A problem tenant is often a fear for landlords. The majority of tenancies will be free of big issues, running smoothly. Occasionally, however, landlords experience a nightmare rental. Here’s a quick guide to dealing with problem tenants.
Prevention is key
The best way to deal with problem tenants is not to have them in your property from the outset. The easiest way to make sure you don’t rent out your property to problem tenants is to use a trusted lettings agency.
Get up-to-date references from the potential tenants and make sure you are happy with the rental agreement.
Use a calm and professional approach
If you use a lettings agency (like Fraser St James) to manage your property, then you won’t have anything to worry about here, but if you choose to manage the property yourself, be sure to stay calm and be professional, should any issues occur.
If your tenants are causing problems, it can be stressful, but you should communicate clearly, politely and firmly and clearly explain why their behaviour is inappropriate. If possible, refer to your tenancy agreement.
It is vital that you get Landlord insurance. This will cover the standard aspects that are generally covered in regular house insurance, but also cover third-party liability, including damage to the property by the tenant and injuries to the tenant that occur within the property.
If the tenant can’t pay the rent
In this sort of case you need to really talk it through with the tenant and find out what the issue is, and when it can be resolved. You will then need to work out the next steps. If you cannot of them, however, you need to go through all the necessary steps. This can lead to an eviction.
If the tenant is subletting a room
Contact the tenant to find out whether the person in the house is a friend who is visiting for a few days, or someone who is renting the property from your tenant. If you can’t get in contact with your tenant, it could be the case that they have sublet a room. You will need to outline this in the tenancy agreement, so you can use it as grounds to either investigate further or take action.
If the property has been damaged
Visits to the property during tenancy are a good way to check up on the cleanliness and damage. Be sure you give 24 hours’ notice. If you are using a property management agency, then you won’t need to worry about this.
In the tenancy agreement, be sure to outline whose responsibility it is to replace damaged areas and to keep the property clean. This can be used as grounds to deduct from the deposit or to take further action if necessary.
Don’t overstep the mark
Legally, you don’t have the right to change the locks or physically remove your tenants or their possessions from the property. Don’t let your frustration push you into overstepping the mark. If you are struggling to find a solution to a problem, you can seek advice from the National Landlords Association.
Let Fraser St James Let and Manage Your Property
We deal with property management and lettings in the Greater Manchester area. We make sure you don’t have to go through any of the stress when renting out your property. Contact us to find out more.