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How to spot a bad tenant

Category Rental Advice

Good tenants tend to follow the rules and pay their rent on time, however, bad tenants generally have a pattern of problematic behaviours and can cause landlords to have sleepless nights. It is natural to have fears about getting stuck with a tenant who does not pay their rent on time or does not look after your property. This is why it is so important to find a reputable and experienced rental agent to manage the many risks involved when vetting a low-risk tenant for your property. Below we share some of these insights with potential landlords:

Previous landlords
You can request that the potential tenant supply a reference and contact details for a previous landlord. If they seem secretive and do not wish to reveal the previous or current landlord's details then there probably is a negative reason for this. It can instantly give you, the new landlord the idea that the applicant could be hiding something - like a prior eviction. If the applicant has no previous landlord, it is good to question where they currently live and how long they have been searching for a home for. As much as you want the perfect tenant, you also want them to have the perfect home.

Financial stability
It is advisable for landlords to check if the applicant has a stable job, along with how long he/she has been employed at that company for. It is very risky to accommodate a tenant who is always in and out of jobs. You do not want to be stuck with a tenant that cannot afford to pay rent or delays on payments. Also, be wary of applicants who are willing to pay a large amount upfront as this does not guarantee that you will receive regular payments every month. Applicants who wish to pay by cash or are self-employed may require more due diligence to confirm that their income is constant. Going over bank statements are a great way to check if the applicant can afford to rent your property, is not blacklisted, and is capable to pay the rent in the future.

Look out for the signs
Be aware of the signs for spotting a bad tenant. For example, if the applicant asks inappropriate questions such as "How many women live in the complex?" or "Are there any police officers living nearby?", then this should raise a red flag. Whether they seem to be joking or not, these should be taken as warning signs. Perhaps you have a no pets allowed rule or the body corporate insists on keeping the noise levels down, however, the applicant insists on breaking rules before they even move in. By staying alert for these signs you will save yourself the hassle of dealing with rowdy tenants in the future. Also, avoid renting your property to someone who appears drunk or under the influence of drugs each time you meet. Furthermore, an applicant who is keen on finding faults from the moment they walk through the door should be a no as they will continue finding them throughout their lease.

Trust your instincts
As a landlord you want to have a good relationship with your tenants, after-all, they will be taking care of your property. If you have doubts and the applicant makes you feel uncomfortable or intimidated, trust your instinct and do not rent out to them. You have the right to rent out your property to the applicant that best suits your checklist.

Once your mandated rental agent has completed a thorough risk analysis on your tenant and you have approved the tenant, be sure to demand that your rental agent utilises a leading rental management software product such as PayProp to ensure a professional experience for both landlord and tenant. PayProp's automated payment and reconciliation platform allow rental agents to collect and match rent, make outgoing payments, report on portfolios, and more in just a few clicks.

Private landlords should conduct screenings and background checks before they allow a tenant to move into their property. Basic checks include references from previous landlords, credit reports, proof of employment, as well as bank statements. If you want to know more about the rental management process, consult one of our friendly rental agents at RealNet Witbank today.

Author: RealNet

Submitted 30 Aug 19 / Views 428

Witbank, Mpumalanga

The city of Witbank is a city situated on the Highveld of Mpumalanga, South Africa, within the eMalahleni Local Municipality The name Witbank is Afrikaans for "white ridge" and is named after a white sandstone outcrop where wagon transport drivers... More Info