7 Proven Tips on How to Deal with Bad Tenants

September 14, 2021

When you are renting out your property you usually expect the tenants to be able to respect the terms of the lease agreement. Dealing with bad tenants isn’t a rare issue, it happens more often than many people tend to think.

Landlords will have to deal with several separate issues, from renters damaging the property to not receiving the rent.

All in all, the most common types of bad tenants are the people who:

  1. Constantly refuse to pay the rent on time or are not paying rent at all;
  2. Damage the property (ranging from minor damages in the house to major damages, sometimes even making the property uninhabitable);
  3. Constantly violate the terms of the lease agreement. A few examples of these violations are, illegal subletting to other people or having a pet that isn’t allowed.

So what are your options for dealing with bad tenants?

Listed below are seven tips to help you develop a plan for dealing with them!

Tip #1: Communicate with your tenants and find a solution to the problems

Even if your tenants are causing you problems, you might still want to maintain a good relationship with them. Finding a solution that can satisfy both parties is the only way to achieve that. 

Set up a meeting and discuss the issues that you’ve been experiencing. Engage them in a dialogue and let them know that the lease agreement that they signed must be respected.

Make sure not to be overly invasive and aggressive, as this can negatively affect the situation. You may be able to keep your tenants if they are willing to make a change and you are willing to accommodate them as they address the issues that are breaking their lease agreement.

Tip #2: Remind your tenants to pay rent on time and help them when they can’t

To secure receiving the rent on time make sure you send reminders to your tenants that they have to pay the rent on time as agreed on the lease. This reminder should be brief and friendly, typically via a phone call, especially if this is not something your tenants do very often.

In contrast, if a tenant consistently pays late or withholds their rent entirely they might have financial problems. It’s important to meet with the tenants to learn about their situation and why they always miss their rent payments. 

Additionally, you may be able to waive late fees and other penalties. You might be able to help the tenant by finding them a roommate if the rent is too high and can’t afford it. 

It may seem too far out of your way to take such active measures.

However, if you offer a bit of compassion and are willing to offer solutions during periods of financial distress, you can attract loyal, long-term tenants.

Lastly, if your tenants keep skipping payments and refuse to change their behavior, despite your attempts to help them, it may be time to take legal action (check tip #5).

Tip #3: Inspect the property periodically

Home inspection

You might be able to prevent and resolve any problems that bad tenants cause by inspecting your rental property. 

Make sure to check the unit occasionally to keep an eye out for damages (both severe and minor) and plan on how to fix them. Be sure to record any issues you encounter during an inspection of a property. 

By visiting the property spontaneously, you can also identify other things that violate the rental agreement. Illegal use of the space, unauthorized subletting of the rental to other guests, or hosting pets that aren’t permitted, are some of the issues you can spot.

If the violation is quite serious, then the sooner you act the better. 

It’s best not to inspect the property too frequently, though. This can be very invasive to the tenant’s space and it’s disrespectful to their privacy. It’s ideal to do this quarterly or 2-3 times per year.  

Tip #4: Refuse to renew their rental lease

Before pursuing this option, you should ensure you understand your local laws related to tenant protections.

Once your tenant’s lease expires, you can send them a letter informing them that it will not be renewed.

Note that the legal requirement for giving notice may vary by state and local laws.

Please acknowledge their rent receipt, outline all of your move-out policies, and provide details about the non-renewals. 

According to the terms of your lease, it is their legal responsibility to move out.

Tip #5: If everything else fails, initiate the eviction process

Ultimately, if all of your previous actions didn’t help you deal with the bad tenant then eviction may be the only option left. It is important that you gather enough evidence about how the tenants are violating the lease agreement terms.

Should you need to go to court, the evidence will help you prove your point.

Document such things as noise complaints from neighborhoods, police reports about disturbances, proof of additional illegal renters, proof of unpermitted host of pets, and such. You should then start the eviction process, following your country, state, and local jurisdiction.

Since eviction can be a lengthy and complex process, you will need a legal representative.

Chances are, however, that you’ll win the case if you have all the evidence proving your tenant violated the lease.

Landlords should always keep in mind that eviction should be the last resort for dealing with a bad tenant. For the eviction to be justified, their actions must be very serious.

Usually, and in many states, it is only possible to evict a tenant only if they:

  • haven’t paid their rent
  • haven’t moved out once their lease expired
  • have consecutively violated the terms of their lease.

In simple words, you can’t evict a tenant just because you can’t get along with them. So make sure your demands are reasonable otherwise this can negatively impact your reputation as a landlord.

Tip #6: Consider taking legal action against the bad tenants that don’t comply

Lawyers talking

If you are dealing with tenants who repeatedly violate your lease agreement, sometimes a legal letter may be the best method of informing them of how serious the situation is. 

Also, this might make them realize what may occur if you take legal action and try to evict them.

When the rent is not paid on time, the rent payment is withheld for long periods, there is severe damage to the property, there is illegal behavior, and the neighbors keep complaining even after you intervene, these signs are red flags that you should take legal action.

Using legal action should be reserved for situations where the relationship with the tenant has deteriorated very significantly, as threatening legal action will not likely lead to any concessions.

Tip #7: Hire a property management company

Despite your best efforts, some tenants are just hard to please, no matter how much you try.

In such situations, you are better off letting someone else handle them for you. It is essential to choose the right property manager for your rental property. Plus it’s well worth the investment for most landlords. 

By finding the right property manager, you will avoid a lot of hassle & stress, as well as free up your time and, in some cases, your money.

When it comes to apartment management, Blueground is your ideal solution if you own an apartment and are looking for the right tenant. Landlords can count on Blueground to increase the value of their property and attract the best tenants

Instead of managing everything on your own, why not have a professional company handle the process for you?


Dealing with bad tenants can be quite difficult. Taking proactive measures and building a relationship based on trust and communication would suffice to deal with them without much of an issue.

However, make sure to inspect your property and keep records, inform yourself of your legal rights and responsibilities based on the local jurisdiction.

If you can hire someone to find the ideal tenant. In any case, the choice is yours!

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

I accept