Want To Know The Best Way To Avoid Bad Tenants?
The second fear in our series tackling the top property investment fears is tenants from hell. Dun dun dun!
As crazy as it might sound to some, the fear of attracting a terrible tenant is enough to turn some people off property investing completely. You do sometimes hear horror stories about tenants doing awful things to properties like:
- Not paying rent on time (or at all)
- Throwing frequent large parties
- Breaking windows
- Putting holes in the walls
- Redecorating (permanently)
- Destroying the landscaping
- Breaking or misusing appliances
- Constantly causing complaints and difficulties for the Landlord
The list could go on, but the themes are clear: disrespecting a Landlord’s property and costing them time and money are the main results of a tenant from hell.
Fortunately, if the idea of tenants from hell has left you shaking in your boots, let me reassure you that they are quite easy to avoid. Here’s how you avoid them:
Avoid the Lower End of the Market
In other words, don’t buy cheap properties that are likely to appeal to the lower end of the market, or poorer demographics.
Full disclaimer: I grew up in a poor demographic myself, and while I can say with full confidence that most poor people are not bad at all (most of them are wonderful people), most bad tenants are poor. Bad tenants don’t respect authority or other people’s posessions, making it hard for them to hold down a job, and as a result, they’re only going to be able to live in the lower end of the market.
So, to avoid tenants from hell, go with the middle of the market, which is priced to attract a better demographic of tenants who will respect your authority and property as the Landlord.
Get a Good Rental Manager
A good rental manager will ensure that they put good tenants into your property and stay on top of any issues that come up. They will also ensure regular inspection are carried out on your behalf to monitor the condition of your property and check for any evidence of breaches to the rental agreement.
Just as importantly, you need to make sure they love you! Look after your rental manager – treat them with respect and remember them at birthdays/Christmas time and they will make you (and your property) their top priority.
Have a Cash Buffer
If you follow the advice to stick with the middle of the market and get a good rental manager, you will likely avoid any bad tenants. However, in case they manage to slip through (anything is possible!), it’s a good idea to have a cash buffer. This covers you in case you do have a problem with a tenant so that you can boot them out right away and get a tradesperson in to do repairs immediately. This ensures your property is ready to rent again sooner, reducing the impact of a vacancy.
Get Landlords’ Insurance
Finally, you should also have a Landlord’s Insurance Policy in place to cover you so that you can claim any repairs on insurance. The cash buffer is important to ensure you can get repairs done quickly – the insurance policy will generally take too long to pay out, so it’s best to pay for repairs with cash, then claim them back later.
So, if you know what you are doing, tenants from hell are easy to avoid, and if you DO get them, you can minimise their impact on your portfolio with a few simple measures. The fear of bad tenants should not hold you back from investing in property!
Daimien J Patterson
Daimien Patterson is the CEO of Integrity Investment Properties, a property investment company based in Australia. He regularly produces books, blogs, and videos on the topic of property investing. Head to [integrityinvestmentproperties.com.au] for your free copy of Daimien’s book, Safe as Houses.