If you think romantic relationships are tough, try experiencing a bad relationship between a renter and a landlord. If you’re a landlord, you know how tough it can be to get quality tenants and sometimes those glowing background checks fool you. However, once you’re “committed” in this relationship it can be nearly impossible to get out even if you haven’t received a rent check in month. It all depends on the location of the property and local laws.
Do you suspect your tenant may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and you’re looking for red flags? Maybe you’re currently trying to fill a vacancy and are skittish after hearing horror stories from your landlord pals. If you’re a landlord for a few years, you’ll get a few juicy stories under your belt but they won’t seem like conversation fodder at the time. Here are a few signs your tenant relationship is going downhill fast:
- They keep breaking the rules
Whether you’ve found cigarette stubs a little too close to the property or are convinced you see cat ears poking out of the blinds, a tenant who doesn’t abide by one of your rules is less likely to abide by any of them. However, this can be difficult to spot, and even impossible if you don’t live in the same region as your rental property. This is where a property management company becomes critical.
- They stop paying rent
It might be a slow progression, like paying rent later and later each month before coming up with excuses. It might happen out of the blue, and suddenly you’re the one paying the mortgage with no rent and tenants who refuse to leave. The laws for evicting a tenant vary state to state, and in many cases they cater to the tenant and not the landlord. It’s time to get an attorney on your side immediately.
- They don’t hold up their maintenance deal
Depending on your lease agreement, your tenants may be responsible for gardening, mowing the lawn or other tasks. However, if they don’t do it up to your standards, it can be difficult to broach the subject. You need to ensure there are black and white guidelines in the lease since “regular mowing” is subjective at best.
You’ll know in your gut when a tenant is a nightmare coming to life. The quicker you act and more legal protect you get, the better off you’ll be.