How to Deal with Difficult Tenants

Mark ShiptonAdvice & tips

If you’ve ever had to deal with a difficult tenant, you’ll understand the emotional toll they can take on you. Many landlords are understandably nervous about entering into yet another relationship with a tenant who may be tricky.  

We’re here to tell you how to avoid difficult tenants and how to deal with them if you’re already forced to work with them. 

Use an experienced agent

The best way to deal with difficult tenants is not to allow them to rent your property to begin with! 

We know the red flags to look out for when meeting and getting to know prospective tenants and how to pick the best tenants for your property.  The tenant who offers the highest rent isn’t always the best.  

We can also manage difficult tenants for you if one has slipped through the net. 

Make sure you and the tenant understand the tenancy agreement  

Before your tenant moves in, make sure that you and they are on the same page regarding the terms of the tenancy agreement. 

Clearly outline expectations regarding rent payments, property maintenance, noise levels and any other relevant rules or regulations. 

Make sure your tenants understand the consequences of violating the terms of the tenancy agreement, whether it’s late fees for rent payments, warnings for noise disturbances, or eviction for severe breaches.

A well-drafted tenancy agreement is worth its weight in gold as it can serve as a reference point in case of disputes later on.

Enforce the rules consistently 

Your tenant knows what’s in the tenancy agreement, and you’ve already defined the boundaries of acceptable behaviour.  Now, you need to enforce the rules immediately in case of any breaches.   No excuses.  No second chances.  

Communicate proactively 

Effective communication is critical to resolving conflicts with tenants.  If issues arise, address them promptly and professionally. 

Don’t wait for minor issues to escalate into more significant problems. Address concerns as soon as they arise to prevent further deterioration of the landlord-tenant relationship. If a tenant is consistently late with rent payments, for example, communicate with them early on to understand the underlying reasons and work together to find a solution.

If your tenant has concerns, listen to them and try to find mutually acceptable solutions. 

Maintain professionalism and calmness

It’s natural to feel frustrated or angry when dealing with difficult tenants, but it’s essential to maintain professionalism and keep emotions in check. Avoid confrontations or escalating conflicts and instead focus on finding constructive solutions to the problem at hand.  Never reply to email when you’re angry and prepare for phone calls before they happen so you can feel calm and in control. 

Document everything 

Keep detailed written records of all interactions with your tenant, including texts, What’s Apps, emails, letters, maintenance requests, property inspections, rule violations and notes from in-person conversations. 

These records can serve as evidence in case legal action becomes necessary and help protect you against false accusations or disputes.

Seek legal advice when necessary 

If attempts to resolve conflicts with difficult tenants are unsuccessful, consider seeking legal advice from a qualified solicitor or property management professional. They can guide you through the relevant landlord-tenant laws and procedures for eviction, mediation or other legal remedies available to you.

Know when to escalate 

If the situation becomes untenable despite your best efforts, know when to seek assistance from professional property management companies or eviction specialists. They can help you navigate the eviction process and ensure that your rights as a landlord are protected while minimising potential legal risks.  Asking for help is a smart move, not a sign of weakness. 

We’re here to help you 

There are many pitfalls to avoid when dealing with difficult tenants and having professional support, such as an experienced letting agent, is invaluable. 

We understand the importance of selecting suitable tenants for properties within the developments we manage. More so than a High Street agent, we want people who will fit in and not cause problems for other residents.  

If you are nervous about choosing the right tenant, or if you’re already dealing with a problematic tenant, please call or email for help and advice, to hear more about our services or to book a valuation.  

“I’ve experienced nothing but competent professionalism from the folk who’ve managed my property over the past few years. Having dealt with one of the bigger commercial firms previously, it’s been an absolute pleasure to know that things were in such safe hands. I would recommend Grace Miller to anyone, and that’s 100% due to the quality of the people I’ve dealt with.”

D Morgan. 

Since opening Grace Miller & Co. in 2000, we’ve given all our clients proactive, professional and personable care. We’re very proud of the reputation we’ve built and the client reviews we’ve received. If you have a property in London or Surrey and would like to benefit from our outstanding service and unrivalled knowledge in residential lettings, sales and block and estate management, please contact us today