How To Deal With a Bad Tenant

A man holding up a sign that says bad tenant and red rock house buye

If you are a new landlord there is a high probability you will have to deal with a bad tenant that either can’t pay rent or is failing to maintain your property in a manner in which you approve. Here a few ideas to help you deal with a bad tenant.

1. Communicate – The most important, an often undervalued, aspect to salvaging an eroding situation with a bad tenant is communication. If you are not talking to a tenant then you are not gaining the information needed to help you chart the most effective path for both you and your tenant. As the landlord it’s crucial that you take command of the situation (remember this is your property!) and establish clear expectations. If the tenant is not maintaining the property in a manner in which you approve explain your expectation and if relevant set a deadline on when you expect to see the area of concern remedied. Bad tenants can become good tenants but it’s your responsibility as a landlord to create the framework for their improvement.

2. Failure to pay – The most common cause of conflict between landlord and a bad tenant is the tenant’s failure to pay rent. Most leases consider rent to be late on the 6th day of the month at which point and time the late fee becomes applicable. If the tenant has not paid you can serve the tenant a Notice to Quit which formally recognizes the default condition and lists the specifics required to prevent eviction. The Notice to Quit creates a five-day window in which the tenant has the opportunity to remedy the condition of default, if the tenant does not make the correction you as the landlord can move forward with filing a formal eviction. Additional information regarding Notice to Quit can be found here

3. Lease terms – Other conditions that can constitute lease violations are listed below:

  • Individuals living in the house that are not on the lease
  • Violation of a pet policy
  • Property not kept in a clean and habitable condition

All of these conditions constitute lease violations that can be causes of eviction and can be addressed with a Notice to Quit.

Your first focus as landlord should always be to salvage the lease and get the bad tenant back to performing to the lease terms. As a landlord vacancy and make-ready can be two of your largest expenses, in fact they can consume a large portion of a year’s profit. If you can correct the bad tenant’s behavior and keep them in the lease your properties financial performance will benefit from your effort.

If your bad tenant can no longer financially perform another option is to create an amicable agreement whereby you agree not to pursue eviction if they leave with the property in a rentable condition at timeframe of your choosing. This type of agreement will allow the tenant to avoid an eviction and allow you as a landlord to accelerate the time required to get a paying tenant in the house. If your tenant agrees to these terms you can negotiate the deposit as the final month rent which is a salvageable circumstance if the bad tenant is not capable of paying. It is important to have your attorney create a legal document for both you and your tenant to sign to avoid any confusion or delay regarding the tenants exit of the property.

If you are dealing with a bad tenant and are no longer interested in be landlord Housebuyers OKC can help. We can buy your property with the problem tenant in place in as little as two weeks. Our process is simple, we walk the house one time and then make our offer. When we come to agreement, we do all the work and you simply have to show up at the closing to sign documents and collect your check. Please take a minute to listen Nathan’s story and how we bought his house with the tenant in place. We have helped a number of landlords by purchasing their properties with the tenant in place and we can do the same for you. Please visit our site here and fill at the quick contact form and we will be in touch ASAP. Let us make your bad tenant our problem!