We’ve all heard the stories of nightmare tenants.
With policies in place, it can help prevent some of these problems but there’s always going to be issues that arise when you have a tenant in a rental property.
We’ve broken these nightmare tenants into 6 categories.
1. The Tenant Who’s Behind on Rent
You might set a minimum income level that a tenant needs in order to rent, but what happens if they lose their job or switch to a lower paying job?
They might have been able to pay their rent on time in the past but due to unforseen circumstances, they can easily become behind on rent if they don’t have savings for these situations.
In addition, every state has different laws for evicting a tenant. Some state laws have a lengthy eviction process that can draw out months with no cash flow as you wait for the the tenant to be removed from the property.
You can look at their credit report to see if they have a history of non-payment as there are some serial non-payers who know how to work the system and get a few months under a roof for free.
These professional non-payers know the law and it’s best for your policies to follow your state’s law exactly and be as thorough as possible. They’ll look for any mistake and will use it to their advantage to draw out the process of their eviction.
2. The Tenant Who Doesn’t Respect the Property
Tenants in this category can be destructive and are terrible for your wallet.
Some tenants are simply lazy and don’t keep the property clean and kept up. While this isn’t fun to clean up after they move out, it’s not the end of the world.
Other tenants purposely damage the property on their way out and it can take weeks to get the property back to being “rent-ready”. Not only is this extending the amount of time it’s vacant, but there could potentially be thousands of dollars in damage that you can only hope they’ll pay for.
If they’re damaging the property and are behind on rent, contact your attorney to see about getting the eviction process started. Remember, states vary in their laws so check to see what can be done in your situation.
3. The Tenant Who Doesn’t Respect Others
Why can’t everyone just get along?
You’re inevitably going to have those tenants who disrespect the neighbors and most likely, you.
They’ll park in front of the mailbox.
They’ll let their dog poop in the neighbor’s yard without picking it up.
They’ll ignore your communications unless it favors them.
While many of these things aren’t pleasant, besides a friendly request to stop, you may not be able to take any action as they may not be in violation of anything.
Try to stay professional yet polite with your tenants so if they have a disrespectful attitude towards anyone, you’re able to have a conversation about it without backlash.
4. The Tenant Who Doesn’t Have a Long-Term Plan to Stay
In a perfect world, you’d have tenants opting for two-year leases with rent locked in and maybe even a rent-to-own option.
Sadly, this isn’t a normal occurrence.
The longer the tenant stays in the property, the more consistent cash flow you’ll have. If you’re having to make the property “rent ready” every few months between tenants, it’s going make a dent in your cash flow.
Tenants who don’t plan to stay long-term aren’t vested in keeping the property maintained.
5. The Tenant Whose Application Doesn’t Match Up
When you call to verify employment status or references and things don’t match up, this is a huge red flag.
For some reason that you don’t know, they’re lying on their application so that they can be approved to become a tenant.
This not only gives you a sour impression, but it makes you mistrusting for anything else they’d told you. It’s a risk that might not be worth it for you in the end.
Check references and employment status.
Go by the book for handling these situations.
Robert Syfert talked with us about “Finding qualified long-term tenants” on a REI Classroom, if you want to check it out!
6. The Tenant Without a Stable Rental History
Having a stable rental history shows they’re reliable. Eviction marks and months of nonpayment show that they’re a risk as a tenant.
It’s good practice to have a policy on this during the application process. It should show any negative marks on their credit report so as you’re going through the application process, spend the time and look into their history to give an idea of what type of tenant they will be.
Do they have 100% on-time payments? If so, that’s fantastic. Anything less than that, you should take a look at.
You’ll have case-by-case situations where you might want to give them a second chance but most of the time, a bad rental history just means a tenant who may or may not stay the length of the lease (for whatever reason).
Steve Rozenberg discusses “What to know about picking a tenant” on a recent REI Classroom.
Don’t Rush Into Finding a Tenant
You don’t have to accept the first tenant application you get. Use your application process to help weed out any potential problem tenants but make sure you’re process is following your state laws.
By taking the time to find the right tenant, you’re saving yourself time and money in the long run. Dealing with a bad tenant that’s living in the property is 100x harder than dealing with a potential tenant who you haven’t accepted yet.
For those who don’t want to deal with finding the right tenant, managing the property, handling maintenance issues, etc., you might want to consider turn-key properties. They’re rent-ready properties that have a tenant and property management company placed for you so you can invest passively.
Learn more at PassiveRental.com.