Over the course of your career as a landlord, you’re bound to experience at least one serious problem with a tenant. This may be due to rent or utility payment disputes, noise complaints, pest infestations, or a general lack of respect for your property or other tenants. No matter what the problem happens to be when it arises, it’s important for you to handle the issue promptly and effectively to minimize any potential damage, and to avoid a potentially lengthy process dealing with the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board.
Communication is key
In order to determine what the problem is, you’ll need to properly communicate with your tenants. Sometimes the problem will be clear and there will be an obvious path to follow in terms of solving it, but many problems can be multifaceted and can become quickly complicated by emotions and the frustrations brought about by the issue.
If the problem involves more than one tenant, it’s important that you as a landlord communicate clearly with all parties and give each of them equal weight – hearing more than one side of a story will help you determine who (if anybody) is at fault, and what to do about the issue. If your tenant problem is an emergency, then communication should take place in person, or at the very least over the telephone – email and text messages can be too vague and are easy to miss or misinterpret in times of crisis.
Act quickly, know your rights, and keep your cool
Time is of the essence when dealing with difficult problems – especially for landlords who want to avoid complicating matters by involving the Landlord & Tenant Board, or who do not want to sour their relationship with the tenants in question. Contact your tenants immediately, and get in touch with contractors if there are repairs to be made, or other professionals in the event of insect infestations, bed bugs, problem pets, or any other potential issues – the sooner these steps have been taken, the sooner you can get around to resolving the problem with your tenants. Ideally, you’ll have an army of contractors already in place to deal with any issues that may arise that you can call on, rather than searching for someone at the last second. That way, you have time to vet them before requiring their services in an emergency – bad contractors can make a terrible situation much worse.
Landlords should always know their rights on how they are legally allowed to approach a major problem, and what they do not have the right to do – this will help you to avoid making any problematic decisions. You should also know what you want out of the situation – do you simply want your tenant to pay rent that is owed? Do you want to be paid for damages or repairs? Do you want to remove a tenant from your unit? Having an end goal will help you create a more effective plan, and will allow you to keep your cool and make effective decisions.
Property management services: the best plan for future emergencies
Property management services offered by companies like Highgate Properties offer landlords a major advantage in tackling difficult problems with tenants. Many landlords have careers and responsibilities outside of their real estate holdings, giving them less time to focus on important landlord duties – with property management services, this is never the case. Effective property managers will have 24-hour service for tenant emergencies and be able to immediately respond to and resolve problems, no matter when or where they arise.
Only property management companies like Highgate have the experience and knowledge needed to resolve complex issues with tenants, finding solutions that work for all parties, and making it far less likely that problems will go to the Landlord & Tenant Board. Property managers have immediate access to a host of contractors and services to respond to repairs and damages, pest problems, and other issues that can arise out of nowhere and affect both your tenants and your property.
In order to effectively deal with difficult tenant problems, it’s important to communicate with them clearly in order to determine what the problem is, set an end goal and create a plan of action to resolve said problem, keep your cool throughout the process, know your rights as a landlord, and enlist the help of property management companies that will better know how to effectively solve difficult problems with tenants.
For more information on the property management and realty services offered by the expert team at Highgate Properties, contact us today.