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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.