Can I settle a dispute with my tenant out of court?

If you own commercial real estate, a large part of your financial success will depend on how well you are able to manage the relationship with your tenants. Your tenants are in some ways your clients in business terms, but both of you must follow the terms of the contract and communicate well so that misunderstandings and disputes are avoided.

If you have found yourself having difficulties with your tenant, you may wonder what you are able to do to resolve the dispute. For example, if your tenant stops paying rent, you may wonder what you can do about this. You may not be able to evict them immediately, therefore, you will need to look at your options and you may even wonder whether you will need to go to court. The following are some things that you can do to try to settle your landlord-tenant dispute outside of court.

Study the lease terms

The lease terms should always be referred back to during any discussion with your tenant. If the lease has been well drafted, it should prescribe what actions can be taken in any given scenario, and should include the actions to be taken in the event of a dispute.

Have open and honest communication

Making sure that you communicate with your tenant in an honest and open manner can help create trust and reduce any feelings of hostility. By simply using smart communication skills and negotiation tactics, you may be able to resolve a potential dispute.

Make sure everything is recorded in writing

Every conversation and decision should always be noted in writing. Make sure that you take notes after every meeting with your tenant or to email them with a summarized version of every conversation you have.

Consider using a third-party mediator

Third-party mediators can be hired to help facilitate a resolution to a dispute. However, any conclusion that they come to will not be legally binding.

If you are still unable to reach an agreement with your tenant, you may need to take the dispute to court. By going to court, you will have the best possible chance of asserting your legal rights and getting the intended outcome.