Even if you never plan to place bad renters in your Metro Atlanta properties, you need a plan to deal with them. With a thorough screening process, difficult renters are never part of your "plan." However, sometimes good situations can go bad, and terrible renters can find a way through your review process and fool you into letting them move in.
Increasing your rental income requires the best quality residents who pay the rent every month. Investors must also minimize rental loss with the right approach to challenging situations that can develop with a renter throughout their lease term.
How can investors deal with difficult renters while minimizing income loss (and the potential lawsuits)? Apply these renter management best practices to protect your Metro Atlanta rental property.
Staying Calm Minimizes Hostility
Renters can become frustrated or hostile when they don't get their way. Investors can't let a bad resident who refuses to pay the rent or frequently delivers complaints about your property get under their skin. If a renter triggers an emotional or angry response from you, the situation will only get worse.
When a situation becomes difficult with a renter, try to stay calm, cool, and collected. Even if the resident hurls insults and shuts down every attempt to collect late fees and delayed rental payments, investors can't let emotions motivate retaliatory actions. The minute you cross a line beyond a legal approach to dealing with bad renters, you risk a lawsuit from your unhappy resident.
Sometimes listening and providing calm solutions can diffuse an angry situation. If it's too hard to keep your cool, a property manager can step in and resolve frustrating issues with the renters in your Metro Atlanta rental property.
From the lease agreement to every interaction with an unhappy resident, keep good notes and file all documentation about the situation. If the issue progresses to a lawsuit, you'll need thorough records about the incident, conversations, responses, and attempts to enforce the lease.
If you're not sure what to document, consult a lawyer and a Metro Atlanta property manager to gather details and support your responses when dealing with difficult renters. A property manager can help you apply a ticketing system that logs renter requests and tracks completed tasks.
The owner-renter relationships must remain polite and professional to support your success and create a positive environment that residents respect and enjoy. Investors must establish boundaries that keep relationships "friendly" with renters without pursuing friendships.
What does that mean? Stay kind and delight your renters—without hanging out with them! Coordinating social events for your multifamily community is okay. However, developing friendships with renters can lead to situations where they take advantage of the relationship. Your "friends" might think it's okay to delay rent payments or ignore their property care responsibilities outlined in the lease.
Investors must also be wary of renting your Metro Atlanta rental property to family or your circle of friends. Again, the line can become blurred between "friendship" and your business of providing rental housing for paying residents. Depending on the rental situation with a family member, you might lose tax benefits that boost your income when owning rental properties in the U.S.
Accept That It Will Happen (Eventually)
You won't be able to avoid a problematic renter situation forever. Investors should be prepared with a management plan or an expert property manager to minimize losses when a bad renter refuses to pay the rent or follow the rules.
"Professional tenants" cause trouble intentionally for rental property owners. They target inexperienced or long-distance (and international) real estate investors in this market and create problems almost as soon as they move in. These renters are hard to spot! They often look like excellent potential residents on paper and during the interview process. However, they make a habit of going from rental to rental, never paying the rent, ignoring the rules, and often leaving expensive property damage behind.
Knowing these terrible renters exist and having a plan in place to act quickly if one slips through your review process helps Metro Atlanta investors minimize damage and income loss.
Be Prepared With a Metro Atlanta Property Manager
We love our renters! The Compass Property Management team applies a thorough screening process to reduce the risk of placing bad residents in your Metro Atlanta rental property. After a renter moves in, we work hard to deliver the best customer service and delight your renters to prevent issues—while maintaining professional relationships with happy residents.
Investors need expert property management services to handle the day-to-day interactions with renters. Whether you're local, elsewhere in the country, or investing here from around the world, Compass Property Management handles all renter situations for investors!
Learn more about what you need in the best property manager. Get our free "Guide to Finding the Best Metro Atlanta Property Management Company!"