There are plenty of stories out there about landlords to avoid, or bad experiences tenants have had with their landlord, but what about the other side? Landlords encounter tenants from all walks of life, and some of them can be less than pleasant (that’s a bit of an understatement!).
Although every landlord can probably tell you a story about a bad tenant, there seems to be the following types that crop up a lot:
The One Who Lies About Their Identity
Hopeful tenants will use all sorts of tricks to work the tenant screening process in their favor. This can take the form of fabricating pretty much any document a landlord might need when decided to rent to someone. People edit their credit reports with Photoshop or can even make or purchase fake pay stubs (just look on Craigslist and you’ll find several ads offering quality fake pay stubs).
When it comes to potential tenants, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you get someone who is offering something like six months’ rent up front for an immediate move-in, it’s more likely they came into some money and are trying to skip out on the screening process, only to burn you later when their cash supply runs out. Speaking of paying rent, there’s…
The One You’ll Never Get Rent From
Sometimes, whether tenants have lied about their identity or not, it’s easy to misjudge a person (and their capability to pay rent!). Eviction laws are in place to protect tenants from being kicked out of a unit on a whim, but it can also leave landlords with bad tenants living in a unit for free. Some tenants have even lived rent free for seven months before being kicked out!
MClovechild on Reddit tells the story of a family of 7 who paid their deposit and 1st month’s rent and then after that refused to pay anything: “…to top it off, they didn’t get the power switched into their name so I got a $400+ power bill…when I have a 24-hour notice to do a walkthrough (with the police present), the woman who answered the door told me ‘You can’t come in, and we’ll get out when you follow all the procedures and the sheriff kicks us out.’ I think they’ve done this one before.”
It just goes to show that some bad tenants know how to work the system and will do whatever they can to get a free ride.
The One Who Tries to Always Get More
Some tenants out there seem to complain about everything or are always trying to get a bargain. It’s a big red flag if tenants start trying to haggle or complain before they’ve even rented the place; it can mean dealing with complaints and arguments the entire time they live there. It’s one thing if the concerns are legitimate, such as in an older building that needs a lot of repairs, but there are some bad tenants who use every excuse they can to get something out of their landlord, or perhaps have an upgrade added to the unit.
One landlord had a tenant that, although neat and tidy, would complain about everything to get what she wanted. She requested a new heater since her heating bills were so high that winter, to which the landlord agreed. Unbeknownst to him, she had left her doggy door open all winter to drive up the bills, simply to get that brand new heater!
The One Who Trashes the Place
Everyone can be a little messy from time to time, but there are some bad tenants out there taking it to a new level. Tenants can bring bedbugs and roaches into the building, but the scarier thing is sometimes what tenants leave behind, especially if they’re vindictive about an eviction. There are tenants who have left holes in the walls and curtains stained, and some have even left behind a dead cat shoved into a toilet!
In an AskReddit thread, user Thornnutella recounts what happened to a new rental house, built less than a year before these tenants left: “two dead horses, four dead guinea pigs, three abandoned dogs and one abandoned cat. Mountains of rubbish, dirty clothes, illicit drug paraphernalia…a motocross bike had been ridden in/stored in the house; mud/tire/oil marks on the walls and roof even.”
Had any experiences with bad tenants? Be sure to leave a comment!