You could say that there are three types of tenants. The first type is “good” tenants — they enjoy their apartments or homes quietly, don’t disturb their neighbors and pay their rent on time. The second type is “problem” tenants — they have a history of being loud and even destructive. They might pay rent late or miss payments entirely. Usually, effective screening measures before you offer a person a lease can help you avoid renting your property to a problem tenant.
But, there is a third type of tenant to worry about — the “secret” problem tenant or the tenant who only becomes difficult after you rent an apartment to them.
There are multiple reasons why a tenant who looks good and reliable on paper turns out to be challenging in real life. A tenant who previously was gainfully employed might lose their job after moving in, making it difficult or impossible for them to pay rent. In some cases, tenants might have roommates or visitors who make a lot of noise or otherwise cause trouble in the building. It can also be the case that issues in a tenant’s past, such as destructive or dangerous behavior, have gone unreported, making it difficult for a landlord to learn about those issues until it is too late.
Although you’d like to avoid problem tenants entirely, it’s likely that you’ll have to deal with one or two at some point in your career as a landlord. Here’s how to handle difficult tenants and what you can do to protect yourself, your other tenants and your property.