Bad tenants can create a world of headaches for landlords in the Chicago area. Tenants can be a problem for a wide variety of reasons and some can even be so bad that they can put some landlords into financial trouble.
The past year has been especially difficult for landlords in the Chicago area. Many landlords have been expected to carry the burden of their tenants since the pandemic began. However, tenants can create a lot of headaches for landlords beyond not paying their rent on time. In today’s post we’ll take a look at a few of the options you have a landlord for dealing with bad tenants in the Chicago area.
How to Deal With Bad Tenants in Chicago
Try To Be Understanding
While you should treat your investment(s) like a business, there is a time and place to be human. Sometimes good people find themselves in a tough situation. If an otherwise wonderful, long-term tenant is late on rent, you don’t necessarily have to evoke the highest penalty outlined in the lease. If you have an excellent renter with only one minor infraction, it is best to overlook the problem as opposed to potentially losing a great tenant.
Stick to Your Guns
You can only be understanding to a point. Once it goes beyond that, you might find that you are dealing with a tenant who is looking for ways to skip out on rent or repairs. If you let someone pay rent late once, they are likely to want to do it again, and again, and again… Be firm with your policy regarding rent payment. While there are situations where you can be flexible, simply not having rent isn’t an excuse. This can be one of the most difficult parts of being a landlord and why many investors hire a property manager to collect rent on their behalf.
Any and all interactions should be recorded and saved. It is best to communicate with your tenant through email if possible. This will allow you to easily document all of your interactions with your tenant as well as provide the specific date and time the communication took place. Any in person interactions should be documented in detail and if there is any damage done to the property you need to be sure you get detailed pictures of the damage of your property.
Hire a Property Manager
As mentioned above, hiring a property manager can take the pain out of collecting rent. However, that is not all they do. A property manager will: screen prospective tenants, take care of maintenance, advertise your rentals, handle tenant issues and complaints and even deal with the eviction process on your behalf. If you are managing multiple units, hiring a property manager will save you a ton of time and headaches!
Hopefully, you won’t ever have to deal with the eviction process as a landlord. It is a long and stressful process that varies state to state. First of all, you need to have a good reason to ask the tenant to move. They need to have broken the lease or be behind on rent. At NO point are you allowed to take matters into your own hands, even if they are causing property damage! You will need a court order to remove the tenant’s belongings or change the locks. You will want the courts to see you have done everything right so that they will have no choice but to be on your side in the matter. You will need to provide a formal notice of eviction that includes the day they need to pay by and the amount owed if they want to stay. Place it on their front door and send certified mail so you can prove it has been received. You will have to file with the courts and go through a hearing if the tenant still refuses to move. It is at this point you will be glad you documented everything!
Bad tenants are few and far between. With careful screening and an iron-clad lease, you can ensure a peaceful living environment for all of your tenants!