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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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