The landlord-tenant relationship is a tricky one. It entails long-time cooperation but with lots of fights and disagreements. Most of the time, it is landlords who are at the receiving end of the arising issues and thus have to deal with those issues themselves. For many new landlords, the dynamics of the landlord-tenant relationship become quite overwhelming to deal with.
However, you can carry this relationship forward without too much trouble if you know how to solve common landlord-tenant issues. In this post, we will walk you through some common landlord-tenant issues and how to resolve them.
The Use of Security Deposit
The use of security deposits is one of the biggest reasons for contention between landlords and tenants. Security deposits are for covering the landlord in case the tenant violates the lease agreement. However, many tenants think that the security deposit they have made in the name of the landlord can be used for the rent payment. To make sure there is no confusion and back and forth on the use of security deposit, do these things.
- Clearly state the purpose of the security deposit in the lease agreement and rules out its use as rent payment. Also, verbally remind the tenant of the purpose of the security deposit at the time of the deal.
- Take the first and last month’s rent in advance besides the security deposit.
Late or Non-Payment of Rent
Late and non-payment of rent is one of the biggest reasons that sours the relationship between landlords and tenants. Survey landlords and you will find out that most of them will consider payment issues as the biggest pain point of their leasing venture. There are multiple things landlords have to consider for addressing this issue.
- Be upfront about your payment expectations from the get-go. A tenant must know about your temperament for tenants with late or non-payments.
- Communicate as much as possible. Many times it is just plain forgetfulness that results in late payments. With continuous communication, this is less likely to happen.
- Tenants’ financial crunches are a reality that you as a landlord have to acknowledge. Therefore, work out a payment plan with your tenant with mutually agreed terms where they can pay with ease and you can get the payment without painfully long waits and too much back and forth.
Payment of Utility Bills
Utility bills are dispatched in the name of the landlord but they are due on tenants. You can see the contradiction here, which also becomes a thorny issue between landlords and tenants. To avoid any confusion and quarrel regarding utility bill payments, make it clear in the lease agreement that tenants are responsible for the payments of all the utility bills until the expiry of the agreement. Subject the release of the security deposit to those payments to put across your point firmly.
When a tenant is leaving your property, you can’t hold them responsible for any property damage. Similarly, you can’t get your compensation from the security deposit if you don’t have any proof that the damage has occurred during their occupancy. The best way to deal with this issue is to get your property photographed at the time of the agreement in the presence of the tenant and make those photographs part of the agreement.
When the agreement is about to end and tenants are about to leave, you must survey the property again and compare it with the pictures taken. This pictorial evidence will easily sort out what property damage the outgoing tenant is liable for.
It is on landlords to address an ongoing pest problem. Therefore, have professional fumigation of the property before every new occupation and assure the new tenant that there is no pest problem at the moment so that they can’t blame you for the bedbugs they have bought with their furniture.
By hiring a seasoned property manager, you don’t have to deal with all those prevailing landlord-tenant issues. Property managers know that how to resolve those issues while taking care of the interest of both parties.