I recently watched the show Nightmare Tenants and Slum Landlords on Netflix. The show has two seasons it is a reality show following independent eviction specialists working on behalf of landlords and local authority housing officers investigating landlords and unsafe living conditions. It is based in England and during each episode the tenants and landlords change. Sometimes the tenant will be bad – not paying rent, destroying the house and refusing to leave. While other times the landlord is bad – not making repairs, threatening tenants.
What I learned:
Have an application. Do a background and criminal check. Check if there are any judgments against your potential tenant. Get copies of IDs of the potential tenants.
Get a security deposit and ensure that you follow the law in regards to how to manage the security deposit.
Get repairs done in a timely manner and keep all receipts for the work that was done since you will need to show what you did when the tenant takes you to court for not making repairs.
Communicate through email so you have a record of everything.
Do not give into sob stories – they will screw you later on!
Understand that a tenant will be rough with your house and a lot of tenants will not take care of your home. So yes you will need to do a major cleaning and repairs once the old tenants move to prepare the house for new tenants.
Put aside money to pay for lawyer fees, court fees, clean out, etc. There will be a time that you need this so just have it ready.
Make sure you can pay your mortgage with your own salary without financial strain because tenants do not always pay their rent and your mortgage company will not care, they want their money.
Have a fund sent aside for repairs because repairs will always be needed and your tenant will be right there to say that’s why they did not pay rent.