Landlording & Rental Properties

Vacant Rental Property or Bad Tenants?

Expertise: Real Estate Marketing, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Investing Basics, Landlording & Rental Properties, Flipping Houses, Personal Finance, Business Management
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Yesterday, forum member vegastud asked an important question regarding a property he recently acquired: Do I sign a suspect renter because I need renters or wait? Do I lower the price? I am frustrated. First, I want to share what one of our resident experts, All Cash, has to say: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER rent to [...] View the full article: Vacant Rental Property or Bad Tenants? on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Joshua Dorkin is a serial entrepreneur, investor, podcaster, publisher, educator, and co-author of
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    David Williams
    Replied about 13 years ago
    Yea you’re pretty much dead on with this one. I broke the rules on my first tenant and it cost me dearly. I lost time, rent, gas, court fees, plus she damaged my property which cost me over $800 to fix. But she gave me something that was priceless… EDUCATION!!! I don’t break the rules anymore. Business is business, friends are friends. Don’t try to mix the two. Great article.
    David Williams
    Replied about 13 years ago
    Yea you’re pretty much dead on with this one. I broke the rules on my first tenant and it cost me dearly. I lost time, rent, gas, court fees, plus she damaged my property which cost me over $800 to fix. But she gave me something that was priceless… EDUCATION!!! I don’t break the rules anymore. Business is business, friends are friends. Don’t try to mix the two. Great article.
    Susan Milner
    Replied about 13 years ago
    I agree with this blog. I have clients calling me nearly every day with brand new, vacant homes in Cape Coral & Lehigh Acres. Most of which are ‘upside down’ on their loan vs. market value. They say they want to get a tenant in, at all costs to help them afford this home. For starters, rents here are about 1/3 to 1/2 of what a typical high ratio mortgage payment is. Not only that, but at the end of the year lease you have an undesirable property on your hands. Waiting for a good tenant or simply taking a loss is the best bet – always.
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied about 13 years ago
    Thank you both for your comments. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied about 13 years ago
    Thank you both for your comments. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
    stanislaw
    Replied about 13 years ago
    I lost time, rent, gas, court fees, plus she damaged my property which cost me over $800 to fix. But she gave me something that was priceless… EDUCATION!!! I don’t break the rules anymore.I read this article is very interesting.so click on the link for more details Reply Report comment
    stanislaw
    Replied about 13 years ago
    I lost time, rent, gas, court fees, plus she damaged my property which cost me over $800 to fix. But she gave me something that was priceless… EDUCATION!!! I don’t break the rules anymore.I read this article is very interesting.so click on the link for more details
    Chris Lengquist
    Replied about 13 years ago
    Follow the advice of this article or learn on your own. Either way it is the truth. Well written and a great read. Last thing I’ll say is Chapter 13 of John Shaub’s book Building Wealth One House At A Time is a great manual on how to work with tenants, as well.
    Manuel Lopez
    Replied about 13 years ago
    On of the biggest reasons landlords run into problems is when they dont conduct a proper screening
    Andrea
    Replied almost 13 years ago
    This happened to my dad one time some years back, and he never let it happen again. He was fortunate to not have his homes trashed again. Everyone is not so lucky.
    Andrea
    Replied almost 13 years ago
    This happened to my dad one time some years back, and he never let it happen again. He was fortunate to not have his homes trashed again. Everyone is not so lucky.
    Bernard Fisher REAL ESTATE AGENT
    Replied about 12 years ago
    I WOULD GO WITH THE BAD TENANTS- KEEP THE PLACE AS IS- HAVE SOLID LEASES WHERE YOU CAN GET THEM OUT ASAP IF NEEDED IF ITS EMPTY THERE IS NO CHOICE OF GETTING YOUR MONEY- IF THERE IS SOMEONE BAD OR GOOD- STILL THERE IS A CHANCE BERNARD FISHER
    MoneyMan
    Replied almost 12 years ago
    Well this is a no brainer. DO NOT rent to an undesirable applicant. Use as many of your resources as you can to market your vacancy. Multiple internet rental and classified sites. Signage on the rental and bandit signs. Newspaper and buy sell paper ads. Real estate clubs. Shopping center billboards. Finder fees to your tenant base. And many more…be creative!!!
    vanny
    Replied almost 12 years ago
    I have a tenant who is nasty don’t pay rent and was asked to move out in January and its now June and she still wouldn’t move. She also have her son move in. Trust me when I tell you, never to rent your place to anyone. Shirley Patterson and son Micheal swem is the worse tenants ever. We can always use the extra money but its not worth the stress.
    mgeorge
    Replied over 11 years ago
    I am landlord and I have the tenant from tenant hell. She is a prostitute and has a different John there everynight. She said she only had 1 child when she really has 3. She has caused $3,000.00worth of damages and that is just to the outside and plumbing of the house. She has had me and my father arrested. She came from out of a shelter and is on a DHS program. Be careful of DHS programs!!!! I cant wait until she is gone. What a lesson learned.
    mgeorge
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Her initials are LCM or LCR beware She is on sec. 8
    Mark England
    Replied about 10 years ago
    I had a nightmare tenant in the UK and it took me almost 3 months to evict him.
    Mark England
    Replied about 10 years ago
    I had a nightmare tenant in the UK and it took me almost 3 months to evict him. Reply Report comment
    Kate
    Replied about 10 years ago
    This is helpful advice and I especially appreciate the tips list. I’m a relatively new landlord and I’ve already made too many stoopid mistakes renting to folks that I just knew in my gut weren’t going to work out. I’ve been relatively lucky in that none of them has been too much of a bust, but next time I’m going to follow my gut and “just say no” to “suspect” tenants.
    Kate
    Replied about 10 years ago
    This is helpful advice and I especially appreciate the tips list. I’m a relatively new landlord and I’ve already made too many stoopid mistakes renting to folks that I just knew in my gut weren’t going to work out. I’ve been relatively lucky in that none of them has been too much of a bust, but next time I’m going to follow my gut and “just say no” to “suspect” tenants.
    Mary
    Replied about 9 years ago
    The above is absolutely the truth for the average landlord, expecially with single family; however, when I (single, otherwise unemployed mother to 4 & 5 year olds) “bought” a 25 unit property with 4 mortgages, 100% LTV, & Monthly cash flow <$1000. All my personal expenses were paid in quarters from the laundry, I was more desperate than my worse tenants to generate as much cash flow as possible, so I specifically let to the tenants that would make make most gray, but compensated for the risk by charging a high premium in rent, collected on a weekly basis, stiff late charges, (which may not even be legal in many areas), and I didn't live on the premises, but was often there. I also advertised specifically for those who had recently filed bankruptcy or had foreclosure and wanted to "rebuild" their credit. I charged 2 months security and first and last months rent. One sketchy couple paid 4 months in cash. Having grave doubts of their history, I called them to alert them that "I had just gotten a call from the FBI asking questions, and just thought they'd want to know". They had a moving truck there in 30 minutes, emptied the apartment in an hour, and left behind 2 teenagers who arrived home from the park to receive instruction from the resident manager for them to take the bus to Papa's. In all, I starved the first 10 years plowing everything into paying debt and upgrading the property. It's been 20 exciting years, the building are paid off, and put both kids through college. I can honestly say, even my worst tenants taught me valuable lessons, some became excellent long term (10+ years) tenants, grateful for a chance to get things right. If you've got the stomach for it, there's money to be made. I'm 48 and spend my time helping my adult children build their multifamily "empires" and traveling. I figure if my kids wanted in, it must not have been so bad!
    Desiree
    Replied almost 9 years ago
    I don’t know. I’m experiencing the worst year of my life in real estate all due bad tenants. I hired a property manager who I swear found THE worst tenants to rent my properties, two of which completely destroyed the houses. All of my rentals are single family (unfortunately), and one has been boarded up for several months after the tenant destroyed it. Another cost me close to $3000 to repair, so I’m inclined to say WAIT. I’ve taken over leasing out my own properties again, and I’ve been finding excellent tenants. Mary (#15), your story is amazing! I’m so intriqued, and I’d love to hear more about how you managed to hold on. Please contact me via email if you can at [email protected].
    Caroline
    Replied over 8 years ago
    @Kate. I can tell you from painful experience that trusting your gut is the only way to go in the landlord business. People send you plenty of signals as to their character. Listen and trust your gut.
    Caroline
    Replied over 8 years ago
    @Kate. I can tell you from painful experience that trusting your gut is the only way to go in the landlord business. People send you plenty of signals as to their character. Listen and trust your gut.