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6 Effective Ways to Deal With Problem Tenants

Do you have tenants who are constantly disrupting neighbors? Or are they causing a commotion and damaging your rental property?

If you haven’t had one yet, that’s great. However, it is still best to prepare in case you encounter a problem tenant in the future.

Sometimes, you just have to deal with bad apples. 

It’s inevitable. There’s going to be one at some point.

So we have listed 6 sure-fire ways on how to deal with them:

1. Create a foolproof contract.

Now, this is before you even find out that the tenant is problematic, but if you have a proper contract then you’ll save yourself a lot of future headaches.

Don’t do it on your own. Hire a lawyer to help you draft and finalize it, so you’re sure that all bases are covered. If you’re not sure how to find one, we have tips that can help you.

Think of every possible scenario that may come up. It’s going to be an additional expense on your part but it’s going to save you money, too, in case it has to come down into a legal battle. 

Write everything in black and white.

When doing the contract signing and say, you agree on certain requests of the to-be tenant, never agree verbally. Update the contract first. Encourage the tenant to read everything carefully, so you’re sure that you both agree on the terms stated. 

2. Be professional at all times.

Your rental property is a business. You have rights as the landlord or property manager, and your tenants have rights as well. 

If there's a breach in the contract, enforce your agreement without resorting to yelling or physical contact. Hopefully, if an issue can be settled amicably between you and the tenant and whoever else is involved, then that’s great. Legal action is your last resort. 

Even when the tenant is clearly at fault, don’t lose your cool and follow legal procedures. 

If in case, your tenant changes his/her ways and was probably just having a hard time when he showed bad behavior, strive to always be civil. 

3. Document everything.

Being civil and professional after an issue gets resolved doesn’t mean you’ll forget. Keep an account of everything that transpired (the agreement, messages, warning letters you might have sent, footages, etc.). Make sure to keep these on file just in case it happens again. Nobody wants to end up at court but it’s best to have whatever you can use as evidence from the previous misbehavior. 

If it’s an issue with neighbors and your tenant is at fault, get written statements with date and time. If it’s non-payment, prepare proofs that the tenant has failed to pay. If it’s damage to your property, keep any correspondence and bills from repair. 

4.  Get a property manager.

I cannot say this any better but if you want fewer headaches in dealing with bad tenants or in running the show in general, hire a property manager. They’ll do the “dirty work” for you while you focus on other things.

5.  Is there something illegal going on?

If you have proof, call the police. You can’t handle everything, so let the law handle it. If there are eye-witnesses, ask for their statement and assure them that their identities will be confidential.

6. Evict when you have to.

This is after you have exhausted all possible means to settle with the tenant. Hire a lawyer to help you with this to make sure that you’re following state and country laws. There had been a lot of instances when landlords commit eviction mistakes. Don’t do anything where tables can be turned against you.

There are different legal reasons for getting evicted. States may have different laws governing rentals and eviction, so familiarize yourself with these beforehand.


Hopefully, these tips will help you deal with bad tenants in the future or with existing ones. No one wants to reach this point but it’s better to be ready than not at all!

If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!