Unfortunately, a lot of landlords will all experience some problems at some point in their experience as a landlord. Building wealth through real estate can also involve dealing with difficult situations. Of course, no one is perfect, but that is not an excuse to allow bad tenants to ruin your properties. Taking the necessary precautions only when it is too late will often lead to thousands of pounds spent on legal fees trying to evict the tenant when they refuse to leave. Avoid the hassle, and take the right steps now and not later.
Law Down The Law
When you start to see early warning signs of your tenants breaking the rules stated in the contract, you must reinforce them as much as possible. In an ideal world, all tenants would read each page of the contract to understand what is expected of them whilst living on your property, but that is not realistic. Have a face-to-face conversation, and also make sure you send them by email/ text message as well just so you have evidence that you have stated the rules if they still do not abide by them. When tenants first break the rules, take it as a sign that they need reminding as to what the house rules are, and if they continue to show disrespectful behaviour it might be time to take things further.
Some landlords make the mistake of being too forceful and assertive in the beginning, or maybe they are at the other end of the spectrum and are very laid back. Both of these behaviours can leave a bad taste in the tenant’s mouth and it can sometimes encourage them to either go against the rules or not respect the home. find the balance, whilst also staying professional. Your properties and tenants should be treated as your business model, therefore the correct treatment and attention must be made to keep things running smoothly. Keep a professional relationship with your tenants when highlighting issues, as it can encourage them to carry on their poor behaviours. Give them the same level of respect as you would expect.
As a landlord, you should always keep records of everything. That includes communication between you and the tenant should be able to be traced, as well as any photos and videos of your property before the tenants leave the home. Keeping records is important for the safety of you and also your tenants. For example, if you have flooding in your property and your tenants accuse you of negligence, you should be able to prove that all the facilities of the property have been recently checked and managed appropriately. You should also have evidence of your inspection of the property which should be done roughly every 3 months, and make sure images are taken from any problem you find in case they try to claim it was not them.
Have Regular Check-Ups
On the topic of taking images, your checkups with difficult tenants should be taken out at least every 3 months. If you feel inclined to have more frequent checkups, you can do so however you are obligated to give your tenants 2 days’ notice before you show up at the property. If you show up to the property unannounced, your tenants can use that against you if they end up making complaints about you to authorities. Give them notice, have records of saying so, and take images of the property when you face any issues.
Ask Bad Tenants To Leave
When you have reached your peak breaking point with bad tenants, it would be the right time to request they leave. This should always be the last option possible as it can lead you down a rabbit hole of further problems, but when things are going too far you have the right to ask them to leave. Legally you have to show evidence of your previous warnings and give them notice, but you can request it when you have lost hope. Problems such as missed rental payments and damage to the property are sufficient reasons to ask your tenant to leave, but just make sure you have all the information against them. If they refuse to leave, it might lead you down the expensive process of eviction, so it might be worth seeking landlord legal advice.
Consider Getting Management
If you want to avoid dealing with such difficult tenants yourself, it might be worth investing in a property management company. No matter how hard you try, some tenants are going to cause problems that require a lot of your time and attention. Hiring a property manager is a great way to alleviate as much stress as possible, and allow someone else to take on the responsibility and stress. Of course, you will be at a loss of profits, however, you will be exchanging your money for free time, therefore it is up to you which you value the most. Choosing the right property manager is important to get your money’s worth and avoid the same hassle you would find dealing with the tenants yourself. Here are some of the things to look out for in good property management companies:
- Great Reputation – Management companies that have a lot of experience and results behind their back are key if you want to put your properties in safe hands. Find a company that is visibly doing well with their company, but at the same time can attend to your tenants and houses whenever necessary.
- Review Their Services – Consider exactly what you are looking for, as some management companies offer different services. Perhaps you like fixing the home yourself to avoid outsourcing work but would prefer to avoid dealing with tenant requirements such as screenings and background checks. Instead, you might be interested in a complete hands-off service. Ensure the management company you choose can provide exactly what you are looking for.
- See Their Price – Various management companies ask for a different percentage price off the profits, or they have fixed fees. Most management fees will be between 7% and can go up to 18% depending on the level of service. Make sure you are not overpaying for services, and get some comparison together before you jump into any costly agreements.