Have you got the experience to spot these tenants from hell?
With decades of experience between them, our investment property managers know a thing or two about tenants. There are good tenants, average tenants, and tenants that you should avoid at all costs – because they will cost you. The majority of our landlord clients are happy with their tenants, and we work hard to keep these tenants for longer. But what is a poor tenant, and how do we spot them even before we’ve started the tenant vetting process?
Here’s a light-hearted look at a serious issue when you’re prospecting for tenants – which tenant types do you want to avoid?
1. Roger with all the rights
Roger may have been an only child or was spoon-fed all his needs by his parents. He’ll expect you to cater to his every need, too. He’ll tell you that white goods need replacing at his first viewing. Why? Because previous tenants have used them.
Roger thinks he deserves everything new because the world owes him a living. There are a lot of Rogers in the world today.
2. Unemployed Eamon
Eamon is a little like Roger. Eamon is unemployed or has a history of short-term jobs. He seems to go from one firm to another. It turns out that all his ex-employers expected him to work too hard, and do tasks that a whole team of people couldn’t complete.
So, Eamon spends most of his day sitting on the sofa, drinking endless cups of tea while building cities and kingdoms on his Xbox. He’s a big fan of Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women, and a regular poster on Facebook. You’ll find that you need to constantly remind Eamon to get off the sofa and pay his rent. Feeling badgered, he will eventually leave without giving notice and without catching up on those two or three months’ rent outstanding.
3. Shaun, the serial tenant
Shaun appears to be the perfect tenant when you first meet. The first clue you get of his intention to rip you off is when he tells you about the six rental properties he has occupied in the last seven years. No one moves around that frequently (unless they’re in the military, perhaps).
Shaun is a serial tenant, a scam artist who has his heart and mind set on living rent free for the rest of his life. He knows how the system works, and will avoid paying rent for months. He’ll exploit any loophole he can find to remain in your property for nothing. It’s a game to him. You are most likely to find him trawling free tenant search sites for his next victim.
4. Mr and Mrs Filthy, and their unkempt kids
Whereas Shaun the serial tenant will turn up to a viewing in disguise – smart clothes, polished shoes and a beaming smile – Mr and Mrs Filthy will show their true colours from half a mile away. You will probably smell them before you see them.
Some giveaways include greasy hair, shoes with holes in the soles, off-white shorts with a button or two missing, and finger nails in which you could grow a sack of spuds.
If you let to the Filthy family, expect your property to look equally grotty within weeks. The kids will use your walls as artist easels. Kitchen floors will be covered in grease and oil. Not from cooking, but from Mr Filthy’s fetish for rebuilding motorbike engines on the kitchen table. Bins will never be emptied.
On the plus side, if you have supplied a hoover, it will be returned in pristine condition. Mr and Mrs Filthy haven’t a clue how it works. And you’ll never get a request for any maintenance or repair work to be done. They don’t want you to find out what a state your property is in, so don’t report that the toilet cistern has broken. When they do leave, they will claim their entire tenancy deposit should be returned.
5. Del Boy
Del Boy is perhaps the hardest tenant type to resist. He’s a lovable character. A lot of fun. He speaks easily to you and is easy to speak to. He is well dressed and impeccably polite. When you ask what he does for a living, he’ll tell you that he’s a trader. He buys and sells things, perhaps antiques, or cars, or clothes, or any manner of other goods. Whatever is hot in the market.
He’ll pay his rent on time. He’ll look after your property. All will be going well until the police come to call. A deal has gone wrong, and your property is found to be a store of stolen goods. He’s banged to rights, and your investment property is a crime scene, and empty for weeks or months while investigations continue.
Act in haste, and you will repent at leisure
Inexperienced landlords often rush to get a tenant. They use free tenant search sites to reduce their costs. They accept the first tenant willing to pay the asking rent, in a desperate bid to avoid costly void periods. Our experience is that acting in haste can be very costly in the long term.
While we may have exaggerated tenant traits in this article, they do give a clue as to the types of tenants you must avoid – to keep both your profit and your sanity. These gut instinct appraisals should always be backed up with thorough tenant background checks. Once these are complete, you’ll be able to cherry pick the best tenants and avoid the Rogers, Eamons, Shauns and Del Boys of this world.
To discover more about our tenant vetting process, and how we use our investment property management experience to get you the best tenants, get in touch with Ezytrac today on +44 01522 503 717. You are only a phone call away from the investment property management services that could make a world of difference to your buy-to-let profitability.
Yours in effortless property management,