5 Most Frustrating Things that Tenants Do to Landlords
You may not always love your landlord, but there are certain things you can do, to make sure you don’t end up on anyone’s bad side while you rent an apartment or other property. Most renters can agree it is in everyone’s best interest to keep someone happy when they have a stake in your living situation. By the same token, if you are looking into renting an investment property to St George tenants, there are several things you can be aware of so you are prepared for what you are taking on as a landlord. Here are the Top 5 most frustrating things that landlords experience at the hands of their renters.
1. Failing to report maintenance issues
While you may take pride in your willingness to “just live with it” when something falls out of repair, your landlord is actually relying on you to some extent to keep him or her informed of what the rental property is in need of in order to stay in great shape. A great solution for this is to do walk-through inspections of your properties, in order to check that everything is working well and looks nice. These are best to do when the tenant is home so that as you walk through they can point out the little things that come to mind. They may be dealing with something small like a broken toilet paper holder but will remember to tell you about it when you are standing there in the bathroom with them. Long-time St George tenants may be keeping wear and tear to themselves, especially if they don’t notice things that gradually break down over the years. It is all too common for tenants to overlook stains from children and pets on the carpet and walls until it’s too late. If you are doing regular inspections, you can easily keep track of which units need new carpet, paint, and appliances. Keeping up with little fixes along the way will save the tenant on their deposit refund, keep them happy with a well-maintained living space, and save you from extensive updates and repairs when they move out and you finally get a look around.
2. Failing to pay rent on time (or pay at all!)
Some tenants might want to ignore capitalism’s social contract that nothing is free. If you want to occupy a space, there is a cost for it. There are some tenants that may use a sob story to get into a rental for a discounted deposit, and never pay rent after the first month. Some St George tenants may understand that an eviction process takes times, and they may be able to get away with 90 days or more of rent-free living before the court system proceeds with kicking them out of your property. More often though, tenants may hit financial struggles and pay late for a few months while they get back on their feet. It is important to run a credit check on your prospective tenant, and also speak with their former landlords so that you have a feel for their habits for paying bills on time.
3. Ignoring pet policies and smoking policies
Landlords have several policies in place to keep their property livable for current and future tenants, while keeping the rental investment as cost-efficient and as low-maintenance as possible. Many landlords do not allow pets, or allow them only under special circumstances or with additional fees. When tenants ignore a no-pet policy, there is virtually always expensive damage from pet stains, chewing, scratching, and odor. These damages come out of the tenant’s deposit and are costly and troublesome for both parties. It is similar to policies that prohibit smoking. Smoke damage and the odor is almost impossible to get rid of, and most deposits for St George tenants won’t cover the cost of stripping down paint, built-ins, and flooring to start fresh after a smoker. Other policies, like occupancy limits, parking, waste management, and noise levels, are in place to encourage your tenants to be good neighbors and responsible members of the rental community. This will help ensure that other people in the area appreciate your property ownership, and understand that you are taking care of things.
4. Making unapproved changes to a rental
When a renter paints an accent wall a bright turquoise or puts in new kitchen flooring just for fun, it can really throw a wrench in landlords streamlined maintenance process. First off, a tenant is most likely not a professional painter or contractor, and there may be plenty of trim and edges to fix on a new paint job, even if you do like the color they choose. If they replace flooring or fixtures, you have no guarantee that the work was done properly in order to last for years of wear and tear from future St George tenants. In addition, if you have more than one unit that you manage, little customizations like that can make it a pain for you to make repairs and touch ups as tenants move in and out. It can be much easier to have neutral colors and finishings selected, that work in all of your rental units.
5. St George tenants moving out with no notice
It can be incredibly annoying to hit the 5th of the month, and call a tenant looking for a rent check, only to find out they moved out with no notice, leaving the place trashed, and you with no rental income for that month and perhaps longer. Filling a rental unit with reliable St George tenants can take time, between cleaning and repairs to get a unit ready to show, advertising, properly screening tenants, and collecting deposits and rent. If you don’t have at least 30-days to get started on that process (and ideally walk through the unit with the tenant to make note of what needs to be done by them and by you), you can lose out on a month or more of rental income for that property. This loss comes on top of any damages that the deposit does not cover, and there may be several of those when you are dealing with a tenant that doesn’t communicate and then skips town.