Having tenants in your Philadelphia income property that turn out to be troublesome is enough to make any property owner want to quit the rental property business and run far, far away.
However, this solves nothing.
So, rather than stick your head in the sand and hope the problem fixes itself, try to remedy the situation instead.
Now, as an experienced property owner, you are surely aware that evictions are a necessary evil when it comes to owning rental property. Every property owner hopes and prays they will never have to issue a Notice to Pay or Quit to their tenant, much less initiate the eviction process.
But, sometimes it happens.
That said, finding ways to handle problematic tenants without evicting them is always a good skill to learn if you want to become a successful landlord.
After all, evictions are costly and time consuming. They dip into your positive cash flow, and can even incite an angry tenant to cause damage to your rental property, making things far worse than you could have ever imagined.
Thus, in some cases, trying to fix the issue at hand, before starting an eviction, may work in your favor.
What it means to have a problematic tenant in your rental property is going to differ from landlord to landlord.
That’s why today we are looking at 3 types of “problematic tenants” you might have to deal with during your time as a landlord, as well as plenty of ways to handle these tenants.
Handling Problematic Philadelphia Tenants
1. The Non-Paying Tenant
As a successful property owner, it is imperative that you draft a solid lease agreement outlining the rent collection procedure for your tenants.
It is also just as critical that you or your Philadelphia property manager explain this procedure to your tenants prior to move-in.
Your lease should include how much is due in rent each month, and when it should be paid.
It should also have provisions related to grace periods, when a rent payment is considered officially “late,” and the consequences (including the initiation of the eviction process) for not paying the rent in a timely manner.
That said, your tenant might be withholding rent for a variety of reasons.
Maybe they just lost their job, are having money problems, or they are just upset about a maintenance or repair issue in the rental property.
This does not make non-payment of rent any more excusable in the eyes of a good property manager. However, before starting the eviction process, there may be alternative solutions you are willing to consider:
- Create a structured payment plan that can be implemented once or twice a year, for emergencies only
- Prorate any late fees and delinquent rent over the course of the remaining rent payments for the lease term
- Offer your tenants the option to include roommates into the lease agreement to split the rent
- Consider allowing your tenant the option to sublet your property to tenants better suited to pay on time
- Explain the impending eviction that is about to initiate, and the long-term effects it will have on your tenant
- As a last resort, allow the tenant to break the lease by simply asking them to leave– sometimes a broken lease is better than going through a grueling eviction process
2. A Disruptive Tenant
Dealing with a tenant that continually disrupts neighboring residents can be a headache.
And, despite thorough tenant screening, and with the help of a reputable property management company, there really is no way of being able to tell whether your future tenants are going to be disruptive.
If your problematic tenant is causing enough disruption to be annoying to others, but not quite enough to warrant an eviction, you have yourself quite a problem.
Maybe they play the trumpet, have a barking dog, throw a few rowdy parties, or fight with their spouse on a regular basis. All of these things, when done sparingly, are enough to annoy everyone, but not enough to necessarily warrant an eviction.
Here are some helpful solutions for working through this scenario:
- Encourage your tenant and the ones being disrupted to work it out amongst themselves, without any intervention from you
- Add a clause in your lease agreement that states after 3 confirmed complaints, an eviction will be the only solution
- Serve your tenants a “Cure or Quit” notice, meaning they either need to stop or leave within a certain period of time
- Get your property manager involved, and see how they might handle problem tenants that are not technically breaking the law, nor the rules of the lease agreement
It is your job to make it clear to all tenants what constitutes as being noisy or disruptive, and what the consequences for breaching those terms will be if too many complaints are made against them.
3. Those Not on the Lease Agreement
It is crucial that you include every non-minor living in your Philadelphia rental property on the lease agreement to avoid any kind of landlord-tenant dispute.
However, anyone who has been in the rental property business for long knows that sometimes an unauthorized resident moves into your property, and is simply never added to the lease.
This type of problematic tenant often brings with them more trouble than authorized tenants.
At least with authorized tenants, you have a relatively easy way of handling them. With tenants that are living in your property that have not signed a lease agreement, the solutions can get somewhat difficult.
Here are two positive ways in which LandlordStation recommends handling unauthorized tenants:
- Communicate With Your Legal Tenants. Hopefully, by the time you notice unauthorized tenants are living in your property, you have built up a decent relationship with your legal tenants. If this is the case, talking directly to your tenants may be the easiest solution. Try to confirm that there are unauthorized tenants living in your property, review the terms of the lease with your tenant, pointing out that the others cannot live there unless on the lease, and even consider re-drawing up a more specific lease agreement outlining the fact that tenants not on the lease are not welcome in your property.
- Get Some Help. If your legal tenants do not agree with what you are saying, and refuse to make the unauthorized tenants either sign the lease agreement or leave, you may be faced with getting the police involved. Although this is not something anyone wants to deal with, it may be your only option. Communicate with your legal tenants your intention of having the unauthorized tenants escorted off your property, inform them of when this will happen, and hope that your legal tenants reconsider and encourage the unauthorized tenants to leave without police involvement.
In most states, a guest staying at your rental property for a significant amount of time (typically 30 days) is only considered an official tenant if they pitch in and help pay the rent.
If they continue to stay, but do not pay rent, they are no longer a guest − but they are not a tenant either.
Instead, they are considered an “occupant” of your property.
However, an occupant of your Philadelphia rental property does become susceptible to eviction proceedings.
Although this is probably not your favorite option as a property owner, the good news is that your legal tenants will still be residing in your property paying the monthly rent, so you will not miss out on that positive cash flow.
As you can see, there are several different types of problematic tenants you may face living in your Philadelphia income property.
Some are easy to evict (though no property owner ever wants to take it that far), while others are more difficult to handle, depending on what the situation is.
For those that have rental property in Philadelphia that do not want to deal with problematic tenants, contact Bay Management Group today. Our property managers strive to place only the highest quality tenants in your rental property so that you rarely, if ever, have to deal with any problems.