Late rent. Loud noise. Lease breaks. There are hundreds of potential disputes that may arise with the tenants who are renting your Colorado Springs investment property. As a landlord, you’ll have to be prepared to resolve conflicts and hold tenants accountable to the lease agreement while remaining professional and respectful.
This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, and professional Colorado Springs property management can usually help. A property manager understands tenant relationships and can be a valuable buffer between you and your residents.
These are some of the best ways to address issues you may be having.
Enforce a Strong Lease Agreement
A strong lease can protect you against potential misunderstandings and disputes with your tenants. Everything that’s expected, allowed, and prohibited should be listed in your lease agreement. Go over this with your tenant in detail before they move in. When you have an issue with your tenant, start with the lease. There, you’ll be able to point out the late fees that come with unpaid rent, the requirements at move-out for receiving a full refund of the security deposit, and procedures that are in place if a tenant needs to break the lease and vacate early.
Communicate Openly and Transparently with Tenants
Communicating with your tenant is critical – in good times and in challenging times. Establish a good relationship even before the tenant moves in, and keep in touch. They shouldn’t hear from you only when things aren’t going well. Check in from time to time and see how they’re doing.
When an issue arises, be open to discussing resolutions and compromises with your tenant. The lease agreement should always dictate how you proceed, but if you have a tenant who needs to pay rent two weeks late one month, you may want to put together a payment arrangement to accommodate those needs.
Screen Well and Inspect Regularly
Try to limit the risk of tenant issues before they’re installed in your home.
This starts with strong tenant screening. Part of your screening process should be checking an applicant’s previous rental history. Talk to former landlords and ask about their experience. You’ll want to know if rent was late and if property was damaged, but you’ll also want to know if the tenant was easy to work with. Did they report maintenance in a timely manner? Were they rude and impatient when repairs took longer than expected? Did they follow the pet policy?
In addition to good screening, you’ll also want to collect a security deposit that can mitigate the risk of a tenant who vanishes in the middle of the night without notice or leaves behind large holes in walls, torn up floors, or broken appliances.
Finally, inspect your property thoroughly at the beginning of the lease period and at the end of the lease period. Get inside once during the tenancy, too. You’ll have an opportunity to see how well the tenant is taking care of the property and whether there are issues that need to be addressed.
Problem tenants are difficult to deal with, but when you have the proper safeguards in place, you can usually avoid them or manage them without a lot of stress and drama.
We can help you with any of your tenant issues or Colorado Springs property management questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Muldoon Associates.