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Accidental Landlords: Dealing With Difficult Tenants? Here’s What to Do!

Owning Ashburn investment properties is an excellent way to boost your net worth and become financially independent. With its proximity to Washington D.C., this is an ideal location to start padding your portfolio.

However, owning real estate comes with its fair share of problems. One of the biggest hassles that property owners face when it comes to their Ashburn investment properties is dealing with difficult tenants. You never know when someone is just having a bad day—or they are near a breaking point.

Worse yet, as an investor, you know that your tenants are the engine that powers your property portfolio! At RentSimple, we know that “Great Spaces + Great People = Lasting Returns.” Without tenants, your profitability comes to a screeching halt!

If the tenant in question has shown themselves to be reliable overall, the best policy is to de-escalate tensions before they get out of control. Here are some of our top tips to help you navigate dealing with difficult Ashburn tenants.

A quick note: This article is not intended as legal advice. However, it can be a great introduction to steps landlords can take to remain professional in the face of a challenging renter. If you’re facing a situation that requires legal counsel, work with a competent attorney or get in touch with us!

1. Calm Down and Carry On—Professionally

  • When someone is getting angry with you, it’s natural to feel frustrated.
  • You may even feel a bit angry—especially if someone starts to raise their voice.
  • Things can go from bad to worse if their words are inaccurate.

It can be tempting to get pulled into arguing with difficult Ashburn tenants. However, it’s best not to go down that pathway: once you start arguing, things can quickly escalate.

  • Take a deep breath and respond calmly.
  • Be patient with the tenant—most times, people just want to be heard.
  • If you continue to respond professionally, this can often be the first step to diffusing an ugly dispute.

Another thing that can help in a tense situation is to practice your listening skills. When people feel that they are heard and understood, they feel validated. This can turn a hostile situation into a positive outcome.

If tenant interactions like this are one of the areas where you struggle the most as an investor, an Ashburn property manager could be a tremendous asset! The right property manager has years of experience reducing tension between renters and investors. Additionally, expert property managers will have a thorough screening process in place to filter out troubled tenants from the start—before a problem has begun to grow.

Businessmen quarreling

Be Wary of “Professional Tenants”

No matter what you do, you’ll have some tenants that will always be difficult:

  • They are a thorn in the side of every property investor
  • They seem to look for trouble with their landlord purposely
  • They are experts in navigating the legalities of renting.

These tenants are experts in dodging rent payments and putting the blame on you. They try to harass the landlord about every little thing and complain all the time. This can be frustrating when you have one rental home—but absolutely destructive with multiple investment properties.

Sometimes these old “pros” are trying to scam investors by finding reasons to ask for the rent to be reduced or looking for ways to get unnecessary upgrades to the home. If possible, avoid these tenants: weed them out with your screening process or bring in an Ashburn property manager if you need assistance with this type of predatory renter.

2. Keep Your Relationships on Business Terms

You’ve probably heard it said before that you shouldn’t mix your business dealings with your personal feelings. The same is true when it comes to owning rental property: it’s best not to rent your properties to your friends or family. At RentSimple, we know your Ashburn investment properties are so much more than “just a rental.” However, we also acknowledge that your portfolio is the key to your long-term wealth.

When you open up your properties to friends and family, that can make extricating yourself from an emotional situation that much more challenging. Furthermore, you shouldn’t seek to establish a friendship with tenants, either. While it’s important to be friendly to tenants, you may accidentally set the wrong tone for how your properties should be treated.

Work to keep the relationships with your tenants polite—but professional. If you get too friendly with tenants, then it may be challenging to establish and maintain boundaries.

3. Document Every Detail

It doesn’t matter if you own one or twenty properties; it’s critical to maintain accurate and thorough written records of everything. You may think that you will remember what you’ve done for each of your properties—or you may even keep a loose record of events—but that won’t be enough in the event something happens.

For example, let’s say you complete significant work on a home before someone moves in. Once they move out, there is substantial damage to the house. If you keep detailed records, you’ll have documentation proving the home was in good shape before the tenant arrived.

When you work with an expert Ashburn property manager, this step is a breeze: the pros will not only get detailed written reports, but photos and videos to back up all accounts. This can be useful in the event that the two tips above fail to soothe difficult Ashburn tenants.

Cheerful women enjoying chat in the park

Bring in a Property Management Partner

We might be a little biased, but at RentSimple, we believe the right property management partner is your next best investment! An expert property manager in Ashburn knows how to relieve investors of the challenges tied to managing the “human element” of rental property.

The right professional can also tackle many of the other tasks you field as sole manager of your portfolio:

  • Marketing, advertising, and listing of your homes
  • Crafting an air-tight lease
  • On-time rent collection
  • Thorough screening of prospective tenants
  • Inspecting your properties before and after a move
  • Providing timely and high-quality maintenance
  • Supplying informative financial and accounting paperwork.

By no means is this an exhaustive list, either! Ultimately, your property management partner is there to help you “Live More, Manage Less!” That’s the RentSimple approach to helping investors find financial freedom.

How can we help you with your tenant troubles? If you haven’t experienced property management with a Happiness Pledge yet, we’d love to show you what you’ve been missing! A great place to start with our services is to shore up your tenant screening process with our FREE Tenant Screening Checklist!

As we mentioned above, you can usually circumnavigate many of the problems that plague investors from the start with a thorough screening process. Download your copy today and protect your Ashburn investment properties!



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