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  • Writer's pictureElliot Leigh

How To Deal with Problem Tenants

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As a Landlord, the risk of having problem tenants in your property is something you can never truly avoid, whether they're causing damage to the property or rent arrears. It is important to know exactly what you can and can’t do to protect your property and rights in these situations as the rules can be a complex matter.

Avoiding Problems with Tenants

We know that finding tenants for your property can be a daunting prospect, however there are some measures that you can take to ensure your property is going to fall into the right hands.

  • Run Background Checks

A common practice amongst Landlords, asking for references from a previous Landlord can be a sure fire way to make sure your tenant isn't going to present any issues, particularly when it comes to rent payments.

  • Carry Out Inventories As a Landlord you should carry out inventories of your properties every time a tenant moves out, before a new one moves in. Ensure you are taking photos of all rooms & furniture (particularly if your property is fully furnished) so you are able to keep track of any damage caused and have receipts if it is needed.

  • Familiarise Yourself with the Tenancy Agreement To avoid future problems and potential expenses, make sure your tenancy agreement is legally valid. It is recommended that you consult a Solicitor as regulations are frequently updated.

  • Form a Good Relationship with Your Tenants

Having a strong, trusting relationship from the outset is likely to make it easier to interact with your tenants & have them on your side if any issues do occur.

Problems You May Face as a Landlord

It is important to understand the problems you should be looking out for and the behaviour that you should not accept within your properties. Below we have gone through some potential problems you may face from problem tenants:

  • Damage to Properties & Furnishings Landlords should expect wear and tear (as will be in the contract) but be sure to keep an eye on any damage by carrying out regular inspections of your property. Ensure your contract outlines if you allow pets or home improvements to prevent any unwanted confrontation.

  • Rent Arrears Rent arrears are potentially a landlord’s biggest worry and worst nightmare. Ensure you are keeping a record of when payments are due and when they are being paid. Remember to be reasonable - if a payment is late by a few days, kindly try and call your tenant before making formal requests as they may have just forgotten.

  • Disruption to Neighbours Complaints from neighbours about noisy and disruptive tenants fall on you as the landlord to resolve. As mentioned earlier, forming a good relationship with the tenant can make these situations smoother and prevent any future disturbance.

  • Subletting Not only is subletting illegal but it can also cause issues with the neighbours of your property. Furthermore, it opens up the potential for damage to your property & reduces the safety. Make sure your tenancy agreement clearly outlines the type of lease that has been agreed.

  • Refusal to Vacate When the Tenancy is Over Legally, a tenant is able to stay until they’re evicted so a tenant refusing to leave can be a real problem, particularly if you have a new tenant waiting to move in. If this happens, it is important to start the eviction process as soon as possible and change the locks immediately.

How to Deal with Problem Tenants

The first step you should take if any problems rise is to politely communicate with your tenant to resolve anything as soon as possible. This can help to maintain the relationship you have established.

If your tenants are difficult, it can be helpful to keep a record of all communication & correspondence between you and the tenant. This can act as legal backing if things were to be taken to court. It also shows your attempts at resolving the situation and maintaining a relationship. 

If worse comes to worst you may have to look into evicting your tenant if nothing can be resolved. We would recommend persisting with the tenancy if the lease is almost up though as it will make for less paperwork for you when you choose to regain control of your property. However, the option is still there to evict a tenant during a fixed term tenancy. You always seek legal advice in these situations.

Avoid Dealing with Problem Tenants at Elliot Leigh Guaranteed Rent

At Elliot Leigh Guaranteed Rent, Local Authorities place tenants in our properties on behalf of the Landlord, saving time and effort in terms of screening and referencing. By enrolling in our scheme, our Landlords enjoy a hassle-free experience as the day to day management is taken on by our Property Management team and our dedicated Property Inspectors ensure the upkeep of your property. In the case of problem tenants, our team will take on the responsibility of dealing with the tenant and any potential evictions that may need to be undertaken. To learn more about our scheme, click here.

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