Tip of the Month - December 2009
Negotiating a Settlement: Start by Talking
Source: Every Landlord’s Legal Guide-9th Edition
By: Marcia Stewart
Attorneys Ralph Warner & Janet Portman
If you have a conflict with
your Tenant over rent, repairs, your access to the rental unit, noise,
or some other issue that doesn’t immediately warrant an eviction,
a sensible first step is to meet with the Tenant-even one you consider
to be a hopeless troublemaker-to see if the problem can be
resolved. This advice is based on the simple premise that unless
you have the legal grounds (and the determination) to evict a Tenant,
it’s almost always best to try and negotiate a settlement rather
than let the dispute escalate into a court fight. This is doubly
true if you are convinced your case is just. Given the cost and
delays built into the arthritic American legal system, the more you
rely on it, the more you are likely to regret going to court.
Solicit the Tenant’s point of view.
Once the Tenant starts talking, listen closely and don’t
interrupt, even if some of his points are not true or some of his
opinions are inflammatory.
When the Tenant has wound down, acknowledge that you have heard his key points, even if you disagree with them.
Sometimes it’s even a good idea to repeat the Tenant’s
concerns so he will realize you know what they are and will stop
Tip from Crossett Real Estate Services
Our experience has shown that communication skills play a strong role in addressing conflicts with Tenants..
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This web page was updated on 12/01/2009.