Landlord Nightmares: Dealing with Problem Tenants

Landlord Nightmares: How to Deal with Problem Tenants
One of the hardest aspects of being a landlord is appropriately dealing with tenant issues. Tenants have different needs and temperaments, which should be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but landlords should have contingencies in place to deal with common tenant concerns. Following are four of the most common tenant challenges and suggestions for dealing with them:

The noisy neighbor

Noise complaints can frustrate landlords and tenants alike. Chronic noise can drive away good tenants and can stigmatize a building if the landlord fails to act. The first step is to try addressing the issue with the problem tenant. Written notice can be provided to allow the tenant time to correct the behavior. All correspondence and conversations should be documented in the event you are not able to resolve the problems with the tenant. This documentation will be useful if legal proceedings are required to remove the tenant.

The hoarder

Hoarding can be a major hazard for property owners. The risk of a disaster trapping the tenant in the building is increased as items accumulate. Pests such as mice and other vermin are attracted to the clutter. Additionally, hoarding can be difficult for some to curb. As a result, this challenge can sometimes crop up repeatedly with the same tenant.

Landlords should analyze hoarding situations carefully and focus on the most positive outcomes for themselves and the tenants. Extensive documentation is required in these instances. Consider scheduling a time to pick up rent at the unit and perform a cursory inspection of the premises each month. Ensure that you document the state of the unit at each visit.

The destructive tenant

Unfortunately, property damage is a common problem for landlords. Even the simple act of hanging a picture involves putting a nail into the wall. However, this type of damage is an expected and somewhat tolerated annoyance.

It is the truly destructive behavior that is an aberration for most landlords. Often the destruction is lifestyle related and the pattern follows these tenants from place to place. A thorough background check prior to agreeing to rent to the individual can unearth these difficult tenants. However, sometimes they slip through the interview process, and then you are forced to deal with them.

Start by documenting any complaints made by other tenants. There may be excessive noise and greater amounts of dirt and debris in and around their unit. Their lifestyle can also impact their ability to pay their rent on time. In addition to giving verbal warnings, be prepared to serve the tenant with the appropriate paperwork that documents how they are noncompliant.

Failure to pay

There are several reasons tenants may be unable to pay their rent on time. Regardless, each landlord will need to assess the validity of the reason for paying late or not at all. Dialogues with the tenant will have to be honest, and, depending on the situation, the reasons may be difficult to assess.

The best solution for all parties may not be evident. Clear, written documentation is essential, along with consequences for failure to comply. The landlord will need to be prepared to terminate the tenancy if necessary.

Teamwork on the Fly: Learning to Collaborate with Just about Anyone

In today’s 24/7 world, companies depend on remote workers, diverse markets, and global interactions.

Many of us find ourselves frequently teaming with different people, coordinating and collaborating across geographic, disciplinary, linguistic, sectoral, and societal boundaries.

Consider that a typical hospitalized patient is seen by some 60 different providers over the course of a stay. These professionals may come from different specialties, different backgrounds, and different areas of expertise. They may not even know one another, but they work as a team to provide appropriate, timely patient care.

Members of such fluid teams may not have fixed roles or even fixed deliverables. They often come together to deal with urgent, complex, unpredictable issues.

They may be individuals from different professions, different organizations, even different nations, who find themselves working together in the face of a natural disaster, a health emergency, a complicated rescue, a refugee crisis, or some other situation. Despite language barriers, cultural differences, professional egos, and myriad physical challenges, these pseudo teams often produce remarkable results.

So, what does successful teaming require? What’s the secret sauce? Researchers point to “true grit” characteristics such as dedication, perseverance, and goal orientation.

Of course, leadership is important, too, but here there is a caveat. Experts note that teaming leaders must exhibit extraordinary situational humility and a willingness to defer to others. They must develop a mind-set of inclusivity rather than competition. Solutions and ideas can come from anywhere, so leaders must be curious, humble, willing to listen, willing to take risks, and open to trying different approaches.

Secrets to a Successful Start-up

Before launching a small business, it is important to develop a sound business plan laying out how you will structure, operate, and grow your business. You’ll need it to convince people to invest in and work for your company, as well as to keep the firm on track as you grow. Here are some winning tips to develop this plan:

A simple, one-page business plan should include a vision statement, a mission statement, objectives and goals, basic operational strategies, a proposed budget, a preliminary marketing plan, and a simple action plan.

Be realistic about how much capital you’ll need to fund your business and determine where/how you will acquire it. Draft a preliminary budget and open a business bank account.

Decide on a business structure. The legal structure you choose for your business will impact your business registration requirements, your tax liability, and your personal liability. Register your business, obtain federal and state tax IDs, and apply for necessary licenses and permits to make your business legally compliant.

Do some market research on trends and competitors in your sector. Both brick-and-mortar and online businesses need a website, an SEO strategy, and a marketing plan.

If yours is a service-based business, get involved with the local chamber of commerce or small-business chapter and take advantage of opportunities to present your business to the community. Make presentations, speak at local events, or provide distributable marketing materials. Network with potential customers and capitalize on every opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business.

Condo Investing: A New Appreciation for Individual Units
Condo apartments can be a great starting point for new investors looking to build a real estate portfolio. As you acquire skills and understanding about what it takes to manage residential property, you can add more units. Here are three tips to help you decide if condo investment is for you:

Life as a landlord: The rewards of being a landlord start with property ownership. You are adding an asset to your portfolio. Not only does your investment appreciate, as time and demand allow, but you’re also accruing income during your ownership that can offset any borrowing or maintenance costs you may incur.

But property management is not always easy. Dealing with tenant issues, screening tenants, collecting rent, and doing regular maintenance and repairs can chew into your free time. Keep in mind, a bad tenant can test the best property manager’s metal. A good landlord must maintain their objectivity in the face of adversity.

Securing financing: Purchasing an income property can be challenging. Lenders have unique criteria for financing income properties. Checking with a mortgage professional before you start your search is essential and can assist with establishing a budget and building your knowledge of the terms and conditions required to finalize the transaction.

Finding the perfect property: When you decide that condo investment is right for you, it is time to meet with a real estate agent and find the perfect unit to start your portfolio. Consider location, price, and average rental rates for similar properties, and determine whether a newly built unit or a resale unit is best suited to your needs.

SA Realty Watch Group
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This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.
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