Last Tuesday I wrote a blog titled “What I Dream My Tenants Will Be Like“. I thought it would be fitting to follow-up with a blog that highlights some issues that we, as landlords and property managers, are faced with when we get a not so dreamy tenant.
Dirty Smelly Tenants
This is by far the most common issue that I have come across as a landlord and can be coupled with other issues as well. Excessive wear and tear occurs when the home is not maintained properly and in the end cost the home owner more money and chips away at profit. Remember to conduct periodic inspections to make sure that the rental unit is being properly cared for. A clause can be included in the lease that provides for a professional cleaner to come in if the property is not clean at the tenants expense.
Tenants That go MIA
Why is it that some tenants find it so tempting to skip out on the last months rent? Or just leave with no notice at all? In all likelihood they will have to rent again and will want a clean rental history. Almost all property management companies and landlords now require the prospective tenant to provide a rental history with phone numbers so references can be checked. It’s a good idea to require additional contact information for tenants such as email addresses, work phone numbers, etc. I also require emergency contacts on the rental application so I can get in contact with family or friends in an attempt to track the tenant down.
Sue Happy Tenants
Litigation is becoming the most common way to resolve even small issues. It is becoming even more important to have a bullet proof lease that has been reviewed by a lawyer. In addition, it is critical that you are familiar with federal, state, and local laws regarding any changes. Knowing the laws and following them will keep you out of hot water but it’s not guaranteed to keep you from having to go through the legal process so it’s a good idea to have legal counsel ready to help.
Other Lease infractions
This encompasses a lot, there are just so many topics to cover under this heading! Some that I have personally come across include; tenants that smoke inside, tenants that grow marijuana, pet sneaking tenants, tenants that have people move in that aren’t approved in the lease agreement, tenants who are disruptive to neighbors and tenants who are committing illegal activities on the property.
This blog post isn’t meant to be negative it’s meant to serve as a reminder about what can go wrong when renting property. It’s meant to emphasize the importance of tenant screening, a good lease, and a good process that is followed precisely. Wishing you all the best of luck in your adventures in property management.