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.
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.
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!