Whether you manage a large building, small building, or individual rentals, you will most likely come across a problematic tenant, no matter how strict your tenant screenings and background checks are.
Issues You May Come Across With Tenants
Whether you are managing the building yourself or you have hired a property management company, you will likely have to hand out notices and warnings to your tenants as reoccurring issues arise like:
- Not paying rent on time
- Noise complaints
- Strong scents
- Destroying property
- Unauthorized pets
- Illegal activity
Being a full-time landlord requires a lot of hard work and organizational skills. This way when things have to be taken to court, you have the proper evidence that is needed. Document the date you warned them, the date you issued a notice, emails or texts exchanged, etc. Find a way to stay organized that works best for you, whether that be by individual folders or a spreadsheet.
Outline Your Policy Clearly
It is important for your tenants to understand all the rules, so make sure your rules and regulations are very clearly outlined and how they will be handled if broken. Stick to your policies and be firm but also respectful. Treat your tenants the way you would want to be treated but let them know you are very serious about if they violate the rules. One of the most important rules they understand is what is considered a “late payment”. Once that date has passed and you have given them a notice, highlight the date the payment and late fees are due. Once that date passes, it is time to take it to court.
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Unfortunately throughout your landlord career, you may need to take drastic measures and evict a tenant that is simply not following the rules. In order to do so, the court will have to get involved.
After notifying your tenant and have explained in detail why they are receiving the notice and the notice date they must comply by has passed, your lawsuit will continue in court. During the hearing, if you have compiled an organized evidence file, they will set a date the tenant must leave your property.
April 2020 Update: as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government has implemented rules to stop evictions until the pandemic is resolved. Make sure you check your local Landlord and Tenant Board before taking action. Always try to talk to your tenants and find a solution together.
Looking to sell the home your renting? Check out this article for how the process is different.
Do A Thorough Background Check
Even if you have checked everything and your tenant seems like a great choice, they may come across a life change that affects them once you have already let them move in, like a job loss or being laid off. You cannot predict things like that, but you can make sure you are allowing the most trustworthy people into your unit by:
- Checking employment history
- Checking their credit history
- Meeting and interviewing them in person
- Contacting previous employer and landlords
- Calling their references
Throughout your landlord career, trouble with tenants or neighbors arguing is bound to happen. Treat your tenants the way you would want to be treated: firm but respectful. Clearly outline your rules and what measures will be taken when they are violated. If issues do get out of hand, they will need to be taken to court after sending them warnings and notices and they are still not complying.
Before allowing a new tenant to move in, make sure you conduct a thorough background check and interview them in person. This may limit the number of problems you run into.
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