If you are a landlord in Kansas City or the surrounding areas, it’s only a matter of time before you end up renting to tenants that are a huge pain in the rear. Chances are if you’ve been a landlord for very long you’ve probably already rented to tenants like that. Thankfully the Kansas City area is full of lots of great people that are responsible and are fantastic tenants. Then again there are still those tenants that pay late, call at all hours about things that aren’t urgent, damage property, and just overall make life difficult for you. Many landlords start to question if it’s even worth it to keep working as a landlord when they have to deal with tenants like that. Too many landlords are unsure what they should do if they have problem tenants.
Types of Nightmare Tenants
The Party Animal
Own a property near a college or university? If so chances are at some point you’re going to rent to someone that likes to party. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but if you’re a landlord renting to someone like that at some point your “party animal” is going to annoy the neighbors. When that happens the cops get called and if they are called out too many times you’ll start getting complaints not only from neighbors but also the police department. Sometimes that might just mean you need to speak to your tenant, other times you may need to start the eviction process.
Heads up on this one for those of you that do not allow pets in your rentals. You need to keep your eyes open and pay attention when you show your property to potential tenants. If they ask questions if you allow pets, you can bet that this person has pets or intends on getting a pet. You may not realize it but this is a red flag. Sure they might be great people, might pay on time, and seem like they’d be great tenants. Problem is, there’s a good chance this animal lover is going to sneak in something and you won’t discover it until they move out and your floors are destroyed. Pay attention to their questions and their responses when you ask questions.
The always late with the rent tenant
Everyone’s favorite tenant! This person often times comes across respectable they seem easy to trust and it seems like someone you’d be happy to rent to. They start out paying on time the first couple of months, then out of the blue they have some sort of “problem” family emergency, the bank messed up, a meteor destroyed their car…something. Regardless of the excuse they can’t pay on time. Maybe they get it to you in a day or two and that’s the only time it happens, but too often it starts to become a regular occurrence. This is going to make it hard for you as a property owner to pay the mortgage of the property on time.
What should you do?
If you are a landlord in the Kansas City Metro there’s a good chance you’ve come across one of these problem tenants. You may also have some stories of your own, I’m sure we all do. Like with any problem there is usually a solution or good ways to deal with things.
Screeeeeeeeen!!!!! – This is first and foremost one of the most important things to do as a landlord. You need to do a very good job screening any potential tenant. Run a background check, a credit check, and also verify their income. Make sure that their income is at least three times the amount of rent they will have to pay each month.
Have your rental policies in writing:
Create policies of do’s and don’t that you can give to your tenants when they move in. Make sure EVERYTHING is in writing- how much the rent is and when it’s due, the late fees if the payment is late. Make sure you also get everything signed. Not just the lease. Have them sign the polices, acknowledging that they have had a chance to see your expectations and that they agree to abide by them.
Enforce Your Policies – This simply means that you are going to enforce what is written in the paperwork. If tenants are not following your policies there should be repercussions. Don’t let things slide. Remember you are running a business, and it’s important that you treat it as such.
Don’t Fear Evictions – At some point if you keep having problems with your tenants you might have to begin the eviction process. If you do need to perform an eviction make sure you check your local laws so that you follow the process and it goes as quick and easy as possible. You may even considering hiring a lawyer to assist you. Attorneys know the law and can make the eviction process easier.
Just remember if you are having trouble with tenants in your Kansas City rental you have a lot of options. If you feel like you need to discuss other options, possibly even selling your Kansas City House fast, give me a call, I’m happy to help!