Shockingly enough some criminals have now made it their profession to be bad tenants. These ‘professional bad tenants’ move from property to property leaving a trail of destruction and unpaid rent behind them. It seems incredulous that this practice can continue and that people can make a living from it but unfortunately these ‘professionals’ seem to be getting away with it. They are very knowledgeable in property law and are able to get away with not paying rent using acceptable legal reasons such as claiming that the property is in a bad condition when landlords attempt to evict them.
Even though these claims are found to be fictional the lengthy court process required to dismiss the claims leaves landlords out of pocket whilst the tenants remain in the property without paying rent. Asides from flaws in the legal system which landlords cannot rectify, what can you do to safeguard yourself from such criminal tenants?
Never, ever, ever accept tenants without good references. No matter how tempting it may be to skip out on the paperwork you must do your research thoroughly before accepting a tenant. Run a credit check and most importantly get 3 references including one from their previous landlord and one from their employer. You need to check their employment status and research as many as their previous rentals as possible.
Always get a deposit paid in full up front. If tenants want to pay their deposit in instalments that is a clear indicator of their financial situation and a sign to steer clear of them. Another trick these professional bad tenants employ to get into properties is to offer a substantial upfront payment such as the first 6 months’ rent. Always check out tenants that offer this kind of proposal, they may be genuine but they may also be paying up front because they have something to hide whether criminal activity they wish to conduct in the property or a previous bad rental history! Never hand over the keys to the property until you have the money cleared and in your account. Professional bad tenants will try giving you a cheque that bounces or make a transfer that doesn’t clear so hold onto your keys until the cash in safely in your account.
Don’t be afraid to say no to prospective tenants! The cost in the long run of having a bad tenant is far greater than that of waiting a few weeks to find the right one. If you have doubts about a tenant or don’t feel at ease with them then just tell them no, thank you for your interest but we have someone else for the property! It is your property, your investment on the line and it remains at your discretion as to who you would like to live in your investment. Don’t stop searching for tenants until you have tenants checked, deposit paid in full and contacts signed. Tenants can often backtrack or mess you about the last moment so always keep ahead of the situation by continuing the interview/application process until the new tenants have moved in.
If you are struggling with bad tenants, then seek professional help immediately. Don’t try to handle the situation yourself, get legal advice and start the eviction process as soon as possible.
Tags: bad tenants
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