Incidents and housing tend to go hand-in-hand. When different personalities are occupying the same space day in and day out, disagreements are bound to happen. A good housing provider will have a great recordkeeping system to ensure that incidents are properly documented and tracked.
It is not enough that the tenant file contains properly executed intake documents like the signed lease, community rules and other required agency forms. Each tenant file should have incident reports, general medical or behavioral concerns (to the extent authorized by governing agencies), and updated contact information for the tenant as well as those closely connected to the tenant – coordinators, medical professionals and relatives.
Whenever the tenant has a new issue, the file should be updated and reviewed. If the tenant’s conduct amounts to a material noncompliance or repeated violations, success in terminating the tenant’s tenancy will depend on the strength of the housing provider’s recordkeeping.
While it may seem kind to not record every bad conduct, such action may lead to an unsuccessful attempt at removing a problematic tenant from the housing community. In truth, the best way for a housing provider to preserve the housing community is to recognize bad apples early and remove them from the community as soon as possible. Problematic tenants pose a threat to the overall safety of the community and they will often rob other tenants of the right to peaceful enjoyment.
In summary, a housing provider has a duty to maintain a safe and sanitary housing community for the benefit of all tenants. To meet its duty, the housing provider must master recordkeeping. It is not enough to have the intake documents in the tenant’s file; the tenant’s file must be supplemented with incident reports, important notes, appropriate contact information, and all documents that provide a complete view of the tenant. Problematic tenants should be removed as soon as possible, and a properly kept tenant file will make the tenant removal process easier.