If you’re a landlord, you’re bound to run into disputes with your tenants. It’s pretty much inevitable. As a property manager or landlord, what can you do to handle tenant disputes and be fair to each party involved? Here are some tips for dealing with the most common tenant disputes.
How to Handle Tenant Disputes: Common Sources of Conflict
Most landlords know that disputes with tenants are a part of the business. If you want to avoid tenant disputes, be sure to screen your tenants carefully and check their references. Keep in close contact with your tenants and make sure you return their calls and respond quickly when they report problems.
If you’re asking yourself how to handle tenant disputes when it comes to rent, the law in your state will help you determine your next steps. If a tenant fails to pay rent or pays late, you can begin the eviction process by serving them with a three-day notice to pay or quit.
You cannot evict a tenant just because they owe you rent, however. You must follow the formal eviction process or the tenant may sue you for wrongful eviction.
One of the most common tenant disputes is over excessive noise from neighbors. If this occurs on your property, it’s necessary for you to mediate.
When you’re wondering how to handle tenant disputes that involve noise, the first thing you should do is talk to the person making the noise, explain that a neighbor complained about their behavior, and encourage them to be more considerate of the people who live around them.
If the behavior continues after this conversation, you have every right to issue an eviction notice for disturbing other tenants’ peace and quiet.
Another common dispute among tenants is over parking. This can happen because some people are inconsiderate of others, or because people don’t understand where their parking space starts and ends.
If there’s no written agreement on how to handle tenant disputes over parking boundaries, then it falls on you as the landlord to mediate the situation by putting up signs or markers to clearly define where each renter parks their car.
Addressing Tenant Disputes
If you want to know how to handle tenant disputes with grace and understanding, there are some simple ways you can make the process easier on everyone involved. As a landlord, you should know how to handle these disputes effectively so they don’t escalate into something more serious—like legal action.
Here are some tips for addressing tenant disputes by thinking about your tenants’ needs and staying calm throughout the process.
The best way to deal with any tenant issue is to be organized. Have a system in place for how you manage maintenance requests, how often you’ll check on your property, and how you’ll communicate with tenants. The more organized you are, the less likely that a simple problem will turn into a full-on dispute.
Talk About It
Most disagreements between landlords and tenants can be solved by talking through the problem together. If a tenant complains about something in the unit, explain why it’s not possible for you to address that particular issue at this time (if indeed it isn’t).
If they have a complaint about their neighbors or other tenants living in the building, try to accommodate them by moving them if possible.
Be Clear About Your Expectations
From the very beginning of the relationship with a new tenant, establish clear expectations about when rent is due, how to submit maintenance requests, and what is expected of them as far as upkeep of their rental unit is concerned. Make sure you put all of this information in writing so there are no misunderstandings later on.
Think About Your Tenants’ Needs
When dealing with disputes, remember that tenants are more likely to be reasonable if they feel heard and understood. It’s important to approach any conflict by thinking about your tenants’ needs first.
If you can see things from their point of view, you’re more likely to identify and address the true source of the problem, and as a result, you’ll strengthen your relationship with them.