How to avoid problem tenants
As a landlord, there’s nothing more horrifying than the thought of a tenant turning your property owning dream into a nightmare. We’ve all seen the TV shows dedicated to tenants that love to party, but aren’t so keen on cleaning and paying their rent. Although most people looking to rent are problem free, having to deal with the odd badly-behaved tenant comes with the job.
You can never reduce all the risks that come with letting your property, there are some things you can do to take the stress out of finding the right tenant.
Trust your gut
If possible, meet your potential tenants face to face. This will give you a feel for the type of people they are and if you’d want them living in your property. If you have any doubts, then say no. Losing out on a couple of weeks rent while you look for the right tenant is cheaper in the long run than cleaning up after the wrong tenant.
Do your homework
As part of the vetting process make sure you ask for references from previous landlords. If any trouble has taken place, then it’s likely that another landlord wouldn’t want you to go through what they have.
Make it formal
Under no circumstances hand over the keys to your property before a tenancy agreement is signed. This is your key to getting any problem tenants thrown out of your property if needed. It’s sensible to start off with a short-term agreement of 6 months which can be extended once they’ve proved they can look after your property and pay the rent on time.
Having landlord insurance in place can take a lot of the stress out of renting out your property. A typical landlord insurance policy will protect you against the following risks:
- The cost of repairing your building following a weather event or vandalism.
- Replacement of your contents because of accidental damage or escape of water.
- You’ll even be covered for loss of rent if your tenant needs to move into alternative accommodation due to an insured event.
- Or if your tenant sues you because they have an accident which has been caused by a poorly maintained property, property owners’ liability will cover your legal fees.
Don’t be a stranger
Pop into your property regularly. This gives you the chance to see how your tenant is looking after your investment as well completing any maintenance jobs that need to be done. Obviously, your tenant should be told when you’re going to visit, but if you set up regular dates right from the beginning this shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re using an agent to manage your property then always ask to see their reports following their inspections.