When House Rules are broken, you’ll want to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. As the landlord (and homeowner) it is your responsibility to insure that rules are being followed on a consistent basis. But there are steps to resolving a open issue.
Three Steps to Resolving Household Conflicts
- Confirm the misconduct with undeniable facts or a confession. You must come to an agreement with the renter that an offense has been committed. An offense can be defined as a transgression against the general rules of conduct in today’s society (you don’t use somebody else’s toothbrush) or a violation of the House Rules (playing loud music after 10:00 pm).
- Remind the renter of the specific House Rule or code of conduct that has been violated. You’ll want them to admit to the rule breaking. You must do this not in an accusatory manner, but in a problem solving manner. Bring out the copy of the Rules they signed before moving into the home.
- Ask them to commit to stopping this behavior. You want to hear them say that they will no longer commit the offense again. Specifically asking them to make the commitment to no longer behave in the same manner reinforces your expectations to them.
- Move on. Don’t speak of the matter either in gossip or in jest. Once the matter is resolved, it is done. Bringing it up again suggests that the offender has not sufficiently paid for his crime. Let it go.
Usually, most adults are interested in living in harmony with those around them. Not everyone’s behavior is an accident ( “I thought that was my toothbrush” ). But it is important to confront these issues early to create an environment of harmonious living. It must be made clear that violating the rules of this environment may eventually result in eviction from the home.
For those of you who hate conflict, you probably already know that behavior left unchecked degrades to even more undesirable activities. If you overlook an offense, the offender will either consciously or subconsciously deduce that his behavior is, if not tolerable, then acceptable to you. Violations of the Rules of the House must be addressed and resolved to insure that all parties are living in harmony and peace.