Every landlord’s worst nightmare is an awful tenancy. Despite the long lasting tenants that adhere to paying their rent on time and treat your property with the love and care as if it were their own, there are some tenants whose time in your property will be less than pleasant. It pays to know the ways on how to minimise your chances of nightmare tenants becoming your tenants.
The first stage is perhaps the most important; making sure that you select the best tenant for your property! Following up references and speaking to any or all previous landlords will be a great asset in the selection process. Ensure to verify the financial situation; is their income stable and will they be able to meet rent payment dates without struggling? It’s also advisable to meet with any potential tenant if possible prior to accepting any form of tenancy on more than one occasion, particularly if you’re able to do so.
Laying down the agreement
A comprehensive tenancy agreement is a firm footing for you to stand on against rule breaking tenants; they certainly can’t follow rules if they aren’t set in place. The agreement needs to cover the rules and obligations you have as the landlord to put the tenant at ease, whilst also conveying the boundaries for the tenant. Expectations for rent payment need to be made clear, outlining the responsibilities for repairs and maintenance, and the repercussions that will occur should there be a breach of the tenancy agreement.
Landlord insurance is there to protect you and has been designed to cover scenarios where normal household insurance won’t. If you are faced with a nightmare tenant, the right insurance policy could cover things like damage to the property, non-payment and even legal costs.
Don’t be a pushover when it comes to your property. If you fail to acknowledge a tenant has missed a rent payment, they’ll inevitably begin to push the boundaries and begin to amass rent arrears that will gradually become more difficult to pursue. Communication with tenants is crucial, be it through yourself or via a letting agent. Keeping all forms of communication recorded in writing will be a useful aid should you ever need to proceed down the eviction route; hopefully however this does not become the case!
Always have an exit strategy
If despite your best efforts, a tenant from hell still manages to slip through the net, it’s best to know your options for an exit strategy from the tenancy. Evicting a tenant is never a pleasant scenario to arrive at, but there may be no choice. Knowing all the legalities and the correct sections to serve are the best starting point, and it may be best to seek legal advice as the process can tend to be lengthy and expensive.
Use a reliable letting agent
Additionally, one of the best ways to avoid a tenant from hell is to leave the task to your letting agent. Abode have thorough and rigorous screening and referencing processes in place to minimise the chance of a troublesome tenant taking up residency in your property, as well as all the knowledge and resources to issue the correct notices and proceedings should a worst case scenario arise.