Now that we’ve covered tenancy basics let’s discuss how to be better prepared for tenant problems that may arise during your time as a landlord.
You have to make sure your building is fully up-to-date with codes and policies and, if not, that you make the necessary repairs.
You also may have issues with tenants not paying rent, being disruptive, or violating their lease agreement.
In this chapter, well tackle problem tenants and how to handle them one at a time.
Emergencies and repairs
Emergency repairs occur when something has been broken, and the health or safety of your tenant is compromised, or the property is at risk until the renovations are complete.
Landlords are legally responsible for handling and paying emergency repairs and other tenant problems that are related to the house safety and maintenance.
You should encourage your tenants to get insurance to cover their belongings should something happen in the unit and damage is done to their personal property.
If your tenant authorizes repairs that are not an actual emergency, you reserve the right to refuse to repay the expenses.
So, how do you know what constitutes an emergency? The following tenant problems represent emergency situations and should not be handled lightly:
- Broken pipes,
- heating system not functioning,
- sewage system backing up into the premises,
- defective lock allowing people to enter without needing a key,
- a short circuit in the wiring that could be a fire hazard,
- and the refrigerator that was supplied isn’t working
While the following all constitutes minor tenant problems that do not need to be fixed immediately.
- doors not closing correctly,
- a stove element burnt out,
- the kitchen sink being slow to drain,
- a minor leak,
- garage door opener not working,
- and a cracked pane in an upper window
Important things to remember for regular repairs
- It’s important to remember that your tenants should not try to fix minor repairs unless you both have agreed that they would take over the duties or they have caused the damages.
- It’s important to record who is responsible for fixing what. This way, if the responsible party refuses, the non-responsible party can seek legal assistance.
- If there is something broken that you have provided (i.e., a fridge, microwave, etc.), you must repair it or issue a replacement. Issues involving appliances and provided equipment are common among properties that are already furnished.
How to deal with problem tenants
As discussed before, not every tenant is going to be ideal and, often, people turn out to be entirely different than your original impression of them.
There’s no doubt that, at some point in your career as a landlord, you will have to handle a situation with your tenants.
These conditions can include but aren’t limited to:
- excessive noise,
- unreasonably dirty premises,
- or having too many occupants.
See also: How to deal with problem tenants
When dealing with these issues, you should always try to give them a written request or warning first, before seeking legal action.
If tenants don’t pay their rent after an allotted grace period, a notice of eviction should be issued that includes the amount of rent owed, the date they should move out, and a statement that says your tenant can disagree with the notice. You can seek legal action if the rent remains unpaid and the tenant does not move out by the date they were previously notified.
In the next upcoming chapter, we will cover everything you need to do once the rental agreement ends.
Tenant problems can be easily solved if you, as the landlord, is prepared to face them beforehand. The best way to do it is to always secure an occupancy or rental agreement, without it, not only would you need to shoulder everything and be put to blame when tenant problems arise, but you’ll also be left vulnerable as the individual who has the most significant power over the property.
Professional property managers like the team of Bolld Real Estate Management takes care of everything from start to end of a tenancy. If you’d hire one, you’d most likely experience getting payment and not do anything except, to monitor your rental property returns and check on the status of your property. Click here if you’d like to request a free consultation.