If you’re thinking about managing your own property in Fort Worth, you should be prepared to deal with disputes that will undoubtedly happen with your tenants. Proper preparation will protect you from being caught unaware of any dispute. Instead of heading to court every time a dispute arises, you can explore several other avenues to reach an amicable solution.
It is imperative to state in your lease agreement the possible steps that you may take to resolve a dispute. Here are a few tips that might help.
- Know the tenant/landlord laws in Fort Worth, TX
The best strategy to minimize or resolve disputes is by taking steps to avoid them before they even happen. Many property management issues arise because either of the parties may not be aware of breaking the lease contract or not familiar with the relevant laws. Dedicating time to learn the housing laws and keeping up to date with any changes will help you resolve conflicts with your tenants and make you a better property manager.
- Always keep your cool
Avoid losing your temper when a situation arises, even if your tenant is overwhelmed by anger. Ensure you remain calm and try your best to address the issue on your own. If you face challenges or realize the tenant is not cooperative, you may seek court intervention. However, remaining calm will ensure that you represent your company in the best ways possible. Most issues with tenants can be resolved if both sides discuss everything thoroughly. Do not let anger overwhelm you even when it is justified. There may be viable remedies to a situation, but both of you may be letting things get out of hand due to misunderstandings and high tempers. In such a scenario, working everything out with your tenant alone is the cheapest and most practical solution.
- Meet one on one
You may have exchanged bitter words with your tenant over the email or phone in some instances. A face-to-face encounter will help you understand where they are coming from, and vice versa. Meet in a neutral location where each of you feels safe and can strike a lasting solution.
- Look for an experienced mediator
If you try with minimal or no success to resolve a dispute, seeking the help of a professional mediator may be of great help. Property management can be stressful, so having a patient professional to help guide you through disputes can be life-saving. Legal mediators are trained to handle conflicts that may occur with rental properties. Make proper use of these experts to restore a peaceful coexistence with your tenants.
- Turn to arbitration
Arbitration works like mediation, but it binds conflicting parties. The arbitrator will listen to both sides of the issue and provide a binding verdict to which both parties must adhere. You should avoid taking this step if you believe you are wrong. Instead, take the responsibility, own up the situation, and make efforts to resolve it with your tenant.
- Normalize keeping records
Ensure you document all that transpires between you and the tenants. A paper trail will always offer you the best defense. If a tenant has been violating lease agreement, faulted property rules, or made irrational demands, your documentation can assist you in proving your points.
Keep files for all your tenants and record everything that transpires between the two of you. Presenting such documentation to a tenant may be the right approach to dissuade him or her from forwarding the case to the court.
- Consult with an experienced real estate attorney
You can involve the lawyers in resolving a dispute even before it reaches the court of law. As a property manager, your lawyers can get in touch with your tenant’s attorney to get a viable solution to the dispute. In some instances, disputes arising from rental properties fall under the small claims court. This approach is usually more convenient than taking the case to a criminal or civil court. Choosing to solve the dispute with your tenants using this strategy will help you get a faster resolution. Unfortunately, however, there may be times when you have to take your tenant to a criminal or civil court if you have exhausted other alternative avenues for possible resolution. Ensure your attorney is very familiar with property management laws to prosecute the case successfully. Be ready to provide all the relevant documentation of what has been happening between you and the tenant.
Handling tenant disputes can sometimes be difficult, time-consuming, and stressful. Our Specialized Property Management team in Fort Worth deal with difficult property management issues every day. We have the knowledge, expertise, and proven systems to help not only resolve disputes but with many other property management tasks. Contact us today for a free quote and learn how we can help you will all your Fort Worth property management needs! Call 817-886-9220