Dealing with Bad Tenants

Being a landlord can be a difficult and time-consuming job even under the best of circumstances but, if you have problematic or even criminal tenants, being a landlord can turn into a real nightmare.

It seems simple: don’t rent your property to terrible tenants and you won’t have horrible problems.

Unfortunately, even if you perform your due diligence during the application process, renting to someone you don’t know or even to someone you do know for that matter will always be a calculated gamble. Tenants have been known to destroy homes or abandon a property with zero notice.

Ever dealt with a high-maintenance tenant? Someone that calls you every week needing to have something repaired? Continually asks for a new paint job, new carpets, new appliances or any other endless request? The best way to deal with such an individual is to have a frank conversation about what you are and are not willing to address, which would ideally be stipulated in the lease, but it might not make a difference. Some people just want what they want. Managing a tenant with this kind of personality is stressful and potentially costly.

One of the worst renting scenarios is to discover your tenant is conducting criminal activity on your property. If you believe this is happening, you are obliged to call the police. One of two things will likely happen next. Unfortunately, neither is particularly good. Either your tenant will be arrested, which does not automatically mean you can have the person evicted since they’re likely legally entitled to live in the residence if their rent is current. Alternatively, if you call the police but your tenant isn’t arrested for whatever reason, well, now you may have irreparably damaged the tenant-landlord relationship. Most people aren’t fond of having the police called on them.

The most common problem landlords face with tenants though is probably a more straightforward issue: unpaid rent. If tenants can’t pay their monthly rent due to a loss of employment or for any other reason, whether over a maintenance dispute or some other issue, it puts you as the landlord in an uncomfortable position. You obviously cannot allow someone to remain in your property if they do not pay their rent but evicting someone can be an expensive and time-consuming process. A tenant going through the eviction process can also become irrationally angry and decide to damage your property before you are able to extract them.

A tenant that refuses to honor an eviction notice can become an entirely different nightmare. Many laws in this area do not benefit landlords. If you find yourself in a legal quagmire with a tenant that refuses to honor the obligations of the lease AND refuses to vacate the premises, you still have to pay your mortgage and possibly all or some of the utilities until any dispute gets resolved. This reality happens to landlords across the country all the time.

If being a landlord works for you, and if you’re getting a good return on your investment, that’s great. If you find yourself in such an enviable position, we wish you continued success. However, if you have experienced any of the scenarios cited above on any kind of a regular basis, you are undoubtedly aware that these problems have cost you time and money, added stress to your life and, in many cases, involved legal fees.

If you’re considering the possibility of no longer being a landlord, and subsequently wish to sell your property, we’d welcome the opportunity to speak with you. If we buy your property, we’ll pay with cash and purchase your home as-is. You do not need to make any repairs as a condition of sale. We can even buy the home if there are tenants currently living in the property.

It’s your call how you wish to proceed but, if you no longer wish to be a landlord, selling your home to a real estate investor is an option to consider.