10 Mar When Neighbors and Tenants Don’t Get Along
Won’t you be my (awful, bickering, immature) neighbor?”
Unfortunately, not all tenants will be friendly to one another. There could come a time when your tenants end up quarreling with a neighbor. Even worse, you could be the landlord of two neighboring tenants who simply cannot get along.
Hopefully, they don’t try to bring you into their problems. But, the situation could arise where a landlord gets caught in the middle. Then, one of the tenants might ask to get out of their lease, because they want move. Then, what?
First, make sure your lease outlines what types of disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Also, make sure the tenants know that if they see someone violating a law, they must call the police and file a report. You cannot enforce anything without evidence of a misdeed, and it’s not your job to babysit the property — or the tenants. They have to deal with it firsthand. So, if one tenant accuses the other of an obnoxious or egregious violation, you still need to have a valid reason (proof) to evict one (or both) of the parties.
If the neighbors’ problems are more interpersonal, but not in violation of any law or lease terms, then your tenant might not have an “out.” Your lease agreement should include rules about early termination fees. Remind the tenant threatening to walk what their financial responsibility is, or they will have to deal with the consequences of breaking the lease (i.e. being sued them for back rent).
The best way to deal with quarreling neighbors is to:
- Remind them what behaviors will not be tolerated per the lease (making threats, trespassing, parking in unassigned spaces, etc.)
- Tell tenants to call the police if threats are made, property is damaged, or they feel like their safety is at risk.
- If one party requests to move out, let them know what your agreement says about getting out of lease early, and what fees could be incurred.
- Don’t renew with one or both parties at the end of the term.
Evictions can be long, drawn-out affairs fought in court over lease wording or other cryptic issues. A property manager will direct the process for you, making sure documents are presented accurately, deadlines are met, and that you’re free to devote time to other aspects of your business.
A comprehensive resident background check is your best defense against undesirable tenants, but if you’re forced into evicting a tenant, a property manager will make the process efficient, compliant, and as cost-effective as possible. That’s apart from the many other management, marketing, maintenance, and legal benefits that come with using a property manager.
Got questions about what to look for in hiring a property manager? Stay tuned. We’ll get to them in an upcoming post, and keep your eye out for more landlord tips.