One of the biggest challenges most people face when it comes to rental property ownership is a disruptive resident. It actually keeps a lot of people from even investing in real estate. A lot of things can go wrong with the resident who is living in your rental property. You could place a terrible person no matter how closely you screen.
If you get a disruptive resident who is causing problems, you need to know how to deal with it. Usually, it comes down to basic communication. Try to keep things simple, and don’t let anything escalate if you can help it.
We have some ideas today about how to deal with these types of residents.
Is Your Disruptive Resident Paying Rent?
Terrible residents are the bane of existence for a lot of investors. You might immediately regret placing a certain resident, or you might not realize until two or three months later that you’ve got a bad one. There may be a laundry list of things that have gone left instead of right. They could be combative or loud or unpleasant and just difficult to manage.
They are in a rental contract with you, however, and unless they aren’t paying rent or are in some way violating the terms of your lease agreement, you have to deal with the person who is living there.
If the resident is disruptive because he or she is not paying rent – it’s an easy fix. You can get the eviction process moving right away. But, if they’re paying rent and doing what they’ve generally promised to do, being difficult is generally not a reason to evict.
Avoid Emotional Responses and Remain Professional
I recommend to any self-managing investor dealing with a difficult resident that you not respond to residents emotionally. Stick to the facts. Make sure you have a good lease agreement in place that goes over quiet hours and the respect that’s owed to other residents, especially in the multi-family market.
Northern Nevada has a large community of multi-family buildings and apartment communities. One disruptive resident in a multi-family building can cause three other move outs. A bad neighbor really leaves a sour taste with other residents. You don’t want your good residents to leave, sticking you with the bad resident. You may find you have a problem placing and retaining residents when there’s one difficult or disruptive person in the building.
Identify the facts and gather the evidence when a resident is disruptive, especially if a complaint has been made by another resident. Find out who is telling the truth and who isn’t. You want to hear people out and get the whole story. If a resident is playing the radio too loud, it doesn’t mean he or she is a terrible person. It just means that person isn’t being very neighborly.
When residents come to you with problems, ask if they have taken the five minutes to talk to their neighbor. Maybe if they knock on the door and have a conversation, the issue will be resolved.
As a landlord or a property manager, you can issue notices to residents who are violating the lease agreement. Provide quiet hour reminders if you can. But, remember that people don’t like to be attacked or singled out when they receive a notice from their landlord. If there’s a problem, make sure it’s informally communicated first. You also want to document everything so you can show that reasonable steps have been taken to solve a problem.
People get emotional when they’re living next door to others. You can enforce the lease agreement, but there’s not much you can do to facilitate better communication between neighbors. A simple conversation can go a long way, especially if the disruptive resident isn’t even aware of the disruption that he or she is causing.
Residents need to give their neighbors an opportunity to talk. As a landlord, you don’t need to insert yourself into the situation until the lease has been violated. Your job is to enforce the lease, not to mediate issues between people who are living in your property.
Understand the Nevada Eviction Laws
Make sure you understand the Nevada eviction laws before you try to remove a resident in Reno. If you have to evict someone who has truly become disruptive and will not respond to any communication attempts or written notices, you have to follow the law and do it properly. A nuisance eviction may be your best course of action. It gives the resident a specific number of days to respond or cure the problem.
If the issue continues and it is well-documented, you can take your problem to court and let a judge decide what needs to be done. Either you’ll be granted an eviction or you’ll be informed about what the resident’s rights are under the state laws.
You’re running a business when you’re renting out a Reno property. There is no place to manage from your feelings or your gut reaction. We have never seen a successful gut reaction, but we have seen a lot of successful solutions. Our job is not to place blame or to take sides. It’s to run a business.
If you have any questions about what you can and cannot do with a disruptive resident, please contact us at Mynd Property Management. We’d be happy to help you with anything pertaining to your Reno rental property.
You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.