Today we are talking about a topic that is especially important to people who are struggling with bad tenants – how do you get rid of a really terrible tenant? That’s a great question and a common question, and we have a couple of tips for you.
For us as a professional property management company, we rely heavily on our contract. Our contract is put together with the help of attorneys from professional organizations such as the California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors. In addition to the contract, we include a number of addenda that are also approved and created by attorneys. So when you have a problem tenant, your contract can be your best friend. It can also be your worst enemy if it isn’t a good contract that doesn’t protect you against bad tenant behavior.
Remember that communication goes a long way. Sometimes a problem with your tenant is the result of simple miscommunication. Often, the tenant doesn’t realize how important it is not to violate the lease by having a friend stay in the property for two or three weeks at a time. According to California state law, that’s an unauthorized tenant and we can’t have them in the property. When your tenant really understands why there are so many specifics in the contract, the problem is resolved. Have a discussion with your tenant and you can take care of a lot of problems.
You don’t have to evict right away. Negotiations are always an option. If a tenant is behind a month on rent, set them up on a payment plan. Be specific and put everything in writing. Your plan should include dates that payments will be made and amounts. You should also stipulate what will happen if those payments aren’t made and the agreement isn’t followed. Try this before evicting because evictions will only cost you money and leave you with a vacancy.
Sometimes eviction does become necessary. If your tenant is not paying rent or refuses to follow the contract, you need to remove that tenant from your property. We always recommend that you hire an eviction attorney. Work closely with your lawyer and make sure all the necessary timeframes are followed and all the correct documentation is completed. Follow every detail so you can get the tenant out of the property safely and quickly.
If you have any questions about this, or you need some additional advice, please contact us at Golden Gate Real Estate & Property Management.