Ever wonder why each child is different? Do you ever wonder why one child grows up to be the President of the United States and the other one just got out of the County jail for the fifth time LOL? Well the same could be said about your Tenants. Each tenant that you rent to is different. Some need a lot of time and effort while others just do what needs to be done automatically. In this article I’ll explain some of the various types of tenants I have encountered in my Landlording career and the best way to deal with the various types of tenants.
Different Types of Tenants
Tenant #1 – Attention Seeker
The first tenant to be described is the tenant who needs a lot of our attention or the high maintenance tenant. These tenants call or text on a regular basis and often have something that needs to be repaired in the rental. It could be said that this type of tenant created the profession of property management – lol. In my personal opinion these tenants could be really great if you look deeper into why they are contacting you. Is the tenant calling you to be picky and just complain or are they calling you because there is truly a problem that needs to be addressed at your property.
The tenants that I have encountered that fit this criteria often stop your home from needing major repairs because they are informing you of small problems that could later become bigger problems. The best way to deal with this type of tenant is to expect to be called with a maintenance issue and get the problem fixed in a timely manner. This shows the tenant that you value them and also are a man or woman of your word and will fix the necessary repairs needed. Often times making this tenant happy leads to a long term tenant who actually pays, love being in your property, and respects you as a landlord, and in the end that is the goal.
Tenant #2 – Picky/Complainer
The second tenant is the tenant who constantly complains and we will call them the picky tenant. Sometimes this tenant can be pointed out and avoided before you rent to them because they are complaining about everything at the showing of the rental- lol. This tenant is never happy. They are very different from the high maintenance tenant. The high maintenance tenant just wants the repair scheduled and completed and they are happy, but the picky tenant is never ever happy.
The picky tenant will ask for the house to be repainted even if the whole house was painted before they moved in and they have seen you paint the whole house. Your cell phone will ring at all times of the night where the high maintenance tenant will be respectful and call you at decent hours.
My goal is to have the tenants in our rentals a unit they love and want to be in. An unhappy tenant will make your life a headache. I often ask a picky tenant, “Are you happy here? If you are not we can just refund your money to you. This home will never be perfect so if you’re not happy we can terminate your lease and allow you to move.” I am aware they have signed a law abiding contract which by law they must abide by, but sometimes peace of mind is worth the loss now for peace of mind and a better tenant later. Most of the time that I have allowed a picky tenant to get out of a lease I have had a great result.
You have to let the bad tenant out to get a great tenant in who will truly appreciate the opportunity to live in your rental. Once the picky tenant is out I take into account the issues they complained about and if they were valid fix the valid complaints. You might ask, “Why didn’t I just fix all the issues the picky tenant was complaining about and keep the constantly complaining tenant”? The reasoning is that this type of tenant will always be complaining and it will never stop. Always remember you can make money and have peace of mind at the same time even as a landlord.
Tenant #3 – First Timer/Young Renters
The third tenant I have encountered is the first time or very young tenant. These tenants vary in age, but often just got out of college or just want to get out of mom’s house. I personally love this group, but there is a huge downfall to this group of tenants.
First time tenants usually do not stay the full term of the lease, so often they will break your lease. However, the advantage of this group is their honesty and payment history often are awesome. They are beginners when it comes to renting and often want to prove they can do it on their own and often times have a parent that will back them up if the rent will be a little short for the month, The Landlord that does decide to rent to this tenant needs to understand they need to educate this tenant on how to be a great tenant.
I often spend a little more time with this group explaining the lease and what I expect from them and what they can expect from me. If you compare land lording to football they are the rookie quarterback you drafted in the first round that will make a foolish mistake, but they both need to be taught why it was a foolish mistake to be great. My first time tenants are often placed in properties that have a higher turnover rate and some of the utilities are paid such as multi units.
Give them a chance to succeed, and not having to pay an extra bill like a water bill is a big help to their success. Also a good word of advice is to give a heads up to older tenants that the young adult will be your neighbor and to let the current tenant know they can call you if they have any issues with the young tenant. Often times a brief meeting between the new and current resident is a good way to approach the situation, and let the first time tenant know the rules of the property in a respectful and non-confrontational manner.
This group of tenants besides breaking leases 9 times out of 10 gives me little to no trouble at all. The reason being is I expect them to make mistakes and as long as they pay on time, are honest, respect their neighbors, and comply with in the laws we can have a great tenant/landlord relationship.
Tenant #4 – Problem Payers
The fourth tenant discussed in this article is the problem to pay tenant. This tenant usually has multiple kids, 30 years in age and above, has an ok job not a great job, and has an issue at times with paying the rent in a timely manner. As a Landlord always keep in the back of your mind life happens, but it’s up to you to decide how much of their life is going to affect your bottom line.
An example of this is I have had a tenant or two who once a year will need a couple of additional weeks to pay me. I don’t know why it happens every year, but it just happens once every year. These tenants are great tenants during the rest of the year and rent is on time, patient with getting repairs done, and has been long time residents.
I just plan for this issue to occur and know when it does I will receive the rent and the late fee on the 15th of that month and move on with business as usual. The problem occurs when a tenant tells you an excuse every month and is now two months behind on their rent, let’s just say it’s time to find another tenant. When asking a tenant to fill out a rental application it is time to really listen to why the prospective tenant is leaving their current residence.
When everything is about the landlord and nothing was their fault you may want to throw up a red flag and consider denying their rental application. Also a great step to make a habit is to always talk with previous landlords when possible to discuss the tenant’s payment history and behaviors. Remember we as humans are creatures of habit if they didn’t pay their last landlord most likely they won’t pay you.
Tenant #5 – Quiet Renter
The final tenant we will discuss is the quiet tenant. These tenants seldom or never calls to complain, and to be honest often fades away because they never need anything. These tenants often can be your best tenants or when they move you could be looking at a house that needs major repairs.
The quiet tenant needs to be asked periodically, lets say every other month, is everything is ok and if they need any repairs done. Often these tenants know how to do a little work themselves and do not want to bother you with a running toilet or leaking faucet they can easily remedy themselves.
However, there is always a flip side of the coin where these tenants do need repairs that need to be addressed, but don’t want to bother you or they just haven’t had the time to call you and schedule to get the repairs completed. When dealing with quiet tenants it is a must to make sure everything is fine concerning repairs and other rental related issues. Make sure that these tenants are happy. Some of my best tenants are fall in this group and if you keep them happy they will be there long periods of time, pay regularly, and often consider buying the home.
Different Types of Tenants Insight
Tenants are very different, but so are children and lets why the comparison was made. As a successful Landlord it is your responsibility to address each of your tenant’s rental related needs in a timely manner making their rental experience a pleasant one. However, when it becomes a daily call to complain about the unit it may be time to part ways. Four out of the five tenants discussed can be excellent tenants if approached and handled in the correct manner. Good luck with your children, I mean tenants. LOL
As always thanks for reading and successful investing.