You and your tenants sign a lease agreement when you’re renting out a Temple City property, and that lease agreement needs to be enforced. It states the expectations for the tenancy and it also lays out all of the responsibilities you must follow as a landlord and those your tenants must follow.
When a tenant does not follow the lease agreement, you need to take immediate action to bring them into compliance.
There are many ways that the lease can be violated. A late rental payment, for example, means the tenant is not following the lease. Maybe there’s a maintenance issue that hasn’t been reported or a pet at the property that has not been screened or authorized.
Whatever the lease violation that’s discovered, here are the steps to take when you want to lead your tenant back into compliance.
Step 1: Document the Problem in Your Temple City Rental Property
Before you address the issue with your tenant, you want to make sure you can support your suspicion that the lease is not being followed.
Document the violation with a photo or some other type of proof. Maybe you discovered an unauthorized pet while you were responding to a maintenance issue. Perhaps you drove by the property and noticed the lawn is out of control even though landscaping is in the lease as your tenant’s responsibility. Maybe the HOA served you a violation notice because of a fence that was unlawfully put up.
Once you have documented the problem, highlight the section in your lease agreement that addresses it. You’ll need this when you reach out to your tenants.
Step 2: Communicate with Your Tenants
Send your tenants a letter outlining the lease violation, and provide instructions for making things right. You’ll want to include your documentation, whether it’s a photo or a notice from the association or something else.
Don’t forget the lease language that forbids or prohibits whatever is happening or that requires something that isn’t happening. Remind your tenants of what they agreed to when they signed the lease agreement.
Your letter should provide a timeline for coming into compliance. Give your residents a deadline, and schedule a walk-through of the property to ensure that the lease is being followed and your requirements have been met.
Step 3: Confirm Lease Compliance or Take the Next Step
Hopefully, your tenants will do what they need to do to respect and comply with the lease. If they do, you can walk through the property, confirm that they have done what was necessary, and move on. If there’s a fine or a fee from the HOA, make sure your tenants pay it.
If the tenants do not comply with the lease agreement, you will need to hold them accountable by taking the next steps. This may be eviction.
Eviction should be a last resort. If there’s an issue with rectifying the problem, talk through it. For example, if they have an unauthorized pet and they don’t want to remove the pet from the property, you can offer to let the pet stay as long as they pay a pet fee and pet rent.
Enforcing the lease is not always easy, but you need to be fair and consistent. If you’d like some help with lease violations, we provide Temple City property management for owners and landlords. You can contact us at ZenPro Property Management.