How to Handle Problem Tenants : The Stalker (aka The Pervert)
There are many instances of encounters with a horrible tenant, not all of which result in a court action. Once the lease agreement is signed and keys are exchanged, a landlord or property manager can only hope things go smoothly. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case when it comes to dealing with unpleasant situations regarding tenants. Here are some issues with tenants some of our clients have experienced, and which you may want to try and avoid.
The Stalker (aka The Pervert)
This is an individual who repeatedly refuses requests to respect the privacy of another resident(s). This person may follow them, send offensive texts or emails, or leave abusive phone or online messages. They engage in unwanted, unwarranted, intrusive and behavior.
HOW TO HANDLE THE PROBLEM
Provide advice to your tenant
The only way to end it is to immediately address the issue in writing, and if necessary break contact with the person. You should advise the offending tenant that you will immediately contact the authorities if this behavior does not stop and you should also advise the victim of their unwarranted attention to immediately call the authorities if they feel like they are in danger. Ask them to notify everyone they know and request their support. In many instances this becomes a he said/she said situation, so it is extremely important to document as much of the offending behavior as possible. Dates, times, locations, and what transpired are key, as well as asking any witnesses what they saw. If you have a security system, review the footage, and save it if possible. If the perpetrator is not a tenant, make sure you put out notices to all other tenants advising them to be on the lookout and to be wary. You may want to tell them to avoid traveling alone. Notifying the neighborhood crime watch as well, as they may be having the same issues.
Ultimately, as a landlord or property manager, you won’t always know what type of tenants you will be dealing with until you’re in the leasing process. However, comprehensive tenant screening should give you an idea. Past behavior is a likely dictator of future behavior. Remember to always clearly state the expectations and outline the consequences of breaking the rules in the lease agreement. As it is a legally binding document, it can guide and protect most any situation you encounter.
One of the easiest ways to address tenant problems is to avoid them altogether. To ensure you get the information you need we’ve created a download that shows you the 9 Most Effective Methods To Reduce Tenant Problems. Get your download today!
You may have encountered some other problem tenants as well, see what else you can do to address those issues: