Dealing with problematic tenants can be challenging, to say the least. As a matter of fact, very few people who decide to rent out their California-based apartment realize the fact that they could encounter more than a few delicate problems as first-time landlords.
Some of your tenants may always “forget” to pay rent on time. Others may refuse to comply with your written policies and start disputes with your property manager and/or other tenants. How could you possibly handle all these hypothetical situations and what’s the most convenient exit strategy that you could employ to avoid further complications? Here are a few alternative routes that you can explore to keep risks in check.
- Hire a Property Manager. Sometimes, you need a middleman to close a good deal. In this case, you may require an intermediary to avoid potential conflicts with tenants, keep your property in excellent condition, handle repair requests and potential complaints and give yourself some time to breathe.
- Screen All Tenants. Be Thorough. Run background checks. Check their references. Get in touch with all the previous landlords listed by candidates. Run a credit check and verify the income declared by your potential tenants. Last but not least, go with your gut. If some of the people whom you have interviewed look or sound like trouble, then they probably are! Don’t be afraid to wait for the ideal tenant. Recent research published by LA Times indicate that we are currently witnessing an ever-growing demand for Californian housing units, also coming from former owners who have lost their homes to foreclosure. The mortgage crisis and the advantages that rentals are currently offering represent the two prominent factors that have contributed to the decline of homeownership rates in the L.A. Metro Area. Therefore, do not despair. Screen your tenants without skipping any steps and simplify the whole process using the data and handy tools offered by an apartment finding service.
- Apply Penalties. Here’s the first lesson that you’ll learn as a first-time landlord (usually, the hard way): sweet talk won’t get you very far. Master the skills of a private detective in your spare time to avoid surprises. At the same time, don’t let your enthusiasm and goodwill stand in the way of your future goals. At some point, you will probably realize the fact that property owners who are overly flexible aren’t necessarily the happiest and most successful ones. Yes, flexibility can help you maintain a healthy relationship with good tenants, but it can also affect the one that you have with problematic occupants. How do you address this issue without implementing any radical changes? Here’s an idea that may work for you: start applying penalties. Be very strict to make sure that your rules are being followed. For instance, you could require your tenants to pay rent on the first day of the month. To prove that you are an understanding landlord, you could offer a limited grace period (a 5 day period is more than enough and represents a decent option that most tenants will appreciate). At the end of the grace period, if no rent is paid, you can intimidate tenants with an arsenal of effective weapons including substantial late fees and a pay or vacate notice taped to the door. These extra measures of precaution will enable you to prevent your tenants from getting behind on rent and manage your relationship with troublesome residents before it becomes a real problem.
- Explore the Radical, Yet 100% Effective “Cash for Keys” Technique. Can’t find a solution to a pressing problem created by a tenant who refuses to play by the book? Instead of working even harder to achieve the impossible, take the easy (and stress-free) way out. Get rid of the people who ignore your rules and make your life as a landlord a living hell. If you don’t want to evict the tenant (we all know that this process takes time and can be quite costly), employ the effective so-called cash-for-keys tactic. In other words, pay problematic tenants to leave your property with grace and what’s left of their dignity. This solution may not be perfect, but it spares you of the drama and high costs that an eviction usually involves. On the other hand, if an eviction is truly necessary, get the best legal representation that you can afford and don’t hesitate to go all the way to get rid of residents who have caused you nothing but trouble for months in a row. Hire an experienced, qualified lawyer who could help you deal with this problem without getting in trouble. No matter how you choose to handle this unpleasant situation, keep in mind the fact that vacancies are seldom a long-term problem in California, where decently priced rentals are always tracked down by tenants looking for a new roof over their heads.
- Remember That the Perfect Tenant May Be Just a Few Clicks Away. Do you really have to interview total strangers to avoid risks factors that could cost you a lot of time and money? We understand your hesitation and we totally get it: screening tenants can be boring and time-consuming. You have very little desire to get acquainted with people who would like to find a new place to stay in California. Maybe you have poor social skills and don’t really want to waste too much time meeting potential candidates and hearing every detail about their life story. In this context, what’s the best thing that you could do to facilitate your interaction with tenants, separate the reliable candidates from the ones who will definitely give you headaches, and handle the paperwork rapidly and stress-free?
Apartment Hunterz brings you the simplest solution to your problem. California’s top-rated apartment finding service gives you access to various tools that you can use to reach people who may be interested in your property, screen all candidates and submit paperwork online, at a touch of a button. This type of service ensures a flawless communication between tenants and lessors and turns apartment renting into a wonderful experience for both parties. Give it a try and find out how Apartment Hunterz has changed the lives of thousands of people who have a keen interest in the Californian real estate market.