angryLandlord and tenant disputes happen, but keeping them in perspective is key. The problems may seem bigger, depending on which party is looking at them. Keep in mind that the tenant is looking at their credit score and their living space when it comes down to their agreement with you. Taking a breath and looking at the issue without getting into a yelling match with the tenant is going to help in the long-run, no matter how frustrated either party may become. When they contact you in a panic over a broken pipe, that is certainly something that needs to be seen to as quickly as possible, but if they've just noticed a stain on the floor that's been there for quite a while, this may not need quite as immediate attention as the first.
Communication is key. Encourage your tenant to keep records so that they can provide as many details to you about the problem as possible. Especially if you don't live in the immediate vicinity or schedules conflict so it is difficult to come onto the property to take a look, have your tenant take pictures and send them over. This will help them too, so that you will both have documentation of what has been request and what has been done when they move out. Everything should be put into writing between the two parties, also making it easier to go back later and not to have a "he said" or "she said" moment down the line that both landlord and tenant disagree on.
Make sure that you have a good grasp of the local laws.

POSTED February 10 2014 3:08 PM

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