Problem tenants are just part of the rental property investment journey. But if you find yourself dealing with terrible renters more often than not, it could be a sign of other issues with your management or operational strategies. We’ll help you take a deeper dive into your methods and analyze to isolate areas of improvement. And there are a few other best practices you could be leveraging to avoid these problem tenants altogether, as well.
1. The Non-Paying Tenant
Every rental property owner encounters the non-paying tenant. It becomes more of a problem when you have to deal with them more than just occasionally. Because these types of renters can be the most detrimental to your bottom line, it’s critical that you do what you can to reduce the instances of renting to them. Your pre-screening process is your first line of defense against these expensive mistakes. Be thorough about running credit checks and calling past landlords. Verify employment and income levels. Sometimes, well-intentioned renters are terrible about paying because they’re lazy. Combat this by offering convenient digital payment and auto-pay options to ensure those transactions process every month.
2. The Damaging Tenant
Another common problem tenant is the one who damages your property. You spend a lot of time and effort investing in your rental property. Protect it by avoiding these unruly renters. A background check can often be helpful to identify any incidents of previous criminal activity. Talking to previous landlords and asking how the renters treated their property can be a strong indication of how you can expect the tenants to treat your property. Routine communication can help, too, since checking in periodically will allow you to catch damaging behaviors before it gets too out of hand.
3. The Nuisance-to-Others Tenants
Some tenants become problem tenants because they just can’t seem to get along with anyone around them. Sure, nuisance-to-others renters can be more prevalent in multi-family units, but single-family dwellers can upset the neighbors, as well. Avoid excessive noise complaints or neighborhood calls to the authorities by improving your pre-screening process to include a call or two to previous neighbors. The background check can turn up any out-of-hand incidents that may be helpful to your decision, too.
4. The Sneaky Tenants
There is always a risk of renting to the sneaky tenant. You know the one. It’s the renter who tries to bring in an extra pet without telling you or secretly sublets without your knowledge. Look for red flags during your pre-screen conversation. Are tenants asking questions about subletting or part-time occupation? Do they have plans in the near future to move elsewhere for work, school, or family? Or, on the pet front, are they asking questions about the maximum number of pets allowed? Dig deeper where you can in the beginning and keep up with routine communication to keep a finger on the situation happening with your rental property ongoing.
5. Best Practices to Help Avoid the Worst Offenders
Facing these problem tenants or other issues requires a rulebook of best practices to reduce your risks. With every tenant who signs with you, make sure you adhere to these efforts:
Follow up with past landlords, employers, and the renters during the term of the lease.
Don’t rush the tenant pre-screening process because you’re desperate for renters or short on time.
Be throughout about performing rental property inspections upon move-in and move-out.
Make sure your lease terms are transparent and iron-clad, allowing you to take action based on tenant behavior.
Communicate with your tenants regularly throughout the terms of the lease.
If you feel like you’re contending with problem tenants more often than not, it could be a sign your process could use improvement. Let us help streamline your efforts and reduce your risks.
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