Landlords are often wondering what to do when a tenant breaks the rules. It can put you in an uncomfortable spot, and you might wonder how to handle it; whether you should call them on the phone, send an email or do something else. Today, we’re sharing our process at Cape Shore Property Management. We recommend you follow these steps to get control over a tenant who isn’t behaving.
First, issue a Disturbance Notice. This should be in writing and it should be placed on the tenant’s door. As you writing up your description for this notice, be as detailed as you can. Explain the problem and your expectations. Don’t wait too long to do this; post it as soon as possible. This notice will let the tenant know you are serious.
If a tenant continues to break rules, you can issue a 7 Day Notice. Again, be detailed and make sure the notice is consistent with the last notice as well as the lease. You want to be especially careful that it addresses all the names on the lease.
Finally, you have a legal right to send a 7 Day Notice to Terminate the Lease. This is what you do if you can’t seem to get anywhere with your tenants and they are not likely to change their behavior.
It’s important to use the correct notice at the correct time. A Disturbance Notice should be posted when you hear loud music coming from the unit, a lot of parties seem to be happening at the house or there is disruptive arguing or other such behavior. The 7 Day Cure is for continued and documented disturbances that have not been remedied. If the tenant continues to ignore your requests to stop breaking rules, the 7 Day Cure is an appropriate notice to use. It can also be useful if you have noticed illegal tenants or pets on the property, or if there is noticeable property damage.
The 7 Day Notice to Terminate is reserved for severe continued and documented disturbances. It’s what you post when you have illegal activity or extensive damage to the property, and you just want the tenant to get out.
These simple steps will protect your property and bring an unruly tenant into shape. If you have any questions or you need help with a tenant who is breaking the rules, please contact us at Cape Shore Property Management.