How To Resolve Disputes With Your Tenants

As a landlord, you are likely accustomed to disagreements or disputes. Whether someone is refusing to vacate your property, actively destroying your something you own, refusing to pay their rent, or interprets their lease in a manner different from you, you must be skilled in conflict resolution. 

Although going to court to resolve an issue often ends up being the only plausible option, it should not be your first. However, it is imperative that whatever course you are going to chart, you should not waste time in taking initial strong steps toward a resolution. 

Business owners, like yourself, are always looking to find the quickest and most cost effective solution to any problem.  While commencing litigation, even summary proceedings, is not necessarily the fastest or most cost effective option, it may be the only option that can get you results. However, before your issue escalates to that point, here are some steps to consider taking.

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Part of being a landlord is understanding the law and the lease agreement. It is likely—and perhaps outright probable—that your tenants don’t know either of those things as well as you. That’s fine. They likely have professions and skills that you don’t know as well as them. When they come to you with a dispute (especially if it is a misunderstanding), don’t immediately tell them they are wrong. 

Say, for example, your tenant comes to you and says that you forgot to pay their electricity bill. Their lease agreement says that the tenant is obligated to pay it. Instead of quickly and angrily telling them how wrong they are, try to empathize with them. 

You can even thank them for coming to you. Then tell them how you would like to explain to them how the electricity bill works. As tough as it may be, even apologize for the existence of the misunderstanding. You aren’t showing weakness. You are working to establish and foster a firm, professional relationship. 

The road to resolution is paved with calm and intentional responses. Meet in person rather than over the phone or by text to avoid the potential for misinterpretation. 

Be Prepared For Next Steps

Another benefit of taking the time to resolve the issue on your own is that it gives you time to document. If you have an issue with one of your tenants, document everything. Times, dates, conversations, issues. Should this get to the point where you need to contact an attorney, you will want to hand over everything you have. The more documentation you have, the better they will be at doing their job. Give them what they need so they can provide you with all of your legal options. 

Drucker & Mattia, PLLC

At Drucker & Mattia PLLC, we consider ourselves to be a neighborhood law firm. And in our area, there are a considerable number of landlords and tenants. Whether you are a business owner, a property owner, or you have investment properties, we can offer you our legal counsel—regardless if you are a landlord or a tenant. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. 

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Drucker & Mattia PLLC

When you’re facing legal issues or pursuing a lawsuit, skilled legal counsel makes a big difference. At Drucker & Mattia, PLLC, we specialize in a wide range of legal areas to meet the needs of a diverse client base.

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