When conflicts arise between landlords and tenants, communication can be a major obstacle to a resolution. Whether a tenant is combative, lying or simply refusing to talk to you, as a landlord, you can take steps to protect yourself and get to the other side of a dispute.
Put it all in writing
Having exchanges in writing is crucial in proving what parties previously said, promised or agreed to. One of the most essential documents to have that you can refer to in the event of a dispute is your lease agreement. A lease will often answer questions and clear up confusion.
However, putting other exchanges in writing is also generally wise. For instance, send an email, text or letter regarding issues like rent payment changes, questions about repairs or other related matters.
Turn down the (emotional) heat
If your tenant is not only unreasonable but also volatile or abusive, try to avoid any emotionally charged interactions. Meet in neutral, public places when necessary. If an exchange gets heated, you may want to step away before the situation escalates.
If you know you have a troublesome tenant, you may choose to record any interactions you have with them. However, it is crucial that you do not cross any legal lines. Generally, you can record your own conversations as long as one of you consents to it.
However, surveilling tenants inside their homes or taking photos of their personal property without notifying them can trigger legal charges and consequences.
Bring in legal resources
Landlords and tenants can file complaints when there is a dispute, including a lack of necessary communication. Talking to a lawyer can also be wise. A problematic tenant may be more inclined to take a letter from a lawyer more seriously – particularly if it details consequences like fines and possible eviction.
If you are a landlord dealing with an unreasonable tenant, you can wind up spending valuable time and resources trying to communicate with them. These tips can help you meet your legal obligations and take the necessary steps to tackle any issues the tenant creates.