate, the estate is administered, and beneficiaries are named. If you are the sole inheritor of the property, you can sell it while in probate. You may want to discuss your options with your probate attorney first.

Step 2: Sort Through the Deceased’s Financing

Sadly, when you inherit a property, you inherit its debt as well. Run a title search to discover if the property still has a mortgage, owes taxes, has liens or bills. All these need to be satisfied, some before selling and others with proceeds from the sale.

Step 3: Hire a Real Estate Agent (Optional)

There is a lot to do when someone passes away. If you don’t have the time or ability to sell a property FSBO, you might hire an agent. An agent can list and market the property, schedule appointments, and handle buyer negotiations on your behalf. In return, you pay them 3% to 6% of the sale price.

The agent must reside in the same city as the property. This way, they can access the local MLS and are licensed to operate in that market.

Step 4: Clean Out Personal Belongings

It is an emotional challenge to sort through a loved one’s belongings. It takes time and often involves other family members. Set aside cherished mementos, then organize the remainder of stuff into piles – what to keep, what to sell, and what to toss.

By removing clutter and depersonalizing living spaces, you improve buyer impressions during a walkthrough. Buyers want to envision themselves living in the house but cannot do so with another owner’s belongings in sight.

Step 5: Perform Maintenance and Clean Often

Consider hiring a professional home inspector to identify issues with the property. Decide with your agent which problems cannot be overlooked and make repairs.

For as long as the property is on the market, it is good to perform monthly maintenance and cleaning. This keeps the property functional and appealing to visiting buyers.

Step 6: Review Insurance Policy

A vacant property is more susceptible to vandalism and break-ins. For this reason, the recommendation is for the beneficiary of the property to get a vacant home insurance policy. The policy stays in place till the property sells and covers most incidents.

Step 7: Set the Price

After repairs and cleaning, schedule an appraiser to value the property. They will give you a fair, more accurate idea of how much the property is worth than an online search.

Skip the Stress, Sell to an Investor

The loss of a relative is not easy. There is enough emotional stress without adding the sale of an inherited property. For this reason, you might consider selling it to an investor.

Most investors offer cash for properties “AS-IS”. You can forgo repairs, maintenance and cleaning, and even leave behind those belongings with less sentimental value. The investor will close on a date that is most convenient for you, giving you time to adjust and make arrangements.

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3 Tips for Selling a Rental Property with Tenants

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The pandemic of COVID-19 has created a roller coaster of effects in the real estate market. To prevent the spread of the virus and minimize the crisis impact, the federal government and several states, cities, and counties are prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants, be they bad or behind on rent.

Times are difficult, and rent collections are essential to help pay off mortgages, property taxes, utilities, and maintenance. Are you a landlord with a tenant-occupied house to sell? Do you have bad tenants? Are they not paying rent? Here are some things to know and consider.

1. Prior notice of a showing

Typically, you would ask tenants to be off-site during showings, but most people are staying home with the times being what they are. This can risk bad impressions between tenants and new landlords who come to see the property. Ask tenants about their schedules to find the times that are most convenient to bring buyers over. Also, state laws require you to give tenants prior notice of a showing, usually 24 hours’ notice, so they have time to prepare.

2. Presentation matters

Giving notice to tenants when there are showings also gives them time to make their living spaces presentable; at least, you hope they will take the time to clean and clear their clutter. Bad tenants may not be so cooperative. You can offer incentives, like refunding the security deposit or paying for cleaning and maintenance services, to inspire them to keep the house. This will cost you money, but the payoff is worth it if it helps sell the property.

However, if there is property damage because tenants are destructive and neglect responsibility, it is unlikely that a new landlord will want to deal with them, and it will be difficult to sell the house.

3. Transfer of lease agreements

Keep in mind that a transfer of property rights means a transfer of lease agreements. Be sure to review the items in these agreements to ensure you are not in breach of contract. There may be terms and conditions that require you to notify tenants within a certain number of days of new management. You will have to oversee the transfer of security deposits and rent receipts to the new owners and inform tenants of this action. You will also have to inform tenants of how they will pay rent to the new landlord moving forward.

If you would like to sell your property fast, without navigating bad or non paying tenants, consider selling your rental to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a property, regardless of tenant issues and leases. You can offload a property that returns little profit for a sure deal, enjoy a quick closing, and be free of difficult tenant-landlord relations.