If you have a rental property, you’ve probably dealt with at least one sketchy tenant. From throwing parties late at night to being consistently late on rent, there are plenty of reasons why you might be annoyed with a tenant. However, as a landlord, you have to pay special attention to the methods and words you use when you communicate with your tenants. Speaking or communicating with tenants in a way that’s hostile or threatening (even if unintentional) can land you in court.
Need to have a tough conversation with a tenant? Use these simple “dos” and “don’ts” to help you stay on the right side of the law.
- Do: Try to see things from their point of view. Most tenants want to have a positive relationship with their landlord. Don’t rush to enlist the help of an eviction service in South Philly if a tenant is a day or two late with rent. Talk to them first and see if you can reach a new due date or understanding.
- Don’t: Become a private investigator. If you think your tenant is violating your lease, it can be tempting to grab your spare key and take a look at what’s going on in your property when they’re not around. However, tenant privacy laws dictate that you must provide at least 24 hours’ notice before you enter the property. Don’t “drop by” to see how your tenant is doing unannounced, no matter your suspicions.
- Do: Document all communication. It can be helpful to keep proof of conversations you’ve had with tenants, especially if you have a tenant who’s been consistently late on rent or who has multiple lease violations. Limit communication with tenants to email and text message, and keep every conversation saved.
- Don’t: “Coerce” your tenant to pay up. You never have the right to shut off your tenant’s water, electricity, or other utilities — even if the tenant hasn’t paid their rent. This is considered an unlawful eviction in the state of Pennsylvania and gives the tenant the right to withhold their rent. Always follow the correct legal procedure when you evict a tenant.
Is dealing with too many stressful tenants ruining your summer? DJCRE’s Philly property management company is here to help make your life a little easier. Give our team a call today at 215-720-1097 to learn more or get started.