Originally posted on https://www.longmonthousebuyers.com/blog/bad-tenants-in-longmont-co/
Bad tenants are banes to the existence of any landlord or investment property owner. What makes them so difficult to deal with is that they can prove to be troublemakers in a variety of ways, including ones you won’t see coming.
In the following article, we’ll be talking about the most common behaviors of a bad tenant. We’ll also be giving you some surefire ways for how to deal with them.
What Makes Bad Tenants Bad?
Any number of things can qualify your tenant as “bad.” Sometimes it’s one specific thing over and over. Other times, it’s a combination of things.
Of course, the behavior most likely to affect your bottom line is nonpayment. The “good” thing about nonpayment is that it’s pretty easy to establish grounds for eviction.
A less-than-ideal scenario is having a tenant that won’t give you grounds for immediate eviction but nevertheless makes life a living hell on you and other tenants. Since starting our house buying company in longmont, it’s been a common refrain. Behaviors include the following:
- Criminal activities. You likely have language built into your lease against criminal activity, but it can be hard to prove. Criminal behavior gives you a bad reputation and drives honest tenants to other locations.
- Noise and other nuisances. Tenants that play their music too loudly or get into domestic altercations with frequency amp up the complaints of neighbors. This creates pressure on you to do something about it.
- Wrecking your stuff. People tend to take better care of expensive appliances when they’re the ones paying for maintenance or replacement. When that obligation falls on you, best practices go out the window.
If you have a tenant guilty of any of these behaviors, keep reading. We’re about to show you how to fight back.
1. Establish Expectations from the Beginning
Set a high standard for the tenants you accept. Put them through a rigorous screening process to include credit and background checks. Let them know to expect that before they ever take the time to apply.
If there’s any untoward behavior financially, it’ll show up on a credit report. The local police department where the tenant has lived in the past will have records of specific incident reports involving them.
If they know you’re doing your homework, they’re more likely to be upfront from the beginning about any potential red flags in their history. You can then choose to address the factors on a case-by-case basis or avoid accepting them altogether.
If you do choose to move forward, make it clear what you expect from them in terms of upkeep, behavior, noise levels, and payment. Likewise, be clear on the rights they are entitled to as well.
2. Keep Your Cool
Problematic tenants can get under your skin. This is especially true when they’re damaging your property, appliances, or reputation. But be mindful of tenants’ rights in your state.
While you own the property, you have certain obligations to the tenant that you cannot avoid without being in violation of the law yourself!
Avoid acting in a retaliatory manner by locking out your tenants for not paying on time or attempting to get rid of them without notice or a contractual right. If they can prove you’re singling them out, you could be in big trouble.
3. Make Them Partners
Another approach for how to deal with bad tenants is to be so likable and approachable that they wouldn’t wish to disappoint you. Kill ’em with kindness or just make them feel like your property is their home. If you can get that kind of buy-in where your residences feel like homes, they could respond by treating it like it’s theirs.
4. Document Everything
Take pictures of the home or apartment before they move in. Establish the standards for what you expect in the lease.
File a police report should they violate the law. Keep copious notes on your interactions with them. Install video surveillance on the property to capture any illegal or damaging behavior.
The more you document, the stronger your case will be if legal action is necessary. And you’ll have more confidence to act.
5. Get a Manager to Help You
Many tenant problems occur because the tenants don’t feel like they’ll be held accountable. But if you have a property manager on-site who’s there to document incidences and complaints as they occur, the problem tenant is less likely to act out. It won’t take care of every problem, but it’s an extra layer of protection should you need to take action.
6. Use the Lease Term to Your Advantage
Sometimes it’s easier to wait out a bad tenant than to spend money and time getting them tossed out. Set reasonable lease periods to avoid getting stuck with a stinker. Then, if they act out, you can just opt not to renew their lease.
7. Activate the Straight Forward Approach
Approach the tenant respectfully. Tell them it’s not working out, and you’d like for them to leave before the end of their lease.
Make sure you’re willing to honor the terms of the agreement to the extent you’re legally obligated. You might even consider offering them a letter of reference if they’ll leave early.
8. Start the Eviction Process
Each state follows its own rules and standards for eviction. Learn the process in your state before you ever take in your first tenant. Then, create an action plan so you’ll know which bases to cover should worst come to worst.
9. Monitor the Property
An unfortunate reality of bad tenants is that they’re not above trashing the place if they feel you’ve got the upper hand legally. They see themselves as victims with no recourse, and that can lead to them lashing out desperately.
So, if you have followed the proper steps for an eviction, keep a close eye on the property. Monitor how they leave the place so you’ll have the legal grounds to go after them should they damage or deface the residence or the contents inside it.
Do Not Let a Bad Tenant Get the Best of You
Bad tenants thrive on emotional responses and a lack of legal preparedness on your part. If you know this going in, it’s a lot easier to deal with their shenanigans.
And if you have any more landlord-tenant questions, please contact Longmont House Buyers today. We’re happy to help.