Managing Difficult Tenants: Strategies for Success

Perhaps the biggest challenge for owners of rental properties is how to deal with difficult tenants. Whether they are consistently late with rent payments, causing disturbances, or violating lease agreements, difficult tenants can be a source of stress and frustration.

As experienced property managers, our team at Living Properties has found that there are some useful steps to follow that can help to minimise stress and friction when dealing with tenants. If you’re worried about how to deal with a tenant of one of your rental properties, the following steps may help:

Set Clear Expectations

One of the best ways to prevent difficult tenants is to set clear expectations from the beginning in your lease agreement. For example, by outlining expectations for rent payments, behavior, and maintenance responsibilities. Ensure that tenants understand their responsibilities and consequences for failing to meet them. You should also communicate with tenants regularly to ensure that expectations are being met and any issues are addressed promptly. Which leads us to our next point…

Communicate Effectively

Communication is key when it comes to managing difficult tenants. Make sure that you communicate regularly with your tenants and respond to their concerns in a timely manner. If a tenant is causing disturbances, reach out to them to discuss the issue and try to come up with a solution that works for both parties. When communicating with difficult tenants, you should always try to remain professional and objective, even if they become confrontational.

Enforce Lease Agreements

If a tenant violates a lease agreement, be sure to take action quickly. This includes enforcing consequences outlined in the lease agreement, such as late fees. Make sure that you’re consistent in your enforcement of lease agreements, as failing to do so can lead to further problems down the line.

Document Everything

It’s important to keep detailed records of all interactions with difficult tenants, including phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings. This will prove to be particularly valuable if you need to raise a dispute with the Landlord and Tenant Board at some point in the future. Make sure that you’re documenting any lease violations or disturbances, as well as any action taken to address them.


Managing difficult tenants is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. By following the steps above, owners of rental properties can effectively manage difficult tenants and establish a positive relationship with them. By doing so, they can ensure that their rental properties remain profitable and successful.

Another Option for Difficult Tenants

Another alternative, of course, is to remove the stress entirely by paying an experienced property management company to manage your rental properties. With 4 decades’ experience managing properties in the Greater Toronto Area, Living Properties and our experienced property managers know how to find good tenants and also how to deal with difficult tenants. Let us take care of things and you can relax knowing that all those issues are taken care of in a prompt and professional manner. Want to know more? Contact us using the form below.

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