Navigating Tenant/Landlord Law
Tenant/Landlord Law is changing frequently, with regulations and moratoriums popping up constantly due to the landscape caused by the pandemic. Unfortunately, property owners can create great risk for themselves and their properties by acting without researching and understanding the laws in place. Whether you rely on outdated guidelines or the all-too-common unspoken agreements and handshake deals for the sake of convenience, you are extremely vulnerable to manipulation, exploitation, and even potential legal action without proper council. DiRoberto Property Management is beside our property owners from the start, creating the necessary documentation to give them security during uncertain times and protecting them against savvy tenants with malicious intent.
Amanda Trudell, Director of Operations at DiRoberto Property Management (someone who interacts daily with both landlords and tenants) believes that “the most difficult part of the pandemic and property management is that owners call us when things are already in panic mode asking for our help. This is certainly something we can do, but if landlords had contacted us sooner we would have had processes in place such as violations, notices, payment plans, etc., that would protect them.”
To Amanda’s point, the best way to prepare for something as unpredictable as a pandemic is to get ahead of the issue and find the right team to have by your side. DiRoberto Property Management is a team of experienced professionals that is always up to date on the latest laws and acts while conveying relevant information to our clients and advising them accordingly.
Governor Baker signed a COVID-19 related eviction moratorium into effect on April 20, 2020 that puts a hold on “non-essential eviction,” which covers non-payment of rent, foreclosure, and no-cause evictions. That being said, for-cause evictions always remain in place and owners should never have to tolerate a tenant’s disruptive behavior. You are allowed to evict for “criminal activity that may impact the health or safety of other residents, health care workers, emergency personnel, persons lawfully on the subject property or the general public; or lease violations that may impact the health or safety of other residents, health care workers, emergency personnel, persons lawfully on the subject property or the general public.”
While criminal activity is a fairly straightforward cause for eviction, it takes careful preparation and an ironclad defense of the lease agreement to take action on non-criminal destructive or disruptive activity. You need someone in your corner that details everything you’ll need for just-cause explicitly in the lease agreement and leaves no room for loopholes. DiRoberto Property Management follows a strict violation protocol that protects the landlord and provides enough documentation for the courts to perform a virtual hearing, if necessary. To avoid backing yourself into a corner during a messy tenant dispute, make sure that you have your bases covered with an experienced property management team.
With the current laws and moratoriums in place, there are tenants that are unfortunately taking full advantage of not being forced to pay their rent without threat of eviction. While there are good and honest tenants that follow protocol and notify us in writing of their sudden shift in their situation, the playing field is muddied by tenants who are actively avoiding communication with their landlords and refusing to pay rent while treating themselves to brand new TVs and other goods. Instead of dealing with that headache yourself, a team like DiRoberto Property Managment can handle rent collection to bring certainty and security back to your operation. We are knowledgeable and experienced enough to navigate the most complicated situations and put an end to exploitative and unprofessional behavior.
Regarding tenant relations, Amanda went on to say, “As far as tenants go, we pride ourselves on forming great relationships. We are not the management company that calls and says “HEY, RENT IS DUE NOW PAY UP” instead we ask how the pandemic is affecting them and wish them well. We let the tenants who are not paying know of alternate ways to receive help and we work out arrangements if needed. While our job is to protect and service the landlord, we also know that each tenant’s situation is unique and developing that rapport with the tenant is important to long term tenancy.”
Property management comes with enough pitfalls and complications during a stable economic landscape, let alone during a pandemic and economic uncertainty. There’s no reason to navigate changing laws and tenant/landlord power struggles without professional help. DiRoberto Property Management offers reliable rent collection services and provides the most up to date information on laws and regulations. Get ahead of the curve with a professional property management team that knows the market inside and out.