If you lease a portion of your property, chances are you’ve experienced a bad tenant. From being unable to pay rent to causing wear and tear, problem tenants are a reality of any multifamily or commercial property. As a property owner, it’s important for you to know how to appropriately deal with tenants, especially those making trouble.
When you rent out commercial or residential space to a particular person, you’re agreeing to a conditional relationship. While a strong tenant screening process can help evaluate potential tenants, certain issues can still arise. A reliable rent payer may lose their job and miss a few rent payments. A dog owner may let their animal do as they please, causing expensive damages to your property.
While security deposits can be put in place and terms can be agreed upon, you need to be prepared for difficult tenants. Learn how to resolve any issue in an effective manner with these three actionable suggestions.
1. Respond calmly
Conflict isn’t enjoyable. To be fair, handling tenant complaints can be frustrating, time-consuming, and unreasonable. Your attitude matters, though, especially when discussing a binding lease agreement. If you have a tenant who has violated their lease or is causing disruptions, it’s your responsibility to respond objectively. Listen to any complaints and try to understand the issue in the best possible light.
Pro Tip: Be proactive in your relationship with your tenants. Simple kindnesses such as a gift basket, personalized services, or quick customer service will help diffuse any problems in the future.
2. Keep written records
Different types of lease violations vary in severity, but it’s important for both you and your tenant to be on the same page. Keep written records of any agreements, charges, or complaints that can be referenced during a dispute. While it may take extra time out of your day, writing everything down or documenting with photos/videos can help clear up any misunderstandings.
3. Create a clear eviction process
Eviction shouldn’t be your first action, but in cases where illegal activities or recurring problems are happening, it may be your only option. At the onset of any lease, make sure there is a clear understanding of the eviction process. Both you and your tenant should understand what steps will be taken before an eviction notice is sent. In dire circumstances where your tenant is uncompliant, calling the police should be considered for extra assistance.
Value of a Property Manager
At the end of the day, owning a property will pull you in a number of ways. If you have tenants that are giving you problems, it might be necessary to hire a property manager for assistance. From rent collection to tenant complaints, a property manager will help you stay on track. Instead of getting frustrated or overwhelmed, you can trust that your rental property is in the hands of a professional.
Connect with our team to learn more about our types of property management services.
Having trouble staying on top of your multi-unit residential property? Whether you own an apartment complex, a senior living community, or a student housing center, there’s always plenty to keep track of. Although similar to other types of property management, multifamily property management has its own unique factors. Unfortunately, not every property owner is cut out for the job or prepared for what it might entail.
A professional property management company has the knowledge and experience to keep your properties in good condition and full of happy tenants. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused by all the logistics of self-managing real estate, let our experts take over to help you out! Here’s what you can expect from hiring a multifamily property management group.
Customized Business Plans
Each property is different, and each property owner has their own goals and long-term plans for their business. Our experts recognize this and will work with extensive input from you to build a custom-designed business plan for your properties. We’ll analyze your current trajectory, help you outline future plans, research your target market, and determine the steps necessary to reach your goals. Our plans will be perfectly suited to your long-term and day to day needs!
Internal & External Marketing
Marketing is an absolutely crucial part in attracting new tenants to your property. As you start to gain residents, it’s important to have a marketing strategy to increase retention and engagement. Through well-designed client portals, onsite outreach, and more, we provide quality customer service and communication to your existing tenants.
Pro Tip: Our expert property managers know how to keep residents happy and boost tenant retention through strategic internal marketing efforts.
Detailed Finance Tracking
As a property owner, you juggle a lot of financial commitments and expenses every day. Let our multifamily accountants help! We’ll handle all the minutiae of finances through cutting-edge technology and send you detailed monthly reports to keep you informed. With our professional accounting service, you’ll stay in control of your property finances at all times.
Let the Professionals Take Over
Why exhaust your time and energy self-managing your multifamily properties? Use your resources to focus on the urgent tasks of your property while a professional management group takes care of your property.
Connect with us today to start the process!
Anyone who has ever rented an apartment or other residential property knows there are plenty of hoops to jump through. From utility arrangements to proof of income, you have to provide the landlord with a good deal of information. However, an application is a two-way street of communication, or at least it should be. Have you considered running a landlord background check?
While your landlord’s history may not be one of the questions on your mind as you contemplate where to rent, it’s nonetheless an important piece of information to try and discover. Remember, you’ll be renting from them for the foreseeable future–it’s only fair that you’re given the chance to make sure you can trust them. Let’s look at a few ways to perform a simple landlord background check.
Google the Landlord and Property Management Company
This is probably the easiest and simplest method of running a cursory background check: just put your landlord’s name and their property management company into Google. (You may want to Google the property address as well.) What kind of results come up? Do the reviews of the property and landlord alike reflect a good reputation? Of course, it’s good to exercise some skepticism when using Google for something this detailed, but what you find will be a good indicator of what else you might learn.
Pro Tip: Your future landlord asks you plenty of questions during the first meeting. It’s only fair for you to bring some questions of your own: ask them to explain a string of bad reviews, ask if they live on the property or elsewhere, etc.
Talk to the Neighbors
Set aside some time to talk with your future neighbors without the landlord present. Tell them you’re thinking of moving there and see how they feel about the property. Does the landlord handle complaints and maintenance requests well? Do the residents enjoy living there? Additionally, ask if any residents have renewed their leases–that’s an excellent sign that the property is a great place to live.
Find Public Records
It may not be your first thought, but if your landlord has taken legal action against a tenant (or been sued themselves), those records are permanent and generally available. See if you can find anything with the property manager’s name on it. If you do, what kind of legal case is it? An eviction, small claims settlement, foreclosure, or evidence of illegal activity should throw up a massive red flag immediately.
Find a Landlord You Can Trust
Running a landlord background check may seem a little odd and invasive, but it’s your right as a future tenant. If the landlord is allowed to check your background and credit history, it’s only fair that you also feel confident that you can trust them.
Connect with us to speak to an expert team of property managers and learn what to expect when meeting a landlord.
No rental property is perfect, and before you rent, it’s absolutely crucial to know who is responsible for what. Obviously, you’ll be paying rent, but who maintains the property? Who is responsible for repairs or major issues? Before you sign a lease, talk to your future landlord about who’s responsible for common tenant troubles you may encounter.
Most rental properties are well-maintained, but no property is perfect. Is your landlord responsible for dealing with common issues in their property, or is that your job? Make sure you find out and plan accordingly. Let’s look at a few common issues to keep an eye out for.
Sometimes a rental property comes pre-equipped with a few important appliances. For a residential property like an apartment, this might include a washer, dryer, stove, or other common household appliances. Your landlord is responsible for maintaining any and all appliances and machines they provide by default in your apartment. However, if you bring an appliance of your own, it’s entirely your responsibility.
Pro Tip: As soon as a problem (such as a broken appliance) becomes apparent, tell your landlord immediately. Don’t let the problem get worse and more expensive for both of you to fix.
Generally, your landlord is required to provide you with a pest-free property. However, exact regulations and requirements vary from state to state and depend heavily on circumstances. Most landlords will shoulder at least part of the responsibility to keep pests out of your rental space. But if you share some of the fault (for instance, you have roaches because you never take out the trash), you will likely have to foot at least part of the cost.
Mold is a disgusting and potentially quite dangerous problem for any rental property to have. Similar to the pest control problem, your landlord is generally fully responsible for making sure your rental property is free of mold. However, you can be held partially responsible if the mold is due to your actions (such as always using a humidifier). Talk to your landlord for the details of your agreement.
How Can You Prevent Problems from Getting Worse?
Most landlords are perfectly willing to help take care of maintenance issues to ensure you have a comfortable experience in your rental property. But since they’ll only rarely visit your property, it’s up to you to take the initiative and let them know there’s a problem. If the washing machine stops working or roaches start showing up and you say nothing, your landlord will assume everything is alright. In the meantime, the problem will only worsen. Clear communication and a positive relationship with your landlord will go a long way toward keeping your rental property usable!
Preventing Tenant Troubles
Landlords generally want to stay on good terms with their tenants and encourage them to stay longer in the property. For this reason, a reasonable landlord will listen to repair requests and provide help as they can. Maintain a good relationship and communication channel with your landlord to deal with problems quickly and continue enjoying an excellent rental property.
Connect with us to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
At a job interview, most interviewers know what kind of questions they’ll be asking the candidate to gauge whether they’d be a good fit for the job. However, when the candidate is a company or group of people rather than an individual, things can get a little confusing. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the search for a good property management company. What kind of questions do you ask a property management company? How can you ascertain if they’re a good fit?
Interviewing a Property Management Group
As with any interview, there are several standard questions to keep in mind as you consider a property management company. While you may add a few more specific questions depending on circumstances, the core questions to ask include:
- How long have they been in business?
- Do they manage other nearby properties, or have they done so before?
- Do they outsource maintenance and emergency services?
- How will you be getting reports or bank account access?
- When will they visit your property?
- Will they be handling insurance and legal matters?
- How do they screen potential tenants?
1) How Long Have They Been in Business?
A well-established business is generally far more trustworthy and beneficial for your property than a startup. Though a property management group’s age isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, it’s important for you to know and recognize how their years of experience (or lack thereof) will affect your property.
2) Do They Manage Other Nearby Properties, or Have They Done So Before?
A company that manages properties near your own has an established presence, likely meaning they have a good reputation in your neighborhood. Best of all, this gives you the chance to find out their management style. If they maintain a property close to yours, pay them a visit and ask the tenants a few questions. Do they seem to be doing a good job? Do you think your business vision is compatible with their management style?
3) Do They Outsource Maintenance and Emergency Services?
Sometimes, smaller property management companies will outsource maintenance work and emergency help. While there’s nothing wrong with this on its own, outsourcing such important services can end up costing more after additional fees. Make sure to ask about the vendors themselves as well. Are they trustworthy? Do they have a proven track record?
Pro Tip: You should be able to reach your property management company at any time of day or night for an emergency. Regardless of whether they outsource emergency help or not, make sure they’re still available for contact.
4) How Will You be Getting Reports or Bank Account Access?
Effective property management means you will, by necessity, regularly receive reports of about your property and tenants. How will these reports be given to you? How often will they come and how much information will they cover?
Additionally, how will they handle money and payments for maintenance? Is there a single account that each client can freely access, or will you have an account of your own?
5) When Will They Visit Your Property?
A property management company that doesn’t visit its property frequently isn’t worth much. Ask about how frequently you can expect visits from them, how long they’ll stay, and what they’ll do. It’s also important to know how close they’re located to your property. The further away they are, the farther removed they are from your property and the less likely they are to visit.
6) Will They be Handling Insurance and Legal Matters?
Insurance is absolutely essential in today’s world. Will your property managers be providing, at minimum, liability insurance and workers’ compensation? Will they keep up-to-date on their legal obligations for insurance and property management in general?
7) How Do They Screen Potential Tenants?
Finally, how does this company handle screening tenants? How rigorous and detailed are their background checks? Remember, these tenants will be occupying and using your property. It’s absolutely crucial to know that your choice of a property management company will choose trustworthy clients.
Finding the Right Property Managers
As you ask questions of a property management company during the interview process, remember the most important ones for your particular property and circumstances. What services or work could you not live without? What’s absolutely essential to a successful partnership? Don’t be afraid to ask very specific, pointed questions about what you can expect.
Connect with us to learn more about selecting a trustworthy property management company.
As a property manager, your job is to cultivate a safe, thriving environment for your tenants. This is particularly true if you manage a residential property such as an apartment complex. For property management, safety is an important concern to keep in mind.
Encouraging Safety for Your Tenants
Excellent safety solutions for rental properties take different forms depending on their exact location and how many people live there. However, there are several general ideas that rarely change between residential locations. The first steps toward a new safety program might include:
- Encourage energy conservation
- Establish guidelines for parties and guests
- Monitor the swimming pool
- Establish vacation guidelines
1) Encourage Energy Conservation
Using too much water and electricity not only makes more work and expenses for you, but it also drives up your tenants’ energy bills. Keep costs low for everyone by monitoring water and electricity usage to keep it within a reasonable parameter. For instance, maybe you can reduce the time sprinklers are left running. Residents will also be grateful to get a repaired or replaced HVAC unit if the old one isn’t working, and sealing the windows prevents climate-controlled air from escaping. Keep your tenants content and reduce bills for everyone with a little simple maintenance!
2) Establish Guidelines for Parties and Guests
Your tenants will likely have guests over from time to time, but for the sake of the other residents, it’s important to make sure they know what the guidelines regarding guests are. Make sure quiet hours are clearly explained and that tenants know where to direct their guests to park. This will help to prevent after-hours noise complaints or parking issues for your permanent tenants.
Pro Tip: If your tenants or their guests use the common areas, make sure everyone involved knows the rules for proper usage of those areas. Communicate clearly regarding reservations, cleaning, safety, and other important factors.
3) Monitor the Swimming Pool
If your apartment complex has a swimming pool, make sure you’re in compliance with local safety laws in your dealings with it. Most of the time, you’re required to at least post a sign with basic safety rules, provide cleaning and rescue equipment, and remind residents that no lifeguard is on duty. However, there are a few extra steps you can take. If you know your residents will be using the pool, find a nearby YMCA or similar place where your tenants can take swimming lessons. Some may even offer discounts for residents of your community!
4) Establish Vacation Guidelines
When residents leave for a multiday vacation, some will want to rent their apartments temporarily on a program such as AirBnB, while others will allow a friend or family member to stay there temporarily. This is a bit of a gray area for you as the property manager. Sometimes, local laws prohibit or severely restrict vacation rentals like this. However, even if these choices are legal, your first priority should be providing a safe and comfortable environment for your long-term tenants. Establish rules on whether or not vacation rentals and short-term occupancies are allowed (and under what circumstances) and make sure it’s communicated clearly to everyone.
Property Management Safety
A quality property management company recognizes the value of encouraging safety for tenants and renters alike. Show your tenants that you care about their well-being and want them to enjoy their stay at your property.
Connect with us to learn more about encouraging safety for tenants and managing potential dangers.