Landlords face a few potential problems that can crop up during a tenancy, and not all of them come from the tenants themselves. Sometimes outside forces can cause problems that end up dragging the Landlord into the fray, which is why it’s important to know how to handle the situation. One of these potential issues revolves around tenants getting a disagreement or conflict with a nearby neighbor who is not under their jurisdiction. Understanding local bylaws and taking action is just one part of the equation, however
Humans living in close proximity to one another are bound to ruffle each other’s feathers from time to time. If your tenant is actively engaged in a conflict with a neighbor, a few steps need to be taken before charging in to set things right.
IDENTIFY THE INSTIGATOR
Don’t automatically assume that your pre-screened A+ tenant is free from culpability during a blowup with a neighbor. There are many forces at work that can cause tenants and their neighbors to go off on one another, and it’s important to stop and figure out who threw the first volley. This will have a direct effect on how Landlords should move forward, lest they end up taking the wrong side. If your tenant is the instigator, don’t play favorites, regardless of how good your relationship is. Favoritism won’t lead anywhere constructive, and it may cause more problems. Landlords may be legally bound to take action if their tenant is behaving badly, and these will be laid out in your lease agreement.
IDENTIFY THE ISSUE
Neighbors tend to engage in tossups for trivial reasons, including, but not limited to parking, unsightly landscaping, loud noise, belligerent behavior, and of course, property boundaries. Oftentimes an issue of this type can be fixed through simple mediation between both parties, rather than allow them to keep throwing gasoline on the fire. If the neighbor is the one responsible for any of the above, then appropriate action may need to be taken if the issue is not resolved through civil discourse. Naturally, if either party has broken the law, it may be necessary to involve the authorities.
No matter which side is instigating, it’s important for the Landlord to stay neutral at and unbiased at all times. The focus should be on gathering facts so that an appropriate course of action may be taken. If a Landlord becomes too involved in a dispute to the point where intimidating behavior or threats of violence start to appear, they should immediately withdraw and inform the authorities. At no time should a Landlord get involved in the dispute in any way, shape or form. Such ill-advised action could lead to anything from a troublesome lawsuit, to actual injury or worse.
It’s important that appropriate notes and records be kept regarding altercations between tenants and neighbors, as it may be necessary to reference this information either in court, or to the authorities at a later date. The less verbal recollection, the better. Ideally, Landlords should record dates, times and details that will allow respective parties to analyze and come to a decision. The last thing they want is to deal with second hand accounts, hearsay and conjecture if things escalate.
A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TEAM CAN HELP
Landlords know the risk of interpersonal conflicts between tenants and neighbors, but they shouldn’t have to bear the burden while simultaneously living their own lives. A good Property Management company will take the stress out of dealing with these types of conflicts in a professional manner that adheres to the letter of the law. They will record the details of the incident so they may be accessed later on, if need be. Also, Property Management personnel are more keenly aware of how to handle dust-ups between tenants and neighbors, and may stand a better chance of successfully defusing the situation so that everyone can simmer down.
A good Property Management company can go far beyond just these issues, however. Whether it’s marketing and advertising your rental property, scheduling maintenance and repairs, or collecting tenant rent in a timely manner, they make it their mission to take care of the things you shouldn’t have to worry about. Royal York Property Management excels in all of the above, and we’d like for you to contact us so we can discuss managing your property, while you breathe easier.