Dealing with Tenants

Written by Posted On Monday, 19 October 2015 09:43

When dealing with tenants, there are many things you can do to create good landlord-tenant relationships that are mutually beneficial to one another.  Here are a few points that will help you understand what rights each of you have and how to be a successful landlord.

First of all, thoroughly screen all potential tenants.  Let's ensure we start off on the right foot by only renting to tenants with a good track record.  Make sure you are doing your due diligence by running credit checks, screening their employee references and looking for prior bankruptcies.   A track record of evictions, late or non-payments with former landlords.  Bad credit and gaps in their rental history and suspect landlord references are all red flags.

You've done a great job screening and have found great tenants for your property.  So what's the next step?  Well, like any relationship you want to establish boundaries right off the bat.  Make sure they clearly understand your expectations and that you understand theirs.  Communication is always key.  Your tenants must have a reliable way to get hold of you.  However, you may set guidelines as to when is the best time to contact you for routine issues.  

Make sure you have a good lease.  Ensure the lease you are using is legal and comprehensive.  Retain a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law reviews it.  Make sure it clearly spells out each party's obligation in detail.  A good understanding of what is expected at the outset will save many headaches down the road.

I've already got the tenant from hell and I am about to lose my mind.  What can I do?  Basically there are three broad areas for eviction.  They are ‘eviction for non-payment',' eviction for cause' and a ‘no-fault eviction'.  

Eviction for non-payment – to evict a tenant for non-payment you must send your tenant a statutory 14 day "notice to quit" before starting the eviction process. The 14 day notice to quit should be drafted carefully, and served by a constable or sheriff to ensure proof of delivery. 

Eviction for cause - This covers the range of violations of lease provisions by the tenant.  These may include, but are not limited to illegal activity, drug use, excessive noise, uncleanliness, harassment of other residents, and non-approved residents.  As is the case in all other evictions, you must issue a notice to quit to the tenant stating the specifics of the offenses.   Evicting for cause can take up quite a bit of your time since you have to offer live testimony of your tenant's violations and getting any police officers to show up in court to corroborate for you can prove difficult.  In the case of drugs and other illegal activity, there is a special expedited eviction process.

‘No-fault eviction' – Landlords must give their tenants a '30 day notice to quit' before serving the eviction.  At a minimum it needs to have an eviction date and a reason for eviction.  These must be drafted with care and according to Massachusetts Tenancy law or it will never make it through any court proceeding.  

When seeking to become a landlord, nothing will beat preparation, knowledge and diligence.  Make sure you have the law on your side and that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities and that is clearly communicated to your tenant.  As with anything an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Hans Brings

HANS BRINGS has been successfully marketing real estate since 1990.

Graduating Cum Laude from Bentley College with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management and a concentration in Marketing and Real Estate Law, Hans Brings continues to enhance his knowledge and skills through Expert Marketing & Negotiation seminars, Greater Boston Real Estate Board courses, and Advanced Technology training programs through Coldwell Banker and other sources. Keeping up with today's technology enables Hans to implement the most highly Advanced Marketing Program available, be a Top Negotiator, and maintain accessibility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hans strives to provide each one of his clients and customers with "Unrivaled

Personal Attention" to insure them a smooth, stress-free, and successful real estate transaction. Hans prides himself on his experience, dependability, integrity, professionalism, aggressive high tech marketing strategies, and negotiating skills.

Hans established the "Hans Brings Results for Children's Charities Fund" to give back to the community and support local children's charities such as Toys for Tots, Home for Little Wanderers, The Genesis Fund, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and many more. For every home sold, a donation is made to the fund.

Hans' local homeownership, active involvement in community and charity events, and "HANS BRINGS RESULTS" billboard and sold signs on homes throughout the area have made Hans Brings a highly recognized name in real estate with a reputation for Trust and Dependability.

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