Learn how
to deal with messy tenants and resolve the issue as smoothly as possible.

As a landlord, one of the most challenging things you might have to face is dealing with tenants who neglect your property. Messy tenants can cause issues that are costly and frustrating.

You do your best to vet potential renters by running background checks, contacting references, and assessing their credit history. However, even with your best efforts, you may occasionally end up with a messy tenant. To help you avoid any more headaches, let’s explore how to deal with messy tenants.

Set Clear Expectations From the Start

When you lease your property to a tenant, clearly communicate your expectations regarding cleanliness and maintenance. This can include rules for using appliances, disposing of trash, and keeping common areas clean. One of the things to include in your lease agreement is a policy that explicitly states the tenant’s responsibility for keeping the property clean and damage-free. By setting clear expectations from the start, you can avoid confusion and misunderstanding down the line. It also puts the responsibility on the tenant to comply
with your rules and maintain the property at an acceptable level of cleanliness.

Conduct Regular Inspections

Regular inspections can help you detect any problems or issues with your property before they get out of hand. By conducting walkthroughs of your property once every six months, you can assess its condition, identify any damage, and figure out if tenants are abiding by your rules. During inspections, you can also take note of any housekeeping issues, such as accumulated clutter, dirty floors, or uncleaned bathrooms. Take this time to address
minor issues, such as leaky faucets or clogged drains. Frequent inspections can help you keep your property in good condition and avoid significant expenses later on.

Communicate Well and Frequently

If you notice any housekeeping issues with your tenants, don’t wait to address them. Have an open and honest conversation with your tenants about your expectations and their responsibilities. Explain the importance of keeping the property clean and maintained and the impact messiness can have on their health and well-being.
While talking to your tenants, be respectful and nonjudgmental—listen to their side of the story and avoid blaming or accusing them of anything. Work collaboratively to find solutions that work for both parties, and set reasonable deadlines for resolving any issues. If necessary, you may also want to involve a mediator or a property
management company to help facilitate the conversation.

eviction notice
Photo by Allan Vega on Unsplash

Take Legal Action

Taking legal action against a messy tenant may seem extreme, but in some cases, it’s necessary. In some instances, a tenant may outright refuse to take care of the mess they cause. In other cases, the mess might be so severe that it’s damaging your property, which is usually in direct violation of the tenant’s lease agreement.
Either way, you may have to start considering eviction. However, before you start that process, you’ll have to send the tenant a written notice stating that they have to either clean the property or risk eviction. Usually, this is enough to get them to budge. If not, you can file for eviction once the notice period ends. Dealing with messy tenants can be frustrating, but as a landlord, you must maintain your professionalism and treat your tenants with respect and decency. Remember that you have legal rights as a landlord, but you should approach every situation with the goal of maintaining healthy communication if you want to resolve issues quickly and peacefully.