Why You Should Absolutely Get Rid of the 20% of Your Tenants Causing 80% of Your Problems

Why You Should Absolutely Get Rid of the 20% of Your Tenants Causing 80% of Your Problems

2 min read
Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and podcaster. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has taught millions of people how to find, finance, and manage real estate investments.

Brandon began buying rental properties and flipping houses at the age of 21. He started with a single family home, where he rented out the bedrooms, but quickly moved on to a duplex, where he lived in half and rented out the other half.

From there, Brandon began buying both single family and multifamily rental properties, as well as fix and flipping single family homes in Washington state. Later, he expanded to larger apartments and mobile home parks across the country.

Today, Brandon is the managing member at Open Door Capital, where he raises money to purchase and turn around large mobile home parks and apartment complexes. He owns nearly 300 units across four states.

In addition to real estate investing experience, Brandon is also a best-selling author, having published four full-length non-fiction books, two e-books, and two personal development daily success journals. He has sold more than 400,000 books worldwide. His top-selling title, The Book on Rental Property Investing, is consistently ranked in the top 50 of all business books in the world on Amazon.com, having also garnered nearly 700 five-star reviews on the Amazon platform.

In addition to books, Brandon also publishes regular audio and video content that reaches millions each year. His videos on YouTube have been watched cumulatively more than 10,000,000 times, and the podcast he hosts weekly, the BiggerPockets Podcast, is the top-ranked real estate podcast in the world, with more than 75,000,000 downloads over 350 unique episodes. The show also has over 10,000 five-star reviews in iTunes and is consistently in the top 10 of all business podcasts on iTunes.

A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie and son Wilder) spends his time surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and swimming in the ocean near his home in Maui, Hawaii.

Brandon’s writing has been featured on Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, FoxNews.com, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media.

Instagram @beardybrandon
Open Door Capital

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If you have been in the residential rental business for any significant amount of time, eventually you’ll discover that one tenant whose life mission appears to be to send you to an early grave. We’ve all been there, and it is frustrating, believe us. They can do this in ways big and small — and usually in a lot of different ways at once!


Related: How to Get the Best Possible Tenants into Your Rental Property

16 Reasons Your Tenant’s Driving You Crazy

Here are a few examples of ways your tenant might be driving you nuts.

  1. Paying their rent late.
  2. Paying their rent late with an incredible, sad story as to why it’s late. (Tenant: “You see, my great uncle Jimmy passed away, and I had to fly unexpectedly to North Dakota for the funeral. But then when I got there, a massive tornado blew in and took out the whole town. Then my car broke down on my way home.” Landlord: “Didn’t you fly?” Tenant: “Oh, that’s what I meant. After I flew home, my car broke down, and I couldn’t get to work, so I was out of work for three weeks!” Landlord: “Is that the box to a new 60” big screen TV out by your garbage can?” Tenant: “What box? Oh that. That? That’s… not… mine.”)
  3. Or on the flip side, playing ostrich and burying their head when the rent is due.
  4. Smoking in a non-smoking unit.
  5. Smoking out the window in a non-smoking unit. (It’s not “technically” smoking in the unit if their hand is out the window.)
  6. Getting a pit bull in a no-pet unit.
  7. Getting a pet of any kind in a no-pet unit. (But it’s so cute!)
  8. Not taking care of or cleaning up after animals in a pet-friendly unit.
  9. Noise complaints from the neighbors.
  10. Turning the backyard into a vehicle cemetery.
  11. Not mowing the lawn.
  12. Letting their sister and Joe Blow move in.
  13. Changing the oil in the living room. (Yes, this has happened.)
  14. Not reporting maintenance issues that turn into major problems.
  15. Using their decks as a catch-all.
  16. Using Mickey Mouse sheets as curtains (after they broke the blinds).


How the Pareto Principle Applies to Landlording

You get the idea. There is a popular business principle often discussed called “The Pareto Principle,” also known as “The 80/20 Rule” that has been attributed to Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Wikipedia explains it well by saying, “The Pareto Principle… states that for many events, roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.” In the world of landlording, this can be applied to mean that 80 percent of your problems (or stress) comes from 20 percent of your tenants. The percentages don’t have to be exact, but it comes down to simply eliminating those problem tenants from your portfolio.

Related: The 7 Most Common Tenant Complaints (& How to Solve Them!)

By firing the tenants in your irritating 20 percent, you will be a happier landlord, your other tenants will be happier, and your business will run much more smoothly. There are a lot of qualified people out there who are great tenants, so why put yourself through the hassle of trying the deal with someone who simply doesn’t care? Life’s too short to rent to people who will shorten your life even further. So, let’s get rid of them, shall we?

[This article is an excerpt from Brandon Turner’s The Book on Managing Rental Property. Check out the full read here!]

What (crazy) things have your worst tenants done?

Share your stories below!