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How to minimize disputes with tenants

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2023 | Real Estate

There’s always the possibility that a dispute could develop between a landlord and their renter. As a landlord, however, it’s in your best interest to learn to minimize (or stop) disputes before they happen.

There is no one right way to prevent conflicts, but the approach you choose should be the one that is both the most efficient and the least expensive for the parties concerned. Here are some options to assist you as you try to halt potential landlord/tenant conflicts in their tracks:

Clarify your lease 

Your leases protect everybody, including you, so a good lease can head off many disputes. 

For instance, a tenant may make a claim that a home appliance was meant to be provided by the landlord. However, the lease may clearly state that the tenant is responsible for providing their own appliances. If you can point to a signed agreement, a disgruntled tenant may back off.

Keep all potential evidence

Having good records is always essential when dealing with a dispute. Make sure that you keep emails and text messages with your tenants, especially when they have complaints about something. 

Your records can help you later if the dispute does escalate. They’ll show the timeline of the issue as it developed and what steps you took to resolve the problem. This can be invaluable if a tenant is making false claims.

Work on communication

Sometimes, the biggest disputes start over small issues, like poor communication between the landlord and tenant. Make certain that you have a clear policy about how tenants should submit requests for repairs, questions and complaints. 

At times, there’s nothing you can do to stop a dispute from escalating. When that happens, legal guidance can make it easier to find a solution.