A flood in Florida with a house and car under water.

There are two words that can instantly strike fear into the heart of any homeowner: water damage. Whether it comes as the result of a busted pipe, a leaky roof, a faulty component in your HVAC system, or even the sometimes-cruel hand of Mother Nature, dealing with water in your home is a monumental headache.

The immediate aftermath of a flood can be an incredibly trying and emotional time for a homeowner. If you find yourself in a position where you need to sell a house with water damage, the intensity can feel even greater. But there are steps you can take to mitigate the stress and set yourself up for success.

When It Rains, It Pours

Water is a powerful force, and it can lay waste to your home in a matter of minutes. In addition to destroying or damaging prized possessions and valuable assets, it can also seriously compromise the stability of your home’s infrastructure. Addressing water damage properly will cost you.

If you’ve started requesting estimates, then you’ll already know this. To fix the problem and get your house back to normal, you’ll be looking not only at pricy repairs to any malfunctioning equipment but also remediation for the damaged parts of your home’s interior (patching holes, replacing carpet and drywall, etc.).

Additionally, you’ll probably also need a deep cleaning. If not addressed immediately—especially in a humid climate like Florida’s—retained water inside your home can result in the growth of severe mold and mildew. In addition to further complicating the repairs process, mold and mildew can prove to be a serious health risk for your family. Exposure can trigger the onset or worsening of conditions such as allergies and asthma.

Maybe the water damage to your home is especially extensive. Or perhaps it has just been left unaddressed because you were overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. In these cases, you may find yourself needing to vacate the home in order to have repairs done safely and effectively. So you can go ahead and add the cost of alternative accommodations to your rapidly growing bill as well.

1. Minimize the Damage

Floods can happen quickly and with very little warning. As soon as you are able to access your property, you’ll need to work fast to contain the damage in any way you can. The quicker you address these issues, the better chance you have of preventing a total loss.

Begin by contacting your insurer to inform them of your claim so they can send an adjuster your way. Then move on to cataloging any and all damage.

Take photos and make extensive notes. Don’t throw anything away, though—your insurance company may require visual evidence of damaged items before they will honor your policy.

Attack water damage in the walls by removing damaged drywall or sheetrock immediately. Running fans and dehumidifiers throughout the house will also help dry things out.

Remember, mold can grow in just 48 hours, so time is of the essence when it comes to removing water from your home. It’s not impossible to sell a house with flooding damage, but it will be a lot more difficult to sell if it’s also full of mold.  

2. Get A Repair Estimate

Once you’ve gotten the situation under control and hopefully cleaned well enough to prevent mold and mildew growth, it’s time to get the big picture on the damage that’s been done. This isn’t a necessary step in selling your house, of course, but it will certainly put buyers’ minds at ease to know that a licensed professional has evaluated the property.

Whether you plan to fix the issues or not, having an inspector lay out in detail what needs to be done will be a huge help. You may even want to get a few different opinions so that you can present a fully fleshed-out plan to any potential buyers. Hopefully, they’ll be comforted by knowing what to expect financially.

3. Fix It Up

From here, you may choose to do some repairs before selling your home. If you have experience with things like drywall or sheetrock, it may be cost-effective for you to handle those things yourself. Or perhaps you have it in your budget to hire a contractor for those tasks.

Making smaller improvements—as well as cosmetic things like putting fresh, neutral paint on the walls and polishing the floors—could greatly improve your home’s selling price. If your issues are larger or more structural, though, be aware that remediation may set you back a pretty penny, which you might find isn’t worth it in the end.

4. Sell As-Is

So what if you don’t have insurance or the time or money to do repairs? If you need to sell a house with water damage quickly, you always have the option to sell the house as-is. Buyers understand that houses in this condition will be in need of some work.

There is always a market for fixer-uppers, and many buyers aren’t scared away by flood damage, provided that they feel they got a good enough deal on the property. You could go the traditional route with a real estate agent, but be aware that your home may sit on the market for a while (which can negatively impact the eventual selling price), and you’ll be on the hook for fees and commissions after the sale.

Going with a cash homebuying company, however, removes both the time and cost concerns of the traditional marketplace. Meridian Trust has worked with hundreds of individuals when they needed to sell a house with flooding issues. We’re here to help you sell your water-damaged home quickly and easily. Call us today to learn more!

A stack of tax forms required for an inherited house.

Selling any asset for more than you paid for it can trigger capital gains taxes. But what if you didn’t pay for it, but rather inherited it? Unfortunately, you can still be on the hook for taxes if you inherited a house and want to sell it.

What Is Capital Gains Tax?

There is often a false assumption that the capital gains tax only applies to rich people, but in reality, the things many of us own (car, big screen TV, stocks and bonds, home) all count as capital assets. If you ever sell those things for more than you paid to acquire them, you may be facing a tax burden.

This tax comes into play often in real estate transactions. If you bought a home for $100,000 years ago, but the area has become a hot spot and you’re now able to sell it for $400,000, that $300,000 in profit you made will be subject to taxation. Thankfully, there are ways to qualify for exemptions so that you’re not penalized for the entirety of the gain.

Capital gains tax on inherited property behaves a little differently though. Since you didn’t purchase the home in the first place, the calculation for profit is done on what is called a “stepped-up basis.”

Say your Aunt Marge bought the home for $75,000 back in 1950, but you’re able to sell it for $250,000. Instead of being taxed on the full $175,000 difference, you’ll only be taxed on the difference between the sale price and the fair market value at the time of her death.

In order to find out the stepped-up basis of the home, you’ll need to have it appraised as soon as possible after the owner’s death. This will give you an idea of what you’re working with and whether it’s a good idea to hold on to the house or to go ahead and sell it.

What Are the 2019 Rates?

Tax rates change slightly every year based on inflation and other political factors. For the 2019 tax year, the tax percentages on capital gains range from zero percent to 20 percent, depending on the amount of profit you made from the sale.

If you’re single, you won’t be taxed on any gains under $39,375. If you make between $39,376 and $434,550, your rate will be 15 percent. Over $434,551 and you’ll be charged a 20 percent rate.

If you’re married, those thresholds increase, and anything under $78,750 will be exempt. $75,751 to $488,850 will be at a 15 percent rate, and anything over $488,851 will be at 20 percent.

How Can I Avoid It?

Receiving bequeathed property from a loved one, while a beautiful gesture, can be very stressful. You can avoid the capital gains tax by making the home your primary residence for two years, thus qualifying you for the homeowner’s exemption on any gains under $250,000 (if you’re single) or $500,000 (if you’re married).

But if you already have an established home, moving into the house may not be an option. It could be in another neighborhood, city, or even state. It might be too small for your family’s needs, and you may have no interest in maintaining it and renting it out. (Landlord life isn’t for everyone!)

If you inherited a house and want to sell it, the last thing you need is to be punished financially for it. The best way to avoid paying capital gains tax on inherited property is to sell it as soon as possible. If you’re not interested in fixing up the home or going through the long, often costly process of navigating the traditional real estate market, a cash homebuying company could be a great option for you.

Meridian Trust has worked with hundreds of sellers after inheriting property from a loved one. We work exclusively with individuals and can have you at the closing table within 30 days. Give us a call today to get started!

A damaged house with roof repair needed.

Is it possible to sell a house in bad shape? Of course it is! Whether your home sustained damage from a hurricane—which is a very common situation for Floridians—or from some other calamity such as fire or a flood, you still have options.

It’s not an unachievable dream that you could sell a bad house for a fair price, but you do have to be more purposeful about how you approach the selling process. Depending on your financial situation and your timeline for selling, you could do one of these three things.

1. Make Some Repairs

If you’re not in a rush to get out of the home and you have some cash to put towards fixing it up, making some minor repairs could be a huge help. You’d be surprised how different your house may look after a heavy-duty cleaning and some refreshing (think new paint or freshly buffed floors). You’re sure to get a better asking price if your home looks more appealing to potential buyers.

If the repairs needed are of a more substantial, structural variety, though, you may have more on your hands than you realized. While fixing things like a broken window or a leaky faucet might be doable on a DIY budget, things like foundation repair and extensive electrical or plumbing work are likely to cost you thousands. You’ll have to weigh whether that cost is worth the potential difference in selling price.

2. Advertise It as a Fixer-Upper

Not all buyers are looking for a picture-perfect house. If the price is right, many people are willing to put in the work to restore the home to its former glory. If you don’t have the money to make repairs, you can simply put it on the market as a “fixer-upper” and see what interest you generate. You may also find that developers are looking to buy property in your area to renovate.

Make sure to disclose all of the home’s issues to any potential buyers, of course, and be prepared to be lowballed on the price. Depending on how much you truly need to make on the sale and how long you can wait for the right buyer, this can be a great way to sell a damaged house.

3. Sell for Cash 

If you’re too strapped to make any repairs to your home, and you can’t sit around forever waiting to find someone willing to take on its many issues, you’re not totally up a creek. Selling for cash to a licensed and reputable home buying company is probably going to be the best avenue for you. Since the process is so fast and easy, many owners of damaged properties go in this direction.

We know that it can be difficult to sell a house in bad shape, but The Buy Guys buy homes in all sorts of conditions throughout Florida. We’ve seen it all, and we’re not scared!

If you need to sell a damaged house and you’re not in a place where you can make thousands of dollars of repairs before you do it, it’s time to look into selling your home as-is to the Meridian Trust team. You’ll get cash fast, and you won’t have to take on any of the expense or stress of fixing the house yourself. Call us today to get a cash offer on your house in under 10 minutes!

Chipped lead paint on the side of a house.

If your home was constructed prior to 1978, it is a simple reality that you’ll encounter some lead-based paint. Real estate regulations require sellers to disclose a host of details about their properties, but selling a house with lead paint is the only one that is federally enforced. The Environmental Protection Agency takes a very serious stance on this, and withholding that information can result in heavy fines.

The EPA’s approach is understandable, as these days, the health risks of lead paint are well known and, frankly, pretty scary. Lead is highly toxic, and ingesting it can negatively impact nearly every organ system in the human body. You, of course, would never want to be responsible for someone getting sick after purchasing your home.

Small children are particularly susceptible to the effects of lead, and lead poisoning can cause both physical and mental delays, not to mention—in extreme cases—brain damage. Kids are prone to chew on things and are the most likely to be affected, but adults also run the risk of getting very sick if lead paint begins to flake or peel, disseminating dangerous particles into the air.

How to Find Out If You Have Lead Paint

How can you confirm whether or not you have lead paint before you attempt to sell your home? If it was built quite a while ago (think 1950s or earlier), and it hasn’t been remodeled since then, lead paint is almost certainly present. If your home was built in the 1970s, chances are likely there is still some lead in the paint, but the amount used in paint was dwindling by then, as we first began to understand lead’s side effects.

Either way, you’ll probably want to confirm its presence and concentration before selling your home. You can purchase a DIY kit, but be aware that they often show false negatives, so you’ll want to repeat the test multiple times. Also remember that if you say you’re sure there is no lead in the home and it’s found later, you’ll face a hefty fine.

Hiring a professional to assess your home is the only guaranteed way of knowing how much lead is there and where it’s located. It will cost you a few hundred dollars, but that’s better than the thousands you’ll pay for not properly disclosing it.

Note that you are not technically required to test for the presence of lead yourself if you’re not already aware of it, but you do have to give any potential buyer a 10-day window in which to have testing done themselves. The presence of lead paint can seriously affect your asking price, so it’s probably something you want to know up front.

Cost of Remediation

You might be thinking that if you have lead paint, painting over it with a newer paint will fix the problem. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Lead can leach from the old paint into the modern non-lead-based stuff, making it just as unsafe.

DIY lead remediation isn’t feasible. Lead is an incredibly dangerous substance, and its removal is best handled by a professional. You can find a certified professional lead inspector via your local EPA office.

Depending on how much paint you’re dealing with, you may have the option of a “wait-and-see” approach, monitoring for any paint peeling or flaking and making sure any future repairs are done by lead-safe certified companies. Abatement (completely removing the lead from your home) is the best possible option, but it also costs thousands of dollars.

How to Sell a Home With Lead Paint

Having lead paint in your home can make it difficult to sell. Potential buyers with children will be especially wary. You may also only get lowball offers if people assume they’ll have to take on thousands of dollars in remediation in order to make the home safe and liveable for their family.

But selling a house with lead paint isn’t impossible. Not everyone wants to have kids, and some buyers who love older homes may be willing to accept the cost of replacing the paint if it means they get a house with true character.

Going the traditional route is an option. Be aware, however, that some real estate agents may be hesitant to take on your home, and it could sit on the market for significantly longer than a home without lead issues.

Before you spend thousands of dollars on lead paint removal, consider selling your house as-is to the Meridian Trust team. You can sell your house for cash without shouldering the expenses of dealing with toxic lead paint yourself.

The remains of a kitchen house fire.

A house fire is one of the most traumatic things you could endure as a homeowner. Though you and your loved ones may escape safely, you may still suffer major losses in the wake of the blaze.

From the destruction of beloved heirlooms and memories to the very tangible damage done to your property, fire is a cruel element. Life after a house fire is never the same. And staying in your home after a fire might not be the right move for you.

If you’re looking to sell a fire-damaged house, you’ve got a lot of thinking to do first. Here are the key steps you should take.

What Now?

The first thing you should do after the fire is contained is contact your homeowner’s insurance company. Ask to speak with someone who can help you understand your benefits and assist you in figuring out all of your options for moving forward. Your agent can help set you up with temporary lodging and food assistance as well if needed.

You’ll also want to involve a restoration company. Cleaning up soot and ash is one thing, but the water used to put out the flames can do major damage to your home. Water damage needs to be addressed ASAP, so ask your insurance agent to help you find someone right away.

Mr. Fix-It

If you can afford to do it, it might be best for you to make repairs to your home before thinking about selling. Depending upon the extent of the damage, it could be something you can handle on your own or with the help of friends and family. If there is no structural damage, it might only cost a few thousand dollars to repair.

If the damage is more significant or structural, hopefully, your insurance will help cushion the blow and keep the out-of-pocket expenses on the lower end. Repairing the damage the fire caused will make your home easier to sell. It’s highly likely it will help you fetch a higher sale price as well.

Find a Buyer

If you’re not able to make the repairs, whether because of finances, lackluster insurance benefits, or time constraints, that doesn’t mean you can’t still sell your house. Finding the right buyer for a home with fire damage can be tricky, though. The traditional real estate market isn’t usually kind to less-than-perfect homes; chances are it will sit on the market for quite some time before you get any serious interest from potential buyers.

Cash homebuying companies, however, are in a unique spot to rehabilitate damaged properties and are likely your most promising avenue. The industry is rife with scammers, though, so make sure to do your research and find a reputable buyer before engaging further. Look for positive, detailed online reviews, and check in with the Better Business Bureau to verify they’re on the up and up.

Selling a home is almost always an emotional experience, but it’s even more so when you’ve just gone through something as horrific as a fire. When you sell a fire-damaged house, the real benefit is not the money—it’s the peace of mind that comes from putting the fire behind you, moving on, and making a fresh start. If you’re ready to sell your house after a fire, call the Meridian Trust team and get a cash offer today.

A messy living room in a house with problem renters.

They’re weeks (or even months) behind on the rent. They’re trashing your house. They’re disturbing the neighbors. They’re disrespectful, or worse, dangerous. If you’re a landlord, having a problem tenant is probably one of your worst nightmares.

While you can cross your fingers and hope for the best when renting, there is always a chance you’ll run into trouble. There are some essential steps you can take upfront to prevent issues from arising altogether. But if those don’t work and you find yourself stuck in a bad situation, you also have options if you need to sell a rental property with tenants.

Avoiding Problems

1. Background Checks

Don’t rely on first impressions when it comes to selecting a new tenant. Though they might seem lovely, they could be hiding a lot of nastiness behind their smile.

Make sure you require a credit check. Ask for references—and actually call them! Speak with their employer. Do everything you can to make sure you know what kind of person you’re about to allow into your home.

If you don’t, your failure to do your due diligence could end up costing you dearly. If you don’t have the time to handle this yourself, hire someone to do it for you. It’s not a step you can afford to skip.

2. Know the Law

The laws and regulations that govern the landlord-tenant relationship vary widely depending on where you live. It’s incredibly important that you as a landlord be intimately familiar with the laws for your specific municipality.

If you find yourself saddled with a problem tenant, the last thing you want is to find out that you’re doing something illegal that may compromise your position in a disagreement. Florida law covers everything from the landlord’s access to the property to the tenant’s right to withhold rent and more. So read up on it!

3. Know Your Options

While you should always go into a new tenant relationship in the spirit of good faith and optimism, you should also be prepared in case things go south. Don’t wait until you have a bad tenant on your hands to start researching your options for dealing with them. At that point, they’ll have the upper hand, and you’ll be scrambling to find a solution. Learn everything you can now, and hope against hope that you’ll never have to use it!

Getting Out

If things do fall apart, you may find yourself backed into a corner by a nightmare tenant. If you’re fed up with their excuses and ready to take action, you have two main options for how to move forward.

1. Bring In an Attorney

If you’re hoping to start eviction proceedings, you’ll need to retain legal counsel and eventually take your tenant to small claims court. Hopefully, you have an airtight lease in place and have been documenting any interactions with the tenant. If not, things could drag out.

The eviction process can take a while and end up costing quite a bit, no matter how well you’ve prepared. Expect to pay legal fees and be out months of rent on your property, not to mention any costs incurred in repairing damages the tenants caused.

2. Sell for Cash

If you’re fed up with the headache of it all, know that you can sell a house with tenants. You’ll want to consult local laws first to make sure you’re giving ample notice, but there is nothing to prohibit you from selling a property you own.

While selling through traditional channels may have been an option with agreeable tenants, it’s very unlikely that you’ll get problem tenants to agree to things like open houses and keeping the house in good shape for regular viewings. If you need to sell a rental property with tenants who are less-than-stellar, your best bet is probably to sell to a cash home buying company.

If you’re looking to sell a house with tenants, Meridian Trust can help. We’ve purchased thousands of rental properties in Florida and will work directly with you to close in less than 30 days. Call our team today to learn more.

No one ever intends to get behind on their bills. But life happens, and it’s easier than you might realize to find yourself in over your head. If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage right now, you’re not alone! According to federal reserve data, 3.68 percent of mortgages (or one in every 27) are in default.

The threat of foreclosure is, unfortunately, an immediately looming nightmare for many homeowners. It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of the possible loss of the home you’ve worked so hard for, but you have options, including selling your house for cash! Below are five possible paths you can take to stop foreclosure.

1. Repayment Plan

The absolute first thing you want to do if you can’t pay your mortgage is reach out to your lender. The sooner you loop them into the process, the better your chances to stop foreclosure. Communicating with them about the extenuating circumstances of your financial situation will ensure they have all the information they need to work with you on keeping your home.

If you’re already a few months behind on payments, a repayment plan may help you catch up and prevent the initiation of foreclosure proceedings. Obviously, this option will require that you pay more each month than your normal mortgage payment so that you can catch up. If you’re not able to come up with the extra cash, there are other avenues you can explore.

2. Short Sale

If you know that catching up with overdue payments or continuing to make your monthly payments isn’t in the cards, a short sale may be your best bet. In this scenario, you would be selling your home for less than what you owe the lender. If your home has not appreciated in value since you purchased it, it’s likely that you won’t make enough on the sale to pay your mortgage in full.

Depending on the laws where you live, your lender might be able to come after you for the remainder of what you owe after a short sale, so make sure to do your research before going in this direction. You could also ask the lender to agree in writing before the sale to waive any remaining balance so that you’re not on the hook for it.

3. Update Terms

If you are determined to keep your home but simply can’t make your current monthly payment, you may want to discuss restructuring the terms of your loan with the lender. This is an especially good option if your financial situation is short-term or you know there is relief on the horizon (e.g., you’re starting a new job soon, you’re due an inheritance, or you’re selling a second home or other major asset like property, a car, or a boat).

Be aware that redefining your loan terms will almost always come with an extension of your payment timeline. If you were set to pay off your mortgage in 15 years at your original rate, you could be looking at tacking five to 10 years onto that if you adjust your payments down significantly. You will also end up paying more over the life of the loan, due to compounding interest.

4. Deed-in-Lieu

If you simply can’t keep your home anymore, but you’re not able to go through the sale process, you can undertake a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. This essentially means that you sign the deed to your home over to your lender and walk away.

Much like a short sale, you need to protect yourself from the lender so they can’t come back to you asking for additional cash after they have possession of your home. Get it in writing! Your lender may also have a program that helps with relocation costs for owners who sign over their deeds, so be sure to ask.

5. Sell for Cash

All the options above have pros and cons. But if none of them work for your situation and you want to stop foreclosure, your best bet may be to sell your home to a cash homebuyer. You can satisfy the terms of your loan and walk away without the stain of foreclosure on your credit score. There are no closing costs, listing fees or commissions to consider, and the process is much faster than a traditional sale with a realtor.

We know it can be an overwhelming and upsetting situation when you can’t afford your mortgage. The easiest option for you may be to move on from an ugly situation by selling your home for cash. Meridian Trust purchase homes all over Florida and our experienced staff is ready to make you a cash offer today.

If you are planning to list your Florida home for sale soon (or are currently trying to sell your home), you’ve likely noticed the abundance of advertising out there for cash homebuyers. Whether on TV, in print, or on roadside signs, phrases like “We Buy Homes Fast!” are everywhere these days.

Selling your home can be an emotionally and physically taxing task. There are dozens of decisions to be made at every turn regarding how you handle the sale. So how do you know if the cash homebuyer route is right for you? Just like any other method, there are pros and cons.

The Good

Cash Offer

The most obvious upside of working with a cash homebuyer is that you’ll receive a cash offer for your home. It will be transparent and straightforward.

No waiting to see if the bank will finance your buyer. No need to worry about the possibly harmful effects of an unfairly low appraisal. No going through the hassle of deducting realtor fees and commissions from your final sale price. What you see on the offer sheet is what goes in your pocket!

Ease and Speed

With so few hands in the pot, selling to a cash homebuyer is markedly faster than selling via the traditional real estate route. You won’t have to deal with realtors, banks or lenders, home inspectors, appraisers etc. It’s often just you and the company rep, one-on-one.

Selling via a realtor can take months or even years depending on the condition and location of your home. If you’d prefer to sell your home quickly and be done with it—or you’re in a situation where you absolutely have to sell quickly—cash homebuyers can be a great alternative.

As Is

Before selling on the traditional market, most homeowners will need to do some work to their home. Whether it’s updating rooms that might feel dated to buyers (typically bathrooms and/or kitchens) or repairing damaged items (leaks, electrical or plumbing issues, foundation cracks etc.), a realtor will want the home in tip-top shape to maximize your asking price.

Unfortunately, you often won’t see much return on that investment; you may spend thousands of dollars to update a room, only to see your home sell for under market value. Cash homebuyers, however, aren’t worried about those things. They gladly buy your home as is, saving you money on potentially costly repairs.

The Bad

Value Proposition

Selling to a cash homebuying company is unlikely to net you the full market value of your home. Investors are taking a chance by buying your home as is, and the lack of costs to you (such as commissions and fees) will be factored into their offer.

Remember, too, that you’re being handed cash, oftent days or weeks after your initial contact. That convenience and speed will cost you.

Seller Beware

There are a lot of honest, reputable homebuying companies across the United States. Unfortunately, there are also some very shady ones. The industry is rife with abuse, and if you’re not careful, you could easily be taken for a ride.

Just as you would with any business you’re considering patronizing, do your research! Make sure to investigate the company before turning over any of your information and to read reviews. Look for BBB ratings and positive reviews from real customers.

Keep an eye on your credit score and accounts, and be very wary of any company that requires upfront application fees. Cash homebuyers can be lifesavers—especially if you’re in a bind—but remember first and foremost to protect yourself and your property.

Meridian Trust is Florida’s number one home buyer, with more than 10,000 houses purchased. In most cases, our team can close on your home quickly with no extra fees, no closing costs, and no waiting. To find out more about selling your house for cash to Meridian Trust, contact our team today.

Renting a property you own can have great benefits. If you’re in a tough financial spot, it could allow you to move into a smaller, cheaper home and satisfy your mortgage obligations without sinking further into debt. Provided you charge an adequate amount, those monthly rent payments can be a lifesaver!

One of the biggest risks you take when renting out your home, however, is the simple fact that you won’t be living in it anymore. Nobody is going to love and care for your home like you would, of course, and the vast majority of the time, tenants are respectful. But when they’re not, it can be hellish.

Dealing with bad tenants—whether they’re negligent and destructive to the home itself, combatant, or delinquent on their rent—can make your job as a landlord incredibly challenging. If you’ve found yourself in this unfortunate situation, there are a few steps you can take to make things right, including selling your home fast for cash.

1. Stay Calm

First, breathe. When you have a bad experience with a tenant, your knee-jerk reaction may be to blow up at them. But that will only make things worse. Approach the conversation with a cool head, and you may be able to nip the problem in the bud before it blooms into something uncontrollable.

It could be a simple misunderstanding, but if you come at your tenant full of blustering rage, you’ve likely made an enemy for good. Sleep on it if you need to, and remember to act professionally and tactfully in all your interactions with them.

2. Document Everything

It’s a lot easier to support your point in an argument when you have proof. Keep a detailed written record of all interactions with your tenants, as well as all repairs. Describe any damage thoroughly, and beyond that, take photos and videos to support your accounts.

You always want to hope a landlord/tenant situation won’t end up in court or mediation, but if it does, make sure you have all your bases covered. Being thorough up-front means protecting yourself in the long run.

3. Stick to Your Guns

Say what you mean and mean what you say. If your tenants are causing issues, and you give them a directive that they ignore with no ramifications, they’re going to assume they can walk all over you. It’s fine to extend them a courtesy every now and again, but if you continually let them test their boundaries, they’re going to assume they can do whatever they want.

Establish firm guidelines for how things will be done. If they’re not met, there must be a consequence. You don’t have to be cruel, but establishing your authority and your expectations up-front eliminates grey areas.

4. Foster a Relationship

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, right? If you feel like you’re getting off on the wrong foot with a tenant, the best bet is often to kill them with kindness. Instead of getting angry and dropping the hammer, try to relate to your tenant and speak with them on a human level.

Most people don’t want to engage in acrimonious relationships with their landlord. Usually, such situations arise from constant conflicts that are handled improperly. If you take the time to get to know your tenant and try to foster a good relationship, you may see those issues melt away.

5. Delegate

Sometimes you just need to remove yourself from the equation. It may be that you’re too close to the situation and find you take every small issue as a major offense because you don’t like your tenant on a personal level. In this instance, it might be time to bring in a mercenary.

Hiring a property manager is an added cost, yes, but if it relieves you of the burden of handling your tenant one-on-one, it may be worth it. Look for someone with documented experience and good reviews, who is a master at mediation and de-escalation, and let them do the dirty work for you.

6. Show Them the Door

There may be times when you simply can’t win. If you’ve reached that point with your tenant, it’s time to ask them to leave.

Eviction proceedings are long and arduous. Writing a simple Notice to Vacate may be all it takes. Give them the chance to leave on their own before you take more serious legal action—you may be pleasantly surprised by their response.

7. Sell

Maybe this is the first bad tenant you’ve had. Maybe it’s just the most recent in a long line of them. Or perhaps you’ve realized you’re just really not cut out for being a landlord and it’s not something you want to keep doing. If you can’t put up with your bad tenants for one more minute, one of your best options could be selling your home.

If you’re ready to part with your home and you don’t feel like enduring the long, expensive process of selling with an agent, contact Meridian Trust today for your cash home offer. We buy homes all over Florida, and our experienced team is ready to help you sell your home quickly and close the book on bad tenants for good!

Sold for Sale

Attempting to sell your home can be an extremely stressful time. With all the preparation, cleaning and negotiating, it really isn’t fun for anyone. This feeling is only made worse if you receive a bad house inspection report. Now you have to figure out what this means for your selling efforts. Read more