"I have sold several rentals I managed for owners this year. Hire me to manage your rental today!" - Naomi Burke/Manager: (253) 683-0093
Office phones: (253) 531-1010(253) 531-2000 Fax: (253) 531-5358 Email: managers@bciprop.com
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Handling Bad Tenants

How do we handle problem tenants?

Note from the owner of BCI Properties, LLC…. once in a while we have a good tenant who screened out as good initially…, but later turned out to be bad and we then have no choice but to deal with the issue. Maybe this happened due to a job loss, divorce or bankruptcy. Below is one example of a concerned neighbor and HOA member who emailed us a complaint …and our reply back is below, as to how we handle such things.

To whom it may concern at BCI Properties,

I am a homeowner in the Breckenridge community of Spanaway and am aware that your company is responsible for a specific home in our neighborhood. My question is what exactly are your rental requirements? I understand that I am not the owner of the home that you have rented out but as an owner in this community, as well as being a member of the H.O.A. here, I am curious what standards you hold your tenants too. The reason I ask is that there is a property here in our community (…..address removed by BCI….), which I have tracked back to your company, that is consistently in violation of HOA covenants as well as just general maintenance and upkeep. Beyond the fact that the tenants are constantly in violation of our HOA covenants, they have been harassing home owners, as well as other respectable renters here in our community. There has also been drug use (smoking marijuana in the driveway and on the porch) witnessed on numerous occasions on this property. I know the proper channel would be to contact the Pierce County Sheriffs Department and though this has been done, it has been to no avail as of yet as they have not arrived in time to be caught in the act. I would contact the actual homeowner myself but do not have his contact information at this time. Again, I ask that you at least satisfy my own curiosity as to what standards your company enforces regarding the tenants of your rental properties. I am simply trying to clean up our neighborhood, not only for the purpose of the resale value of everyone else’s homes but also for the sake of the many small children in our community. Thank you in advance for your time.


Hello John,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful email. We do care.

We will take action once we are aware of any serious infraction of our lease. As owners ourselves of 8 homes in the Tacoma area, we actually feel much as you do when issues come to light as you have mentioned. We are somewhat hamstrung as to what actions we can take, much as the Police are. We cannot camp out at a property trying to “prove” wrongdoing or a breach of a contract, so we do appreciate any notice from a neighbor as to our tenants’ misconduct or infraction.

Note; Care MUST be taken by owners, landlords, and neighbors to not do anything that will be considered as harassment or a violation of their Tenant Rights…, but we do have options as you will see below.

Our duty as a Landlord is governed by Law, see:
…also, here is information from the Attorney General of Washington State:

You can actually review our Lease contracts online at http://bcirent.com/docs/Res-Lease_3-26-2011_Watermarked.pdf

What we do initially;


    1. We carefully screen tenants through Landlord Solutions Inc. of Tacoma, a local screening company who also handles our legal Eviction needs. – Although their cheapest screening report is just $20, we opt for their $45 Full Report because we want to know all we can. We contact their past landlord and their employment in addition to the screening. The only way you can determine whether they will be good tenants is based on their past history! Ref: link Washington State Criminal Searches
      Criminal Records
      Drug Possession
      Destruction of Property
      Criminal Traffic Violations
      National Sex Offender Washington State Civil Records Searches
      Tax Liens
      Domestic Violence (respondent only)
      Harassment (respondent only)National eviction search


    1. The federal Fair Housing Act and its 1988 amendments (FHA) protect people from negative housing actions that occur because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or family status, which are “protected classes” under the FHA. State and local fair housing laws cover additional groups, such as marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, participation in the Section 8 Program, etc.


  1. HUD enforces the FHA. The Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) enforces the Washington Law Against Discrimination, RCW 49.60. Three local agencies enforce fair housing ordinances – King County Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR), and the Tacoma Human Rights and Human Services Department (THR). The state and local laws are considered “substantially equivalent” to the FHA, and HUD contracts with these agencies to handle most fair housing investigations in Washington. More info & Reference see: link

What we do if we find problems with tenants;

    1. When we find a tenant is in possible violation of their Lease contract, we are allowed in many cases to do a “10-Day Notice to Comply”. Once the 10 days are expired, if we find that the tenants have not complied or had further infractions within 90 days, then we can begin an Eviction based on “Non-compliance” or a Breach of Contract. If 90 days go by without infraction and after that, we have another occurrence…., we must again issue the 10-Day Notice.
    2. There are times when a “48 Hour Notice of Inspection” is deemed more appropriate, depending on what is going on. In such a case we physically go in to see if the interior of the home is in good condition and to see if there are any signs of illegal drugs or activity. If so, we begin an Eviction or notice to comply.

*Example: We did a 48/hour notice and inspection in Federal Way just last week. Our client the owner called us to tell us that he was visiting a friend who lives next door to his rental, and the friend told him that the tenants had a pig. This is a NO Pets house and is so stated in the Lease.

Our findings…; upon inspection, we did not see a pig nor any sign of any animals, in fact, the home looked like brand new. However, the tenant admitted that his niece would at times come over with family to visit. The neighbors did not like them because they are oriental and yes.., she has a very small but fully grown “Tea Pot Pig” which is a “Service Animal”…supported by a Doctor’s Letter. Hypoallergenic and nonshedding, totally clean. By State and Federal Laws, an owner or landlord can NOT deny them having a service animal before or during a lease/rental…., even if the owner does not want any animals in his home. No kidding. That is the law. In this case, it was not really a problem in my view.., but more of a neighbor looking for a reason to harass his neighbor who had really done no harm.

– That being said, we do have more and more tenants using that “Service animal” law as an excuse to have pit bulls, cats, dogs and other animals when we believe they are not disabled. We then go into action and force them to provide a Doctors letter, then we contact the doctor to confirm.

    1. If and when we find any proof of illegal activity, we turn that over to the police. Many times neighbors and concern citizens think because we collect the rent and are the Landlord, we can come in with a heavy hand and force a tenant to act better and follow their HOA and local rules….but we are not the police and we do not enforce the law nor HOA rules because we cannot legally do so. However, if we have just cause and can Evict a bad tenant…, we certainly want to keep the owner and neighbors happy and will do so.

Since you have formally complained and we are now put on notice that there is a problem.., Amber will send out a Notice and we will follow up on this.

We too.., like you…, wish to have good neighbors and tenants. Your comments and thoughts are much appreciated, sometimes it is only the neighbors who we can rely on to know what our tenants are really doing. I hope this information has been of help.

Thank you,

Donald J. Leske II
Broker / Property Manager
BBB A+ Rated
10909 Portland Ave. Suite-L, Tacoma WA 98445
Office: (253) 531-1010 | Fax: (253) 531-5358 | Cell: (253) 241-6695