Navigating Difficult Tenants: Best Practices for Landlords

Landlords have a lot on their plate, and navigating difficult tenants can be a challenge. From enforcing house rules to collecting rent on time, dealing with problem tenants can be stressful and time consuming. Thankfully there are proactive and reactive steps a landlord can take to best prepare and protect their rental property and tenants. Here we look at navigating difficult tenants: best practices for landlords.

When Things Go Wrong

When things go wrong landlords are left having to deal with difficult situations and people. Here is a quick guide on best practices to help navigate difficult tenants:

  1. Assessment of the situation:

    • Access all available information – gather facts and evidence, talk to other tenants, and review the agreement(s)

    • Consider the nature of the breach – is it a minor, one-off infringement, or does it point to a chronic issue?

    • Understand the context – are there broader reasons contributing to the breach?

  2. Resolution of the situation:

    • Determine if the issue can be remedied – is it realistic to expect the tenant to comply with the existing agreement?

    • Consult relevant people – can the tenant seek legal advice, or speak to other people in the industry?

    • Seek an agreement – will the tenant be able to stick with the agreement and address the breach?

  3. Enforcement of the agreement:

    • Ensure the agreement is enforceable – can the tenant be held legally accountable for breaches of the agreement?

    • Review the provision of the agreement – are any renegotiation clauses included?

    • Monitor the agreement – does the tenant have any prior performance issues that require attention?

Taking Proactive Steps

By taking proactive steps landlords can help prevent difficult situations happening in the first place. Here are some tips for landlords on how they can best prepare for a tenant troubles:

  • Be clear about expectations – make sure the tenant is given clear information about expectations, rental agreement terms, and repercussions of breaking any house rules

  • Engage all parties – ensure the tenant and any other relevant parties are kept informed of any issues that may arise

  • Be consistent and fair – treat all tenants evenly and fairly, and take steps to ensure that all agreements are followed

  • Consult legal professionals – it pays to consult legal professionals if a situation arises that requires such advice

  • Document situation – document difficult situations for future reference in case further action is required

  • Keep communication open – make sure to communicate openly and maintain a professional relationship

Creating a Positive Environment

By creating a positive environment landlords can help to prevent difficult situations arising in the first place. Here are some ideas for landlords on how to best manage their relationship with tenants:

  • Offer incentives – keep tenants motivated by offering incentives such as rent discounts, rewards, and recognition

  • Improve the living environment – keep the property in good condition by doing regular inspections and making necessary repairs

  • Hold regular meetings – get to know tenants better by holding regular meetings to discuss any issues and to stay on top of any changes.

  • Encourage feedback – encourage feedback to get a better understanding of any problems that may arise.

  • Introduce an Ombudsman – introduce an Ombudsman that tenants can go to with any problems and issues.

  • Provide constructive criticism – provide constructive criticism when needed, ensuring that tenants are aware of any issues and how they can be addressed


Navigating difficult tenants can seem overwhelming, but a little preparation and understanding can go a long way. By taking proactive steps to create a positive environment, doing regular inspections, and ensuring all tenant rights and expectations are clear, landlords can help ensure that any difficult tenant issues are addressed quickly and fairly.

What legal rights do landlords have when dealing with difficult tenants?

Landlords have the legal right to file an eviction lawsuit against a tenant for failing to pay rent, violating certain provisions of the lease agreement, engaging in unsafe or illegal activities, or causing a nuisance. Additionally, landlords have the right to enter the rental property following proper notice and for specific reasons, such as making repairs or addressing safety concerns. Landlords can also increase a tenant’s rent and may terminate or refuse to renew a tenant’s lease agreement if the tenant has violated any of the terms of the agreement. In some jurisdictions, landlords may also withhold all or a portion of a tenant’s security deposit if the tenant has not met their obligations. Finally, landlords have the right to pursue any other legal remedies available to them.

What repercussions can landlords face if they act too harshly towards difficult tenants?

Landlords can face severe legal repercussions for acting too harshly towards tenants. Depending on jurisdiction, landlords could be prosecuted for criminal offences such as harassment or breaking tenancy laws. There are also potentially large financial penalties, such as compensatory damages for lost rent, repairs, or other costs relating to eviction, potential fines, and even civil action against the landlord. Landlords must also be aware of the reputational damage that can be caused when dealing with difficult tenants.

What should landlords do when faced with difficult tenants?

1. Calmly try to understand the situation and attempt to work out an amicable solution with the tenant.

2. Speak to them calmly and professionally, and explain the consequences of their actions under the terms of the tenancy agreement.

3. Document all communications and interactions with tenants, including the dates and times of any phone calls and emails exchanged.

4. Consider speaking to a property professional or legal adviser if needed, and if appropriate, issue the tenant with a warning letter.

5. If all else fails, landlords should consider eviction if the tenant fails to comply with their tenancy agreement or causes serious nuisance or damage to the property.
0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment




Landrent Resources © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Newsletter Subscribe

Get the Latest Posts & Articles in Your Email

[mc4wp_form id="517"]

We Promise Not to Send Spam:)