Ever had bad tenants? You aren't alone! They don't pay their rent on time. They cause neighbor complaints for noise or roach infestations. They owe you a small fortune in late fees. They let unauthorized people sublet. They terminate the lease early without telling you or paying the penalty. And when they leave... you realize you've rented to BAD TENANTS who clearly never owned a mop or knew how to use one. Frustrating?? Definitely!!! And if you're a landlord or looking to become one, odds are you'll have some bad tenants of your own at some point.
While we would LOVE to share the NAMES of our Worst Tenants... so we can warn the world not to rent to these people... we can't. But we have TONS of bad tenants photos and stories from our own experiences, and past experiences of our clients to share.
Health hazards can happen when a tenancy goes unchecked for several years. There's no way to tell for sure how someone treats your property inside. Some tenants are hoarders, and apparently don't mind living alongside mountains of junk and generations of roaches. Got one of these? Invest $3-5k now, and it will be worth it to get them out and rehab. The longer you wait, the worse the situation gets, and the more expensive it will be to recover from the situation.
Terminate the lease. Florida requires certain verbiage, so make sure to use a good and lawful Notice of Termination. Equally important is serving it correctly. Once the tenants are out, clean - and clean again. Then paint. Paint everything. Then make sure the AC/ducts are clean. Then tackle the rest. These are the most important things to ensuring the attraction of much better quality tenants next time. GOOD TENANTS ARE ATTRACTED TO GOOD RENTALS. Good tenants WILL NOT rent dirty units that are in need of maintenance, painting, etc.
This tenant? Local Miami veterinarian, Mom of four small children. Apparently didn't change the AC filter in two years. And must not have owned a mop. SCARY! How do people live like this?!
It doesn't matter what profession... this nasty oven was left by a Miami-Dade teacher, mother of three. Other photos were of how tenants left property when the landlord thought for sure the people they had rented to, were clean professional people. They were shocked when they saw the inside of their properties again.
THESE TENANTS (below) WERE PROFESSIONAL,
VERY NICE PEOPLE THAT MOVED IN.
The place was given over to them in super clean, like-new condition.
Look how nice the unit looks!
Young couple just married, husband in law enforcement. Wife, a professional tax preparer, they had one young child. As a landlord, you'd assume these people would want to live in a clean home. You'd assume they'd return the place in good clean condition, when they move out. You'd assume they would want to leave the property in good condition, in case they needed a referral in the future.
But unfortunately, there's no way to predict how people live and will take care of their home. These are photos at "move-in", kept to review after move-out to help justify any security deposit claims. Always take photos!!!
CONDITION WHEN THEY HANDED THEIR KEYS BACK...
Good thing there were lots of "move in" photos taken. The way this young family left the property was disgusting. Claims on their security included charges for dumping food, trash and personal debris as well as a cleaning fee, carpet cleaning, and some repairs that were caused by the tenant.
How to avoid BAD TENANTS?? There's no 100% surefire way to screen for this. And sometimes things happen in life (divorce, medical, job loss etc) that can even make good tenants go BAD. We would love it if there was a real way to screen for tenant's pride in where they live, desire to live in pristine conditions, cleanliness or knowledge of how to use a mop and vacuum cleaner. It's amazing how tenants aren't embarrassed to leave property this way when they move out. But it happens. What are the remedies when BAD TENANTS strike? You may be able to claim their full or partial security deposit, you can sue them, you can send them to Collections, you can try to negotiate costs and get extra money out of them in lieu of legal/collections actions.
First step: get legitimate estimates for the clean up and repairs right away! Those are the amounts you'll use to calculate any claims on security. It's important to follow Florida Landlord/Tenant laws regarding security, and it's always best to have photos and documentation. Not holding enough in security to cover all the cleaning and repairs? Court, collections, attorneys would be next steps to consider. Tenants should ALWAYS return the property the same condition or better (minus normal wear and tear). BAD TENANTS LEAVING a rental property filthy, full of trash etc is unacceptable - and not protected by the law.
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