Five Tips to Manage a Difficult Tenant
Being a landlord has its challenges. There are times when you come across a problematic tenant. They take 90% of your time and soak up all your energy like a sponge! You find yourself responding to their calls at 11 pm because they can't bear a minor issue – a leaking tap or a peeled carpet!
You hate to see their number on the caller ID, and you ask yourself, when will it stop? Will I ever have peace? How can I manage my work-life balance and my mind with a problematic tenant around?
Here are some tips that will help you stay on top of every situation.
Have Everything in Writing
As a landlord, you need to always watch out for yourself! For that, you need to be prepared for the worst. Majority of the times, demanding tenants get the better of situations as they are more empowered. Keeping a written record for everything can help you save face in case you end up in front of the Tenancy Tribunal. For instance, if your tenant asks for a repair, after discussing it with them over a phone call, make sure you send them a confirmation email. Once the issue is resolved, end in a final email to confirm and close the matter.
Don’t Go Unresponsive
We agree that managing difficult tenants is tough. Even looking at their email or phone call drains all the positive vibes out of you! But burying your head in the sand won't solve any problems. If you choose to ignore their emails and phone calls, the chances are that the issue will start building up. The tenant might go reactive and start pursuing matters aggressively – which you don't want! If you are busy, use automated messages to get back to them and let them you when should they expect to receive a call. Moreover, if you are sure that a tenant is upset, reach out to them and try to learn the cause of their unhappiness.
If you are not able to set clear boundaries, the chances are that the tenants might take your for granted. Let them know you are on standby in case of emergencies that threaten the well-being of your tenants and your property. Avoid giving boundless access to your time and let them you that you are only available between office hours. If a tenant keeps on violating the boundaries, this means that they don't respect you as a landlord. In this case, you should start looking for rational ways on how to get tenants to move out or prepare a tenant warning notice.
Professionalism is the Key
You don't have to be a yes man to your tenants. Learn to induce professionalism in what you do to help with managing a problematic tenant. Learn to say NO as it helps you to draw a line and set boundaries. Most landlords make the mistake of befriending their tenants. This can lead to complications as saying no to a friend if difficult. If you end up befriending a demanding tenant, you may feel obligated to agree to every single request they make. So, the key here is to be professional in your dealings.
A common trait of a problematic tenant is that they talk to you aggressively. It becomes difficult to keep calm and control your temper in these circumstances. For instance, if you are having lunch and receive a phone call from your tenant about a broken door. You can either over-react to the situation and leave the table to get things fixed, or you can either talk to them and get to know the details to decide if the matter needs immediate action. By not overreacting, you not only take the heat out of the conversation, but you can effectively and efficiently assess the issue.
Not only newbies but veteran landlords can find it challenging to manage a bad tenant. If as a veteran landlord, you feel like you could use some help, hire a property manager. Problematic tenants can affect your mental and physical health. Therefore, if you think that a tenant will turn into a demanding one by the end of tenancy, try to steer clear from them.
If you find yourself juggling your personal and professional life, keep in mind that airpropty is just a phone call away! We not only take care of repair and maintenance requests but also assist with maintaining the finances and conversations streamlined. Plus, our years of experience in this field and as landlords, ourselves makes us the best choice when it comes to handling terrible tenants as we hold the values of empathy, rationality, and professionalism.