Tenent horror stories

6 Replies

I have read a lot of stories about tenant horror stories and honestly becoming a landlord sounds like a terrifying proposition. But i guess my question is if you properly screen a tenant and not give way to desperation are you still likely to have these problems? What i mean by desperation is; The property is vacant and you rent to someone who is sketchy at best. 

You can never guarantee that you won't have an issue with a tenant, but if you have an effective process in place, and you stick to it, you can minimize the chance of an issue.  And that's the best you can do.

 If you buy in a good area where you can attract a good quality tenant and you screen them properly you will greatly reduce your chances of having a nightmare tenant story. There's always risk in almost all investments so I set aside money every month for something like this possibly happening at some point. So far the worst nightmare I had was when I rented to a "friend" …never again.

Another great tip is to only show the property when it is CLEAN! We had some dirty tenants moving out and wanted to show the place early. All the "higher quality" ones were turned off and couldn't see through the mess. The ones that remained interested were not the level I want in my unit.

Setting high expectations from the beginning (by showing it in a good state) will push them into that mold. Then you just need to keep them there.

@Bryan O.

I just made a post Monday about basically the same idea as what Bryan said. If you're just starting out make sure you treat tenants like they're dream tenants. Try to address their issues, maintain your property and establish that your relationship is one about mutual respect. I used to be lax on property maintenance hoping to maximize profits but found that it only hurt me in the long run. Be the best landlord you know how to be and it'll improve your tenant relations over the long run (but of course, there are always exceptions and some tenants are just unreasonable).

As for the desperation bit, the best plan to address that is to include a higher % of vacancy in your numbers. I like to err on the conservative side, so I assume 10% vacancy when I run numbers for properties, even if I'm not usually at that. If you're just starting out the situation can be more stressful since you'll rely on a few units to meet your goals, but as you acquire more units a vacancy here and there becomes less stressful.

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