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, we can't. We'd get sued. And you can't share the names of your worst tenants either (even though we'd all LOVE to know WHO NOT TO RENT TO)! We do, however, have TONS of photos and stories from our own experiences, and past experiences of our clients, to share with you.
TOP FIVE WAYS PEOPLE BECOME BAD TENANTS
and COST LANDLORDS MONEY:
1) STOP PAYING RENT OR PAY LATE
(forcing eviction or costly legal action)
2) CAUSE PROPERTY DAMAGE
(holes, damage flooring, make unauthorized changes)
3) LACK OF CHANGING/CLEANING AC FILTER
(shortens AC life by YEARS, causes leaks & freeze ups etc)
4) MOVE OUT LEAVING EXCESSIVE FILTH/DAMAGE/ITEMS TO DUMP
(smells, deep cleaning, hauling/dumping costs extra $ AND TIME!!)
5) ADD PETS WITHOUT PERMISSION
(added legal liabilities, smells, damage etc can cost lots of $)
BEST REMEDIES TO AVOID THE WORST TENANTS?
COLLECT AS MUCH SECURITY AS YOU CAN and USE A GREAT LEASE!
(more about Security Deposits here)
Photos from real BAD TENANT move-outs.
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 and clean the unit looks!
CONDITION WHEN THEY HANDED THEIR KEYS BACK??? BAD!!!
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. Many move-in photos were taken, so these photos were used to compare to move-out condition as well as proof to dispel any possible objections by tenants for claims or amounts.
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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