How to Handle Problem Tenants : The Criminal
There are many instances of encounters with a horrible tenant, not all of which result in a court action. Once the lease agreement is signed and keys are exchanged, a landlord or property manager can only hope things go smoothly. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case when it comes to dealing with unpleasant situations regarding tenants. Here are some issues with tenants some of our clients have experienced, and which you may want to try and avoid.
This is an evolving issue, as there has lately been a lot of new legislation about whether you can deny rental to a person with a criminal history. Typically, if it can be shown that the crime they have been convicted of is directly related to a tenancy (ie: dealing/doing drugs from their previous apartment), then a landlord may be able to deny rental. Prior to making any decision, however, the landlord really should brush up on their current local laws.This type of tenant can create dangerous situations for not only themselves but for the community and neighbors as well.
HOW TO HANDLE THE PROBLEM
Again, communication is key. If you run a background check and it comes up with a positive hit for a crime, ask them about it. Find out if: 1) it actually is the same person, 2) if so, what were the extenuating circumstances. Do not just have a blanket policy of denial, as many times a criminal record may go back a long time and that person is no longer the same person they were when they committed the crime.
Know your local law enforcement
Attend crime watch meetings and actively participate in community watch programs. Encourage your community to speak up and participate as well. Get to know your local law enforcement and ask them to patrol your property. Many times the presence of the police will deter such issues
Ultimately, as a landlord or property manager, you won’t always know what type of tenants you will be dealing with until you’re in the leasing process. However, comprehensive tenant screening should give you an idea. Past behavior is a likely dictator of future behavior. Remember to always clearly state the expectations and outline the consequences of breaking the rules in the lease agreement. As it is a legally binding document, it can guide and protect most any situation you encounter.
One of the easiest ways to address tenant problems is to avoid them altogether. To ensure you get the information you need we’ve created a download that shows you the 9 Most Effective Methods To Reduce Tenant Problems. Get your download today!
You may have encountered some other problem tenants as well, see what else you can do to address those issues: