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The Landlord’s guide to dealing with problematic tenants

As a landlord you have responsible for the behaviour of your tenants and whenever they cause problems you need to step up and resolve them. In many cases this is not an easy task, but these problems need to be resolved timely as to avoid further disturbance for everyone else living in the building.

Problematic tenants are often characterised by antisocial behaviour which may cause distress, alarm and even fear. This affects everyone living within the premises disturbing their peace and threatening their safety. It can also have an extremely bad effect on your reputation as a landlord.

Antisocial behaviour includes actions such as persistent and excessive noise, verbal or physical abuse and racial or sexual harassment of neighbours. This could be caused by the tenants or their visitors and could lead to a lot of distress.

Extreme examples of antisocial behaviour include vandalism and damaging of property and drug abuse. These lead to situations in which the health and safety of people are threatened. Because of this tenants-related problems and issues need to be resolved firmly and quickly. As a landlord you are responsible for preventing such problematic situation and observing the peace of everyone in the building. There are a few tips that you could follow to resolve these issues:

1.      Keep a professional attitude

As a landlord letting your property is your business and your tenants are your clients. Observe your professional relationship and treat them respectfully at all times even when they are not treating you the same way.

2.      Visit your property regularly

Visit your property regularly to keep an eye on any maintenance, repairs or previously raised issues. Talk to the neighbours to find out how your tenants are behaving. This will help you spot problems early and will put you in a better position to deal with them. Remember that you are required to provide a notice before you visit the property.

3.      Keep detailed records

It is crucial to keep a record of all formal and informal correspondence between you and your tenants, including financial transactions, mails and telephone conversations. Having a copy of maintenance work that has been done or warnings that you have sent can provide you with a solid proof of your efforts in resolving the existing problems.

4.      Get insurance

Your property is a long-term investment. Having problematic tenants poses a threat especially in the case of damages to the furniture or interior. Getting an insurance can help you save money and protect your investment.

5.      Try to resolve the problems

In many cases a conversation or a formal request can resolve mild problems like dirtiness or damage and can save you a lot of time. However, in other cases like noise infringements for example, it could be better to contact the police. They could issue a warning or fine, which could be a good lesson for the problematic tenants. In the case of late or failed rents, depending on your tenancy agreement you might have the right to evict them and reposes the property.

6.      Avoid problematic tenants

Choosing carefully your tenants is extremely important in helping you avoid problematic situations in the future. Try to learn as much as possible about your potential tenants’ employment and credit history and makes sure they have good references from previous rentals.

Dealing with problematic tenants is an unpleasant task, but it is one of the challenges of being a landlord. Key advice to remember is to act professionally at all times and treat your rental property as a business. This helps resolve problems faster and creates a very good reputation for you as a landlord.