Unfortunately, almost every long-term landlord is going to deal with bothersome tenants at some point. While proper screening should help you weed out some of the worst offenders, it is vital that you understand all landlord laws and how they could affect you in the coming years. Here is a closer look at some tips that you can use to deal with bothersome tenants and what tenant laws you should know about before renting.
Keep Your Emotions Out of It
Due to the nature of the rental industry, it is quite easy to allow emotions to take over when dealing with a tenant. Those that leave their emotions out of it, however, might never have to rely on tenant and landlord laws at all. If you ever feel as if one party is becoming angry over a particular issue, then you should try to take a step back and approach the situation from a different angle. This might include taking a day off to collect your thoughts or carrying out the interactions through emails.
No matter what type of communication method you decide on, it is vital that you document all requests. This includes any requests that do not fall within tenant laws and will not be fulfilled. For many landlords, the easiest way to document these requests is to have them submitted by email. This will not only provide you with a permanent copy of the request, but it will also give you the date and time that the request was submitted.
Lead by Example
Another way to make this process as stress-free as possible is to lead by example. This includes sticking to your word and following through with any home repairs or replacements that you have agreed to. Issues such as failing to complete the work, showing up late, or not showing up at all will set the tone for all future interactions. Sticking to your word will also provide you with an additional layer of legal protection should these issues turn into a civil case.
Completely ignoring these requests is not only a bad business practice, but it can also be illegal. Landlords are required by law to provide a tenant with a safe and functioning living space. That being said, you are not required to fulfill every request that is made. As a general rule, a landlord must maintain a home and make replacements or repairs after typical wear and tear. If the tenants damage your property, however, then they will be responsible for repairs or replacements.
Handling Invalid Requests
Even if you do not plan on fulfilling a request, it is important that you respond to the tenant. The best way to go about this is to clearly state that you will not be fulfilling the request and then directing them to your lease agreement, rental agreement, or the pertinent law. You should also keep a copy of the official request for as long as they remain a tenant. Verbal requests must be avoided at all costs, and landlords should ask their tenants to write down the information, sign it, and date the document.