It can be easy to forget that being a landlord is a relationship business: you not only deal with a rental property, but you also deal with the people living in said property.
Tenants can be the most significant factor in having a profitable investment property. Your property can be in excellent condition that attracts plenty of potential renters—but if your tenants never pay the rent, you won’t make money or build your long-term wealth.
How do landlords deal with difficult tenants on the Big Island? From baby boomers to any other renters, you need a plan.
What Is a Difficult Tenant?
No matter how thoroughly you screen tenants, there are no perfect tenants. Using an excellent screening process helps you find better quality tenants—but sometimes, a good tenant situation can turn into something difficult.
Difficult tenants create problems for investment property owners.
- They fail to pay the rent on time—if at all.
- They violate the rules of the lease agreement.
- They cause damage to your property.
- They cause problems in the neighborhood.
Difficult tenants don’t have to cause significant problems to create issues for landlords. When a tenant causes a problem or neglects to follow the rules, landlords need to address it.
How Should Landlords Deal with Tricky Tenants?
No two tenant problems are the same. However, when investment property owners have a process in place to deal with common problems, you can peacefully resolve situations before they get worse.
1. Stay Calm
The trickier the situation, the calmer you should be when handling your tenants: remain professional in every communication. Provide reasonable solutions to help your tenants correct the issue—sooner rather than later.
2. Review the Documentation
When you choose a tenant to live in your rental property, you walk through the lease agreement with them. Your tenant must understand the agreement and the penalties for violating the rules. Make sure the lease agreement:
- Documents when the rent is due each month.
- Clearly notes late fees for past-due rent.
- Outlines the rules for living in your property.
- Notes the rules of the neighborhood or the area, including conservation rules and or other important ordinances.
Your tenant signs this agreement at the start of their lease term. If a problem comes up, go back to your lease documentation and remind your tenant of the rules.
3. Assess Penalties as Appropriate
It’s essential to build good relationships with your tenants. However, landlords have to remember to be “friendly” without being “friends” with tenants. Landlords have to enforce the rules of their property when tenants cause problems.
Difficult tenants can take advantage of landlords who are too lenient: treat all tenants the same, no matter how many investment properties you own on the Big Island. Be patient and offer grace where appropriate—but enforce late fees or penalties fairly and promptly when tenants break the rules.
4. Keep Good Records
Document every tenant rule violation and the resolution to the problem. In many cases, reviewing the lease agreement and coming up with a payment plan for late rent or a solution to another problem can help your tenant make the situation right again.
Even good tenants can make a mistake sometimes—but it’s essential to document every problem and the solution in your tenant’s file.
Some Tenants Are Too Good to Be True
Beware of professional tenants: these renters are some of the most difficult tenants to handle.
Professional tenants appear to be ideal tenants during the application and interview process. They pass through your screening without raising red flags. However, once they move into your property, they turn into nightmare tenants.
These tenants make a “career” of moving from Kona rental property to Kona rental property, leaving a path of destruction behind them. Professional tenants are hard to recognize units they’re already in your property. They refuse to pay rent, cause damage to your property, then leave—before you can hold them responsible for damages or past-due rent.
Without a thorough background screening process, landlords can have difficulty recognizing professional tenants before they move into your investment property.
Property Managers Solve Difficult Tenant Problems
Whether you have a difficult tenant, or an issue comes up with one of your good tenants, an expert Big Island property manager knows how to solve your tenant problems.
Hawaiian Dream Properties has a thorough background screening process to help landlords avoid placing bad tenants in your Kona investment property. Bad tenants or recurring problems are expensive: without a screening process in place, you risk losing money toward your long-term wealth goals.
Plus, our expert property managers handle bad tenant situations for you! Our Kona investment property owners know that we place quality tenants in their properties to minimize expensive tenant issues. However, if a tenant breaks the rules, we handle it. You have peace of mind knowing that your rental property and your income won’t suffer from bad tenants!