Dealing with Difficult Tenants

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Brent Davies' presentation to REIN (the Real Estate Investment Network) in Calgary Alberta on November 5th, 2008. Copies will be posted on and The basic idea? You need to present a professional face to your tenants. Brent mentions some of the usual faces people use, the pitfalls associated with them, and the face you need to develop. Watch for the slidecast, coming soon! Photos are linked to the source and appropriate fees have been paid.

Text of Dealing with Difficult Tenants

  • 1. Difficult TenantsPutting On A Winning Game Face Presented by Brent Davies

2. Landlord Required Tools

  • Know the Law (RT Act)
  • Have Your Winning Game Face
  • How The Courts Work
  • The Secret to Finding the Best Tenant

3. NewReal Estate Investors

  • Find property
  • Buy property
  • Obtain financing
  • Rent out the property
  • Find another property

4. Equity Building Tenants

  • Pay the rent on time
  • Rarely call to complain
  • Keep the property clean and in good condition

5. Tenant Warning Signs

  • Avoid You
  • Call to give you grief about the property
  • Complain about Repairs
  • Call the Health Board
  • Elaborate story about the situation

6. Sometime in the Future

  • Rent cheque is late
  • You call the Tenant
  • the cheque is in the mail
  • Cheque arrives 2 weeks later
  • Bank returns cheque NSF

7. No Longer anEquity Building Tenant

  • 1 month rent outstanding
  • Mortgage is outstanding
  • When am I going to get my money?
  • Now what?

8. 9. All is Not Lost

  • By learning how to deal with problem tenants, you will minimize the stress they can cause
  • If you act promptly in a professional manner

10. What is the WorstThat Can Happen?

  • Lose several months of rent
  • Unable to collect all damages owing
  • Lose everything

11. 12. Now How Do You Feel?

  • Scared
  • Angry
  • Taken advantage of
  • Betrayed

13. Tenants Can

  • Make my blood boil
  • Raise my blood pressure
  • Make me do stupid things
  • Turn a rational person into an idiot

14. What You Do Now?

  • Rush over to the tenants place?
  • Bang on the door?
  • Tell them all your troubles?
  • Demand your money???

15. This is How YourTenant Sees You! 16. What you want the Tenant to See 17. Not ThisPerson 18. My Policy

  • I Will Address the Issues
  • You Will Pay the Rent
  • Not I Will Fix If You Pay
  • I Provide Good Homes for Good People

19. Amateur VS Professional

  • Emotional vs Rational
  • Want Tenant to feel sorry for him vs dont disclose his personal details to tenant
  • Listens to sob stories vs know the story does not affect the situation
  • Does not knows the rules vs knows the rules

20. What the Tenant Does Not Care About

  • Your cash flow
  • The value of your
  • Investment
  • Your Time
  • Your mental health

21. What the TenantDoes Care About

  • Safe and secure place to live
  • Their money
  • Their time

22. Now You have 3 Choices

  • Ignore the situation and hope the tenant fixes it
  • Visit the tenant to discuss the issues
  • Proceed directly to eviction process

23. Straight Talk with Tenants

  • What are the issues?
  • Can we resolve the issues?
  • Formalize a payment plan
  • Date and sign the payment plan
  • Add if payment not made, it all becomes due and payable

24. Why Not Just Servethe Notice Now?

  • Once the notice is served the relationship is changed forever
  • I have found most people will pay if treated with respect

25. No More Mr Nice Guy

  • Thats it, no more chances
  • Pay up or Get out
  • You must be firm and decisive

26. New Game Face 27. Reasons for Eviction

  • Non payment of rent, 90% of all evictions
  • Noise, damages, illegal activities
  • Selling the property
  • Change of use, condo, owner to occupy

28. Alberta Eviction Rules

  • Non payment of rent is a substantial breach of lease
  • 14 day notice period
  • Notice is void if rent is paid within the notice period

29. Serve the Eviction Notice

  • Serve the notice in person or post on the door.
  • Must be given directly to an adult who apparently resides in the unit.
  • Document time, date of service and name of person who served the notice.

30. Common Eviction Mistakes

  • Your partner said I could
  • I thought you were not serious
  • Changing your mind

31. Tactical Errors

  • Cutting off utilities
  • Changing the locks
  • Entering the suite without proper notice
  • Intimidation- yelling, swearing, threats

32. Winning Techniques

  • Only 1 person to deal with tenant
  • Be firm, you pay or leave
  • 4 days later, call to set up move out inspection
  • 4 days to go, call to confirm the appointment

33. What is Your New Game Face?

  • The Baby

34. What is Your New Game Face?

  • The Professional

35. What is Your New Game Face

  • The Enforcer

36. Your New Game Face