Get Your No-Obligation FAIR Cash Offer Now!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get Rid of Bad Tenants. How?

Are you struggling with bad tenants occupying your property? Let’s look at the ways to deal with it.

Dealing with bad tenants can be an incredibly frustrating and stressful experience for landlords. From consistently late rent payments to damage to your rental property, to disturbances that frustrate other tenants, problem renters can quickly turn what should be a viable business venture into a nightmare.

As a landlord, you have rights and options when confronted by an uncooperative tenant. However, you also have legal obligations you must fulfill before attempting to remove a problematic renter. Take the wrong approach, and you may open yourself up to lawsuits or other complications.

This guide will provide an overview of constructive solutions available to landlords having difficulties with bad tenants. We’ll cover warning signs to watch out for, documentation best practices, and the eviction process. With the right approach, you can resolve issues with problematic renters and prevent further loss of income or damage to your property.

Carefully Screen All Tenant Applications

The best way to avoid worst tenant scenarios is to carefully screen all rental applicants before approving them. Some important steps include:

  • Review credit and background checks to identify financial or criminal red flags
  • Verify current and previous landlord references
  • Confirm tenant employment and income to ensure they can afford the rent
  • Meet applicants in-person to get a sense of their demeanor and reliability

By thoroughly vetting all tenant applications upfront, you can nip many problems in the bud. Avoid feeling pressured to accept the first viable applicant for your rental vacancy. Being patient and selective is better than dealing with problem tenants down the road.

Follow Documentation Best Practices

If despite your best screening efforts, you end up with problem tenants, adequate documentation becomes essential. Property managers and landlords should record all interactions, complaints, violations of rules or laws, and damages or repairs needed.

Specific documentation best practices include:

  • Written rental agreements outlining house rules and tenant responsibilities
  • Dated photographs and video recordings showing unit condition at move-in and move-out
  • Copies of the Move-In and Move-Out Condition Statement with signatures from tenants
  • Police reports, repair invoices, contractor estimates, and other financial documentation

Proper documentation prevents he-said/she-said disagreements should legal action become necessary. It also substantiates notices to pay or quit when the eviction process starts.

Attempt Reasonable Dispute Resolution

Before immediately pursuing formal eviction, landlords should make reasonable efforts to resolve disputes with unruly tenants. These attempts should be documented in writing.

Some examples include:

  • Written warning notices – Provide clear expectations and consequences
  • Letters requesting damage reimbursement
  • In-person meetings to discuss problems
  • Phone calls asking for overdue rent

If tenants fail to change negative behaviors or pay monies owed after initial attempts at dispute resolution, stricter action like pay or quit notices or eviction filing become warranted.

Understand Proper Pay or Quit Notice Protocol

To properly terminate a rental agreement with bad tenants, full compliance with your state’s notice to pay or quit requirements is crucial. Rules vary significantly nationwide. Most mandate strict written notice forms listing overdue rent amounts or lease violations.

Key aspects landlords must get right include:

  • Proper notice delivery method – first-class mail, posting on property door, law enforcement delivery
  • Precise notice content – due amounts, tenant names, property details
  • Strict notice timelines – 3 days, 5 days, 30 days etc. depending on state laws
  • No self-help eviction threats or actual lockouts – these can spur tenant lawsuits

If notices to pay or quit are improperly formatted or delivered, the eviction filing gets derailed. Landlords must understand their state laws.

Initiate Formal Court-Supervised Eviction

The final solution available against irredeemably problematic tenants is formal eviction through your state court system. This is initiated by filing an unlawful detainer lawsuit after proper notice provision.

Key unlawful detainer steps typically involve:

  • Drafting summons and complaints outlining lease breaches
  • Formally serving tenants with the eviction lawsuit
  • Attending court-mandated mediation sessions if required
  • Appearing at court hearings to obtain eviction judgements
  • Enforcing eviction orders through law enforcement

The court-supervised eviction process ensures due process for tenants. It also gives landlords the ability to reclaim their property should other reasonable resolution attempts fail.

Seek Legal Counsel When Necessary

Given the myriad tenant and landlord laws governing property rentals, it’s almost always wise to seek some legal counsel if facing major tenant problems. Real estate attorneys can advise you on notice and documentation requirements while preventing procedural mistakes.

Lawyers can also represent you directly during necessary court hearings, especially against sophisticated tenant squatters who try legal tricks to delay eviction. Though adding some costs upfront, proper legal advice saves major headaches down the road.

Prevent Recurrences Through Updated Tenant Screening

Finally, landlords who have weathered problem tenant storms should take time after evictions to examine what went wrong. Review your existing tenant screening and selection process. Identify any shortcomings that allowed the bad renters into your property initially.

Bolster background checks, reference diligence, income verification policies, and lease agreements. Update screening procedures to prevent another occurrence of issues in the future.

Employ a Property Management Company

If dealing with tenant headaches becomes overwhelming, consider hiring an experienced property management company. They will handle screening applicants, documenting issues, pursuing dispute resolutions, serving all required notices, and initiating court evictions on your behalf.

Professional property managers know all federal, state, and local landlord-tenant laws intimately. They have standardized tenant screening procedures, documentation systems, and resolution protocols already established. Management companies also maintain positive working relationships with eviction lawyers, repair contractors, cleaning crews, and other vendors.

The cost of partnering with a property manager typically runs between 8-12% of total rental income. While an added expense, most landlords experience significantly fewer tenant problems and less lost revenue after hiring managers. The piece of mind alone can prove worthwhile.

That said, subpar property management companies do exist. So, some due diligence finding competent, responsive, and legally knowledgeable managers is essential.

Offer Cash for Keys Agreements

One last ditch resolution technique before eviction involves offering problematic tenants cash payouts for vacating immediately. Known legally as “Cash for Keys” arrangements, landlords present tenants signed termination agreements stipulating move-out dates in exchange for lump sum payments.

This incentivizes problematic occupants refusing to vacate after proper notice periods to leave quickly and avoid formal unlawful detainers on their records. Cash for Keys also lets landlords avoid lengthy court battles to reclaim their property.

However, incentivizing bad behavior by offering tenants cash who have no intention of complying with rental agreements sets poor precedent. Only utilize Cash for Keys with extreme tenant situations, not as a de facto resolution for repeat noncompliance.

Pursue Small Claims Judgements

Even after removing awful tenants, landlords can still incur major financial losses from unpaid rent, property damages, legal fees, and lost future income during unit renovations. However, local small claims courts allow property owners to pursue excess judgements up to certain limits through simplified legal filings.

While eviction unlawfully detainer rulings allow for property repossession only, small claims judgements award landlords actual money for financial damages incurred. Most states allow claims up to limits ranging from $2,500 to $15,000. This mechanism facilitates recuperating at least a portion of total money lost from terrible tenant experiences.

Implement Strict Screening Criteria

Rather than reviewing applications on a case-by-case basis, the most effective landlords implement standardized tenant screening policies with predefined denial criteria. Strict requirements for credit scores, income thresholds, criminal history, eviction records, employment durations, and previous landlord referrals eliminate much uncertainty.

Set clear standards – for example credit scores above 650, no violent felony convictions ever, and income equal to 3 times the monthly rent. Review all materials submitted by applicants looking for automatic red flags. Avoid making exceptions – inconsistent screening frequently leads to overlooking major warning signs.

Also consider restrictions prohibiting certain higher-risk demographics like registered sex offenders, recent prison parolees, occupants still facing serious criminal charges, and households with histories of eviction lawsuits. Check with state and federal housing authorities to ensure screening criteria avoids unlawful discrimination.

Institute Stronger Lease Agreements

For property owners struggling with recurring noncompliant and disrespectful tenants, implementing stronger lease agreements can help deter future misconduct. Important additions include clearly delineated policies regarding unauthorized occupants, excessive noise, disorderly conduct, smoking areas, banned pets, tenant insurance requirements, and security deposit penalties for property damages.

Also specify exact monthly late fee percentages applied after certain rental due dates and bad check fees for bouncing rent payments. Detailed notification policies dictating when rent increases occur and flesh our mutual termination clauses for early lease endings.

Finally, include mandatory pre-approved payment plans for struggling yet communicative tenants as an alternative to immediately pursuing evictions after late rents. The key is eliminating all lease agreement vagueness that bad tenants leverage as loopholes to excuse unhealthy behaviors.

Demand Increased Security Deposits

For properties plagued by recurring tenant damage and excessive unit turnover costs, requiring increased security deposits helps offset inevitable repair expenses between occupants. Market rates typically run one to two months’ rent.

However, landlords dealing repeatedly with unruly tenants should consider hiking deposit requirements to three or even four months’ worth of rent payments for high risk applicants with subpar credentials. This added buffer can save thousands on appliance replacements, carpet cleanings, structural repairs, trash hauling, and makeup paint jobs when particularly negligent renters skip town.

Also, include security deposit increase clauses within updated lease agreements allowing for additional protection should recurring issues emerge with existing tenants wishing to renew after their initial lease term expires. The added leverage encourages more compliant tenant behaviors once increasing deposits feel imminent.

Do It in a Smart Way

Dealing with bad tenants constitutes one of the most taxing parts of property management. However, adequate preparation, documentation, and screening processes go a long way toward preventing or resolving serious tenant problems.

When confronting particularly egregious and uncooperative renters, adhere closely to notice and eviction legal requirements. Seek counsel as needed and attempt reasonable dispute resolution before pursuing court-ordered evictions.

While eliminating bad tenant situations completely proves difficult, landlords can contain headaches. Follow best practices, know your rights and obligations thoroughly, document everything, and retain legal help as needed. Your rental property business need not suffer endless losses due to problem tenants.

Contact us at We Buy Any House As Is

Landlords drained after finally evicting destructive occupants may lack the energy or funds for major rental property renovations. Lengthy vacancy periods also reduce revenues awaiting new tenant applications.

In such scenarios, consider contacting local “we buy houses for cash Rochester NY” companies offering quick all-cash purchases of rental homes, regardless of condition. This is where we at We Buy Any House As Is can help. Our team of experts provide rapid closings within a week. This saves landlords from expensive repairs and mortgage payments on unoccupied units.

We buy houses New York “as is”, without requiring fixes demanded by retail buyers. Then we take care of all cleanup, upgrades, and resales needed to profit from distressed properties.

So if the headaches of rehabilitating your just-vacated but heavily damaged rental feel unbearable, initiate a cash offer process through us. The proceeds from quick sales provide capital to purchase updated income properties without immediate tenant headaches. Get rid of further frustration by leaving worn-out rentals behind.

Get More Info On Options To Sell Your Home...

Selling a property in today's market can be confusing. Connect with us or submit your info below and we'll help guide you through your options.

Get An Offer Today, Sell In A Matter Of Days

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *