Tips for Handling Unimaginable Tenant Situations

After a few years of working with tenants it’s likely you’ll have stories to share you never would have imagined. Despite tight screening things with a tenant can go wrong quickly. Maybe they lost a loved one, lost their job or are struggling with their health. Life happens and some tenants aren’t able to manage and start to go off the edge. So how do you handle situations that can come from this?

Here are a few unimaginable tenant situations tips for controlling the situation:

Discovering that you have a hoarding tenant can be traumatic. Hoarders create an environment for all kinds of critters to live in, as well as causing advanced deterioration of surfaces and walls. The biggest issue in this situation is that hoarding tenants are classified as having a psychiatric disorder, which is deemed a mental disability under fair housing guidelines. So how do you handle a situation in which a tenant is hoarding?

First, you or your property manager will need to do a thorough inspection of the unit to confirm that hoarding is a problem. After confirming this to be the case you will want to reach out to a fair housing specialist to send a letter to your tenant. From there you can set deadlines for cleaning up the unit. If the tenant doesn’t comply you are within your rights to evict them, and deal with the cleanup after.

You must give a hoarding tenant notice and a chance to clean up before you evict them.

Unauthorized Roommates
Depending on the lease agreement, having unauthorized roommates, meaning more than the occasional overnight guest, can be against the least. Unless you live on the property, this can be hard to notice but there are some signs to look for.

Ask any vendors you are sending out to alert you to unusual activity. This could be a disheveled couch, a bedroom setup outside of a bedroom or just an overly crowded property. If you have clearly stated in a lease that unauthorized guests cannot stay for a period of time, you have the ability to take action.

First, you can give the visitor an option to become an authorized resident and have him complete a rental application so you can screen him. If he passes you can add him to lease according to the terms of your lease agreement.

If the guest fails to comply then you can send your tenant a lease violation notice, giving them a timeline to evict their guest before they will be evicted. Remember to cite the lease agreement.

Illegal Drug Use
It’s important to have a crime-free addendum on your lease to protect yourself from illegal drug use and other crimes. Illegal drug use can bring in a lot of shady characters you don’t want on your property. There are a few tell tale signs of illegal drug activity on a property.

  • Frequent visitors
  • Strange smells
  • Cash payments
  • Missed payments
  • Unkempt apartment

In many situations like this, the neighbors will notice and file a complaint. Neighbors don’t want illegal drugs around any more than you do. Document complaints from neighbors for your records. After a few too many complaints, it’s time to contact the police to alert them to the situation. Remember that an arrest does not equal an eviction. In the event of an arrest you will have proof of drug activity, which is usually a faster process than normal evictions.

Always take the proper steps to evict a tenant to keep yourself protected.

If dealing with nightmare tenants sounds like a headache, it’s time you bring in a property manager. Metro RE Investment Group (Metro REIG)  will manage your properties, including properly dealing with tenants like those above. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help manage you Denver area property.

Our leases have evolved over the years to cover situations like these and more. Our attorneys review and update our leases regularly to stay current on the national and state laws.

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