It’s a subject that many investment property owners deal with, but don’t often enjoy talking about– difficult tenants.
You know, the ones who create damage, are late with their rent payments, or straight up break the lease.
Today, Principal Broker and Owner Bob Mack shares some insight into dealing with difficult tenants, and how a rental house management company like Advanced Solutions can help.
Q: How can property owners prevent tenants from damaging the property?
A: The most important thing to have with any tenant situation is make sure that up front you have a very strong lease. We have a very strong lease that we use for tenants that has been developed over years.
That lease is going to allow you to act on infractions more efficiently than a weak lease.
Another thing that you will use to make sure tenants aren’t damaging the property is that you want regular scheduled inspections, including both external and internal inspections.
We like to do external inspections monthly, and that’s just a drive-by to verify the property condition, and to make sure the tenant is taking care of the outside. Generally, if they’re taking care of the outside, they’ll be taking care of the inside too.
We also like to do internal inspections on a regularly scheduled basis- either once or twice a year.
You’re notifying the tenant of entry, making entry, and then recording the results of that inspection.
Any time you find any infractions on the inspection, you want to make sure you act on that.
Most of the time, you’ll be using the “Comply Or Vacate” notice, which will notify the tenants of the items they have to fix, and then you will go and inspect after that notice has been used.
Many times, an inspection and a “Comply Or Vacate” can fix a problem that you encounter.
Advanced Solutions Property Management can make this easier for owners through our proprietary method with procedures and processes in place that automatically do these things on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, and we’re able to act on these to make sure tenants are behaving in accordance to the terms of the lease.
Q: How can property owners make sure tenants pay on time?
A: Again, it starts with a solid lease. You want to make sure you have a clear lease, with clear late fees. Once you have a tenant in the property, and you find there is a late payment situation, ymake sure you act accordingly and act the same way every month. Have policies in place to ensure to tenants can expect a “Pay Or Vacate” when the rent payment isn’t posted on time.
We have automatic rent reminders that go out on the first and the thirds of each month, and we allow our tenants to set up auto-pay, so rent is automatically withdrawn from their account at the same time.
Q: How can investment property owners best deal with out of control tenants?
A: This is also mitigated with a strong lease that allows you to take action within specific time frames. If we have a non-payment situation, and the tenant is unwilling to make payments, then obviously we are going to use the 3-Day “Pay Or Quit” on the same day every month for every tenant.
You want to keep those interactions business-like, you don’t want to use emotions in these situations.
Then after the 3-Day “Pay Or Quit”, you will move into the court action. It’s very important in these situations to record all tenant conversations and communications in writing. Phone calls are easy, but they’re hard to present as evidence in a court of law. We cover these situations in our free e-book
Q: How does a property management company handle difficult tenants differently than a landlord?
A: First and foremost, we don’t let emotion enter the scenario.
When it’s an individual landlord who owns the property, their emotions are tied directly to that property because that is an asset that they worked very hard to purchase and maintain, and so it’s very easy for a landlord to become emotional during these situations.
With a residential property management company, we keep the transaction very business like, and although it can be hard with difficult tenants, we make sure that we’re handling it in a professional manner, and not letting the situation escalate.
Also as stated before, we use processes and procedures that treat all tenants the same, so that every tenant understands what to expect from the management company in every situation.
Q: What makes ASPM better than other PM companies in Salt Lake
A: It’s the experience we have as a staff!
Also our managing team are investors themselves, so we manage properties as though we were managing our own properties.
We have very low staff turnover, and that allows us to manage more effectively.
We are certified commercial advisors, which allows us to work with owner investors, and make sure we maximize the return on investment that owners bring to us to manage.
If you’re interested in learning how a Salt Lake City area property management company like Advanced Solutions can help take care of the landlord tasks, so you can enjoy being a property owner… get our FREE “Property Management Pro Tips” e-book here.