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Dealing With A Nightmare Tenant

By Elizabeth Goulding

Unfortunately, for many property managers, nightmare tenants aren’t just something seen on reality TV shows. Stained carpet, holes in newly rendered walls, wild parties and missing rent payments are just a few challenges property owners and managers have to deal with – not to mention the time and effort it can take to evict problem renters.

With our experience in the property management industry, we’ve seen our fair share of problem renters. But over time, we’ve learnt a few things about how to prevent and manage the problem. Here, we’ll share some of our tips.

Thoroughly screen your tenants

Don’t let smiles and charm fool you – every tenant must be thoroughly checked to ensure they’re reliable. That means running a credit check, calling all their references, calling previous landlords, driving by their current residence and verifying their income to ensure they’ll be able to make rent payments. By choosing the right tenants in the first place, you’ll be avoiding many problems before they arise.

Have a written agreement

Verbal agreements are too easy to forget, change and argue over – so make sure you have everything in writing. Write a list of ‘dos and don’ts’ for the tenant as well as an agreement on rental payments and when they’re due, remembering you can not contract outside of tenancy law. It shows you’re professional and also gives you a better case, if there happens to be a problem later.

Manage the problem professionally

The key to avoiding long, drawn-out battles is by managing the problem as soon as it arises. Property owners should report a breach of any by-law to the body corporate as soon as it occurs. A notice should be issued immediately and the tenant’s response monitored. Lastly, ensure that clear records are kept of all incidents – they will assist you later if legal problems arise.

Don’t be afraid to evict your tenants

If tenants have proven themselves to be untrustworthy or disruptive, or have caused damage to the property, you’re better off evicting them sooner rather than later. Bad tenants don’t have a tendency to get any better – so before any serious damage is done to the property or serious debt becomes involved, it’s best to move them on and find more reliable tenants.

Hire a property manager

If you are a property owner, acting as the landlord can bring unnecessary stress. Hiring a property manager not only leaves the potential problems in the hands of someone skilled and qualified to deal with them, it also provides a ‘middle man’ – to help mitigate any disagreements, as well as giving you the power of negotiation where required.

At McPherson Property Management, we ensure you get the best property management advice and guidance to maximise the return on your investment. We specialise in providing a firm but fair Christchurch property management service based on current legislation and market conditions. If you need advice or help with managing your Christchurch rental home, unit, apartment or property, our team is available to assist. Just get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.

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