Having lousy renters can make being a landlord very frustrating, expensive, and time-consuming. In our latest post, we discuss some ways to deal with a bad tenant in Massachusetts.
Nobody wants to have to chase rent, make endless repairs, or deal with tenants who don’t treat the property with respect. Ideally, most landlords are looking for a low-maintenance, easy to get along with tenant, that will hopefully stay for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the kind of tenants Massachusetts real estate investors end up renting to. Below, we offer our tips to help landlords handle difficult tenants and situations most investors will find themselves dealing with at one point or another. Dealing with a bad tenant may be frustrating, but it’s not impossible.
Don’t Rent To A Bad Tenant In The First Place
Sometimes this is easier said than done. However, performing a thorough screening and background check can help you eliminate some tenants that might cause you problems. This isn’t an area where you want to save some money. Don’t skimp when it comes to thoroughly screening your potential tenants. Hire a company or run the reports online using companies like Cozy or SmartMove.
In addition to properly screening your tenants, your lease will need to be iron clad, covering every possible situation. You don’t want to have something you overlooked or a missing clause come back to bite you. No matter how long your lease gets, try to touch on as many areas of contention as you feel would be possible. Having the responsibilities and roles of both the landlord and tenant clearly laid out should help to minimize any disputes in the future.
The first step is the most obvious, yet often overlooked. When handling a difficult situation with your tenant, it’s important you take a calm and collected approach to the situation. Don’t ever try to talk to your tenants about a problem when you are upset. No matter the situation, always retain your sense of professionalism and level-headedness. Nothing will get accomplished if tempers flare. Calmly bring up the problem with your tenant and let them know their actions are causing problems. Hopefully, once they see the other side, a solution can be reached.
Hire Someone To Help
Using a property manager to take care of your rental will greatly limit your contact with tenants. Your property manager will be in charge of collecting rent, imposing fines, scheduling repairs, handling maintenance, and any other services you require. Your property manager should be skilled in conflict resolution as well as the laws surrounding the situation. Their methods of handling a difficult situation should be handled methodically and by the book. When hiring a property manager in the Massachusetts area, you can expect to pay about 10% of what the property is bringing in each month.
Try To Strike A Deal
Once you have tried other methods, you might consider trying to strike a deal in order to get them out of the house quickly. Ask them to vacate the property, and in return, you will not take them to court or put them through the eviction process. Nobody wants an eviction on their record, and most landlords don’t want to deal with the process of going to court. By asking them to leave, with no further action can be best for everyone involved. Sometimes, in order to get them out without a fight, you have to be willing to cut your losses.
If your tenants are in direct violation of their lease, you can begin the eviction process. It is important to keep accurate records of contact, making sure everything is also conveyed to your tenants in writing. You will want to adhere strictly to the eviction laws as they apply to your situation. Failing to do so can cause the court to side with the tenant, leaving you stuck with the bad tenants at least through the end of their lease term. Evictions can ultimately cost you a few thousand dollars. You don’t want to spend all that money for nothing.
Know When To Walk Away
If you are dealing with a constant turnover of renters or a string of bad tenants, maybe the Massachusetts investment property isn’t the right one for you. A sign of a good investor is knowing when to cut their losses and walk away. If a property simply isn’t performing for you, is causing you stress, or is taking up too much of your time, it might be wise to consider putting your money into a different investment. There is no rule that states you need to hold to a property forever. Don’t settle, find what is right for you!