While many people consider owning rental properties easy money, seasoned landlords know better. Landlords have to deal with a myriad of issues, from midnight toilet leaks to bad tenants who seemed spectacular on the application paper but cause endless headaches once they move into a home. Here’s a look at three types of bad tenants, from the unmanageable to the high maintenance, and how to best work with each as their landlord.
1. The Tenants of Endless Excuses
They’re late on rent for the fifth time this year, and they’ve got yet another excuse as to why. The first time? Car blew a tire and you let it slide because they have to get to work. The second time? Their dog had to go to the vet and only an evil landlord would deny their pooch the best care. This time? It could be anything — they put the check in the mail, but accidentally didn’t raise the flag or they “forgot” the bank was closed on July 4th.
While they’re consistently short on rent, these bad tenants never seem to run out of excuses. As a landlord, you should examine each situation independently. It’s a given that a tenant may hit a rough patch, so you have to ask yourself: Are they trying in good faith to pay on time or are they just mismanaging their finances?
How to Manage Bad Tenants Who Don’t Pay Rent on Time
Make sure late fees are spelled out in the lease agreement and enforce them. Consider having fees that grow with repeated offenses, but try to offer a break to a tenant when they’re acting in good faith.
2. The Nosy Unneighborly Pryers
Always sticking their nose where it shouldn’t be, the nosy and unneighborly pryer is one of the most annoying tenants to have around. They get into your business, they bother neighbors about their business, and they’re always spreading gossip. In general, they make everyone’s lives miserable.
If you’re getting complaints or maintenance requests often, these bad tenants are probably the source of your headaches. While they can make you aware of issues other tenants may not report, they’re also a constant nag about the littlest things and can take advantage of your responsibility as a landlord to maintain the property.
How to Manage Nosy Bad Tenants
First off, make sure the lease agreement clearly states what the landlord is and isn’t responsible for. Define “wear and tear” and tenants’ maintenance responsibilities clearly. Second, if other tenants complain about the pryer’s nosy nagging, line up a replacement for them when it comes time to renew.
3. The Messy Unapologetic Nightmares
You’ve just gotten another 11 o’clock call with news that the tenant in apartment 203 is throwing another party. Meanwhile, the tenant in 107 has gotten another cat without permission and you can smell the carpet damage from the hallway. To make matters worse, your newest renter seems to ignore the “no smoking” policy altogether.
If these bad tenants aren’t following the rules outlined in the agreement, it’s about time you issued an official warning and began enforcing the penalties associated with breaking those rules. Noise complaints can lead to law enforcement’s involvement while damages from smoking, pets, and parties can wrack up your bills fast.
How to Manage Loud or Messy Tenants
Make your policies clear and understand the ground for eviction. Don’t hesitate to take action if the tenant isn’t responding to warnings. If left unresolved, the problem will only get worse as the damage increases.
We Offer Stress Management for Landlords
As property managers, Amanica works with real estate agencies and landlords every day to help them reduce their stress and get a handle on the bad tenants that plague their properties. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you manage your rentals around San Diego, reach out to us for information about our services.