Unfortunately, every now and again a landlord will come across a tenant that makes their lives more difficult. For whatever reason, some tenants can be rude, unhelpful, fail to pay their rent on time or even become a nuisance to the local community. If you do come across such a tenant, it’s important you don’t bury your head in the sand and hope it will go away, as more often than not the situation will only get worse.
Your Tenant Disrespects Your Property
At the beginning of every tenancy, you should create a tenancy agreement that clearly states all the rules you have when it comes to living in your property. For example, most landlords ban their tenants from smoking or bringing in pets without prior permission, as both can cause damage. Unfortunately, no matter how clear you make the rules, some tenants will continue to flout them, and if this is the case, you need to face the matter head on. Firstly, you need to remind your tenants that they are breaking the rules and then if they continue to do so, you will have no other choice than to start the eviction process.
You Receive Complaints from Neighbours
Tenants who disrespect those that live near them are often difficult to handle, either because they are unaware of the issue or they feel their neighbours are in the wrong. Trying to mediate between two parties that are already in the midst of a heated argument can often be difficult for landlords, so it’s sometimes easier to try and tell your tenant to be more considerate of those around them and solve the issue themselves. If the matter isn’t resolved after a certain period of time, it may also be an idea to talk to those living near your tenant to find out what the issue is. Having a sympathetic ear may help them feel like the matter is under control, thus diffusing the situation.
Your Tenant Fails to Pay Their Rent
Whether your tenant fails to pay their rent completely or just consistently pays late, you need to let them know that their behaviour is unacceptable. Even if your business is covered with rent guarantee insurance, letting tenants think they can get away with not paying their rent on time will lead to it happening more often. One way to discourage tenants from paying their rent late is to charge them each time they miss a payment, or you could even have a three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy, meaning that they could lose their home. Even though these methods may seem quite harsh, the fact of the matter is that if your tenants don’t pay their rent on time, you could fall behind on your mortgage repayments, and the bank will be doubly as harsh on you.
Your Tenants are Involved in Illegal Activity
Just like failing to pay rent on time, you need to have an absolute zero tolerance policy when it comes to your tenants partaking in illegal activity. Whether they are involved in anti-social behaviour, drug farming or any other crime, you need to contact the police as soon as possible and let them know what is going on. Tenants that are involved in illegal activity are not only a danger to those around them, but also your business, so even if you have your doubts, make sure you call the police to investigate as soon as possible.
Top Tips for Tenant Conflicts
- Always stay calm – no situation is made better by shouting and panicking.
- Try to think logically at all times; your business will benefit from it.
- Care for your tenants, but don’t let them take advantage of you.
- Get help if you need it – landlord groups, the Citizens Advice Bureau or even your local council should all be there if you need them.
- Never put yourself in danger. If a situation is dangerous or gets out of hand call the police and have them intervene.
- 4 tips for dealing with smoking in your properties. (2013). Retrieved from the Just Landlords website: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/blog/4-tips-for-dealing-with-smoking-in-your-properties/
- Eviction for antisocial or criminal behaviour. (2014). Retrieved from the Shelter website: https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/antisocial_behaviour/antisocial_behaviour/eviction_for_antisocial_behaviour
- Anti-social behaviour in housing. (n.d.). Retrieved from the Citizens Advice Bureau website: https://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/housing_e/housing_problems_where_you_live_e/anti_social_behaviour_in_housing.htm
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and is not official guidance, FCA approved, or legally precise. Just Landlords has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. If you require information on landlord legislation or best practices please contact your legal representative. For details see our conditions.