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How To Deal With Bad Tenants

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So, you’re on the receiving end of bad tenants?

Overall, most tenants are agreeable and trustworthy and will be respectful towards you and your property. Unfortunately, there is the chance that in your time as a property owner, you may encounter some trouble.

Read on for some advice on how to deal with bad tenants, as well as how to prevent any future problems with tenants from hell.

BAD TENANTS = A LANDLORD’S WORST NIGHTMARE

Tenant difficulty can come about for a variety of different reasons. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common reasons.

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

Some tenants may fall on hard times and simply won’t be able to cover rent. This can be due to many reasons such as redundancy, or the breakdown of a relationship between tenants.

It’s unfortunate, but in these situations, you need to try and be as understanding as possible. While it may seem the obvious solution here is to find a new tenant, in some instances, it can make good business sense to prolong the tenancy.

In doing this, you can limit the risk of an extended void period as well as the extra costs, both financial and timely, of advertising and tenant referencing.

This is something worth considering if you are dealing with a tenant with whom you have built a good rapport. If they otherwise have a good track record, don’t be afraid to give some tenants the benefit of the doubt.

Unforeseen circumstances like job loss can happen to anybody. Just don’t let yourself get walked over. Being firm but understanding is best.

PROFESSIONAL BAD TENANTS

Some tenants have no concept of what it means to be responsible. This may just be carelessness or lack of communication on their part. However, in some cases, this can be due to what is commonly known as ‘Professional bad tenants.’

These serial nightmare tenants will go from one property to the next and dupe landlords with fake referencing.

Make no mistake, this is one of the worst-case scenarios you can face when it comes to bad tenants.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Being landed with bad tenants is rotten luck. Still, you need to familiarize yourself with the rights you have as a property manager if you want to get anywhere.

Before eviction, a landlord can proceed to court once they have issued the problem tenants with one of these notices:

  • Unconditional Quit Notice
  • Pay Rent or Quit Notice
  • Cure or Quit Notice

Eviction procedures vary from state to state, but mostly the basic fundamentals are similar. Be sure to do your research on what these are in your state before proceeding.

PREVENTION IS KEY

Identifying troublesome tenants early on is an important thing to do. It’s important to develop a system to weed out the bad ones.

Make sure to get everything in writing should any problems arise, and use certified mail for important notices. Good communication is crucial to a good landlord-tenant relationship.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

When it comes to tenants, don’t be afraid to dig further back for references. The more information you have, the better equipped you are to make the right decision when it comes to choosing tenants.

Request copies of previous tenancy agreements, utility bills etc. This way, you can put together the pieces and determine whether or not they are trustworthy.

On top of this, it also means that should they abscond on money at a later date, you have the information you need to help track them down.

Meeting in person is also a good way to judge character. Trust your gut instincts. If you get bad vibes, just say no.

DEPOSITS AND INVENTORIES

Keep an inventory of your property so you can assess potential damage or loss. Also, never accept a tenant without a deposit first. Hard cash in your bank account is the best assurance to protect yourself from loss of income.

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