Are you stressed out from managing your rental property? Taking care of a house without occupying it yourself can be demanding. Unless your tenants are the perfectly peaceful and professional type, and you aren’t having problems with your mortgage, you’ll have to learn how to breeze through difficult situations at some point. And if these rough situations involve your tenants, you’ll have to learn how to resolve issues without creating tension in your relationship.
So here are some tips to help you talk to your tenants:
Be Clear With What You Want
Before you talk to your tenants, it is essential to lay out what you intend to achieve. This will help you ground your discussion and focus on what is important at the moment.
- Are you selling your house and evicting your tenants?
- Are you transferring ownership to another interested landlord without evicting them?
- Do you want them to stop destroying your property without evicting them?
- Do you want them to stop doing illegal activities without evicting them?
- Do you want to increase their rent for the trouble they are causing?
- Do you want to increase their rent to help you with your mortgage?
Create a Safe Space for Your Tenants
Avoid creating too much tension, especially when you aren’t bringing good news. If it’s possible, visit them at their place. Do not call them over as if they are your employees. The tone of your voice can influence aggression from your tenant. So to avoid escalating tension, don’t forget to remain calm. You can also do the following to establish a safe space for discussion:
- Allow your tenants to take their time and compose their thoughts (do not rush)
- Validate what your tenants are feeling and acknowledge their situation
- Avoid interrupting when they speak
- Avoid personal attacks
- Keep your body language at bay (not intimidating)
Be Open to Their Suggestions but Know Your Limits
Supposing you are selling the house and evicting your tenants, you should still make room for suggestions and help them smooth out their transition. Your tenants may not have the financial capacity yet to transfer houses, or they may not be physically capable of relocating exactly when you want them to. In case they are in a tough situation, keep calm and allow them to say their concerns.
Ask them if they can think of an alternative solution and try to be flexible with your terms. If you want them out, perhaps give them more time to look for another place to stay. If their suggestions are unfair on your part, just calmly explain to them the reason why you won’t agree and think of a better proposal.
Bring A Friend / Mediator
If you are not great with words and maintaining composure, or your tenants are a bit dangerous to deal with personally on your own, you can always ask someone to go with you when you talk to them. In some cases, if a tenant is doing illegal activities or is known to be a troublemaker in the community, landlords would tap a lawyer to help him/her talk to the tenant.
Put Your Agreement Into Writing
This may sound too formal, but it will protect both you and your tenant. You don’t have to take notes while you discuss because this may seem rude. But you can always record your discussion. Just remember to ask permission and cordially explain that it’s for the record’s sake. And that no one of you will run in bad faith.
Once you’ve agreed vocally, put everything into writing and have your tenant comment and sign to seal the deal. You can even have the document notarized to make it more valid.
Consult a Lawyer Before Talking to Your Tenants
If you are selling your house and need to break your contract with your tenants, you may want to talk to a lawyer first. Go over your contract and see if you are allowed to cancel the lease agreement at any time. Some landlords forget that they promised a three-month advanced notice before removing their tenants, and the tenants can use this against the landlord. A lawyer can help you identify loopholes in your contract and suggest more legitimate ways to evict your tenant.
Reward Your Tenant for Cooperating
Saying thank you goes a long way. You don’t have to wait for an agreement to materialize to show your appreciation. You can give it after your discussion, even if you haven’t resolved the issue yet. This will help keep the atmosphere friendly and set the tone for your next discussion. If your tenant is leaving, you can also give them a goodbye gift, so you end the contract in good faith.
If you don’t want to deal with your tenants at all and are considering selling the house as soon as possible, you can also talk to us at Spire Property Solutions. We can buy your house for cash and handle your tenants for you, so you don’t have to go through all the stress! Send us a message via the form below or call us at (678) 318 – 1801!