A large number of condo units are occupied by renters. And a large portion of those rentals are owned by former owner-occupants who chose to rent rather than sell, often because they owed more on a mortgage than the property was worth when they needed to move out. 

Renting can come with many challenges. If you are an owner-occupant turned landlord you are likely going to deal with problematic tenants at some point. Below are some tips for preventing or addressing a problem tenant.

1. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your landlord rights and responsibilities, your tenants’ rights, and other laws that may pertain to your situation. Download this Landlord-Tenants Rights Self Help Packet for information specific to Illinois.

2. Make sure all rules, regulations and policies of your rental property are clearly stated in the lease and make sure your tenant is aware of all of them. If your condo association has its own Rules & Regulations in place, provide a copy to your tenant and ensure that you respond to and address any violation notices sent by your board. A condo association can fine you as the owner for tenant violations of the association's Rules and Regulations, and even evict your tenant.

3. Document the policies and procedures you use when handling problematic tenants. Include your response time, form of communication, warnings, notices and when to escalate the situation. Document all interactions with tenants whether they are good or bad. This includes phone calls, emails, texts, late rent payments, notices, warnings, complaints, maintenance requests, and all interactions within units.

4. Provide a copy of your lease to your condo board. This is required by condo law and failure to do so promptly could result in fines.

5. Don’t let your emotions take over when interacting with tenants. Be firm and unwavering in your policies.

6. Treat tenants with respect and kindness. This includes respecting confidentiality.

7. If you feel that a situation is beyond your control or training, call the police.

Learn more about common problematic tenant situations, and eviction law in Illinois.

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