Bad tenants are like opinions – everyone has one, and they’re not always polite. As a landlord, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll end up with a tenant that doesn’t respect your property rules. It’s tempting to jump straight into litigation when that happens. Miller & Terry recommends trying these steps before you enter the courtroom to see if things can be settled relatively peacefully:
Dispute Tips for Landlords
Losing your temper won’t help any high-stress situation. It’s helpful if both parties can remain calm, but if your tenant is not cooperating, it’s important for you to stay calm. It’s best to try to settle things peacefully, but if your dispute does end up in court, then you will be shown in a good light.
Bring in a Professional
Sometimes it’s just too difficult to handle everything yourself. Many states have property mediators that are trained to help landlords and tenants with disputes.
You may be angry and want to strike out through email or over the phone. Ask your tenant to meet in a public place to honestly and openly discuss the situation before things get out of hand. Thoroughly talking through the problem face to face might be the solution everyone needed.
Keep Good Records
If this is the first offense or the third, keep a record of how your tenant has broken your building’s rules or lease. Careful and complete files and records can be your best evidence in court. You may be able to avoid a court hearing by showing your client this documentation, but make sure it stays in your possession to prevent tampering.
Know Your Rights
Understand your rights as a landlord and your tenants’ rights. Many situations stem from parties not understanding how they broke the lease agreement, or even knowing their rights at all. Keeping up to date on housing laws and consulting a landlord attorney for help will help you prevent disputes and makes you a better landlord.