Is a landlord responsible for their tenant’s actions, and can they be held liable for nuisance tenants? Unfortunately, while they may not be technically accountable for the actions of their tenants, landlords may ultimately be liable if they allow or tolerate nuisance behavior or if they know that there is a great probability that such problems will occur.
While they are obligated by law to provide a safe, clean, and livable rental to their tenants including the right to quiet enjoyment (to possess and comfortably use the property without any disturbance) – in other words, allowing a renter to live their life without regular monitoring from the landlord – landlords also have a responsibility to their neighbors. They need to ensure that their tenants follow the terms of the lease agreement and respect their neighbors’ similar right to quiet enjoyment.
Otherwise, a landlord can be given a citation, fined, or even face criminal penalties (if they have prior knowledge of their tenants’ illegal activities).
What Makes a Nuisance Tenant?
By definition, a nuisance tenant is one who creates excessive noise, causes problems with neighbors, inflicts property damages, or conducts illegal activities on the building premises.
One of the most common complaints landlords and renters experience is unreasonable noise. Basically, once can be labelled as a nuisance tenant when they host loud parties and gatherings in the property, play deafening music, engage in noisy conversations, or do construction or renovation work (especially when using power tools) at inconvenient hours, typically after dark.
Renters can also be considered a nuisance if they indiscriminately dump rubbish (which attracts rodents and pests) and conduct activities that release toxic fumes (gas, smoke, etc.) since these can cause undue stress to neighboring residents.
In addition, tenants who display inappropriate, disruptive, indecent, or offensive behaviors or conduct illegal activities on the premises also fall under this category.
How Should You Deal with Nuisance Tenants?
While you may have included a nuisance provision in the rental agreement, some people just can’t uphold their part of the bargain. What should you do when faced with such a situation? Here’s a simple step-by-step approach when dealing with a nuisance tenant.
- Investigate the situation. Don’t be too quick to judge. Get the details (time, duration, and frequency of the offending behavior) from the complaining tenant or neighbor and discuss the issue with your tenant so they will know that their neighbors raised complaints about their behavior. It is possible that your tenants may not know that their behavior is a problem and will gladly correct it when notified. If there are other tenants in the property, ask them about their take on the issue as well. Tip: Be polite and keep your calm when discussing these things with the persons involved.
- Provide reminders. While a warning may be enough for first-time offenders, repeat violators may need constant reminders that their behaviors are a breach of their lease agreement. If they don’t change their ways and get their acts together, they can be penalized, or, in extreme cases, evicted for violating the terms.
- Provide a cure or quit notice. If the nuisance behavior has been going on for quite a while, provide a “cure or quit” notice. Failure to quit or correct the behavior by a certain date gives the landlord the right to lawfully evict said tenants from the unit or property.
Is It Possible to Avoid Nuisance Tenants?
A landlord can be held liable for nuisance tenants, which is a messy and expensive affair. For example, landlords may be liable for the cost of replacement or repairs should their tenant cause damage to other properties. Worse, they may also face fines or criminal penalties if they knowingly allowed criminal activities to occur within the premises of the rental property.
The eviction process can be equally difficult and costly, but in the end, the cost of evicting a nuisance tenant can be much less than the cost of keeping them around.
Thankfully, there is an easy and cost-effective way to avoid such problems. The solution is hire a credible property manager.
How Can a Professional Property Manager Help?
Prevention is always better than cure, so if you want to avoid unnecessary headaches and maintain a good reputation in your community, consider hiring a property manager. Admittedly, this entails additional expense, but the benefits more than justify the costs. Here are some ways by which a professional property manager can help you avoid renting out to nuisance tenants.
- Property management firms can enforce strict screening policies. Since they have amassed years of experience in the business, property managers are considered experts in screening potential tenants. By conducting a thorough background and credit check and income verification process, they can identify the best possible renters for a particular property and weed out potential unruly tenants.
- They have access to legally drafted leases. If you want assurance that you are fully protected against any potential liabilities, your lease agreements should be drafted by attorneys who specialize in the residential rental field. With a property manager’s vast network, you wouldn’t have any problems regarding this.
Avoid Nuisance Tenants by Hiring the Right Property Management Firm
Disorderly renters can be a landlord’s worst nightmare, so avoid them at all costs. Admittedly, this is easier said than done, especially if you’re singlehandedly running the business or don’t have the right people in your team. Should you let this stop or discourage you? Not by a long shot! You can turn things around by hiring a property management company that cares for your success.
At Tenant Planet, Inc., we make everything better. For one, we provide better service at a better price. We don’t believe in the outdated approach that most of our competitors use so we won’t charge you for the services you didn’t use. You can also upgrade or downgrade your plan to suit your needs and may cancel any time you choose.
Additionally, we use technology, innovation, and talent to give property owners and renters the best service they can possibly get. We strive to be the best property management company on this side of the earth and revolutionize the industry in the process.
You deserve to get more from your investment and enjoy the fruits of your labor so let us help.
Do you want to learn more about us and our services? Visit our main website or request a proposal to see what we have to offer. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your questions or comments.