A rigorous resident screening process can help you avoid difficult tenants, but the way a person appears on paper can often be different from who they become in real life when you’re interacting on a regular basis.
Problem renters cause a lot of issues, and it can be hard not to get emotionally involved. They’ll pay late, they’ll defer maintenance needs, and they’ll contribute to a frustrating and time-consuming tenancy that you probably weren’t expecting when you decided to rent out a property.
At the end of this video, we’ll tell you four things you must avoid doing - even in the most frustrating situation with your problem renter. Also, keep in mind that professional Phoenix property management can help you get a handle on difficult tenants.
Finally, don’t be afraid to evict a bad tenant. If the relationship is not working out, and you have a documented list of bad behaviors, you should not hesitate to remove the residents and replace them with tenants who will perform according to your expectations and your lease agreement.
Identifying Difficult Tenants in Phoenix
It doesn’t take you long to figure out who your troublesome tenants are. They’ll usually pay rent late and wait for your reminder notices to show up. Sometimes they won’t pay until you serve a Pay or Quit notice, or they’ll ask for a payment plan or an extension month after month.
Difficult tenants will make ongoing and unnecessary requests and they won’t be happy even after things are fixed. Or, they won’t report any maintenance at all, and you’ll be left cleaning up deferred maintenance following their neglect.
These tenants rarely improve over time. If anything, they only dig in and become more difficult. You need to be bold and take care of the problem before it gets out of control. One warning is sufficient. If you can’t get them to turn around their bad behaviors, move onto real action.
Evicting Difficult Phoenix Tenants
Everyone runs into financial difficulty once in a while. Agreeing to a payment plan with a tenant who is behind on rent once is fine, but hold that tenant accountable to the agreement. Don’t let it become a pattern and don’t let your tenants think that you will accept late rent.
We have found that once a tenant falls behind two months in rent, that tenant will likely never catch up and the eviction process needs to be started.
Put a strict rent collection process in place, and don’t be afraid to enforce it. Eviction is unpleasant, but it’s necessary when your tenants are not paying as agreed.
Tenants who are destroying your property or violating your lease also need to go. Give them the legally required opportunity to come into compliance. If they don’t, there’s no reason to give them another chance. They will almost certainly continue to disappoint you.
Enforcing the Phoenix Lease Agreement Professionally
When you have to take action against bad tenants, there are some important things to remember.
First, there’s a reason your lease agreement exists. You’re abiding by it as a landlord, and you expect your residents to abide by it as tenants. This is a contractual agreement and it’s binding. It’s law.
You cannot deviate from the lease agreement. It doesn’t matter what your feelings are or even what you think. If the tenants violate the lease agreement, there’s a protocol that must be followed to handle the situation.
Remaining professional isn’t always easy, especially when you feel you’ve done everything you can to help your tenant and you’re still getting a lack of cooperation and communication.
To protect your own reputation and to protect your property, be mindful of:
- Not sending text messages to your tenant when you’re mad. These may come off as threatening and can be used against you in court later.
- Not leaving angry voicemails for your tenant for the same reason.
- Any complaints you have should be put in writing so your correspondence is documented and you’ve had time to think through what you want to say.
- Enforcing your lease within the regulations of the law. You cannot change the locks or turn off the utilities or show up insisting your tenants leave. Follow the law and get professional help.
Successful landlords will remove difficult tenants by being strategic, intentional, and professional. You have a contract in place, and you can trust that contract to lead you towards the right actions and decisions when you’re working against difficult tenants.
If you have any questions or need any help with current residents, contact our Phoenix property management team at Service Star Realty.
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