Renting out your property is no fairytale and for the inexperienced, it’s stressful and overwhelming, too. But don’t despair just yet. There may not be such a thing as a “perfect” tenant, but good, trustworthy ones are out there. But in order to discern the good from the bad, you need to know what to watch out for: the professional tenant.
What Exactly Is a Professional Tenant?
The term may sound foreign to you, but we’re sure you’ve heard the horror stories of tenants who’ve moved in then withheld rent, or wrecked properties. These are the people who know the law and understand that the length of time it takes to evict a tenant can be up to two years. That’s two years without having to pay rent. If you’ve got a mortgage on that property, can you cover the payments without rental income? Plus the cost of hiring a lawyer? You might, but it’s more likely that the answer is no. There’s a reason you have rental property, isn’t there? For passive income. So, it’s important to protect your investment before a tenant moves in.
How Do I Protect Myself & My Property from Professional Tenants?
Professional tenants are experts at appealing to your good side. They know how to create a likeable image and, if need be, tell a good sob story. They pull at your heartstrings so you feel guilted into helping them or want to do them a good deed. This is an easy way to get scammed if you don’t screen your tenants first.
Running a proper background and credit check is an easy way to discover if a potential tenant is credible. It’s easy to cut corners when it comes to tenant screening, but a lack of thoroughness may cost you dearly in the long run. Tenant applications generally ask for the names of references and employers, don’t let those fall through the cracks. Talk to current and previous landlords, their boss, get a good measure for their character.
Cheques may have been the traditional method of paying rent for years, but this is the 21st century. There are safer, more secure options to collect rent. Look at property management apps that streamline and secure online payments for rent, or even e-transfers and direct deposits. Every landlord and property manager has experienced a bounced cheque, and while there’s a risk they could “forget” to pay, online payments are becoming more and more popular for a reason.
This may sound like a frightening prospect knowing that these people exist. Don’t stress out, though, the vast majority of tenants are good, decent people. If you’re worried about making the wrong choice, call in the professionals. At Pemberton Holmes Property Management, we make sure to protect the value of your property and the financial return that comes from it. Get in touch with us today and know that your property is in good hands.