Problem Renters: 4 Ways To Protect Yourself From Them
For everyone who’s been renting out their property for a while, they know how difficult some renters can be and what trouble that can get them in. And, it’s not just the relationship aspect of it; if you have renters who are impossible to handle, you are potentially looking at a large-scale loss of time and money, not to mention a possibly ruined reputation.
To help you deal with problem renters, we’re listing out the advice below:
Get an Insurance Policy
Traditional homeowners insurance is excellent for the majority of things, but it doesn’t protect you against losses that potentially come with renting a property to a second party. An insurance policy will not only protect your property from a large scale event but also from a tenant who plans to sue if they’d hurt themselves on your property.
While in some states an oral contract is binding as much as a written one, you will want to play your cards safe and get a written contract with all of your tenants (yes, even if you are renting to family members!). The written agreement should contain:
• The length of the agreement
• The rental rate
• Ways the utility payments are split up
• All other rental-related complexities
The more detailed your written agreement is, the safer you’ll be in case you find yourself in a negative situation with your renters.
Perform Criminal Background and Credit Checks
Performing criminal background and credit checks is crucial, no matter how well you think you know your potential renter. The good thing about these checkups is that these days, they can be easily done. However, what you should do before doing them is inform your renters of your intent to do so. If they have nothing to fear, they’ll even offer help to make the process easier.
Some notes on credit checks:
• If your potential tenant says they’ve got no previous credit record to check, exclude them as a potential renter altogether. When there are no previous records, you have no way to verify their history of making payments in full on time
• In case your renter’s credit record comes back with significant gaps, inspect the reason for those gaps either by contacting their bank or asking directly. It is usually the case of fraud, i.e., the person may have offered a false name or number at some point, somewhere
Documenting the condition of your property before the tenant moves in is the best way to protect yourself against any false accusations of the state of the property. Furthermore, if the tenant breaks or ruins anything and claims they didn’t, you have the documentation proving the opposite which gives you valid grounds to charge for the damages made. In documenting your property, make sure you have:
• An eyewitness
• A video camera
• High quality still pictures
Document everything from the walls, windows, and floors to appliances, doors and everything else.
Renting comes with a lot of rewards but with plenty of risks as well. Follow the tips above to protect yourself as much as possible. Also, you can always hire a property manager to deal with unpleasant situations you want to avoid. For more information, you may reach us at info@LLCPM.com