Terrible Tenant Tales: When the Ideal Tenant Becomes the Nightmare
As a landlord, there’s enough on your plate every day. From having to check on work orders to reaching out to potential renters, to being the point person for requests from current tenants, there’s so much to tend to on a daily basis. So, when it comes to dealing with unruly renters or having to track down those who haven’t paid rent, it could throw everything off.
In this month’s edition of our “Terrible Tenant” series, we look at one tenant who checked all the boxes as a reliable and responsible renter initially. But after a personal matter took place, not only was their life disrupted but so was the rent they owed.
Read our past post on how unpaid rent could have hurt more than a landlord’s own finances.
What Went Wrong?
In landlording, even the most reliable tenants can end up causing issues, especially when it comes to their money (or your rent). In this incident, a tenant, who had been dependable when it came to paying rent on time and taking care of their unit, abruptly ended their time at a property, leaving an owed amount of rent behind.
The tenant, for all intents and purposes, was the model outline of what a renter should be. He moved in with his girlfriend and his five boys, all well-behaved. Over the years, the tenant paid his rent on time and in full. All of the boys grew up, graduated high school, and there were never any issues. But after an abrupt end to the tenant’s relationship with his girlfriend, he let the landlord know he was moving that day without notice and with plans to only pay half a month’s rent due to him only being there for half the month.
The landlord did what they could in terms of explaining to the renter they were owed a full month, but to no avail. The tenant promised he would send the rest of the rent, but ultimately it never came. To make matters worse, the landlord lost out on three months’ rent in total due to the gap between the abrupt departure of the previous tenant and finding a new one.
How To Avoid This Moving Forward
First and foremost, this could be legally backed up by spelling out in a contractual agreement the consequences of not paying rent in full. Most leases come with language explaining what could happen if rent is not paid as well as what would happen if someone decides to cancel their lease without notice.
Landlords should make sure to spell out specifically in their contracts with all tenants the measures they could take if they do not receive rent on time, in full, or at all. This provides a transparent understanding of what to expect, making it clear as to what is owed to the landlord legally.
Going further, landlords can invest in tenant default insurance, which ensures that a landlord’s financial losses won’t harm them in a long-term capacity. Rent default insurance, which is meant to reimburse you for loss of rental income in the event of a defaulting tenant, is a financial backstop when the unexpected takes place.