How To Spot The Tenants From Hell
It is not necessarily easy to spot the tenants from hell – it all comes down to the Property Manager’s due diligence processing the application.
Tenants that have a bad rental history will either omit information or outright lie on their application hoping that the Property Manager or Owner won’t process the application too deeply.
This is where using a diligent real estate agent is worth their weight in gold! Real estate agencies pay subscriptions and dues so they have accessibility to information which is difficult, expensive or time consuming for the general public to access. For example real estate agents can quickly access ownership details of properties or can complete a credit check on the prospective tenant.
Things that we as Property Managers look out for on an application:
- Photocopy both sides of the driver’s license to check previous address / owner details – have these been listed on the application.
- We ensure that original documentation is sighted to ensure authenticity.
- Checking references is the person listed the actual owner of the property.
- Where possible, drive past their current home to see how it is presented.
- If they own their own property and it is just sold etc, obtain a reference from the selling agent on how the property is maintained or checking the information.
- We ask to speak to their referees as opposed to obtaining a written reference as you can tell a lot by the way a referee answers questions they are asked, do they hesitate? Do they offer information freely?
- Can they afford the rent? We ask for copies of pay slips as proof of income. We also speak to their employer and verify their income.
- Gut feeling! When things don’t add up or something doesn’t feel right. We come across all different types of people and sometimes we just get a “hunch” that things are not as they seem. There is a lot to be said about intuition. If it doesn’t feel right then don’t.
Even when all of the above checks out, it is still very important for owners to have landlord protection insurance. This is not compulsory but we do highly recommend it. Unfortunately we cannot control changes to a tenant’s situation; if they were to have a change to their job or relationship status or if they were to pass away. Having this insurance in place will protect your income should the unforeseen occur.