Nipping Problem Tenant in the Bud

by Robert Griswold
Arm wrestlingQ: I manage a very large rental property and while the majority of our residents are great, we do have an occasional “problem tenant” who is making life miserable for neighbors.
Is there anything you can suggest?

A: You may be able to negotiate a voluntary move-out with your tenant.
Some rental owners have negotiated agreements with their problem tenants in which they forgive the unpaid rent if the tenant agrees to leave by a mutually agreed-upon date.
Other owners have agreed to refund the tenant’s full security deposit immediately after the tenant has vacated the property (as long as no significant damage has been done to the property).

Although you may feel strongly that your tenant should keep up his end of the lease, you may come out ahead by avoiding legal action and not having to worry about the problem anymore.

You are also minimizing the chance that your problem tenant will chase away the great tenants that you want to keep.
Of course, you should never count on a verbal agreement, and any voluntary move-out agreement must be in writing.

This column on issues confronting tenants and landlords is written by property manager Robert Griswold, author of Property Management for Dummies and Property Management Kit for Dummies and co-author of Real Estate Investing for Dummies.

E-mail your questions to Rental Q&A at [email protected]. Questions should be brief and cannot be answered individually. Copyright 2009, Inman News

For more about Robert Griswolds latest book, see Property Management Kit for Dummies, or visit the AAOA Store.

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