Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Whether you’ve been a landlord in Montreal for much of your life or you’re preparing to rent out your very first property, protecting yourself with an iron-clad lease in the beginning has proven to be the best way of keeping the leasing process smooth.
With that being said, it is important to be aware that things don’t always go as smoothly as you may like, and going through the eviction process may be something you might have to address at some point during your career.
Regardless of whether you have been a good landlord who builds positive relationships with your tenants, in some cases, a relationship may sour.
Rather than immediately resolving yourself to issue an eviction notice, there are a number of proven strategies you may want to consider that may cause you less problems when dealing with a problematic commercial tenant.
TENANTS REFUSE TO PAY RENT
Tenants can withhold rent from landlords for a number of reasons, from cash flow
shortages, to repair and maintenance disputes. Communication becomes critical when
confronting these issues. It is best approach the situation by attempting to understand the tenant and the nature of the issue and try to negotiate, if possible.
SOLUTION 1: Structure Payment Options and Safeguard Orders.
If the tenant has cash flow problems, the most effective rent-collecting method is to
structure payment options. As a landlord, you should recognize that people occasionally
struggle with bills, so you can try implementing a policy of accepting a payment plan.
Another good way to collect is to prorate the late fees and interest and delinquent rent
over the remainder of the tenant’s lease.
Should that not work, landlords have a right to ask the courts to force the tenants to pay
on the first of every month and should they default, the landlord has much more of a
quicker and efficient path towards evicting the tenant.
SOLUTION 2: Transfer of Lease.
If the original tenant has an unexpired lease agreement with the landlord, and they want
out. Since the original tenant can’t just break the agreement and walk away, they must be responsible for finding a new tenant to replace their current lease and take over the obligations that the lease set fourth until the end of the lease period.
BAD TENANTS SLIDE THROUGH YOUR SCREENING PROCESS
An easy credit check and application might not sufficiently reveal prior tenant problems, but it is an excellent place to begin. Here are several ways that landlords can help to ensure their screening process weeds out the problematic tenants:
SOLUTION 1: Conduct a Thorough Background Screening.
A thorough background check involves screening to verify rental histories, credit checks, proper insurance forms and interviews for all prospective tenants.
SOLUTION 2: Speak with Previous Landlords.
When researching an applicant's background, speak with their previous, not current, landlord. If the tenant is undesirable, the current landlord might give a glowing recommendation, hoping to make the tenant your problem. Proceed with caution if only one portion of an applicant’s background check is tarnished. Depending on the severity of the issue, you can offer the applicant a trial period with a larger-than-normal security deposit or for a three-month probationary trial.
A TENANT REGULARLY DISRUPTS THE OTHER TENANTS IN THE BUILDING
While implementing a thorough screening process can eliminate many problematic tenants, it might not prevent future squabbles between tenants in the same building. Tenants’ activities can routinely, negatively, and directly impact their neighbours, for example noxious odours or using more than the designated parking spots allotted.
SOLUTION 1: Allow Tenants to Resolve Problems
A solution for such disputes is to suggest that