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Dealing with a tenant who has alcohol abuse problems

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2020 | Real estate transactions |

As a landlord, you want to have someone living in your property who is trustworthy, respectful and sensible. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are lying awake every night wondering whether your tenant will disturb the neighbors, damage property or be a risk to themselves or others.

This is why it is particularly important that you conduct adequate background checks before leasing a property to someone new. While there are certain things you can do to gauge whether a prospective tenant will be unproblematic and trustworthy, you may not be able to learn whether they suffer from alcoholism, for example.

Even if the prospective tenant did admit to you that they suffered from alcoholism, you would not be able to discount them from leasing your property on this basis, because alcoholism is a recognized disability under the Fair Housing Act. However, if the tenant violates their lease due to actions made as a result of their alcoholism, it is possible to take action and enforce the lease terms. The following are some tips for dealing with a tenant who has alcohol abuse problems.

Always stick to the terms of the lease

First of all, you should make sure that you have a bulletproof lease in place that addresses many different scenarios and how you can react. The lease should address what is to happen in the event that the tenant damages property, causes a disturbance or fails to pay rent.

Document every incident

One minor incident may not be enough for you to want to take action to evict your tenant. But many minor incidents over time can build up and cause a problem. Therefore, document every incident and make sure that you communicate with your tenant in writing, following up any verbal communication with emails and letters so that you can refer back to them in the future.

If you believe that a tenant has an alcohol abuse problem, it is important that you focus on the ways in which they are violating the tenancy and take action accordingly.