Steve Rzsenberg is the VP of Investor Education with Mynd Property Management, and he asked Brandon Graham, the Portfolio Manager of Phoenix Operations with Mynd to talk about some of the common issues and challenges that face Phoenix real estate investors and landlords.
One of the things that every investor and landlord fears is a bad tenant. If you’re a Phoenix investor, you want to know what to do when you have a disruptive or difficult tenant. Maybe one of your residents is causing problems or creating headaches for you or your property or your neighbors. If you’re not sure what to do in such a situation, we have some advice for you today.
Phoenix Property Management: Screening and Qualification
The best way to deal with bad tenants is to never place them in your property in the first place. The most important thing you can do is a good screening upfront. You want to qualify your tenants and make sure they are not likely to cause problems. This is why you hire a Phoenix property management company. We can make sure the residents moving into your home have a positive rental history.
Even with good screening practices, things can go wrong. Luckily for us, the landlord and tenant laws in Arizona are fairly landlord-friendly. If you have a resident who is being difficult or causing problems, you can remove them from your property.
Lease Violations and 10 Day Notice
Send a certified 10 Day Notice letter when your tenants are being a problem. This informs them that they have violated the terms of their lease. Those lease terms could be quiet hours, not being a nuisance to neighbors, or any of the things that are spelled out in your lease agreement. If you receive complaints from neighbors or the community, you are entitled to serve a 10 Day Notice telling them to come into compliance or face eviction.
Send the letter via certified mail so you can document when it was sent and received. Then, do a follow up. You can conduct an inspection or ask a neighbor to document whatever is going on at the property. Follow up with your tenants and see if they are now in compliance.
If not, you’ll have to escalate the situation. Then, you can evict your tenants in about a month. This should only occur when they are refusing to comply. Hopefully, you can come to some resolution and work out a situation where the tenants are willing to change their behavior and perform in the way that you expect them to.
As a resident, you don’t want an eviction on your record. Once you’ve been evicted from a rental property, it’s nearly impossible to find a new home in the Phoenix rental market. So, a strongly worded letter from an attorney or a legal 10 Day Notice should bring them into the compliance. If the tenants are still being difficult, you’ll want to get them out.
Enforcing the Phoenix Lease Agreement Professionally
When you have to take action against bad tenants, there are some important things to remember.
First, there’s a reason your lease agreement exists. You’re abiding by it as a landlord, and you expect your residents to abide by it as tenants. This is a contractual agreement and it’s binding. It’s law.
You cannot deviate from the lease agreement. It doesn’t matter what your feelings are or even what you think. If the tenants violate the lease agreement, there’s a protocol that must be followed to handle the situation.
It’s easy to get emotional, especially if you’re a new landlord. But, handling something in a way that’s outside of the legal process will only get you into trouble. Tenants have rights, and those rights are protected. This is the business you are in now, and you have to hold yourself to legal standards.
Sometimes, there’s just a perception that a resident is disruptive. Stay professional when you’re enforcing the lease agreement. Follow your procedures and be consistent. Document everything, and keep emotion out of the situation.
This is easier said than done, we know. But, it’s important in protecting you and your property.
- Don’t send text messages to your tenant when you’re mad.
- Don’t leave angry voicemails for your tenant.
- Put your complaints in writing and think about what you’ve written before you said it.
- Enforce your lease.
Everything you say or write to the tenant could be admissible in court. Be careful in the heat of battle. Don’t say or do what you shouldn’t when you’re enforcing your lease.
Your rental property is a business. If you’re having trouble with tenants or you can’t seem to keep your emotions out of the way you manage your home, work with a professional Phoenix property management company. It’s our job to treat your rental home like a business. We can be consistent with the way we enforce the lease and deal with tenants.
No one ever responded to a tenant with a knee-jerk action or email and later felt glad about dealing with it that way. Be strategic, intentional, and professional. You have a contract in place, and you can trust that contract to lead you towards the right actions and decisions.
If you’re not sure what to do with disruptive tenants, hand them over to us. We can take care of the situation for you and save you a lot of time and frustration. Contact us at Mynd Property Management, whether it’s to tell us about the tenants you just can’t deal with or to ask us more about our professional Phoenix property management services.
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.