There are a great many property landlords who could tell you stories of nightmare tenants or even of tenants who turn out to be unexpectedly odd. Some of these tales may be amusing but some may have the effect of sending a prospective landlord running for cover!
There is one thing which never changes in the world of property rental and that is – people aren’t always what they appear to be. Even though you may have diligently done the right thing by checking the tenant’s references and ability to pay there may still be something about them that doesn’t sit right. Their behaviour, mannerisms or the way they dress can tell you a lot about them and can set alarm bells ringing in your head! Here are a few things to watch out for to ensure you don’t get stung by a bad tenant. Luckily, if you have a great property management company working on your behalf like us, the hassle of vetting your tenants will be one headache you don’t need to deal with.
They want to pay cash
Cash payers come in all guises and from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter whether they are dressed head to toe in designer gear or look like they’ve worn their clothes for a year. The fact is that any tenant who insists on paying six months’ rent upfront, in cash, should make you a little wary. Although it’s nice to have 6 months guaranteed rent, you should always ask yourself why – particularly if they back this up by saying that they don’t wish to be disturbed in the property. This could be a genuine offer. It could also be because they intend to run some kind of illegal business from the property, or they intend to sub-let, or they don’t want to let you see that they are trashing the property.
Their personal hygiene is poor
The tenant may seem pleasant enough but if they appear dirty and smelly that is a sure indicator of their general personality. If they can’t be bothered to take care of themselves the chances are they aren’t going to take care of your property either. The last thing you need is having to pay for a deep clean of the property after they have left.
They want to haggle
Even though you have set the rent at a price in line with the market you will sometimes get those who want to try and haggle the price down. They may even try to barter by saying if you lower the rent they promise to pay on time or to ‘look after the property’. Even though that’s what they’re supposed to do! Or some say they love the property but will see if they can get the money together. These are certain warning signs that they’re not going to be able to pay. Steer clear.
Secret pet owners
Many landlords refuse to have pets in their properties. This is understandable considering some odours can be notoriously difficult to remove. If you have made it clear that you don’t allow pets but your prospective tenant turns up reeking of wet dog even though they have assured you they don’t own a dog, think carefully about whether you believe them.
When meeting people for the first time always go with your gut instinct and never be afraid to say no. Better yet, why not give us a call here at Atwood, where we’ll be happy to find and vet tenants for your property.