Are you a landlord? Have you dealt with a tenant that trashed the rental, was late on payments, or left your property in a mess? It only takes one awful tenant to sour your feelings about having a rental or to break your bank in rental repairs. Read on to learn about bad tenant lists, taking care of bad tenants and saving the stress by selling your rental home.
A Bad Tenant List
As handy as it would be to create a bad tenant list to share with other landlords in your area, it just isn’t legal to blacklist potential renters. Creating and circulating a “bad tenant list” or a “do not rent to” list is prohibited by privacy laws in America. These types of lists are looked upon as discrimination against potential tenants even though the intent is not malicious but is meant to protect landlords from abuse in the form of property damage and money loss. There is a partial solution, however, and that is relying on a Tenancy Database.
What is a Tenancy Database?
Tenancy Databases are set up by third parties to provide a legal way for landlords and property managers to report on the positive and negative habits of tenants they’ve worked with. You can report information such as on-time (or late) payments and the care given to the rental property. As a landlord, you can search the Tenant Record to see if your potential tenants are listed in the database to see if they are the right fit for your property.
A tenancy database helps great tenants get the rentals they want because their positive record will give them an advantage. For those who have been delinquent tenants or who have caused property damage, they will miss out on the best rental opportunities and save you from the expense and stress of having a bad tenant.
Tenancy databases are a paid subscription service, and the robustness of the “bad tenant list” depends on how many landlords or real estate agents pay for and utilize the service, so the usefulness of the database can vary depending on your area.
What to do about Bad Tenants
If you can’t pass around a bad tenant list to help you and other landlords and if your area doesn’t heavily utilize a tenancy database then what can you do about a bad renter?
- Communicate Clearly. Make sure that you enter into a rental agreement with everything clearly spelled out in writing. Have a written set of rules for your property and write out everything you want clearly understood by your renter (even if you think it’s common sense). Having a document you can both refer to so you are on the same page is a good first step to avoiding bad tenants.
- Screen New Tenants. Do a credit and background check BEFORE entering a rental agreement. Get references and verify employment for anyone interested in signing a contract with you.
- Know the Law. If your tenant is not paying the rent on time you need to know your rights as the landlord and their rights as a tenant. For example, you cannot just toss the tenant’s stuff out of the rental and change the locks. If you do not follow the proper steps laid out by the state laws and codes then you can get in a lot of trouble as a landlord.
- Online Payments. Make paying rent easy and allow for online payments. What you think of as a bad tenant could just be a lazy tenant and a simple link for paying rent online can solve problems with late payments.
- Walk-Throughs. Make it a point to have regular visits to the rental a couple of times a year. Drive by the property to see if all looks well from the outside and ask maintenance personnel about the home after a visit.
Selling Your Rental
Even with taking precautions, the reality is that you can end up with awful renters. Renters that cause expensive damage or renters that don’t make payments, leaving you high and dry while you follow all the proper procedures for evicting a bad tenant.
If you’re tired of the landlord job and it’s no longer worth the money (and repairs!) then consider selling to an investor like Gary with Gary Buys Houses. He is willing to take on your property, even if you’re stuck with bad tenant damages and repairs needed. Don’t spend your cash trying to fix from the last renter, sell the house to Gary in as-is condition and he will give you a fast cash offer right away and can close in as little as a week.
Being a landlord takes a lot of time, energy, and even money so if your returns aren’t what you were hoping for or you’ve been stuck with a string of bad tenants then reach out to Gary and he can buy your house today. Click here to see what Gary’s clients have said about him and you can rest assured that you’re working with a trusted house buyer in Utah.