What to do when you have difficult inherited tenants?

7 Replies

I took over a multi family (24 units) back in December, problems started since day one.

I posted notice to make payments to and my contact information. I got numerous complaints, saying I only gave them 5 day notice of change of ownership.

Then in Christmas Day we had strong winds and there was power outage in the whole street. Well I was told “You need to post notice that the power will be shut off for x amount of time” my reply was “it’s the whole street, and if you want to find out about the power outage call DWP, since the account is under your name” I was then told I have an attitude.

Several asked for compensation for the power being out.

The other day I was in another room and my tenant calls me I couldn’t answer, when I get back I see  a text message saying “your work hours are 9-5 you need to answer the phone when called” it seems they want to tell me what to do.

Then fast forward last month  we had to replace the roof it was way to damaged. Well they complained that the tar smell and noise was way to much.

Again the asked for compensation and they called all organizations as they could to halt our work 3 times.

This building has caused so many stress on to me... I have been in multi family business for 7 years managing 102 unit among 6 properties. And this is the first I’ve been ready to throw the towel. But I just have to to push through this. 

How to I put my foot down? 

Hi @Frankie Felix . At this point, I don't think you can put your "foot" down: The tenants already know you're "The Man."

However, you can hire a boot!

At 24 units, you must have enough NOI headroom to engage a professional property management company to handle repairs, notices, complaints, lease renewals, inspections, etc.

A great PM will have all the systems and documentation necessary to train these tenants and make your MFH run like a top.

Someone is going to get managed in this scenario: You get to decide whether it will be these tenants or YOU!

Originally posted by @Frankie Felix :

I took over a multi family (24 units) back in December, problems started since day one.

I posted notice to make payments to and my contact information. I got numerous complaints, saying I only gave them 5 day notice of change of ownership.

Then in Christmas Day we had strong winds and there was power outage in the whole street. Well I was told “You need to post notice that the power will be shut off for x amount of time” my reply was “it’s the whole street, and if you want to find out about the power outage call DWP, since the account is under your name” I was then told I have an attitude.

Several asked for compensation for the power being out.

The other day I was in another room and my tenant calls me I couldn’t answer, when I get back I see  a text message saying “your work hours are 9-5 you need to answer the phone when called” it seems they want to tell me what to do.

Then fast forward last month  we had to replace the roof it was way to damaged. Well they complained that the tar smell and noise was way to much.

Again the asked for compensation and they called all organizations as they could to halt our work 3 times.

This building has caused so many stress on to me... I have been in multi family business for 7 years managing 102 unit among 6 properties. And this is the first I’ve been ready to throw the towel. But I just have to to push through this. 

How to I put my foot down? 

 Don't engage in unnecessary banter with tenants. When the tenant asks for money off their rent due to power going out. Text or email them and say "No rental discount will be provided. Contact me again if you run into another maintenance problem, otherwise rent is due on the 1st. Have a nice day."

As for your tenant who says you work 9-5 & need to answer the phone when called text or email them back saying "A member of the maintenance team will be out to your property on X date between the hours of X & X. If you'd like to be present be home, otherwise they will let themselves in. Contact me again if you run into another maintenance problem, otherwise rent is due on the 1st. Have a nice day."

If they continue unnecessary banter with you after that text simply ignore it. You have done your job & conveyed the information needed to resolve the issue. They can learn to follow your terms or if need be you can just kick um out and get new tenants who will. You've got to drive the car here man.

Raise their rent! Are they on a lease? Is it rented at market rates already? If so, it sounds like it may be time to give some people notice, and rent it to some tenants who'll appreciate having a place to live. Definitely talk to an attorney if you're going that route, as I'm sure you already know. I hope this works out for you man, that sucks.

Originally posted by @Anthony Katsonis :

Raise their rent! Are they on a lease? Is it rented at market rates already? If so, it sounds like it may be time to give some people notice, and rent it to some tenants who'll appreciate having a place to live. Definitely talk to an attorney if you're going that route, as I'm sure you already know. I hope this works out for you man, that sucks.

They are under lease until 10/31 of this year, non rent control they will be getting a $400-500 rent increase with appropriate notice , seems a lot but i really just need them gone. In the past when I tried to increase the rent I did 300$ and they paid it and they are still there but for some reason after that rent increase they became very mellow and easy going.

Originally posted by @Dennis M. :

Well  unfortunately your in California so there’s only so much you can do from a legal perspective besides ignore them 

 That’s pretty true until their leases expire their getting a huge hike in rent $400-500, I’m crossing my fingers they violate the lease before their lease is over so I can get rid of them sooner.

Originally posted by @James Wise :
Originally posted by @Frankie Felix:

I took over a multi family (24 units) back in December, problems started since day one.

I posted notice to make payments to and my contact information. I got numerous complaints, saying I only gave them 5 day notice of change of ownership.

Then in Christmas Day we had strong winds and there was power outage in the whole street. Well I was told “You need to post notice that the power will be shut off for x amount of time” my reply was “it’s the whole street, and if you want to find out about the power outage call DWP, since the account is under your name” I was then told I have an attitude.

Several asked for compensation for the power being out.

The other day I was in another room and my tenant calls me I couldn’t answer, when I get back I see  a text message saying “your work hours are 9-5 you need to answer the phone when called” it seems they want to tell me what to do.

Then fast forward last month  we had to replace the roof it was way to damaged. Well they complained that the tar smell and noise was way to much.

Again the asked for compensation and they called all organizations as they could to halt our work 3 times.

This building has caused so many stress on to me... I have been in multi family business for 7 years managing 102 unit among 6 properties. And this is the first I’ve been ready to throw the towel. But I just have to to push through this. 

How to I put my foot down? 

 Don't engage in unnecessary banter with tenants. When the tenant asks for money off their rent due to power going out. Text or email them and say "No rental discount will be provided. Contact me again if you run into another maintenance problem, otherwise rent is due on the 1st. Have a nice day."

As for your tenant who says you work 9-5 & need to answer the phone when called text or email them back saying "A member of the maintenance team will be out to your property on X date between the hours of X & X. If you'd like to be present be home, otherwise they will let themselves in. Contact me again if you run into another maintenance problem, otherwise rent is due on the 1st. Have a nice day."

If they continue unnecessary banter with you after that text simply ignore it. You have done your job & conveyed the information needed to resolve the issue. They can learn to follow your terms or if need be you can just kick um out and get new tenants who will. You've got to drive the car here man.

Thank you  I just needed this. I been doing this for 7 almost 8 years. And I appreciate your advice thank you once again