As a landlord you do your best to select the most qualified tenants. You have them fill out a detailed tenant application, conduct a thorough tenant verification, interview them in person and check references. But sometimes, despite the best tenant screening protocols, a bad tenant slips in. So what do you do?
For many landlords, the first instinct is to get tough. While you do want to show a strong professional response to any bad behavior on the part of the tenant, sometimes force and anger are not the responses that will get you the speediest results. Instead, make sure your response fits the “crime” in question.
First and foremost, you should review the lease your tenant signed, as well as the Fair Housing laws along with local laws or ordinances, so you know exactly what the expectation should be and whether any rules or laws have actually been broken. You have to be sure that the issue at hand is something they’re doing that is against written rules, not merely something you don’t like.
Second, talk to your tenant. Remaining friendly and helpful can make a big difference when it comes to smaller issues. And if the issue is a larger one – more than a month of unpaid rent, for instance – and you just want the tenant to vacate the premises, then giving them a friendly incentive might do the trick. An incentive might be for them to move as soon as possible in exchange for you agreeing not to file eviction proceedings, a step that would be frustrating for both of you.
Whatever action you decide to take toward a tenant who is breaking the rules, make sure it is swift action. Don’t delay, hoping that the tenant shapes up on their own. And next time, double your tenant screening efforts to make sure you’re not faced with this frustration again.
This article originally appeared on alwaysscreenblog