Saturday, July 25, 2009

One tenant can be a cancer on an entire building


As a big history buff, I often quote the lessons of pre World War II when it was established that foreign policies of appeasement are a failure especially towards aggressors. As a property manager, I learned to follow similar thinking when dealing with tenants that are aggressive towards building management, superintendents, their neighbors and others.

In other words, often, negotiation with these types of personalities is a fruitless exercise. Recently, I secured a judgment and a writ of eviction against a tenant that had not paid their rent for several months. A very mean-spirited individual this person had convinced me that if I didn’t go through with the eviction he would become the model tenant that I was seeking and pay all amounts owed. I obliged and did not go through with the eviction.

In subsequent months, this tenant started paying his rent but his behavior was becoming more disturbing and potentially financially ruinous to me. As new tenants moved into the building, he would often cause problems with these new customers and start quarrels and arguments with them over petty issues such as distance parked between his SUV and the new tenants cars. It got so bad that once a new customer called crying due to the stress that he had caused her.

He started a similar confrontation with a second tenant that caused the new tenant to seriously question her choice in selecting our building as a place to live. At these incidents, I learned my lesson and decided that the only course of action would be to finally without reservation go ahead and evict the individual in question. Even though he had now begun to pay his rent on time, there was no excuse for disturbing new customers and new neighbors entering the building – new tenants that I had invested considerable time and effort in attracting to the building.

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