If your tenant is guilty of lease violations or involved in other activities that are prohibited in your rental property, you will need to write him an effective warning letter. Unfortunately, not every landlord or even property manager know how to write an effective warning letter to a tenant.
An effective warning letter is a letter that carries the appropriate weight and communities the right message to the tenant you have in mind. It is easy to write this type of letter if you have been in rental business for a long time. However, as a new landlord or property manager, you may find yourself struggling to write a letter to carries weight to a tenant that is guilty of lease violations.
In this article, you will learn of some ways you can easily write an effective warning letter to a tenant that is guilty of lease violations.
Go Through Your Lease (Rental Agreement) First
Before you start your letter, you will need to ensure that the tenant is actually violating the lease. You can know this for sure only when you re-read the rental agreement. This way, it becomes easier to reference the exact section the tenant is violating on your letter.
- Check Relevant Housing Laws For Your Defense
Before you start your letter, you will need to ensure that the letter will be in compliance with various housing laws such as the local, state, and federal housing laws. You can get in trouble if your letter goes against these laws.
Moreover, by researching relevant housing laws, you will know your right and can be able to refer the tenant to such section of the law when you write your letter. A good example is checking local ordinances pertaining noises when you want to warn a tenant about a noise violation.
- Research Tenant’s Legal Protection
For your letter to be effective, you will need to be at least a foot ahead of the tenant. You need to check relevant laws to see what protection your tenant might have. For instance, some housing laws keep certain animals free from harassment. You can easily know how to write your letter right with the necessary message if you know the exact legal protection that may be available to the tenant regarding the violation.
Make Your Letter Look Official
To convey the seriousness of the action, make sure that your letter is as official as possible. Avoid writing your letter in just a piece of a paper. I will recommend you get a letter-headed paper with a company or personal letterhead. Make sure that your name, address and contact information is included in such paper.
You will also need to have the date in the top left corner and the tenant’s name and address just below the date.
- State The Purpose of Your Letter
Just like you would do when writing an official letter, you must state your reason in bold for writing such letter. Make sure you keep this reason very short, clear, simple, and effective.
For instance; if you are writing to warn tenant about noise violation, your heading could read something like: “Violations of Our Noise Policy”
This makes it easier for your tenant to understand what the letter is all about with little or no effort.
Reference Lease And Its Violation At the Start of Your Letter
An effective warning letter must start by referencing the lease and how the tenant violated such rule.
See example below:
Dear Mr. Scott
Pursuant to our rental agreement dated April 05, 2018, you agreed not to disturb other tenants with noise. Unfortunately, you have violated this rental agreement whenever you play music and party in your apartment. You are hereby required to cease from doing so from now onward.
- Suggest Possible Solutions and Tell Him the Consequences of Further Violations.
Make sure that your letter states possible solution and consequences that apply if the tenant does not change. See sample below:
Dear Mr. Scott
Pursuant to our rental agreement dated April 05, 2018, you agreed not to disturb other tenants with noise. Unfortunately, you have violated this rental agreement whenever you play music and party in your apartment. You are hereby required to cease from doing so from now onwards.
Parties are allowed on Saturdays from 7 pm to 9 pm. Please consider scheduling your future parties within this timeframe.
Note that further violation of our noise policy will not be tolerated. If you fail to comply, your tenancy will be terminated and your rent forfeited.
Ask Your Attorney to Hand Over the Letter or Do it in Person
To ensure that your letter carries enough weight, we will recommend you ask your attorney to hand over the letter to the tenant. However, if you are not working with an attorney, no need to hire one, just make sure you physically give the letter to the tenant whenever he is home.
You can write an effective warning letter to a tenant that is violating your lease just by following the tips above. A warning letter is just the first step. When a tenant refuses to comply, you might take a further step to evict the tenant from your property.