Try Negotiation First
If you are having a dispute with a tenant, and they threaten to take you to court, it’s best to try to negotiate a solution, possibly a settlement deal, instead. Even if you are innocent of any wrongdoing, you will still probably lose some revenue during the long and tedious court process – so it’s best to try to avoid court.
Yes, the negotiation process can be difficult and awkward, especially if either party is emotionally high-strung. However, it is the best way to handle a dispute. Remember to stay cool, calm, and professional. An even temper is contagious among enemies.
Some Tenants Like to Sue
Tenants who sue landlords often enjoy doing so because it gives them 2-4 months of “free” rent, before they move on to the next landlord. Though they are not actually entitled to a waiver from the lease obligations, they can often validate (to themselves) not paying rent while the lawsuit is happening. Then, you are left to counter-sue them to get a judgment for the rent due. After the judgment is awarded, you then have to collect on that judgment – which can be a challenge in itself – especially if they have disappeared.
As you can see, you are better off coming up with some sort of small payout in return for your tenant to vacate the premise immediately. If you have a tenant who is comfortable taking legal action against a landlord, he/she will threaten to do so quite often. Sometimes they are full of hot air, but do you really want to risk? I usually find a way to let them out of their lease, and look for a better tenant.
Get Rid of Trouble Makers
I find that I lose less money overall if I get rid of the tenant quickly (depending on the settlement agreement we come to), rather than go to small claims and eviction court. You’ll save more money in the long run, not to mention a lot of heartache, stress, and sleepless nights – for both you and your family.
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