Disputes between landlords and tenants can lead to long-term conflicts that are difficult to look past. They can tarnish the relationship between the two, and even damage the landlord’s reputation in the eyes of other tenants or future residents.
It is not always possible to prevent disputes. However, here are some tips for landlords to help them avoid—as well as proactively manage—disputes before they escalate.
1. Maintain consistent communication
Managing property can be an overwhelming job that can keep landlords busy day and night. That long list of responsibilities and obligations can make it challenging to keep up with all of your tenants.
However, ensuring that you are open to listening to tenants’ questions and needs can be a critical factor in avoiding landlord-tenant disputes. If tenants know they can discuss matters with you openly, it is less likely that the situation could develop into a dispute.
2. Keep documentation of everything
It is crucial for both landlords and tenants to keep copies of any important records, including:
- Financial documents
- Leases and rental agreements
- Inspection records
- Any other notices
For example, who is responsible for making repairs is a common dispute between landlords and tenants. This information is often in the lease or rental agreement and having documents readily on hand can help avoid frustrating disputes.
Extensive documentation also serves as evidence if the dispute does lead to litigation.
3. Understand all of the relevant laws and rights
Most landlords have a fundamental understanding of Arizona’s landlord-tenant laws. However, it can be helpful to review their specific rights and duties that the law outlines.
It may also be valuable to evaluate the rights and obligations your tenant has as well. Understanding both sides of the situation can help landlords form an effective strategy to approach the disagreement.
4. If nothing else works, speak with a lawyer
Unfortunately, some landlord-tenant disputes are unavoidable. And the disputes that wind up in court are not always so easy to resolve.
If it is not possible to avoid litigation, it could be helpful to discuss the details of the situation with an experienced attorney.