With rental properties, finding a good tenant is like finding a treasure. Good tenants pay their bills, take care of their units, and obey the rules stated in their leases. The trouble is that some tenants will not be the best tenants in the world, and this is why it is important to set up a good system to use when your tenants violate parts of their leases. Here are some of the components of an effective system to use for dealing with this common problem.
Send a written notice immediately
The first step you should always take when a tenant violates a part of the lease is sending a written notice. If you happen to see the tenant, you could also verbally talk to him or her about it, but you should still send a written letter. This letter creates a paper trail, which is important with landlord-tenant laws, and this letter can include important information the tenant needs to know about the problem.
The letter should state the date, the nature of the problem, and the fact that this problem is against what the tenant agreed to in the lease. It should also state an amount of time the tenant has to fix the problem. The amount of time you give should be relatively short, such as five to seven days. By doing this, you are giving the tenant time to make arrangements to remedy the problem, yet you will be holding him or her responsible to get the arrangements made within this time frame.
Perform an inspection
When the time frame has ended, you should visit the tenant's unit to perform an inspection to make sure the problem was taken care of. You may even want to let the tenant know in your letter that you will be doing this. If the problem is fixed when you inspect the unit, there will be no further action to take. If the problem is not fixed, you will need to have a plan in place as to what you will do about it.
Follow through with the consequence if necessary
When tenants fail to abide by the rules they agreed to in the lease, and when they refuse to fix a problem that violates the lease, you may want to have a rule in place that you will proceed with eviction of the tenant. If you find that the tenant has not followed through with your requests, you should begin the eviction process on this tenant.
These are three good steps to take when your tenants violate parts of the lease agreements. If you design a policy like this ahead of time, you should let all your tenants know what it is so they are not shocked when you take these steps. If you need help managing your properties or enforcing rules, you could consider hiring a property management company with community managers for assistance.