For anyone who has been in the property management industry for a respectable amount of time, the prospect of difficult tenants is not just a scary thought but an actual waking nightmare; damaged or broken property, unpaid rent, belligerence to you and other neighbors on the property, and much more are all very real risks that each landlord accepts when signing someone new. But being able to spot these potential troublemakers isn’t an easy task.
For experienced property owners, coming up with solutions to difficult tenants is a practice borne of troubling history and bitter lessons. For everyone else, one wonders if there’s a shorthand to take advantage of so that they can learn from another’s experience. Luckily there are some tips that first-time or newly minted landlords can utilize to make life easier on themselves. Ultimately, learning these lessons now will not only keep you from feeling burnt out quickly but will also help you keep the property in good condition so that you can turn a profit on this venture, instead of throwing revenue down the money pit.
At the core of property management is the relationship between the landlord and the tenant, and the former’s ability to solve problems regarding the latter. These problems might be made by the tenant, or they could just involve the tenant’s wellbeing. Either way, a landlord’s ability to meet these problems head-on will be the difference between a good reputation and a chronic pain in the neck.
There are things that each landlord can do from the beginning to stave off potential problems:
- Don’t Discriminate: Perhaps the most conspicuous quality of any rental property is the diversity of people living there. Virtually all people at one time or another will end up renting property, which leads to tenants of all shapes, sizes, races, and backgrounds. Avoiding the very appearance of sexism, racism, or any other type of prejudice should be the bedrock principle of every landlord. Any hint otherwise could open the property manager up to litigation if people are denied based on the aforementioned qualities.
- Perform a Thorough Screening: Having said all that, properly screening your prospective tenants is a good practice that can always be improved. Making sure that you don’t fall into any discriminatory practices, screening can help property managers avoid tenants with a relevant history of violence (to the property or to other people), and poor reviews from former landlords.
- Be Timely: One of the most important aspects of managing property is ensuring that the apartment is free of any broken or worn features that may negatively affect the quality of living for the tenants. Oftentimes the patrons themselves will let you know something is wrong; staying on top of repair tickets and pest complaints is going to be the primary things your tenants take away from working with you.
- Be Safe: Every renter takes an inherent risk as well, each time they move into a new apartment. They count on the landlord to keep their family safe, both by providing decent locks and security on the premises, but also by respecting the tenant’s right to privacy. Property managers that work to create an atmosphere of safety will consistently see renters applying to stay there.
Help is Available for all Property Managers
As has been discussed, there are a lot of steps that landlords can take to ensure that the relationship they have with their tenants is a positive one. Knowing the legalities of property management is essential so as to avoid lasting issues with not only the property but the law, but otherwise, tenants will tend to follow the landlord’s lead when it comes to fostering a healthy and happy relationship.
No matter how long you’ve been in this industry, questions still arise. Rhino Property Management has made its business being the best help new and seasoned landlords can find. Just visit our services page on our website to see all the ways we help Utah property managers and contact us for more information.