Here at AAOL, we get letters and emails on a daily basis from landlords with stories of their nightmare tenants.
What is a nightmare tenant?
Simply put, it’s a problematic tenant who causes you a lot more headache, heartache, and a whole lot more work than you expected to have to deal with when renting out your property as a landlord.
A nightmare tenant can mean different things to different people. It could mean a tenant who never kept up with rent, always paid late or never made a full payment, left your house in terrible condition even though they otherwise seemed like good tenants…
The number of stories is countless, and so what they’ve done and how bad the tenant experience was depends on the particular tenant from hell story.
Depending on the kind of landlord you are, you may have a different tolerance for tenant behavior.
For example, tenants that take your property under Section Eight Housing Act are almost certainly going to be a different from those living in a nice new build McMansion.
Having said that, it’s not always the tenants at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale that cause the biggest problems, which you’ll already be nodding your head at in agreement if you’ve had your fair share of luxury properties leased out.
AAOL members span across all kinds of different types of properties and tenant profiles from all over the country. We help landlords letting out Los Angeles mansions and – on the other end of the spectrum – Baltimore row houses.
One thing they nearly all have in common – especially if they have multiple properties and haven’t won the landlord lottery of miraculously having met the most perfect tenant on the planet (who are these lucky landlords anyway?) – is that during the lifetime of being a landlord, they will almost certainly have experienced, not one, but multiple, tenants from hell.
As we’ve already said, it’s not always the lower socioeconomic class that causes the biggest tenant nightmare headaches. This may be surprising to some, but to landlords on the other end of the spectrum, this is no surprise at all.
So you’re not in the clear, even if you’re renting out your unit to the rich and famous. You absolutely never know when it comes to being a landlord who will be your next problematic tenant – even if you’ve tried to do absolutely everything right and mitigate your risks.
Making sure you’re taking precautions and protecting yourself from the very start, before your tenant even signs on the dotted line, is the best way to safeguard your investment and save yourself from financial ruin, when you do finally get a terrible tenant move into your home.