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Put Up Your Dukes: Landlord and Tenancy

Crappy, deadbeat tenants. I cringe at the thought of them. They generally don’t give a rat’s ass about paying rent, and they treat your property like a port-a-potty…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In short, bad tenants can make you wish you never invested in a rental property…ever. Landlord and tenancy problems have been around since before Jesus – so you would think we’d get smarter. But those tenants just keep getting smarter to0!

Why not fight back to minimize the financial firestorm they can cause? Here are some tips to help you take action, so put the boxing gloves on, Iron Mike, and sing it with me…”hit me with your best shot, come on and hit me with best shot….fire awaaaaaaaaay!” (yes, a Pat Benatar reference, finally) And with that…

Let’s get ready to Rumblllllllllllllllle!

The Uppercut: A Solid Tenant Lease

Anticipate future problems like cleanliness, breakage, property maintenance, late payments, and even criminal behavior with a rock solid tenant lease agreement, and be sure the tenant signs it before he/she moves in. Lease agreements vary by state, so make sure you’re using the right lease. You can buy lease agreements online, sometimes on your state’s website – but I find that the best property managers in town usually have the best leases!

The Left Jab: Abide by Disclosure Laws

Bad tenants also tend to be cry babies, (and wanna be attorneys) running to Legal Aid and whining about how their landlord wants, them to fix the broken door, or wants to throw them out on the street. Cry me a friggin’ river. First thing the lawyer will do is check to make sure you’re lease agreement is legit and complete with all the necessary disclosures. Options for complying with these laws include reading your state’s landlord-tenant code directly, hiring a real estate attorney to advise you, or using an online landlord forms system that automatically fills in all of the required forms for your state. And by the by – you better know the lead laws in your state as well as the new RRP law recently enacted by the EPA.

The Right Hook: Offer the Tenant a Vacate Deal

When its time to get ride of a problem tenant, you can make it easy or you can make it hard. As temping as it may be to open up that fresh can of whoopass, try a little honey; negotiating with your tenant first by offering them a vacate deal. Give them a week to hightail it out of your property with all of their crap, and in return, you won’t take them to court. If they’re smart, they’ll play nice. But let’s face it, you’re probably¬† not dealing with the finest and most upstanding citizen, so be prepared to file the eviction, which will leave a nice big blemish on their credit report, and if they broke the lease could also leave them without their golden ticket otherwise known as the Section 8 voucher! Yes, that’s right – you can petition Section 8 to revoke the tenant’s voucher if for whatever reason the tenant breaks the lease!

The Knockout: Comply with Local Eviction Laws

It’s a simple as this; you have to comply with your state’s eviction procedures if you want your tenant out for good. How can you be sure you comply? Again, you have options. Hire a real estate attorney who specializes in evictions (and be prepared to have deep pockets). Hire an eviction specialist for a bit less cash, or DIY baby. Just mail the appropriate notices to the tenant, and file an eviction form with the local landlord/tenant court.

Hopefully, you’ll be one of the rare few who only get responsible, courteous, and intelligent tenants. (I think I just tinkled myself from laughing so hard.) Good tenants, every time? Yeah, and there go the pigs flying outta by anus.

Disclaimer: The boxing references used in this post are merely metaphors. I do not support or encourage violence. (sigh….jees)

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