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How to deal with landlord and tenant disputes

As a landlord, there may be times when you and your tenants in California do not see eye-to-eye on things. Your tenants may feel there are issues you are responsible for and decide to withhold their rent until you address them. You may feel that those issues are the responsibility of your tenants and refuse to do anything about them. As stressful and time-consuming as landlord and tenant disputes can be, it is in everyone's best interest to work together to resolve them. 

Here are some steps you can take to resolve any disputes you may have with your tenants. 

Do not procrastinate 

Whenever a tenant has an issue that requires your attention, you should respond to them promptly. Do not ignore your tenants no matter how minor an issue may seem. Procrastination can cause your tenants to become upset and take matters into their own hands. By addressing tenant issues in a timely manner, you can avoid lengthy disputes. 

Document everything 

No matter how major or minor a dispute is or the actions that are necessary to resolve it, you should document everything. Keep track of the times and dates you speak with your tenants and what you talked about. Get copies of all payments you receive from and agreements that you make with them. 

Arrange a meeting with a mediator 

It is a good idea for you and your tenant to discuss the situation that is causing the dispute. Instead of discussing things over the phone, you and your tenant should consider meeting with a mediator to talk. The goal is for you to keep things professional so you can listen objectively to each other without distractions from others who may also be upset about the situation. A mediator can keep you both focused on the matter. They can also help you come up with a peaceful resolution that benefits everyone. 

Landlord and tenant disputes can happen over many things. However, a lease that clearly outlines tenant and landlord responsibilities and obligations and the rules for filing and resolving complaints can keep conflicts from occurring.

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