Author Topic: Renting to Problem Tenants  (Read 16900 times)

I Love Cake

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Renting to Problem Tenants
« on: April 29, 2013, 02:15:29 PM »
So, for all of you who own rental properties. Have you ever had a problem tenant? Someone who wouldn't pay? Trashed the place. Brought in bed bugs?

I am back to the first stage of buying a rental property. We know the specific area, have a price in mind, have factored in all costs, etc. That's not the issue

My issue right now is to find out how often landlords get duds. I have all the Cdn websites and pdfs about what to do when an issue arises (generally written for the tenant not the landlord)

In your experience do you run into this problem often? Did it cost you a lot to resolve it? What steps do you take to prevent this at best as possible? Credit check? Other checks? Rely on your spidey senses?

My only experience is living through this with a former boyfriend who had a house out of town he rented. I used ot go with him to interview new tenants. And they all seemed super nice and genuine-all were families. But every single one of them stopped paying rent after a few months. And left the place in a deplorable condition-yuck-I know because I used to help clean it up for the next tenant.

anastrophe

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 02:30:02 PM »
I'm interested to see what people have to say (not a landlord myself). My current landlord thinks he has good spidey sense but he doesn't. "They seemed like such nice girls," he said, shaking his head sadly, after the police had been by a few times. I keep telling him he needs to do credit checks and proof of income at least.

KingCoin

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 02:39:22 PM »
Both tenant quality and the complexity of the eviction process are highly location dependent.

Better neighborhoods typically attract better tenants (the trade-off typically being lower rental yields in high end properties).

Biggerpockets.com has a ton of articles on tenant screening. For example:
http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/01/27/tenant-screening/
http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2012/11/06/tenant-screening-criteria/

SunshineGirl

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 02:52:32 PM »
The most important criteria I look for in a prospective tenant is:

1. Best = has been at present job for minimum of six months, hopefully longer.
2. Income should be adequate to pay rent and other expenses.
3. Ask, "Why are you leaving your current living situation?" and then, "How many times have you been late on the rent in the last two years?" The right answer is NEVER. If they hem or haw at all, that's a red flag. The next question is, "When I call your current landlord for a recommendation, what do you expect he/she will say about you as a tenant?"

You must talk with their current landlord. You must be sure it is their true, actual landlord and not someone posing! if you can't talk to their landlord, you won't rent to them.

4. The prospective tenant should offer no challenge to paying the security deposit. If they try to work out a deal -- pay you some now, some later -- you can't. They either have it or they don't, and if they try to negotiate on this, trust that they will try to negotiate on rent payments. 


I Love Cake

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 02:59:51 PM »
Both tenant quality and the complexity of the eviction process are highly location dependent.

Better neighborhoods typically attract better tenants (the trade-off typically being lower rental yields in high end properties).

Biggerpockets.com has a ton of articles on tenant screening. For example:
http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/01/27/tenant-screening/
http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2012/11/06/tenant-screening-criteria/

thanks! Just read them both. Not sure what applies to me (I'm Cdn) will do more google searches

I was just wondering if anyone here has first hand experience with problem tenants-but this is great

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 03:36:02 PM »
Sadly, it happens a lot.  You must screen thoroughly.  Credit report, employment verification, criminal history.  My standard is verifiable income has to be three times the rent and sales tax combined.  Talk to the current landlord plus the prior one.  Current landlords often minimize problems to get a bad tenant out.  If you are attracting folks that don't meet your standards, your rent may be too high.  Set it at a point where you attract quality applicants.

All the advice in the world won't protect you from the mother with the abusive son that fills in the application in her name and then moves the son in instead.  Had that happen once.  Accept that over time eventually a bad apple will get by if you have a lot of properties.  Deal with it immediately when it does.

Not sure how things work in Canada, but it is easier to avoid bad tenants than get them out in most areas of the US.

Johnny Aloha

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013, 06:09:24 PM »
Knock on wood ... had rentals for a year now with no hassles.  Very easy income so far.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 07:12:14 PM by Johnny Aloha »

arebelspy

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2013, 06:48:41 PM »
Renting to Problem Tenants?  My advice: don't do it.
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arebelspy

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2013, 06:52:29 PM »
The bottom line is you choose your tenants.  You choose them!

Make sure you have cash reserves so you can weather a vacancy and don't just stick any old person in there that can fog up a mirror.  A bad tenant will cost you way more money than a vacancy.

Set high standards for tenants, and stick with them.  Screen and check credit, job history and income, previous landlords, personal references, everything.

That will reduce the amount of problem tenants so much that the rare one won't be a big deal.  It'll be a story to tell, rather than a constant aggravation.

Oh, and if you're buying in war zones because they have a huge cap rate, don't be surprised when you can't find qualified tenants and end up with sub-par ones or a constantly empty rental.  Pick a decent neighborhood (doesn't have to be A+, working class is fine), make the house nice (curb appeal), set rents right below market, and get tons of applications.  Screen them all very thoroughly and choose the good tenants.
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jennipurrr

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2013, 07:54:20 AM »
I do a credit and background check, call previous landlord (don't always trust that...sometimes they want them out of there) and try to get a feel talking to them.  Someone who had been in rental real estate a long time told me once that you are generally going to get "something" back on the credit/background check...that is why they are renting (members of this forum aside, of course).  Its the ones who lie straight to your face and tell you they have perfect credit, etc that are the ones to watch out for.  I have used that as a guideline.  I also don't rent to anyone who has a previous evicton or criminal history.

shadowmoss

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2013, 08:29:14 AM »
I am 2 for 2 on bad tenants.  One who had just 2 very small children, one a new-born, suddenly had 3 grade school/middle school daughters move in from a previous marriage.  Too many kids for that house.  Another I had to go to court to evict because he stopped paying rent, knowing I was out of the country.  The house is on the market for sale now.  It is a former residence that I couldn't sell at the point I left the area.

Both tenants had money issues and couldn't pay rent reliably.  Both were 'friend of a friend' of the unofficial (friends of mine, both times) property managers who 'just need a break right now'.  I ended up needing to put a fair amount (few thousands of dollars) of money back into the house after them moved out.  Being remote, I have had to work through others, and even the professionals I tried to use didn't make the house a priority. 

If someone wants a house on the north side of Nashville on a really nice 3 acres cheap, let me know.  It's listed for sale on the MLS.  :)

I Love Cake

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 08:51:14 AM »
Since you're a Canadian landlord, Equifax Canada offers a "tenant selector" tool you might look in to:
http://www.consumer.equifax.ca/business/sme/onlinetenant/en_ca

Further discussion on that here:
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/credit-check-tenants-1205886/
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/rental-application-information-957705/

Landlord friends of ours look up potential tenants online. One prospect had a Facebook wall post that read, "fxxk the police." They chose not to rent to that individual. Most people leave a lot of breadcrumbs in public areas online. (look at us, for example - just participating in discussions like this reveal a lot about people)

thanks-bookmarked them. dh is active on RFD so I'll get him to peruse the site for rental issues

Nords

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 08:46:25 PM »
This option might not work for OP but I've seen it work quite well near a U.S. military base.

For nearly a decade we've been renting to U.S. military through the AHRN.com website.  (Something similar might exist for the Canadian armed forces.)  Any landlord can sign up to market their property on the site, but AHRN requires a military ID for renters to browse.  The likelihood of military staying employed during their tenancy is pretty high.  Yes, they could trash the place like any careless tenant, but that's what inspections & security deposits are for.

The worst tenants we've had during the 13 years of landlording have been... my spouse's parents.

So, for all of you who own rental properties. Have you ever had a problem tenant? Someone who wouldn't pay? Trashed the place. Brought in bed bugs?
Heh.  This reminds me of our daughter, although she was living in our primary residence at the time.  Luckily she graduated high school and wanted to go to college on the Mainland...

WhereIsHeath

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2013, 07:47:09 AM »
I have definitely had my share of problem tenants; I think I'm at a 40% problem, 60% good tenants ratio right now :)  I also own property in a sketchy neighborhood, so some problems are expected no matter how diligent you are.  However I've improved my screening process and that's helped significantly; I was way too nonchalant about tenant screening when I first started renting!  I verify their income and work history, and I also check the state's housing court files to see if they've had any evictions that they aren't telling me about.  It's pointless to read too much into credit checks, as most of my tenants have little to no credit history; they mainly deal in cash and rarely have bank accounts.  One trick is to stop by their current residence to drop off paperwork; it gives you an idea of how they're treating their current place and how they'll probably treat your property.

spin

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2013, 06:51:14 PM »
I've had a higher end rental (condo in nicer area) for about with  10 years and 3 or 4 tenants over that time. So far (knock-on-wood) no problem tenants.  My wife has a triplex in the outskirts (in a MUCH worse neighborhood) and is probably had 20%-30% bad tenants.  Oddly enough one of her best tenants is section 8! 

The biggest problem in the lower income neighborhoods is tenants losing their jobs and not having reserves, though family breakups (e.g. divorce/break ups) is part of it.  Probably only 1-2 truly problem tenants.

Always run credit ask about reserves and job history, but don't shy from problem credit.  A good example is a couple where the primary bread winner lost their job and then lost their house a couple years later.  Horrible credit however they were great tenants.

racherinh

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2013, 02:16:21 PM »
Like someone else, we have a house that we rented to tenants who started out great and got progressively worse over the second year we rented to them. Like...we stopped by and their mother was living with them, and a baby she had just adopted, and two dogs (not allowed). And a boyfriend. All not on the lease, no notification, nothing. Things would break and they wouldn't tell us, and so on.

When they left we had to put about 3 days of hard work into cleaning the place, and hire floors, painting, etc.

Our solution, since we live 3-4 hours away, was to get a really good property manager. Bliss. Actually, local laws require us to have one given how far away we live - I did not realize this when we first decided to rent the house. We were not realistic about what it takes to be a property manager, and now that we know it's not a job we want. Fortunately the town has a great price-to-rent ratio, so its fine, and the rent covers all the expenses (good old 50% rule) and twice the mortgage.

The immediately raised the rent, found great tenants, and we have had no issues and no vacancy.

Difficult tenants can be very, very, stressful if you don't know what to do and you are far away. You may want to find an experienced buddy you can call.

arebelspy

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2013, 02:33:25 PM »
Like someone else, we have a house that we rented to tenants who started out great and got progressively worse over the second year we rented to them. Like...we stopped by and their mother was living with them, and a baby she had just adopted, and two dogs (not allowed). And a boyfriend. All not on the lease, no notification, nothing. Things would break and they wouldn't tell us, and so on.

And you immediately did a cure violation or quit notice? 

How good your tenants are is directly related to whether or not you treat it as a business.
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Blindsquirrel

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2013, 08:59:36 PM »
 Mr. Rebelspy is correct.  Other than credit/criminal/eviction history which you should [b]never ever[/b] consider renting w/o doing, one thing I started doing 3 years ago is I or a guy who works for us drop off the rental apps in person to tenants current address. This lets you find both there actual addy and who owns it as well as seeing if they are a slob/ house trasher.  Have not let a total D bag move in. Also, unless they are great and have lived there a long time. If no rent =pay or quit notice instantly. Just my 2 cents and worth the price.

WhereIsHeath

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2013, 08:45:40 AM »
Mr. Rebelspy is correct.  Other than credit/criminal/eviction history which you should [b]never ever[/b] consider renting w/o doing, one thing I started doing 3 years ago is I or a guy who works for us drop off the rental apps in person to tenants current address. This lets you find both there actual addy and who owns it as well as seeing if they are a slob/ house trasher.  Have not let a total D bag move in. Also, unless they are great and have lived there a long time. If no rent =pay or quit notice instantly. Just my 2 cents and worth the price.

Agree on the visiting tenants' current residence; it can be an eye opening experience.  However refusing to rent to tenants based on certain criteria can become very, very tricky.  It really does depend on where your rental properties are located.  For example if I refused to rent to any tenant with a past eviction or bad credit, I'd never have tenants; it's just the neighborhood where my properties are located.  However I'm aware of this and I screen carefully to determine why they have bad credit or past evictions, and that makes the difference.   

I also agree that it's really important to file a Notice to Quit as soon as the rent gets behind; the eviction process can drag on forever and you want to get started ASAP if they're no longer going to pay you rent!

Nords

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2013, 08:03:44 PM »
However refusing to rent to tenants based on certain criteria can become very, very tricky.
You never say "I refuse to rent to you!!"

You keep digging until you find something that's not good:  a poor recommendation, a bad credit check, a previous eviction.  Then you say "Um, Nords, you got a real bad recommendation from your last landlord, and I have three other potential tenants who have better applications than yours.  I'd hate to have to turn you down because of that recommendation-- could you talk to your previous landlord for me and see if you can get that straightened out?  Thanks so much, I'll wait to hear from you!"

You'll never hear from them again. 

racherinh

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2013, 12:40:52 PM »
Like someone else, we have a house that we rented to tenants who started out great and got progressively worse over the second year we rented to them. Like...we stopped by and their mother was living with them, and a baby she had just adopted, and two dogs (not allowed). And a boyfriend. All not on the lease, no notification, nothing. Things would break and they wouldn't tell us, and so on.

And you immediately did a cure violation or quit notice? 

How good your tenants are is directly related to whether or not you treat it as a business.

We did not, and I completely agree - I'm aware now of how badly we handled the whole thing. State law would have given them a minimum of 30 days, I have no idea what the county would have required but it has a reputation for a difficult eviction process.We assumed that it would be too difficult to get them evicted and we were too frightened by the possibility of a vacancy. We became distant landlords by accident when we had to move for job reasons right after the housing crash and couldn't afford to sell. When we had rented half the house while living there we had no problems, so we underestimated how hard it would be from a distance and were absolutely not prepared for the business aspects.

We had a really hard time finding renters. I was completely shocked when MMM said he finds great tenants through craigslist - I wanted to know what kind of ad he posts and how many people he had to filter out. We did not find it easy to find good tenants through that route.

This is why we are the kind of landlords who are much better off with a professional property manager -  I shared this because I know that there are a lot of very skilled landlord/property manager people here, and I wanted to propose that it is still possible to have a profitable rental with a good property manager. My experience shows that if the advice given here seems like the kind of work that you usually avoid and aren't good at - hire someone else to do it, even if your house is in a nice college town and seems exempt from these problems.

totoro

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2013, 01:16:30 PM »
I am in Canada and own eight rental units - one of which we live in.

When we purchased our triplex there were sketchy tenants upstairs.  Luckily they did not wish to live above the landlord and gave notice to vacate... and left it unclean.  We had no move-in inspection report so we were not in a good position with this. We were very happy to see the last of them.

I have had no other problems to date (knock on wood) except for individuals wanting to leave their lease term early.  We have found substitute tenants in these cases but it takes some time to organize.

Here is what we do:

1. buy nice places and maintain them well
2. advertise on CL
3. have tenants fill in an application and check references
4. google them
5. use written agreements and follow them
6. fix things promptly
7. take full damage deposits
8. advertise for the first of the month
9. offer partial furnishing (cheap with CL)
10. do a move-in and move-out inspection
11. have repair people available if needed
12. meet each tenant myself and personally evaluate whether they would be good imo

tryan

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2013, 08:32:42 AM »
Quote

 It's pointless to read too much into credit checks, as most of my tenants have little to no credit history; they mainly deal in cash and rarely have bank accounts.  One trick is to stop by their current residence to drop off paperwork; it gives you an idea of how they're treating their current place and how they'll probably treat your property.


This is key ... I've found a trip to their current residence  more valuable than a credit report.  OF COURSE they have bad credit ... that's why they rent!

Bad tenants?  How 'bout 4 dogs, 4 cats, and 5 chain smokers.  Sound "bad"?  Didn't start out that way.  17 years ago it was mom, dad and two kids - 5 and 7 yo.  17 years later the daughter is knocked up by a drug dealer doing 22 years in the can (and not paying his child support).  They take in "uncle" who's disabled. And a BF who can't hold a job for more than 2 weeks.  The poor child has a respritory illness from second hand smoke.  They left last summer after 17 years in the house (mom and dad separated).  Paid for the property 8 fold.  I was actually sorry to see them go since it took me 5 months vacancy to clean the place up.  So on some level one person's problem is another's golden-goose.

gdborton

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2013, 09:27:36 AM »
Quote
They left last summer after 17 years in the house (mom and dad separated).  Paid for the property 8 fold.

I'd like to see the math on that... on just a $100,000 house they would be paying you almost $4,000 a month.

honobob

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2013, 01:47:04 PM »
Quote


Bad tenants?  How 'bout 4 dogs, 4 cats, and 5 chain smokers.  Sound "bad"?   
Dang Tryan,  I thought you'd been in the business long enough to know NOT to rent to Family! 
How are things in the Boston ghetto?  Have you been following San Fran and Honolulu real estate.  25%+ annual appreciation/ 30-50 bids per property/ rents thru the roof.  Just like I been saying, on the internets, since 2006, "It's all good!" Didn't I offer to introduce you to CA property investments....and tofu?


arebelspy

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2013, 04:57:17 PM »
Please don't troll other members honobob.
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honobob

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2013, 09:19:24 PM »
Please don't troll other members honobob.
just checking in with my buddy tryan who likes to spar with me over real estate.  Don't make more of it than it is. Would it kill you guys to spring for a couple of smiley's?

grantmeaname

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2013, 09:24:28 PM »
Only after people figure out how to use quote tags.

:):):):):):):):)

arebelspy

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2013, 09:42:04 PM »
Please don't troll other members honobob.
just checking in with my buddy tryan who likes to spar with me over real estate.  Don't make more of it than it is. Would it kill you guys to spring for a couple of smiley's?

Fair enough, as long as tryan sees it that way.  I generally don't figure calling people's investments "slums" and talking about their family as a buddy thing, but to each his own.

Smiley icons cost extra when setting up a forum, MMM was just being frugal.  ;)

Tryan, I have enjoyed your posts on real estate on the e-r.org forums, and hope you share your wisodom and experience with us here as you see fit. :)
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honobob

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2013, 09:56:51 PM »
Only after people figure out how to use quote tags.

:):):):):):):):)
I refuse to go back to 2005!  :P

tryan

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2013, 10:09:37 AM »
Quote

I'd like to see the math on that... on just a $100,000 house they would be paying you almost $4,000 a month.


Bought for 15k at an RTC auction in 1993 ... rents were 1200/mo when they left. 

Hono - old buddy, glad to see you're still cherry-picking (sales stats).  Can I assume you still have your day job to cover your negative flows too?

 

Another Reader

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2013, 11:39:37 AM »
Miss those RTC days...really cheap commercial properties, because, of course, the world was ending.....

gdborton

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2013, 11:42:16 AM »
Quote
RTC days

?? Help a younger person out, Wikipedia gives a lot of possible definitions for this.

Another Reader

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2013, 11:50:14 AM »
Resolution Trust Corporation.

tryan

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2013, 12:14:29 PM »
I really thought we'ld go back to the good ol days given the depth of the lending crisis ... but it seems the lenders were content to hold them for years and accept the feds "free" money to stay afloat.

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2013, 12:48:13 PM »
In those days, the yields on other investments were high enough for people to avoid the perceived risk of real estate.  Now there are no alternative higher yield asset classes.  That's why stupid stuff like large scale purchases of SFR's are in vogue. 

The lenders aren't holding much.  They are making their money on selling and servicing, not holding.  Fannie, Freddie, and the pension funds and other big debt paper investors are where the mortgage paper is.

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #36 on: July 06, 2013, 01:39:17 PM »
Mr. Rebelspy is correct.  Other than credit/criminal/eviction history which you should [b]never ever[/b] consider renting w/o doing, one thing I started doing 3 years ago is I or a guy who works for us drop off the rental apps in person to tenants current address. This lets you find both there actual addy and who owns it as well as seeing if they are a slob/ house trasher.  Have not let a total D bag move in. Also, unless they are great and have lived there a long time. If no rent =pay or quit notice instantly. Just my 2 cents and worth the price.

I read a book, can't remember the title or writer, where the guy suggested walking potential tenants to their car or greeting them outside when they drive up, so you can see if they trash their car. The idea being, they're not likely to treat your apartment better (or much worse) than they treat their own car. He wasn't talking about the car being a piece of junk, just about whether they kept it clean.

So far we have no problem tenants. We do a credit and criminal background check on applicants (at their expense) and require an up-front payment of first and last month's rent plus a one-month deposit. The only exception for the background check was a group of graduate students from Asia, who of course have no credit here. I just verified that they were enrolled in the graduate programs they claimed to be enrolled in, and talked to them at some length; they all seemed very earnest and clean cut (engineering students, what can I say), and they were older than most students since for most of them their employer was paying for them to get the graduate degree. It's worked out very well. We stopped by in person to pick up the rent for the first six months or so and talked for a while each time. They're very nice and they pay on time.

Of course, you can only put people through credit/criminal checks and high up-front payments if you have a place that is desirable to people with decent incomes and good credit. Our contractor was venting about his nightmare meth-head tenants and I felt sympathetic until he told me about the house--it was a former piece of sh!t that he fixed up to minimal habitable standards, located in the middle of nowhere. As I always say, if you don't want to rent to a bunch of meth dealers, do not buy rental properties in the middle of nowhere in meth country!

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2013, 03:14:16 PM »
Iíve been a landlord for 8 years and I have definitely had my fair share of problem tenants.  During my first couple years as a landlord thatís when I dealt with majority of the problem tenants. It is definitely something that comes along with the job. However, screening your tenants thoroughly can save a lot of headaches. I think in the beginning I was using my personal judgment too much and not relying enough on what the screenings and reports were saying. Now I am beyond thorough. I use a site called MyRental (www.myrental.com) to screen all of my tenants. This service covers it all- credit check, past eviction reports, criminal background check, terrorist search, address history, sex offender search, and it also offers something called a tenant score. The tenant score is basically a score to predict the likelihood that a tenant will fail to meet their lease obligations. Itís really helpful! On top of these screenings I also ask my tenants to provide me with personal references on their application, which I do call myself to check. As I mentioned before, dealing with problem tenants is something that every landlord will face sooner or later, but properly screening your tenants beforehand will definitely help!

beltim

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2013, 11:50:27 PM »


 It's pointless to read too much into credit checks, as most of my tenants have little to no credit history; they mainly deal in cash and rarely have bank accounts.  One trick is to stop by their current residence to drop off paperwork; it gives you an idea of how they're treating their current place and how they'll probably treat your property.

This is key ... I've found a trip to their current residence  more valuable than a credit report.  OF COURSE they have bad credit ... that's why they rent!

I sure hope you're exaggerating. Lots of us have great reasons for renting, and we'll keep our rent dollars away from prejudiced landlords like you.

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2013, 06:57:09 AM »


 It's pointless to read too much into credit checks, as most of my tenants have little to no credit history; they mainly deal in cash and rarely have bank accounts.  One trick is to stop by their current residence to drop off paperwork; it gives you an idea of how they're treating their current place and how they'll probably treat your property.

This is key ... I've found a trip to their current residence  more valuable than a credit report.  OF COURSE they have bad credit ... that's why they rent!

I sure hope you're exaggerating. Lots of us have great reasons for renting, and we'll keep our rent dollars away from prejudiced landlords like you.

Get used to it, beltim. There is a pervasive attitude in this forum that those of us who rent do so because we have no other choice. Just be appeased that there hasn't been the usual commentary about how we renters don't care for their property -- as in, do all the maintenance for free with our own tools and time.

Usually a new landlord will ask how much of a renter's deposit they get to keep since the cheap flooring they put in ten years ago has finally worn through. Sometimes the more experienced will help the questioner understand that normal wear and tear is... normal. And keeping up his or her own property is part of the business.

But most landlords have questionable ethics which is why I rent from major companies with standard policies rather than individuals. To me, this is a business arrangement. For many landlords, this is their nest egg, so of course it feels quite personal to them.


arebelspy

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2013, 07:21:41 AM »
Get used to it, beltim. There is a pervasive attitude in this forum that those of us who rent do so because we have no other choice.

Oh please.  That "pervasive attitude" exists only in your head.

Plenty of people on here rent, even people who are already FI.  I myself have said I'm planning on owning 20+ properties and renting.

But most landlords have questionable ethics

Now who's generalizing?  Sorry, but nearly every landlord I know is a great landlord who more than takes care of their properties.

Slum lords who don't take care of the properties complain about bad tenants, sure, but I have great tenants and I treat them well, and I believe the same of most landlords on here, and elsewhere.
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Nords

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2013, 08:20:17 AM »
It's pointless to read too much into credit checks, as most of my tenants have little to no credit history; they mainly deal in cash and rarely have bank accounts.  One trick is to stop by their current residence to drop off paperwork; it gives you an idea of how they're treating their current place and how they'll probably treat your property.

This is key ... I've found a trip to their current residence  more valuable than a credit report.  OF COURSE they have bad credit ... that's why they rent!

I sure hope you're exaggerating. Lots of us have great reasons for renting, and we'll keep our rent dollars away from prejudiced landlords like you.

Get used to it, beltim. There is a pervasive attitude in this forum that those of us who rent do so because we have no other choice. Just be appeased that there hasn't been the usual commentary about how we renters don't care for their property -- as in, do all the maintenance for free with our own tools and time.

Usually a new landlord will ask how much of a renter's deposit they get to keep since the cheap flooring they put in ten years ago has finally worn through. Sometimes the more experienced will help the questioner understand that normal wear and tear is... normal. And keeping up his or her own property is part of the business.

But most landlords have questionable ethics which is why I rent from major companies with standard policies rather than individuals. To me, this is a business arrangement. For many landlords, this is their nest egg, so of course it feels quite personal to them.
It's rare to find a post that manages to trash both sides of a financial transaction with the same sort of glittering generalities and ad hominem attacks.  Good job, guys.  Speaking as both a landlord and as a tenant, I'm impressed.

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2013, 10:36:21 AM »
but I have great tenants and I treat them well, and I believe the same of most landlords on here, and elsewhere.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by treating them well?

I am not currently a landlord, but it is something that I am interested in, in the future.  Does treating them well just mean being responsive to any issues that arise?

beltim

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2013, 11:37:24 AM »
Get used to it, beltim. There is a pervasive attitude in this forum that those of us who rent do so because we have no other choice.

Oh please.  That "pervasive attitude" exists only in your head.

Plenty of people on here rent, even people who are already FI.  I myself have said I'm planning on owning 20+ properties and renting.

But most landlords have questionable ethics

Now who's generalizing?  Sorry, but nearly every landlord I know is a great landlord who more than takes care of their properties.

Slum lords who don't take care of the properties complain about bad tenants, sure, but I have great tenants and I treat them well, and I believe the same of most landlords on here, and elsewhere.

Does that mean tryan is a slumlord?  I will say his attitude surprised me, as I haven't found his attitude pervasive on the boards, but that would explain his attitude.

grantmeaname

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2013, 11:43:38 AM »
That's not a nice word for it, but yes, I think that's the insinuation. for example.

arebelspy

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2013, 01:36:43 PM »
Does that mean tryan is a slumlord?  I will say his attitude surprised me, as I haven't found his attitude pervasive on the boards, but that would explain his attitude.

I don't have enough information to hazard a guess on that front, and I don't think it's fair for someone to be characterized like that based on a few posts online, especially since those will be the self-selected worst situations (why post about the great tenant you've had for 5 years?).

Tryan does have lots of rental experience and knowledge, but definitely also deals with a lower class tenant than I usually do.

All in all, the attitude of "OF COURSE they have bad credit ... that's why they rent!" I don't think is representative of this forum, or even most landlords in general.  But your rental stock will definitely influence what you think of tenants.  Hard to experience bad tenants for a long time without it skewing your viewpoint.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
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arebelspy

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2013, 01:38:57 PM »
but I have great tenants and I treat them well, and I believe the same of most landlords on here, and elsewhere.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by treating them well?

I am not currently a landlord, but it is something that I am interested in, in the future.  Does treating them well just mean being responsive to any issues that arise?

Absolutely in terms of being responsive, but also little perks (resigning bonuses, Christmas gifts, etc.) depending on the situation and practices.  Not to mention a basic level of respect, politeness, and courtesy - this is new for many of them.

You let them know it is business, and you will enforce the lease, but you can still be a nice but firm person while doing so.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
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Eric

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2013, 02:02:04 PM »
I object to the characterization that someone who "brings in bedbugs" is a bad tenant.  Those things have nothing to do with cleanliness.  It could be the tenant just travels a lot.  Which would seem like a strange screening criterium. 

"I see you have excellent credit, your salary is 5x the rent, but you travel once a month for work and also 3 times a year for pleasure.  Sorry, I can't rent to you."

beltim

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2013, 03:32:40 PM »
Does that mean tryan is a slumlord?  I will say his attitude surprised me, as I haven't found his attitude pervasive on the boards, but that would explain his attitude.

I don't have enough information to hazard a guess on that front, and I don't think it's fair for someone to be characterized like that based on a few posts online, especially since those will be the self-selected worst situations (why post about the great tenant you've had for 5 years?).

Tryan does have lots of rental experience and knowledge, but definitely also deals with a lower class tenant than I usually do.

All in all, the attitude of "OF COURSE they have bad credit ... that's why they rent!" I don't think is representative of this forum, or even most landlords in general.  But your rental stock will definitely influence what you think of tenants.  Hard to experience bad tenants for a long time without it skewing your viewpoint.

Indeed, I specifically called him out for this:
Quote
OF COURSE they have bad credit ... that's why they rent!
and then I went on to say I haven't seen that attitude around here elsewhere.  It is undoubtedly an ignorant post, unless he's exaggerating (again, I allowed for that possibility in my original post).

arebelspy

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Re: Renting to Problem Tenants
« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2013, 06:31:02 PM »
Yes, we were responding to DocCyane's post, not yours.  Yours was appropriate, IMO, given tryan's post.  Doc's then generalization was not, which is what we were responding to.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.