When you set up your lease, you put in every last detail about your requirements to live in your rental. When your tenant signed that lease, they were agreeing to all of those rules. So what should you do when a tenant no longer wants to follow your rules? Maybe they have snuck a pet into the unit, despite a prohibition against it. Or perhaps you have found out that an unauthorized guest has been residing in your rental? If your tenant has not been paying the rent as agreed, then you know you have a problem.
While the easiest option might be to let it pass without incident, think about your long-term goals and your investment. Terminating the tenancy is not always an option, and it may not be the best course anyway, as it comes with lots of expenses and headaches. By following the right steps you can attempt to minimize the damage, have the tenant agree to follow the rules, and keep the relationship on good terms. Here are three factors that will impact how you can handle a tenant who doesn’t love the lease you signed together.
1. A strong lease helps
A strong lease will include terms to protect your interests, as well as clear solutions for the situation. Has the tenant committed an infraction that has a clear remedy according to your lease? You can also check our ezLandlordForms library for Notices to Cure/Pay or Quit that can help define the next steps. The laws that are specific to your location will also come into play, so be sure you know what the laws allow.
If you feel like it is time to cut your losses and move on with a more reliable tenant, the strength of that original agreement will be important. If you’re thinking about ending the tenancy, did you include an Early Termination clause that outlined the penalties and processes for the tenant to get out of a lease early?
2. Be polite, but stern
While it might be tempting to just let a tenant have what he or she wants despite what they agreed to in the lease, in most cases you will want the lease to be followed. Remember that an uncollected rent payment or unreimbursed damages come directly out of your pocket. Lean on your lease to back you up and ensure that the proper steps are followed for the tenant to remedy the situation.
3. Keep emotion out of it
The more you can keep the communications professional, the better you will fare. Don’t take your tenant’s complaints personally. Remember that this is a business relationship. These situations can be emotionally charged, but make the effort to check your emotions at the door.
Having to deal with a tenant who is not following the terms of your lease is frustrating. Rather than ignoring it or giving in, address the problem promptly and use your lease to guide your decisions.