Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we have experience with tenant - landlord cases with a major focus on representing landlords who are dealing with challenging tenants. As a landlord, it's important to cover your bases when selecting your tenants and we've provided some helpful tips below to help you choose the right people to live in your rental property.
Tip #1 - Conduct a Background CheckBefore moving forward with a prospective tenant, consider a thorough background check. A background screening can help you narrow down prospects based on financial and criminal history. This can help you filter out tenants who may be more likely to cause issues. You have the legal right to conduct a background check on any potential tenant.
Tip #2 - Sign a LeaseA comprehensive lease sets the foundation for a successful landlord - tenant relationship. All expectations should be clearly outlined in the document. In addition to the basic information, don't forget to include specific uses of the property as what is and is not permitted, and who is responsible for damage and/or repairs. A legal professional can help ensure your rental contract is comprehensive and legally sound in order to best protect yourself and your property. The lease should be signed by both parties before access to the property is granted.
Communication is key, especially in regards to a tenant - landlord relationship. It is a good idea to keep a written record of all communication between both parties. If you and your tenant prefer the ease of phone call or text message communication, consider following up with an email to have the conversation in written form and easy to access, if needed. Be clear as to what method of communication works best for you, if the tenant needs to reach you for any reason. Also consider keeping your tenant in the loop about anything happening to the property. It's best to have an open and honest line of communication.
Tip #3 - Promote Honest & Open Communication
Tip #4 - Record All Payment InformationAll payment activity should be documented and filed for safe keeping. This can help protect both parties, should any payment come into question. If you notice the agreed upon payment schedule is no longer being followed, reach out to the tenant to see what is happening. If a new schedule needs to be set up, don't forget to record this change with legal documentation amending the lease.
Tip #5 - Don't Jump to EvictionEviction of a tenant should be the last resort. If a violation of the lease occurs, first try to have a conversation with the tenant. Communicate your expectations, and clarify the consequences if the expectations are not met. Remember to document any communication that happens during this stage, as well. If it comes down to an eviction, you will want a lawyer on your side. Legal counsel can help assist you with the process to minimize risk during the eviction process.
If you have a challenging tenant, a consultation with a Lake of the Ozarks lawyer may be the right answer. It's important to effectively overcome issues with tenants and try to promote a positive relationship form the very beginning. Contact our law office at the Lake of the Ozarks to schedule your FREE consultation with our legal professional.
Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.
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Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049