5 Ways of Dealing with Difficult Tenants In California
Tenants driving you crazy? Unfortunately, if you’re a landlord, having a difficult tenant at some point is inevitable. But don’t fret.
If your tenants have damaged your property, often scream profanities in the wee hours of the night, leave their dirty shoes in front of their door – among other things – or are frequently late on their payments, there are ways to take charge of the situation. Here are 5 ways of dealing with difficult tenants in California:
1. Do Proper Screening
The best way to deal with difficult tenants is to avoid them all together. When renting to anyone, it’s important to make sure you have a proper screening process in place. You want to go beyond the usual background check and credit check. Be sure to verify their income. Take the time to call every landlord they’ve rented from – trust us, it’s totally worth it. If you can, take a look at their car. Is it covered in grime and brimming with empty cups, or is it pristine? It might also be good to take a look at a live view of their current residence via Google Maps.
2. Set Ground Rules
Make sure you have all the rules you want your tenant to uphold in writing. If rent is considered late after the third or you don’t allow barbecues in the building, make sure that’s clearly stated in the lease. You can also create a list of dos and don’ts. And definitely be sure to lay out the consequences of breaking the rules such as a late fee for rent received on the fourth of the month.
3. Negotiate or Evict
Evicting a tenant can be very expensive – we’re talking thousands of dollars – and stressful, so you definitely want to do everything you can to avoid this. One option is what’s referred to as “Cash for Keys.” This is where you offer the tenant money to leave. Sure, it’s money out of your pocket, but it’s cheaper and easier than evicting them.
4. Be Objective
It’s easy to get attached to tenants and feel for their situations. But it’s important to stay objective, especially when they’re trying to appeal to your emotions. This may be particularly difficult if renting to friends or family, who are likely to expect special treatment.
And not all tenants are honest. Some may continue to work at your soft side if they see it worked the first time. That doesn’t mean being completely rigid. There may be some areas where you can give a little wiggle room. But for the most part, use the policies you’ve set in place to guide you when making a decision on how to handle your tenants.
5. Selling a Property to a Real Estate Investor
If your tenants are truly unmanageable, it may be a good idea to cut your losses and sell. A real estate investor can buy your property as-is for cash, and often with the tenants still in place. It’s a quick and easy way to get rid of a pretty huge headache.
If you’d like more information about how selling a property to a real estate investor works, you can click here or fill out the contact form below.