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If you own a rental property, you’ll need to know how to handle and resolve tenant conflicts. You will experience both conflicts with tenants directly, and also have to mediate between tenants if you own a multi-family property. Tension and fighting between neighbors will be stressful for all parties. It pays to be proactive in resolving the issue right away so it doesn’t escalate.
Confrontation is not favored by most people, so a quick solution is often welcomed. Is our latest post, we share our best tips for resolving tenant conflict so both you and your tenants can live peacefully.
How to Manage Tenant Conflict in Warner Robins
Conflicts are bound to arise, so plan ahead. Clearly, outline your tenant conflict resolution processes in the rental agreement or lease. Although most property managers will not waste time reading over the agreement with the new tenant, we highly suggest it. At the very least, go over this part and have them initial next to it so they know what is expected of them. Are there warnings issued? What financial penalties will be involved? At what point will eviction come in to play? What is the pet policy? Parking? Who is responsible for maintaining the yard? In addition, discuss how quickly you will make repairs and how often things like pest control will be taken care of. Putting everything in black and white will leave little room for disagreements. Make the lease as detailed as possible, so there is no confusion. Tenants like to scream “ I wasn’t told that” as a defense.
Know the Law
Make sure you fully understand Georgia landlord-tenant laws. You need to fully grasp these laws so you don’t find yourself in the wrong during a disagreement. Landlord-tenant laws vary state to state, but they will typically govern deposits, landlord access, and the duties and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant. As long as you are abiding by the law 100%, you will not find yourself on the wrong side of a dispute. Georgia follows the same regulations across the state, but different county offices can still do things differently. Luckily, Warner Robins, Kathleen, Perry and Bonaire all fall in the same county.
Be A Professional
During all conflicts with renters, you should keep your cool and remain professional. People can get very upset if there is an issue with the property or with another tenant. You have to remember, even though you own the property, it is also the place they call home. Listen to the complaint, and if it has validity. Do what you can to resolve it in a timely manner. If the conflict is between two tenants, make sure you get both sides of the story. Everybody’s voice needs to be heard. If possible, have all parties meet face-to-face to peacefully air grievances and resolve the issue. Don’t take a side, rather meditate and hear what everyone has to say. Once you know the whole story, you will have a better idea of how to handle the situation. Professional Landlords are trained in handling this kind of issue. Make sure to have good knowledge of your rental policy and the state laws to reference. This sometimes helps keep you from being the “bad guy”, because the rule came from somewhere else, not you.
Keep Records of Everything
Write down each time there is communication between you and a tenant. Note the time, date and what was discussed. If warnings are issued, make sure you have dated copies. If applicable, send warning notices via certified mail to document that it has been received. Keep track of text, phone calls and attempted calls. Screenshots of texts have won many of our court cases. Make sure you are following all of the proper procedures that meet the legal requirements where you live.
Eviction As the Worst Case Scenario
The eviction process can be a nightmare if your not prepared. Not just for the tenant, but many times for the landlord as well. It is tedious, costly and time-consuming. We highly suggest using the eviction process as your “worst case scenario” option. As a professional landlord, we don’t evict often, but we start the process according to our agreement signed by the tenant. This proves we enforce our policies. Most of the time, this resolves the conflict. Don’t jump to evict a tenant, but be willing to do it. Work to be understanding of your tenant’s needs, we have had tenants that raised the rent on themselves in exchange for accommodating a change in the rental agreement, so listen to them. Also, keep the property in the condition you would want to live in. If the conflict is between two people, help them try to see each other’s side and find some common ground. Most people who would be considered “bad tenants” should have been screened out from the beginning. Hopefully, you will be able to manage all tenant conflicts without resorting to eviction.
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If you are looking for help managing tenant conflict, we are here for you! Send us a message now, or give us a call today! (478) 256-9947