Hey everybody. Matthew Whitaker here.
I’m doing another “Questions Owners Ask.” Today’s question is, “I just got a threatening letter from a tenant’s attorney, what should I do?”
This is pretty scary.
An attorney sends you a letter on behalf of a tenant, and now you’re, like, freaking out because you don’t know what to do.
Well, first of all, let me tell you, I am not an attorney.
I always joke I promised my wife I was gonna be an attorney one day, but I became something better which is a property manager, so she can be proud of that.
I’m not here to give legal advice. I’m just telling you what I typically do in the situation. Run everything through an attorney, consult your attorney before you take these steps.
I always, when there’s a conflict, I always welcome an attorney getting involved on behalf of a tenant.
Typically attorneys are less emotional about the situation.
Typically you can have an objective conversation about the situation and sometimes even solve it a whole lot faster than dealing with the tenant.
The first thing I do before I talk to an attorney is write down everything I know about the situation.
I want to make sure that I have all my facts straight, get all the documentation, all the communication with the tenant.
Generally, I feel like I’m in the right obviously, and so I want to back that up with facts.
There have been a lot of times that I’ve delivered those facts to the attorney, either via email or through the mail, and the situation seems to go away.
Collect all the information you can, gather people that were involved in the situation and make sure you have everything written down that you know of.
Be prepared and email or call the attorney back. Again, these aren’t scary conversations, they’re typically pretty objective.
There are attorneys that are jerks, and so, from time to time, you have to deal with one of those, but generally they’re all pretty much trying to get the situation solved.
Again, going back to the fact that I’m not an attorney, I think it’s important for you to, if you ever feel uncomfortable to call your attorney and let them handle it.
Certainly we hate to spend that money, but there are certain cases where it’s best just to pick up an attorney or a phone and call your own attorney and ask them the questions.
That’s it. Matthew Whitaker here with “Questions Owners Ask.”
Matthew is the CEO of Evernest. He is a student of the book Good to Great and is passionate about building the best property management company on the planet (and maybe even the universe if Elon Musk will hurry up). You can usually find Matthew at the baseball field with his son, at a dance recital with his daughter, or at his favorite restaurant with his wife, when he’s not in the office. And if you can’t find him in any of those places, it probably means he’s traveling.