Common Tenant Issues and How to Handle Them

Section 8 renterAs a landlord, you want the best tenants for your properties: people who pay rent on time every month, won’t give your property a bad reputation in the surrounding community, and are clean and courteous neighbors. Being a good landlord means listening to your tenants’ complaints and concerns and responding to common tenant issues appropriately. At times, knowing the right way to respond to an issue can be tough. Read on for advice for some of the most common issues landlords face with tenants.

 Rent is Late or Doesn’t Come

When the first of the month comes around, you never know quite what to expect. While you might get the full rent in your mailbox days before the due date, you might also find yourself racing around town to get your money. Whether a tenant has a sick family member, lost hours at work or suffered other problems that led to a late payment or a nonpayment of rent, you have two options. You should have a clause in your lease that places a penalty of some kind, typically $20 per day, when the rent is past due, or you can file for eviction. Eviction is often expensive, and in some states it can take months before the court will hear an eviction. If the issue only occurs once or twice, you might work out some type of payment plan. If it is a frequent problem, eviction might be your best choice.  Be mindful that some states have a maximum late payment penalty, and Judges may look at late fees of more than 10% excessive.

 Pest Problems

No one wants to live in a home with pests and rodents running loose. Landlords who avoid hiring exterminators might see high turnover in their properties. Apartments, duplexes, and other types of homes can develop bug problems from neighbors attracting or bringing in bugs. If one unit has a bedbug problem, it won’t be long until those bugs spread to all units. As soon as you hear a complaint, contact an exterminator to take care of the problem.

 Broken Appliances

If your lease agreement with a renter states that the property comes with appliances, you’re responsible for those appliances. Renters may move into a new home and discover that the refrigerator doesn’t work, the stove is broken, or there are other problems with appliances. Though buying a new appliance isn’t cheap, it can save you a lot of complaints and hardships in the future. Make sure that you replace those items as quickly as possible. Tenants can sue you in court or file their rent payments with the court until you replace those appliances.

 Roofing Issues

You might rent a home that has a minor leak in the roof without informing the tenant of that problem, but the tenant has a right to a safe home. The longer you leave the roof untreated, the more damage you face. Even a small leak can cause water damage, lead to mold and mildew, and eventually make the roof collapse. Tenants can put their rent in escrow until you fix the roofing problem. It’s best to take care of problems like this before you put a property on the rental market. Taking care of issues quickly can make your tenants happy and keep them renting from you longer.

This article written by Tim Smith who writes for Modernize.

Do you have any of these issues from your own tenants that you have had to address?  Or, if you are a tenant, what are your pet peeves of landlords?

 

2 Replies to “Common Tenant Issues and How to Handle Them”

  1. I charge $10/day for paying on the 6th-10th and $25/day for paying on the 11th-15th. After that is when I would possibly consider further measures since they likely wouldn’t pay it. Do you think those are reasonable numbers?

    1. Charging an unlimited late fee could be a problem in Court. In MN, we are limited to 8%. Some states have less. I charge $75 on the 6th, and begin evictions right after. I have charged $75 for a payment received on the 6th. A mortgage company does the same.

      If the tenant has already notified me that rent will be paid on the 11th, I would wait until just after that date to evict if I did not receive it. If they have not contacted me about the late date they are paying, I would send the eviction information to the attorney on the 5th. In all these cases, a late payment would be expected.

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