Dealing with problematic tenants at your Atlanta rental property can be difficult and stressful. Whether your tenant is unhappy, not paying rent, or causing problems for others, confronting the situation can be intimidating and, in some cases, even potentially dangerous.
Here are a few expert property management tips for dealing with problematic tenants and what you can do to avoid having bad residents in the first place.
Mitigating an Existing Problem
If you currently have a problem with an Atlanta rental property tenant, there are a few ways to handle the situation—and the outcome may depend on your choices as well as those made by your tenant. Whether your tenant is not paying rent or breaking other lease rules, apply conflict resolution tips and property management best practices to protect your properties (and yourself).
Stay Calm and Patient
It can be hard to stay calm when someone is rude or loud, but keeping things professional without escalating the situation is critical if your tenant gets out of hand. Getting angry at your Atlanta tenant can lead to actions that violate your responsibilities in the lease, break the law, or lead to a lawsuit.
Try to use a neutral tone, de-escalating language, and focus on the facts. What is the problem? Why did the problem arise? What can be done to resolve the issue? Remember, your tenant is a person, and they may just be having a bad day. Or, maybe, they just lost their job and have been ashamed to tell you that they cannot make rent.
Be Willing to Listen
Listening goes a long way toward diffusing a potentially hostile situation. By listening to your tenant’s complaints, you will not only get to the root of the problem but will be able to address both tenant and problem more efficiently. In some cases, you may even find that your tenant’s frustration is completely valid and understandable and that, together, you will be able to come up with a solution.
Conflict can sometimes turn physical without the right approach. If your problem tenant is known to be belligerent, don't confront them alone. Instead, go with your property manager or even enlist the local police to help you. Even if you simply ‘have a bad feeling,’ we recommend going with your gut and putting your own safety first.
Record, Record, Record
Keeping a detailed record of emails, voice messages, and text messages with your Atlanta tenant can help provide evidence in the event of a legal battle. We also recommend providing written notices or emails to your tenants when sending reminders for past-due rent or lease violations.
Having the paperwork and detailed records will help prove your case, especially if you have to evict that tenant.
Have a Property Manager Step In
If you are already working with a property manager, they can help you handle the situation. Whether the tenant is unhappy with the living situation, late on rent, or causing problems for their neighbors, a property manager will know how to handle the problem and deliver a resolution. In some cases, simply having a third party step in can do a lot to resolve the situation.
Steps to Take to Avoid Problematic Tenants
Dealing with a problematic tenant is a hassle and can be expensive, so why not take steps to avoid the situation in the first place? Here are a few things that you can do to avoid tenant problems.
Avoid Renting to Friends and Family
Renting to friends and family can create lease enforcement issues because now you have to be a landlord and maintain personal relationships. In some cases, family and friends may even try to take advantage of your relationship but trying to get lower rent or paying late. If you lease an Atlanta rental to friends or family, make sure they sign a lease. Enforce it as you do with any other tenant.
Keep Things Professional
While you want to be friendly with your tenants, you also want to keep things professional. Becoming best friends with your tenants can lead to preferential treatment or failure to enforce the rules fairly. Property owners must treat every tenant the same. Avoiding friendships with renters helps make that happen.
Commit to Tenant Screenings
While tenant screening might seem like a hassle, a thorough process helps ensure that you are renting to reliable individuals. Screenings can help detect problems before they arise and may even prompt you to pass on a tenant due to a problematic past—which is better than finding out for yourself when the tenant causes a problem on your property.
A Property Manager Deals with Difficult Tenants in Your Atlanta Rental Property
A property management company helps investors avoid bad tenants in an Atlanta rental property. Renters Warehouse Atlanta can also help you deal with problematic tenants that could be an issue for right now. Let's chat if you're ready to put bad tenants behind you!
Learn what to look for in a property manager when you download a free copy of “The Guide to Finding the Best Atlanta Property Management Company” today.