How to Deal with Difficult Tenants

How to Deal with Difficult Tenants

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A professional landlord dealing with bad tenants.
Being a landlord sure has its ups and downs. You have seemingly the best, easiest tenants most days. You’re feeling like you’ve made a great investment and you’re living the life. Until you’re not. One day it all hits the fan. You need to prepare yourself for how to deal with difficult tenants. It will happen. If you have kept a great relationship with them, it can be an easy fix. Just make sure your relationship and expectations are clear right from the start.

Let Us Deal With Your Difficult Tenants

Be Clear From the Start

When you first met your tenants, were your expectations clear? Did you do a background check, credit check, and formal interview? This can definitely work in your favor moving forward. An interview is key to starting a healthy landlord/tenant relationship. You can easily get a good or bad vibe from an interview and determine whether it’s someone that is a good fit for the living environment you are offering. Although unforeseen circumstances can always arise, such as noisy neighbors and disagreements, it’s best to put it all out there in the beginning. Make sure they know what is expected of them and that you will do all you can (within reason) to keep them happy in their rental. 

Also, make sure that they understand that this is a professional relationship. Even if you’ve known this person for ages, it does not give them the right to take advantage of your generosity. You are their landlord and they are your tenant. You can be friendly of course, but keep it professional.

Know Your Rights

Keep updated on the rights you have as a landlord in the state you are in. Some states make it very difficult to evict a bad tenant. Even when the tenant is harassing the landlord, or they are being hard to deal with. As long as they are continuing to pay and stop their annoying actions, they may be hard to actually get out. So, know your rights and their rights and stay up to date on them. If you have a tenant that has turned on you and is abusing their rights, legal action can be taken. You deserve to have a respectable tenant who pays their rent on time and takes care of their side of the deal.

Keep Your Cool

When you get a complaint from a tenant, take it seriously. Knowing how to deal with a bad tenant is key. Meet up with them and show compassion. Show that you are on their side, and that you want the problem resolved just as much as they do. Keeping your landlord/tenant relationship good is very important. Once it is clear who is to blame (them, you, another tenant, or a neighbor), be ready to take action.

  • Always be professional. Keep calm at all times and keep your tone friendly. The less personal it gets, the better for everyone.
  • Offer to take care of it immediately. Do your best to make a plan quickly. Just as much as you want this problem to go away, so does everyone involved.
  • Understand the problem. Make sure you take the time to get all the facts. Are you just listening to your tenant complain about a neighbor? Get the neighbor’s side and compare their stories. Decide who is truly to blame and how it should be handled.
  • Show your concern. If this is a normal occurrence from the same tenant regularly, show the concern that they are after and promise to address it.

Apologize. Just apologize. Even if it’s not your fault. Be the bigger man. Some bad tenants are just looking for something to complain about. If you take care of it quickly and apologize for the situation, they will have much more respect for you than if you lose your temper and place blame back on them.

Build Your Landlord/Tenant Relationship

If your tenant knows that they can come to you with a problem and you will fix it quickly and maturely, your tenant will be happy and so will you. This is a big part of knowing how to deal with difficult tenants. Or rather, hopefully stopping them from becoming difficult tenants to begin with. 

You need to be clear, however, that you are here for them and that they too need to hold up their end of the deal. Keep a log of complaints and problems. If it mostly comes back to a certain tenant, you need to have a real conversation with them. Maybe they are not a great fit for your building and you could come to an agreement that would serve you both.

If the problem is with a tenant not paying rent on time, remind them that you have been holding up on your end. You address their needs and take care of everything you promise to. Don’t give them a reason to slack or not pay their rent. Keep the relationship professional and easy. Many people rent because they don’t want to have to take care of certain things (lawn, building maintenance, etc.). Keeping up with your work is just as important, as you can show them that it’s worth it to live in your dwelling.

Hire A Property Manager

If you love the idea of having rental income, yet don’t necessarily know how to deal with bad tenants, hire someone who does! A property manager can be a great resource. They can take care of the things that you don’t have the desire to take care of, yet you still reap the benefits of having an investment property. Simply removing yourself from the situation can feel like a huge weight is lifted off of your shoulders. With our tenant screening and application process, we aim to avoid difficult tenants before problems even arise. Being real estate investors ourselves, we specialize in property management services ranging from single to multi-family homes. Contact a team member and start renting your home without the hassle!

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Tips for Marketing Your Vacancies on the Web

Tips for Marketing Your Vacancies on the Web

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Tips for Marketing Your Vacancies on the Web

 

Remember when finding a new tenant meant throwing up a sign in the yard and placing an ad in the weekend paper? Times were simpler then. With sites like KSL and Craigslist attracting tons of local traffic and allowing free classified ads, the web has become your go to spot for finding quality tenants for your Utah rental property. But how can you make your rental stand out in the crowd? Following these simple steps will give your property a strong web presence and help find your next tenant faster.

 

Create visibility – Telling you to publish your vacancy to as many websites as possible may sound obvious, but do you know why? The more links available to your rental, the more likely it is to show up on your prospective tenants search results and ultimately on their radar.

 

Let your photos do the talking  – Almost anyone can write a glowing description that will make even a toolshed sound luxurious, but searchers want to see it. In fact, you should add as many pictures as the site will let you. Make sure they highlight your property’s best features and watch your lighting, because dark photos can make your top floor condo look like a basement apartment.

 

Add video – Sometimes photos just don’t tell the whole story. A virtual tour can really help people visualize the space and picture themselves living in it. Another huge advantage to using video is it will limit your showings to only truly interest parties since everyone will have already had a chance to “walk through” your property.

 

Update your information regularly – One of the biggest advantages web marketing has over print is that it’s editable. If you change your price or forget to mention a particular benefit, you can easily make the change at no additional cost.

 

Make it convenient for tenants to contact you – Not everyone does their searching during daylight hours when it’s appropriate to call, so always make sure your prospective tenants can contact you by email to ask questions. In fact, if you hire a property management company, they typically offer software that will allow tenants to schedule showings or send an application right from their computer.

 

If you aren’t already marketing your vacancies on the web, I suggest you start now. Your competitors are already showing their properties off online. The web can be very competitive, but following these simple tips will help you build a web presence and decrease your vacancy rates.

 

 

 

 

What Options Do I Have if My Tenant Needs to Break Their Lease?

What Options Do I Have if My Tenant Needs to Break Their Lease?

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What Options Do I Have if My Tenant Needs to Break Their Lease?

 

Some of the best property management advice you’ll ever receive is simply to plan on bad things happening. No matter how lucky you are, something will inevitably go wrong and cause you to need a backup plan.  It’s how you prepare for these contingencies that will ensure the long-term profitability of your Utah rental property.

 

One of these inevitabilities is when your “perfect tenant” needs to move out early. Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon, and you need to protect your investment. Here is a list of options available to you:

 

1) Include a lease buy-out clause – One easy solution is to include a lease buy-out clause in your rental agreement. This clause is essentially a dollar amount you set to allow the tenant to exit their current lease with no further obligations. This figure is typically set between one and three months rent. This strategy is a bit risky though, since you are basically wagering that it will not take you very long to re-rent the property. If you end up with a prolonged vacancy however, your buy-out amount may not cover your losses in rental income.

 

2) Allow them to find a replacement tenant – This is where you allow them to find someone else to move in and take over the lease. This can be a good option, but be careful. You must provide them with your rental criteria and inform them anyone they find will be measured against it. Also, be sure to receive a signed lease and deposit from the replacement tenant before allowing your existing renter out of their lease. The upside here is your renter will do much of the work, but make sure they know you are in control.

 

3) Charge your tenant the cost of re-renting – In this option, you can simply charge your tenant the costs you incur while trying to re-rent. These include unpaid rent, marketing expenses, cleaning and labor costs, as well as any damages. However, you must actively try to re-rent your property because you are legally obligated to minimize these expenses to your former tenant.

 

Whichever option you choose is up to you, and there is no “correct” answer. Each option will have its pros and cons, but what’s important is that you have a plan. Planning ahead and remaining flexible will always help you adjust to whatever challenges may be thrown at you.

Rental Advertising Tips for your Utah Rental

Rental Advertising Tips for your Utah Rental

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Rental Advertising Tips for your Utah Rental

 

Nothing puts a landlord on edge quite like a vacant unit. With no one to pay rent and expenses piling up, most want nothing more than a phone call from a qualified prospect to put their mind at ease. Sometimes renting your property is as simple as combining well written ad copy and strong sales skills. Use these tips when marketing your vacant properties.

 

Start with the basics – Good copywriting is certainly an acquired skill, but you’d be surprised how often even basic information is missing from Utah rental property listings. Always include the rental amount, property address, and property specifics like bed/bath and square footage.

 

Highlight features and benefits – Even the least desirable unit has some benefits and it’s your job to discover and highlight these. Top floor units typically have views, ground floor units are easily accessible without stairs, and homes on a busy street are closer to bus lines and freeway entrances. Every property has something that makes it unique and attractive.

 

Provide lots of information – The more details you provide, the more a prospect knows if your unit is the right fit for them. Items you should provide include detailed photos, lease terms and deposits, application process details, etc. Being this specific may limit your total number of showings, but you’ll find that the prospects who do contact you are much more qualified.

 

Sell to your audience – When showing your vacancies, try to point out features that will be important to each individual prospect. If you are showing the home to parents with young children, point out safety features like a fenced in yard. If your prospect is a student, highlight how close the unit is to public transportation that goes by the university. By tailoring your presentation to each individual tenant, you will be much more likely to fill your vacant unit.

 

Having unoccupied rental units can be very stressful for landlords, but there are some simple things you can do to help fill them quickly. Follow these tips next time you post your vacancy and watch how quickly it gets filled.

 

Is it time to hire a property management company?

Is it time to hire a property management company?

Single Property Management - Wolfnest Property Management Logo - Salt Lake City Property Management

Being a landlord can be very stressful and it requires a lot of time and energy from an owner. Many owners ask: “when is the right time to hire a property management company to manage my investment?” The answer to this question will vary from owner to owner, but below are some of the signs that it is time to hire a property manager:

How to Know When to Hire a Property Management Company

  • You are being bombarded with maintenance requests – Receiving maintenance requests are unavoidable. Things are going to break with your investment property and they will need to be fixed. If these maintenance requests are coming in faster than you can get them resolved, it may be time to consider hiring a property management company. A good property manager will have a list of qualified vendors that can usually solve any issue in a timely manner.
  • You move to a different location than your investment property – As stated earlier, in order to manage your investment property, you have to be able to be in close proximity to your property. Any time there is a showing, you need to collect rent, or there is a maintenance issue, you need to be able to get to the property quickly. If you move to a different city or state, it may be time to hire a property management company.
  • You cannot handle all of the showings – One of the most important aspects of renting your property is finding a qualified tenant to place in your investment. Without doing so, you cannot make any money on your investment. For this reason, you have to be available to show your property to prospective tenants. If you cannot find the time to do this, it may be time to consider hiring a property management company.
  • You do not know what to do once your tenant stops paying rent – No one wants to rent their property to a tenant that does not pay rent on time or does not take care of your investment. In the unfortunate event that your tenant stops paying rent, do you know the procedure for eviction? If you answered “no”, then it may be time to consider hiring a property management company. A good property management company will be well versed and should have a procedure in place in the event a tenant needs to be evicted.

If you do not think that you are able to continue managing your investment, please consider hiring FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment will be taken care of. Contact us today at 801-673-5692.