Problems Faced By Landlords With Tenants| How Do You Solve Them?

  • By: Peter Parker
  • Time to read: 6 min.

We always hear the stories of tenants who portray landlords as villains. There also exists another side to the story. 

Landlords have major responsibilities to maintain the rental property in a habitable condition and to ensure the safety of the tenants. 

Moreover, the housing laws favor the tenants most of the time, which creates further problems for the landlord. 

It is a common misconception that landlords make huge profits. However, the truth is that the landlord has to take care of the emergency repairs, pay for the utilities and taxes, and look after the routine maintenance of the property. 

Landlords face a lot of problems in the course of their business. They have to encounter various people like prospective tenants, tenants, service providers, and government bodies in their daily schedule, which exposes them to many risks and problems. 

Common Problems faced by landlords of renting out a residential property

From finding honest and reliable tenants to dealing with unruly tenants, landlords face many problems when renting a residential property. Some common problems faced by landlords are 

1. Finding trustworthy tenants:

The first problem faced by landlords is finding suitable tenants for the property.

The process of advertising the property, scrutinizing applications, conducting credit checks and background checks, interviews with prospective tenants, and finalizing the tenant is cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming.

Even after the whole process, there is no guarantee that the tenant will be responsible and trustworthy. 

2. High turnover rate:

When the tenants keep vacating the property at short intervals, it is hard to maintain a steady cash flow.

The house may lie vacant for a few months before finalizing the new tenants which affect your income, while the maintenance expenses do not stop even when the house is vacant. This scenario can seriously affect your finances. 

3. Late payment of rent:

One of the most common problems faced by landlords renting out their residential property is untimely rent payment.

Tenants do not pay rent on time but the taxes, utility bills, and maintenance expenses should be done on time, which becomes burdensome for the landlord, especially if the tenants are serial offenders. 

4. Handling all the legal responsibilities:

The landlords are expected to be well versed with the federal, state, and local housing laws as they have to fulfill their responsibilities mentioned in all of them.

Learning these laws and keeping yourself updated with the latest amendments is a difficult task. 

5. Evictions:

Evictions are hard not only for the tenants but also for the landlords as they are costly and stressful processes.

To evict a tenant, you must have all the necessary documentation to prove that the tenant is guilty and needs to be evicted. Since most of the housing laws favor the tenant, proving the tenant wrong is in itself a challenging task.

Even after proving the tenant guilty, you cannot just throw out the tenant. You have to follow the due process set by the court to evict the tenant. 

6. Property Maintenance:

Most of the property maintenance responsibilities are with the landlord.

You have to ensure that the rental property is safe and habitable for the tenants at all times, respect the privacy of tenants, attend to emergency maintenance issues and pay for the utilities.

All these tasks demand a lot of time and effort. 

Problems specific to renting out an apartment

While a majority of the problems faced by landlords are the same, some problems are specific to landlords renting out an apartment. Some of them are 

1. Problems with neighbors:

Since apartments have shared walls and shared amenities, the tenants may have problems with their neighbors. Complaints about loud noise, pets, children, etc. are some of them. 

2. Maintenance of common areas:

Apartments have a lot of common areas such as staircases, lobbies, terraces, etc. Maintenance of these areas is a problem for landlords.

3. Following the rules and regulations:

Apartment complexes have their own set of rules and regulations. For example, curfew hours, guests, pets, parking, etc. You have to ensure that the tenants follow all these rules. 

4. Pest:

In apartments, the units are very close. The chances of pests spreading from one unit to another are very high. Even if your unit is treated for pests, there are high chances of pests coming from other units, thereby increasing your pest treatment costs. 

5. Limited parking spaces:

One of the critical problems specific to apartments is the lack of parking spaces. Apartments do not provide sufficient parking for all the tenants. Potential tenants can see it as a major drawback if there are parking facilities. 

Rental Problems with Tenants. What to do?

Being a landlord can be less stressful when you know how to handle the problems with tenants.

You can solve most of the problems with a bit of patience and develop a good rapport with the tenants. Here are some of the ways to solve rental problems. 

Handling a high turnover rate

Just like you do not like high tenant turnover, tenants do not like shifting houses. A majority of the tenants prefer to renew their lease if the property is comfortable and well-maintained. 

The common reasons tenants leave the property are lack of maintenance, frequent increase in rent, lack of proper amenities, and misunderstanding with the landlord. 

Ensure that the property is well-maintained from time to time. Have open communication with the tenants and pay heed to their maintenance requests.

When the tenants recognize that the landlord is sensitive to their needs and responds positively to their demands, they act responsibly. 

Make regular improvements and updates to the property. Small improvements and minor updates can reduce repairs and maintenance costs. They will also keep your property fresh and attract the right tenants. 

While maximizing profits by increasing the rent can seem lucrative, you may force the tenant to vacate the property. 

Always consider the rental rates in your locality, the tenant’s financial condition, and the additional costs to find new tenants before a rent increase. 

Mention the approximate percentage of rent increase every year in the lease document to eliminate any misunderstanding with the tenants. 

Handling late payments of rents

Dealing with serial rent offenders is a challenging task for landlords. While you excuse tenants who pay late due to genuine reasons, it is crucial to handle repeat offenders in a firm manner. 

While drafting the lease agreement, including strict rules about the date and mode of rent payment. Include clauses about late payment and how it will be addressed. 

Mention the grace period and the late payment fine in the lease document. 

Provide multiple modes of rent payment to make it convenient for the tenants. Go digital as it is quick, easy, and convenient for both you and the tenant. 

Enforce all the rules strictly and consistently. The rules must be uniform for all the tenants. 

Handling legal troubles

Learning and memorizing the federal, state, and local housing laws can be a daunting task. You can join the landlords’ associations to improve your knowledge and get support. You can also work with attorneys who specialize in housing laws. 

Handling maintenance issues 

Maintenance is a huge responsibility for landlords. If you cannot take care of the maintenance tasks by yourself, hire a property manager to do it on your behalf.

You can also hire contractors for specialist jobs such as plumbing, electricity, pest control, etc. 

Handling evictions

Conduct a thorough background check on the tenants before renting out the property. 

Perform a thorough credit check, check the rental history of the tenant, ask for references from previous landlords and check the criminal background.

This will make the screening process effective and ensure that you choose a good tenant. 

Device deferred payment plans to help your tenants in times of financial distress. This will help the tenant clear their dues and you can escape the lengthy eviction process. 

Many of the landlords’ problems can be avoided if you maintain open communication with the tenants and listen to their feedback. 

It is important to ensure that the lease document contains all the information about the rent, maintenance, and other rules.

Seek support from landlord associations when you cannot handle an issue by yourself.

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