One of the main reasons that many people hold back from ever investing in long term buy and hold real estate is the old tenants and toilets issue. I’m quite positive that those things have also driven people to sell those investments off to someone else more well equipped than themselves to deal with the dreaded 3 am phone calls.
Bad tenants are a really tough thing to deal with.
I’ve had countertops busted up, walls smashed in and broken tub faucets left running for weeks.
“The cops were here again last night. There was a huge party over there and someone broke our bathroom window with a beer bottle”, is how I was greeted by a neighbour of a rental property one day when I stopped by.
Inconveniences, financial strain and a large dose of frustration sometimes comes along with owning and managing your properties. I’ve had more than my fair share of this stuff, but I’ve also learned how to identify great people who treat the house like their own and have a place in their heart for it.
It took trial and error for me to figure it all out. Occasionally it still goes bad, although I’ve learned how to deal with the situation properly when it does.
Here are 5 Ways to Stop Attracting Horrible Tenants (I’ve Made All of These Mistakes in the Past):
1. Price Your Property Correctly
Lowering the price of your units to create more interest is simply the wrong way to go. Cheap rents are the perfect way to attract the wrong tenant. Always, always, always list your rental at or slightly above fair market rent. The right tenant will pay what you are asking.
2. Use Great Advertising
Spend some time on your ads. Include lots of pictures. You know they are going to ask for more if you don’t anyways. A full and very colourful description of everything the property has to offer is always best. Tell them what about the benefits of your property, not only the features. I know it takes some time and effort to put together a good ad but after you do it once you will have it forever.
Properties in disrepair attract people who’s lives are also in disrepair. Bottom line. Take good care of your rental properties and they will take care of you. It doesn’t have to be a palace, but clean and fresh apartments attract the type of person who cares about the conditions they live in. Make sure everything is in working order.
4. Never Place Your Tenants On Gut Feelings Alone
The person you see when you first show the property may not be a good representation of the person you can actually get. Don’t go on gut feelings and never give the unit to someone on the spot because they say they’ll take it. Put everyone through an application process. If someone is serious they will not mind filling out an application, and if they do mind you probably don’t want them anyway. You must take the time to screen your tenants.
5. Lose the Bad Attitude
Maybe, just maybe its YOU and not them. Lets say you have a tenant who seems to call all the time to let you know about this being broken or that not working. What a bother right?
But whats the alternative?
Months later you may find that neglect has caused a huge issue that will cost hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars to fix. Your tenants probably want to call and bother you about as much as you want to hear from them. If you have a lot of unbearable tenants then take a good long look in the mirror. Your frame of mind could be setting you up for disaster.
Form a relationship with your tenant. Have a genuine concern that they are happy in the home you are providing because at the end of the day that is exactly what they are looking for.
Have an issue with one of your tenants? Place your comments below and I’ll be happy to give you some advice on how you can fix the problem.