So now you are a landlord, ready to take on the world, have your property and its filled! Awesome right? The first of the month comes and your tenant doesn’t pay, now what? You research and deliver the N4, do the landlord and tenant board thing, and three months later you are out rent, paying for the sheriff to evict them and POOF! they are gone! You have been hit by the infamous “professional tenant”!
This whole situation happened to me so I am going to give you 3 tips that will minimize the likelihood of falling into the same trap that so many landlords do when starting to rent. As there are many people who will exploit the system and prey on new landlords to live for free.
Don’t skip the employment/credit check!
A tell tale sign that the potential candidate is not your ideal tenant is if they refuse to have their credit check or if they fail to produce a letter of employment from their workplace. Bad credit isn’t necessarily a deal breaker but if they don’t pay anyone else why would they pay you! Also if they don’t have a job, its going to be tough to make the rent!
First and Last is a MUST!
A lot of new landlords are so happy they fill the property that they are willing to let the last months rent deposit slide… DON’T do that! First and last must be in hand before handing the keys and signing the final lease. If they can’t scrape up enough for the deposit what makes you think they are able to pay rent on time each month! Remember Cash before Keys!
They want to move in IMMEDIATELY!
So if you were renting to someone and they wanted to move out, would you require notice? Most likely unless you are Mother Theresa YES! So if they are so desperate to move out there are two scenarios. a) They are being kicked out of the place they are currently at, or b) they are planning to move out and take off in the middle of the night from their current place they are living at. Both are not desirable traits exhibited by good tenants. So steer clear of an urgent “I need a place NOW!” offers.
To be fair one of these traits may not be a deal breaker but if they have all three criteria I would bet my first born that they are not the type of long term tenants that you want in your newly renovated rental! I have been through the nightmare and if you want to skip that experience then heed my warnings about the professional tenant. Anytime you have any questions about rentals or real estate matters I’d be happy to share a coffee and talk, just make an appointment and we can meet up at the office! Until next time, enjoy the sunshine while its still here!