Anyone that has been a landlord knows that headaches and hassles are simply part of the job description. Number one among those headaches and hassles is problem tenants. For truly bad tenants in Kalamazoo, eviction is always an option but that can be a lengthy and expensive process. It might be better to find other ways to deal with bad tenants to solve the problems. Please read below and you will find 5 ways to deal with bad tenants in Kalamazoo.
Tenants Who Won’t Pay
A common category of bad tenants in Kalamazoo is those who just will not pay their rent; this, of course, will adversely affect your cash flow.
The thing to keep in mind is that tenants don’t pay for a variety of reasons. It is often that they are not being malicious or trying to fail to pay. Tenants can withhold rent from landlords for several reasons, from cash flow shortages, temporary unemployment, to repair and maintenance disputes. Communication is critical when confronting this issue, and it’s important to understand the tenant and the nature of the issue and try to work with them and negotiate.
As a landlord, you have a couple of options to solve this problem. The first and most effective is setting up a payment plan that makes paying more manageable for the tenants. For example, when tenants are struggling financially, you could implement a policy of accepting a partial payment from a tenant once per year. Another option would be to prorate the late fees and delinquent rent over the remainder of the lease or allow weekly partial payments instead of larger monthly payments.
Tenants Having Problems With Other Tenants
There are those bad tenants in Kalamazoo that are too loud or just obnoxious. Despite your best screening efforts, this kind of tenant can still slip through and cause problems for you and other tenants.
The first step in dealing with this kind of problem is to encourage and allow the tenants to resolve the problem themselves. There should be a clause in the lease that specifically states that all tenants are to make every able attempt to settle arguments without intervention from the landlord. It is important to include details that if you must get involved, one tenant might not be pleased with the resolution, and someone may have to leave the property.
In the case where you must step in, you may need mediation. Please be sure to explain the consequences in a calm manner to aid in resolution. At some point, your residents hopefully understand that the net impact is on them. It is important to make sure that any lease or rental agreement contains property regulations and rules in addition to tight clauses regarding these disagreements.
Tenants Who Pay Late
Some tenants do pay but they always pay late. In dealing with these tenants in Kalamazoo, it is wise to keep in mind that the reason for late rent payments may be fairly innocent, something like mere forgetfulness.
You could meet with these tenants to discuss their situation and why the rent is always late. You could also do things like waive late fees and other penalties if they promise to pay in full for any late rent. Another effective step is to send out payment reminders. This may take a little extra effort and time, but it could be an easy fix for the problem.
Don’t Renew The Lease
When the methods outlined above for dealing with bad tenants in Kalamazoo don’t produce results, you still may not have to resort to eviction.
An option you have at this point is simply to refuse to renew the lease. Just be aware that this typically this is not an immediate solution and that you need to understand your local laws related to tenant protections before you take this step. Usually, you can send your tenant a letter that informs them that their lease will not be renewed once it expires. You may need to give them 30, 60, or 90 days’ notice, depending on your state and local laws.
Consider “Cash For Keys” Agreement
Another last resort solution, short of eviction, for dealing with bad tenants in Kalamazoo is the “cash for keys” agreement. It will cost you, but it will also get a bad tenant out of your hair and solve the problem. A cash for keys agreement is a legally binding contract, whereby you pay a tenant a lump sum of money, their lease is canceled, and they must move out of your property.
You may be wondering, why should you pay a bad tenant to move out? For the simple reason that it makes financial sense.
It can be extremely costly to evict a tenant and the process may take several months. If you can just pay $1,000 and have a bad tenant move out within a week, you will be able to save money and start renting your property to a more qualified tenant.
No matter the method you choose to deploy in dealing with bad tenants, it is very important to make sure you are aware of all the legal ramifications and implications. Tenant protection laws are far broader than they were just a few years ago. As experienced investors in Kalamazoo we can help provide guidance related to bad tenant situations. Feel free to contact us today at (269) 775-4095.