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Every landlord’s tenancy nightmare

In this article, we take a Halloween themed look at some nightmare tenants and how landlords can reduce the risks of enduring these housing horrors.

With Halloween just around the corner we look at some absolute horror shows landlords have had to endure from nightmare tenants. The good news is we explore some ways for landlords to protect themselves against having to go through this experience.

Tenancy nightmare: It’s trick or treat season.

The stores are awash with all manner of spooky merchandise and the TV channels broadcast back to back horror movies showing the stuff of nightmares.

Talking of nightmares perhaps the biggest one a landlord can have is a bad tenant.

And there are indeed some terrifying tenants (and landlords) out there.

A landlord in Cardiff was reduced to tears when on inspecting her flat she was met with piles of beer cans, mouldy fast food containers and walls covered in stains, marks and spider webs. And we don’t even want to talk about the state the tenants left the toilet.

Sadly, it certainly isn’t an isolated case. Far from it.

A tenant in London ran up £20,000 in rent arrears before proceeding to smash the apartment up with a hammer the day before she was evicted. On top of that she had made her neighbours lives hell with her anti-social behaviour.

Now, we know these types of terrible tenants from hell are rare.

But it’s worth knowing that they are out there and that there are ways to reduce the risk of renting to them.

Here are our top five tips to help avoid a nightmare scenario.

  • Follow the law – you can’t discriminate against renting to someone on the grounds of their sex, race, ethnicity, a disability and / or family situation (if they have children). The tips that follows are subject to laws and regulations which change constantly and can vary from council to council so check where you stand legally.
  • Check their credit score. You want to look for a tenant who is financially responsible. If they are responsible with paying their bills, there is a great chance they’ll pay their rent-on time and be good tenants. Ask for evidence of pay-slips and if required run a credit check with an online provider (fees applicable).
  • Check out their rental history. Ask for references from previous landlords wherever possible. Don’t just take these on face value but look to speak to the landlords or letting agencies they’ve previously dealt with. Questions you could consider asking include:
    • Did the tenant pay their rent on time?
    • How did they look after the property?
    • What was the reason for their move?
    • Did the tenant give 30 days’ notice prior to moving if it was their decision to leave?
    • Did they cause any damage to the property other than acceptable wear and tear?
    • Were they respectful of you and their neighbours?
  • Know exactly who will be living there. The more people who live in your property the greater the chance for damage and problems to occur. Insist on anyone of adult age to be signatories to any tenancy agreement and have a rule of no more than two people per bedroom.
  • Always meet the tenants. Follow your instincts about them and decide accordingly.

And in the interests of fairness it’s important to remember that a tiny percentage of landlords can induce nightmares by overcrowding their properties, ignoring laws and failing to provide safe, comfortable accommodation.

However, following the above tips should make your life a lot easier.

Talking of making landlords’ lives easier that’s exactly what we do at Rentila with our free cloud-based property management software.

It helps landlords manage their portfolios, stay the right side of the law and maximise their investment returns.

Thanks for reading

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