When you became a landlord, you thought it would be a great way to make extra income while offering housing to people in California. If you have little landlord experience, then you may have the same amount of experience with tending to landlord/tenant disputes.
AllBusiness.com describes several ways that landlords may sort out issues with residents. Prepare for the inevitable sooner rather than later.
Get everything in writing
Create a file for all your tenants where you document all verbal altercations, maintenance requests, lease violations and anything else that may land you in legal scalding water. With thorough documentation, you give yourself a layer of protection that could serve you well if you take a tenant to court or if a resident takes legal action against you.
When tenants have something to get off their chest, request to meet face-to-face rather than try to hash the matter out over the phone. Further, make yourself open to talking things out rather than stewing in negative emotions that may linger and sour your relationship with your residents. Let your tenants know that they can come and talk to you about major and minor issues. A discussion may help you reach common ground and avoid escalation.
Learn the law
If you have not already, familiarize yourself with the latest laws and regulations for landlords and tenants in California. Understand your obligations and your tenants’ obligations, so you know when a tenant may bend or break the law or when you may violate a tenant’s rights and sow seeds of dispute.
Understand how to protect yourself and put out fires sparked by upset tenants. The right knowledge may save you a great deal of frustration.