Terrible Tenant Tales: Five Months, Down the Pipe

November 27, 2019 - Aaron DiCaprio

For landlords, the dream would be to have zero problem tenants where all the help they may need is understanding their move-out date. But not only is this impossible, but it would also leave landlords with little to no opportunities for problem-solving. If all your tenants were on time with their payments, communicative in their requests or concerns, and presented no problems for everyone else living around them, it wouldn’t be landlording as we know it.

Even though you may have the best intentions when okaying someone’s application to move in, you can’t anticipate everything a tenant will do, like not paying rent. Here’s a look at a recent tenant story from one of our clients that started out promising and ended up putting a landlord in a tough spot months down the road with no rent payment to show for it

Read our past post on how unpaid rent could have hurt more than a landlord’s own finances.

What Went Wrong?

When this pair of renters moved in, they had all the makeup of a solid and respectable tenant couple. They came with great references and rental history and were seemingly an ideal pair to have living at the landlord’s property. Everything was going great until they stopped doing the one thing that landlords expect the most: they stopped paying rent.

Even though this is essential for landlords—receiving the rent on time every month—the landlord wanted to give them some slack since they had been good at paying on time and they were respectful tenants. But after five months of no rent payment, accumulating more than $4,000 in total, it was time to take action.

The landlord chose to evict them and while the house was in relatively good condition, the pipes and scrap metal in the garage were in bad shape. The reason? One of the tenants had stolen as much metal as he could and sold it along with some of the plumbing in the basement. This not only left the landlord hanging with the rent but they had to replace the missing metal along with fixing the damage done to the property. Altogether, the overall cost added another two months’ worth of rent.

How Can These Situations Be Fixed or Avoided?

Even though the tenants came with good references and rental history, no one should be treated any differently. While it’s more promising on paper to bring on tenants with these criteria, all tenants can create a mess like this and present plenty of unexpected liabilities for landlords.

In addition to a more thorough screening process, the landlord should have invested in the right level of coverage to keep from having to fork over this amount of money to pay back the rent and cover the damages to the metal. Tenant default insurance is here to reimburse you for the loss of rental income in the event of a defaulting tenant. Interested in learning more? Contact us or apply for an instant quote today!

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