While most tenants are great to deal with, there are occasions where property managers are faced with difficult tenants. The definition is broad and includes a wide range of issues. From not paying rent, noisy habits, unknown pets, damaged windows/walls/floors, to hidden drug labs, brothels and death threats. Thankfully, not every property manager will have the more extreme cases to deal with, and with some proper considerations and practices, you may be able to avoid some issues altogether.
While the below points may seem like common knowledge, it is surprising how many property managers skip some steps due to lack of time and simply forgetting. Don’t be that person who looks back and says ‘I should have….’.
Prevention is better than cure
The importance of a thorough screening is vital when accepting new tenants. While it does not secure you 100%, it will definitely put you in good steed for avoiding those undesirable tenants. Be sure to complete the following:
- Background check
- Credit check
- Call all references and ALL previous landlords
- Verify income
Also, by asking the right questions, you can gauge some more insight into the type of person a prospective tenant is. These questions can include:
- Why are you moving? (look for warning signs such as evictions, arguments with neighbours etc.)
- Will you have the bond and first month’s rent ready upon move in?
- Who will be living in the property?
- Have you ever been evicted? (while they may not tell the truth, it is still worth asking.)
- Are you a pet owner?
- Do you have any questions?
Finally, by telling the prospective tenants your expectations reinforces your standards and their rights as tenants. Learn the laws back to front inside out, and always have written evidence/ documents and photographs of the property prior to tenants moving in to ensure that you have evidence should disagreements arise. You can never be too careful…
If you have anything to add to Tenant Talk Time, please let us know in the comments below.