I have a question on how to deal with tenants.
I have 4 unit rental property and the third house has always a mess. She is disabled but has children. They have 2 cars that do not work and always a mess around the outside of the house. I am trying to figure out what to wirte or to do. Please help me, if anyone knows how to handle a messy tenant.
I have always enjoyed having you as a tenant. And have never had any serious issues. For that I thank you. Yesterday I recived a letter in the mail in referance to a few issues at the property. Those issues are your broken down cars and the extra clutter around the property I understand your personal situation and know this might be an issue as far as getting this cleaned up in a timely matter on the other hand this needs to be done. If there is anything that I personally can do to assist you in this matter please let me know. Please keep in mind this is not a personal attack I just need this addressed as the clutter is seen by other tenants and city officials. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and I look foward to many more years of having you at this property!
I always put a used lawn mower and a 2-gallon plastic gas can at my properties. You can get a decent running mower at a pawn shop (at least you can here!) for $50-75, a gas can is about $6 at Lowes (crap, it costs almost as much to fill it as it does to buy it!).
I did have one tenant in AZ move out under cover of darkness (like the Baltimore Colts!) and take the mower and gas can with him – he also took all the light bulbs (which REALLY pi–ed me off!)…luckily, I had paid $25 for the mower at a yard sale!
The lawn mower didn’t work out to well. They not only didn’t mow the lawn but they didn’t water it either. I will have to reseed. I live in a arid climate and grass that is not watered dies. I consider the whole situation metastable.
I also liked REOs letter - it was so nice that it made me teary eyed! By all means, give it a try and I hope that it works. However, I have not found that to be effective in dealing with my tenants. Here’s what I do:
I usually call the tenant and ask them to take care of the problem within 7 days (that never works). Then, I post the following letter on their door or hand it to them in person.
Your lease requires you to be responsible for maintaining the premises, including keeping the premises clean and not possessing any non-operational cars. You are currently in violation of this portion of your lease. If you have not removed the non-operational vehicles and cleaned up the premises by XXXXX XX, 2005, the company will perform these services and you will be billed $100 plus the cost of towing these vehicles to the junk yard.
Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated."
This almost always works!!!
However, once you’ve sent this letter, you MUST follow through or lose complete control of your rental. If the tenants won’t follow the lease, I evict them.
I like REO’s approach, however, that is too nice for most of my tenants – they respond better to the professional 2 x 4, with a velvet glove, of course I use PropertyManager’s approach. It’s clearly spelled out in my lease how the yard is to be maintained (including irrigation) and that they will be billed accordingly if I need to hire someone to take care of their responsibilities.
Today I’m sending a certified letter reminding a tenant of exactly this problem. My letter includes the paragraph in their lease that spells out their obligation and the penalties. And, photos of how I expect the property to look on the exterior. This way they know exactly what to do to get me off their back. You’d be surprised at what a tenant thinks “looks maintained,” vs. my standards (which are high, but reasonable because I always have easy-to-maintain landscaping in place). This is my property and my investment they are occupying.
When I finish a rehab, I take photos of everything. This has served me well on more than one occasion.