If you own property, there’s no way to avoid it; at some point you are going to have to deal with tenants. In a perfect world, all tenants would be polite, well-behaved, and friendly. And most importantly, they would pay their rent on time!

However, we are not living in a perfect world. At some point in your property owning experience, you will have to navigate the murky waters of working with difficult, tricky tenants.

Understandably, this is not something any property owner looks forward to. To makes things easier for you, we’ve created a handy guide full of useful tips to help your next tenant interaction go as smoothly as possible. Keep reading to discover helpful tips for dealing with tricky tenants that all property owners should know.

Record Everything

When it comes to protecting yourself from difficult tenants, one of the smartest things you can do is to record everything. Now, we’re not saying you have to take the extreme measure and install cameras everywhere in your own modern version of 1984. You don’t have to meticulously record every single mundane detail. However, it is best that you at least write down the key details of what happens during each of your tenant interactions. This takes away the hassle of actively trying to retain every tenant related memory.

It also makes it easier to deal with tenants who are always changing their story. By writing down what was discussed at each tenant meeting, you’re making it impossible for tricky tenants to weasel their way out of their tenant responsibilities. After all, it’s hard to change your story when you can see it plainly written right in front of you.

Remain Neutral

One of the best ways to maintain order and get tenants to follow your rules is to remain neutral. Now we understand that this is easier said than done. It can be hard to remain passively neutral when you have a tenant telling you one of their latest sob stories. However, it’s important that you remember that it’s still your tenants’ responsibility to meet the standards you have listed in their lease. This means finding a way to make sure the rent is paid on time even if jobs are lost or personal emergencies happen.

That’s not to say you have to be cruel or cold hearted. If you’d like you can work out a payment plan or special arrangement to help out your loyal and trustworthy tenants. However, if you have a tenant with a history of personal emergencies that only seem to pop up when the rent is due, it’s time to put the emotion aside and stick to the facts: everyone has to follow through on their responsibilities. This means tenants need to pay their rent on time and you need to make sure they do so that you can keep your property running.

Be Personable

Yes, we know we just said to remain neutral, but that doesn’t mean you keep every interaction robotic and cold. It’s important that you check in on your tenants and try to see things from their perspective. Tenants are most happy when they know you care.

Maybe the elderly woman in 3B is always calling to complain about her upstair’s neighbors loud footsteps or the maintenance crew’s lack of attention to detail. Even if every bone in your body is screaming not to answer, pick up that phone. Hear what she has to say. While it may be frustrating in the moment, in the long run you are yourself a huge favor.

You see, by doing this you are proving to her that she is a valued tenant who matters to you. If you’re able to see things from your tenants’ perspective, you can be more effectively accommodating to their needs. Furthermore, if tenants feel valued and respected, they are more likely to be better behaved and overall more pleasant. In short, by listening to the voices of your tenants, you can create a win-win situation that makes everyone happy. What’s not to love about that?

Hire A Property Manager

Running a property is hard. Trust us, we get it. You’ve got a million things to do. The last thing you have time for are late rent payments and obnoxious tenants who just won’t leave you alone. Luckily, there’s a way you can get all of your important work done without having to deal with tenants at all. Simply hire a property manager!

Property managers are well-trained to handle any type of property from simple single-family homes to immense apartment complexes. They have the vital experience needed to deal with any issues your current tenants may have. Even better, property managers know how to selectively find the best applicants for your property. Through intensive research and screening, they can make the existent of tricky tenants on your property nearly impossible.

Save yourself the headache of dealing with tricky tenants. Sit back. Relax. Enjoy your day and let your property manager take care of everything.