Rental Real Estate Tenant Woes and How to Solve Them

by Bruce Roberts - Date: 2008-09-24 - Word Count: 502 Share This!

Sick of tenants calling you in the middle of the night? Tired of cleaning up an apartment that's been left dirty? Done with painting over walls that have been painted a deep purple? Dreading having to chase down a delinquent tenant every month?

If you're experiencing some serious rental real estate woes, keep reading to learn how to solve them.

Problem: Property maintenance and dealing with tenants is becoming a burden.

If you're having trouble keeping up with property maintenance or your tenant's building requests, it may be time to look into hiring a property management firm. Not only will a property manager screen prospective tenants, they'll also handle any and all maintenance calls, small repairs, and then ready the apartment units for rent.

If hiring a property management firm isn't an option and your problem is the tenant rather than your building, then have a meeting with your tenant. Bring along a copy of the lease and your state's tenancy act. Explain what is a reasonable request, what's required of you as a landlord and assistance he or she can expect of you.

Problem: Properties are left dirty and poorly painted.

To prevent this problem, charge new tenants not only a rental deposit but also a standard cleaning fee. Set a rate of a couple hundred dollars, which will more than cover the cost of hiring a domestic cleaner for a day to come in and tidy the apartment once your tenants have left.

Also, while setting a heftier deposit can limit your tenant pool, that might be a good thing. Rather than settling for a tenant who can't make a deposit and is likely to leave your property in shambles anyway, strive to obtain quality tenants who are motivated to get their deposit back because they take good care of their rental.

You might even consider offering prospective tenants a lower monthly rent deal based on their willingness to preserve and beautify your property, especially if it is a house. For example, if your rent is normally $1000 per month, you could knock off $100 - $150 dollars per month for a renter who is willing to landscape the yard or paint the house interior. You would, of course, provide the necessary supplies.

Problem: Rent delinquency

Before you take action on ongoing rent delinquency, make sure you've read and understand the lease agreement, your state laws and your county's tenancy laws.

By knowing the law, you'll be aware of your rights and what you can and can't do in uncomfortable situations. Remember, you can't throw a tenant out on your own, lock them out or even threaten to evict them. Tenants have rights of their own, and there is a process that needs to be followed.

With delinquent rent, every state has an eviction process that needs to be followed. It usually starts with a state-issued form that is delivered to the tenant and gives them a set number of days to pay or leave. Be sure to always follow your state's guidelines regardless of how frustrated you may be with your renter.

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