Even though you own a commercial building in California, you still deal with many of the same issues as residential property owners. For instance, you may encounter occasional disputes with your tenants.
AllBusiness offers suggestions for navigating disagreements with tenants. Get yourself out of an unpleasant situation while (hopefully) maintaining a positive relationship with your tenants.
Understand shared and separate obligations
One of the most favorable things you may do for yourself is to get clear on commercial landlord and tenant responsibilities. Inadvertently breaking the law or failing to fulfill your obligations could lead to avoidable disputes or legal action.
Have a conversation
Some tenants may prefer to communicate mainly through email or text, but when disputes arise, try to meet face-to-face. When you do, try not to speak or act out of anger or frustration, no matter how justified you may feel in expressing such emotions. Open yourself to hearing what the other person says and how you may come to either a solution or a fair compromise.
Keep thorough documents
From the moment you suspect you have a landlord/tenant dispute, document all communication between yourself and the other party. If the situation escalates, keeping thorough notes of what transpires could help build your case.
Mind your words
During disputes, emotions may become heated. As a property owner, you cannot afford to get caught up and say something that may come back to haunt you. Even if your tenant becomes agitated and resorts to name-calling, you must remain civil. That said, make a note of outbursts and similar reactions.
Remain at the ready for potential disagreements with commercial tenants. Your initial response helps shape the tone of the remainder of the situation.