Landlords need to remember that just because they own the property does not mean that they can do what they want, when they want. This is because under the law tenants have certain rights which must be respected. It is not uncommon for a landlord to find themselves on the wrong side of a judgment because they overstepped their bounds in trying to force a tenant to break their lease and leave the property.
It is certainly understandable that the discovery of a “bad” tenant who may cause trouble or other issues will entice a landlord to do what they can in encouraging them to leave. However, a landlord must resist the urge to take actions where they might find themselves losing a judgment in court and developing a bad reputation that drives the good tenants away as well.
What follows are a few tips to follow to avoid demonstrating harassment tactics and helping you to maintain your reputation and properly get rid of “bad” tenants.
Do Not Try to Intimidate the Tenant
The worst thing a landlord can do is try physical or verbal intimidation tactics on a tenant. These are strictly against the law and will be used against a landlord in any situation that leads to a court appearance. This is especially true of any tactic that can be documented and presented in court. The result is not only losing money, but developing a bad reputation that can drive away potentially good tenants.
Do Not Withhold Obligations
First and foremost, you’ll want to ensure that you fulfill all of your obligations as a landlord in terms of taking proper care of the property. This means making sure the garbage is picked up, repairs are made and the landscaping is completed. Remember that how you treat one tenant may be viewed by all tenants, so don’t single anyone out.
Do Not Hassle Through Verbal or Written Complaints
Verbal or written complaints should be few and far between if the tenant’s behavior is borderline in terms of breaking any established rules or regulations. However, if the tenant does violate a policy, then they should be given some type of notice and warning.
Do Not Enter the Tenant’s Rented Space Without Due Cause
This is one of the most common forms of landlords overstepping their boundaries. Under the law, landlords can only enter the property for scheduled inspections or emergency situations. Otherwise, entering the property without due cause can be used by the tenant in court with the landlord winding up on the wrong side of the judgment.
Know the Law
The landlord must know the law, rules and regulations that apply to any activities they may or may not do towards a particular tenant. While getting rid of bad tenants in certainly desirable, it has to be done legally and ethically. This means following the lease agreement and evicting them at the first legal opportunity and not trying to create one through intimidation tactics.
Remember to follow and respect the law by not engaging in any tactics that could put you on the wrong side of a court decision.