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Jul 20

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How to deal with that “crazy” tenant

No matter how closely you screen your tenants, you will eventually end up with a “memorable” (and not in a good way) tenant. Over the years I’ve had my share. Not all of these “crazy” tenants are doing something that is bad or illegal, they may be just annoying.

In reality, even crazy tenants can be good tenants…sometimes. I’ve had some who needed everything perfect, which was good in a way because they fixed the place up really nice. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

If you run into one of the worst crazy people, your best bet is to get rid of them as soon as possible. Now, if they signed a lease, that may not be easy. You generally can’t evict someone just because they harass you all the time. If they threaten someone or damage something, you’ve got grounds, but otherwise there aren’t a lot of options, so what do you do?

Well, the first step is to try talking to them. Maybe diplomacy and communication can solve the problem. I believe in having my tenants like me as much as possible, it tends to form better relationships generally.

If you can tolerate it, living out the lease and then not renewing the lease (or increasing the rent by the maximum allowed in your area) should probably be your first line of action.

If they are pretty intolerable, perhaps they are unhappy with the current living conditions, which may be a good bet if they are complaining all the time. Offering to release them from the lease penalty free may work. Even if they’ve damaged the property, eating the damage deposit by returning it may be worth getting rid of them.

If that doesn’t work, you may want to consider paying them to move. While I generally don’t encourage this, as a last ditch attempt to save your sanity it may be worth the price.

Having a crazy tenant is usually not worth the money they bring. It’s one of the reasons you want to be careful about your screening techniques. Make sure you meet with the tenants personally and talk with them. It won’t always show if they are “crazy”, but if you get a bad vibe, walk away then. Calling the references and asking questions is important (though the references may lie, developing a series of questions that demand open ended answers may reveal some traits.

If the screening fails, I still advise getting rid of the tenant as soon as possible. Even if it winds up costing you some money.

Lesson: There are a lot of tenants in the world, best to try and get the good one. The bad ones aren’t worth the money.

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