5 Early Warning Signs of Bad Tenants
Every landlord worries about getting stuck with a tenant who doesn’t pay the rent or doesn’t look after their property, such concerns are only natural, but you can act swiftly to stop a bad problem from getting worse if you know the tell-tale signs to look out for.
Alarm bells should start ringing if your tenant is consistently late paying their rent. Don’t panic if their first debit or standing order is a few days overdue or fails to appear at all, as often this can be down to a clerical error at the bank. Speak to the tenant and ask them if there’s a problem and remind them that the rent should always be paid by the due date. However, if you get a couple of late payments in a row, you should ask them directly if they’re having difficulty with the rent and discuss how you can sort this out.
You should include a clause in your tenancy agreement stating that the tenant must grant you reasonable access to carry out routine inspections, which will allow you to make sure they haven’t turned your property into a drugs den or cannabis farm. We’re joking, this is highly unlikely, but you ought to carry out maintenance checks at least once every six months, so if they keep refusing you access to the property it might be that they’ve got something to hide. You should remind them that by refusing to let you inspect the property they’re breaking the terms of their tenancy agreement, which is a reason for eviction.
If you suspect that tenants are starting to find things to moan about it could be that they’re trying to find excuses to withhold their rent. This most usually happens in the last two months of the tenancy, when tenants become nervous that they might not get back all of their deposit. If you respond promptly to any maintenance issues you’ll take away their ammunition and hopefully give them less to complain about.
Those who live in close proximity to your rental property can be your eyes and ears when you’re not around. We’re not suggesting you should ask them to spy on your tenants, but you should encourage them to let you know if they’re disturbed by any anti-social behaviour on your property, which might be a sign that they’re not taking care of it.
The Silent Treatment
If a tenant stops paying their rent and fails to answer your calls, letters or emails, there’s only one way this is going to end and that’s with their eviction. Move as fast as a rat out of a trap to start proceedings to avoid rent arrears building up.
Reference Your Tenants First to Avoid Problems
Remember that, when it comes to tenants, often behaviour will repeat itself. Identify potential problem tenants before they enter your property by ensuring they are properly vetted and referenced.