Nightmare Tenants – It is every landlord’s worst nightmare – the new tenant you thought was squeaky clean is waking up all the neighbours with loud music, or hosting wild parties that cause irrevocable damage to your property. And worst of all, when you ask them to stop, they carry on doing it. If you’re unlucky enough to have tenants who have no intention of honouring all the rules of their tenancy agreement (cleanliness and damage especially), then it is important to deal with them in the correct way and through the appropriate channels. Having landlord insurance can be extremely helpful in softening the blow of any damage your tenants cause, but often some areas are excluded from insurance so you could be footing the bill yourself. Dealing with such tenants before this costly scenario occurs can save you a lot of time and hassle.
What shouldn’t I do?
The single most important thing for you as a landlord to avoid doing is to end up breaching the tenancy agreement yourself because the tenant has – this would make you both in the wrong, and you would have no case or high ground against your deviant tenant. You must honour all the conditions of the tenancy agreement without fail. Often a landlord may be so eager to survey any suspected damage that he enters the property without giving the tenants an adequate amount of notice – usually 24-48 hours. Taking matters into your own hands and evicting the tenant without going through the proper channels can also be hazardous, and you risk breaking the law and forfeiting many of your rights as a landlord.
What are the best ways to deal with problem tenants?
Even though a tenant doing damage to your property can be extremely frustrating, ensuring that you conduct your investigation and actions in the right manner is imperative to how well you will come out of the situation. Getting in touch with the relevant local authorities if needed can lend your position some legitimacy, and helps you accumulate positive evidence should the matter ever go to court. If you are going through a letting agency, make sure you get advice from them on how to proceed as they will be knowledgeable of the correct avenues of action to take.
How the entire situation concludes is as much your responsibility as it is the tenant’s. Proceed with complete professionalism and respect for the rules and you are likely to come out of the situation no worse than when you went in. It is the tenant who first breached the terms of your agreement, so make sure you do not retaliate and end up breaking the agreement too.