If you have been a landlord for any length of time, you know migraine headaches and pain in the backside hassles are just part of the job description. And number-one among those headaches/hassles is no doubt problem tenants. For truly bad tenants in Roseburg, eviction is always an option (unless you’re bound by an eviction moratorium).
But eviction can be a lengthy and expensive process, even more so these days. So, is there a way to deal with bad tenants to solve these problems? In this post, I’ll give you 5 ways to deal with bad tenants in Roseburg and hopefully avoid having to evict.
1. Tenants Who Won’t Pay
A common category of bad tenants in Roseburg is the tenant who just won’t pay their rent. Ever met one? Yeah, me too. Unfortunately, this will adversely affect your cash flow without a doubt.
The thing to keep in mind, though, is that tenants don’t pay for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are just being malicious and looking to stiff you, but there are other reasons to consider. “Tenants.” industry experts say, “a tenant can withhold rent from landlords for a number of reasons, from cash flow shortages or temporary unemployment, to repair and maintenance disputes.”
If you’re in this situation, communication is critical. Even better, hire a property manager to do all of this for you. But, if you go it alone, confronting this issue with an open mind and empathy is important to reach a win-win. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is important that the tenant is held accountable, but I also think it is important to understand the reason the tenant is falling behind on paying rent.
As a landlord, you have a couple of options to solve this problem. The first and most effective is setting up a payment plan that makes paying more manageable for the tenants. You could, for example, when tenants are struggling financially . . .
- Implement “a policy of accepting a partial payment from a resident once per year”
- “Prorate the late fees and delinquent rent over the remainder of the tenant’s lease”
- Allow weekly partial payments instead of larger monthly payments
- Apply the security deposit to the delinquent rent payments
Another option is to change the tenants’ living arrangements. Interestingly enough, I have heard of other landlords taking the following action. If a tenant can no longer afford the rent, the landlord set them up with a screened and qualified roommate or possibly move them to smaller, lower-cost unit.
2. Tenants Having Problems With Other Tenants
Yep, I can speak from experience here too! What do you do with those bad tenants in Roseburg who just don’t play well with others, and what about the crazy, loud, or just obnoxious tenants?
Despite your best screening efforts, this kind of tenant can still slip through and can cause problems for other tenants, and more stress on you.
The first step in dealing with this kind of problem tenant is to encourage and allow the tenants to resolve the problem themselves.“Make a clause in the lease that specifically states that all tenants are to make every able attempt to settle arguments without your intervention. Include a message stating that if you must get involved, one tenant might not be pleased with the resolution, and someone stands a good chance of leaving the property.”
But you may have to step in. In that case, mediation may be called for. Just be sure to “explain the consequences in a calm manner to aid in resolution. At some point, your residents hopefully understand that the net impact is on them, not you.” Also make “sure that any lease or rental agreement contains property regulations and rules, in addition to tight clauses regarding these disagreements.”
3. Tenants Who Pay Late
I had one tenant who paid 10 days late every single month, like clockwork, in spite of the late rent payment penalty. Some tenants do this… they pay, but they always pay late – not withholding payment, but just late. In dealing with these bad tenants in Roseburg, it’s wise to keep in mind that they might not be bad tenants at all. They might be “regular” late payers or they might be late once in a while because of fairly innocent things like health, vacationing, or mere forgetfulness.
You could meet with these tenants to discuss their situation and why the rent is always late. You could also do things like waiving late fees and other penalties if they promise to pay any late rent in full. You could send out payment reminders, change the rent due date, or accept the late rent payment penalty every month as compensation. Though it takes a little extra effort and time, it could be an easy fix for the problem.
4. Don’t Renew the Lease
When the methods outlined above for dealing with bad tenants in Roseburg don’t produce results, you still may not have to resort to eviction.
An option you have at this point is simply to refuse to renew the lease. Just be aware that this typically isn’t an immediate solution and that you need to “understand your local laws related to tenant protections before you do this. Usually, you can send your tenant a letter that informs them that their lease will not be renewed once it expires. You may need to give them 30, 60, or 90 days’ notice, depending on your state and local laws.”
5. Consider a “Cash for Keys” Agreement
Another last-resort solution, short of eviction, for dealing with bad tenants in Roseburg is the “cash for keys” agreement. It will cost you, but it will also get a bad tenant out of your hair and solve the problem. “A cash for keys agreement is a legally binding contract, whereby you pay a tenant a lump sum of money, and their lease is canceled, and they have to move out of your property.”
But, you may be wondering, why should you pay a bad tenant to move out? For the simple reason that it makes financial sense.
“It can easily cost $5,000 to evict a tenant and take months to do so. If you can just pay $1,000 and have a bad tenant move out within a week, you’ll be able to save a bunch of money – and start renting your property to a more qualified tenant right away.”
But Be Careful . . .
Whatever method you choose to deploy in dealing with bad tenants, make sure you’re aware of all the legal ramifications and implications. There may or may not be mandates and eviction restrictions, and landlord requirements you must be knowledgeable about before making and hardcore decision.
Do yourself a favor and gain an understanding of the Oregon Landlord and Tenant law. Landlord responsibilities and rights and tenant-protection laws are far broader than they were just a few years ago. Your best bet is to consult an experienced Roseburg agent to get a referral to a reputable property manager who can help you understand exactly what you can and can’t do as a landlord. So for assistance dealing with bad tenants in Roseburg, contact us today at 541-643-1131.