Rental property owners know that difficult renters are challenging and can become expensive problems. What about professional tenants?
Even if you've never heard of the term "professional tenant," we hope you haven't dealt with this type of renter before. However, being prepared for these terrible renters—before you encounter one—is critical to dealing with them effectively.
Bad tenants don't pay the rent and often cause damage. Professional tenants do the same things (and more), and they take it to a higher level of disruption for your rental property investments. Think of the worst renters you've ever had, then consider what it would be like for tenants to do that on purpose, over and over, to rental property owners throughout the city.
What do real estate investors need to know about professional tenants? Check out these insights from an expert Metro Atlanta property manager!
"Professional" Isn't Good (from a Renter)
Don't be fooled by the word "professional." We're not talking about renters who are really good at being model residents that pay the rent on time and take excellent care of your property.
Professional tenants are the opposite of ideal residents. The "professional" part comes in to describe their chronic behavior and actions in every rental property they're allowed to call home for a short time. These renters intend to be terrible residents. They move from rental home to rental home, causing problems for real estate investors and skipping out on the consequences.
You know you have a professional tenant when:
- A potential renter looks excellent on paper (but they turn into a terrible resident after moving in)
- Their references gave similar stories (or you couldn't reach them, including prior landlords)
- You hand over the keys and finish the move-in process, then things go bad (quickly)
- You never get a rental payment
- A renter refuses to let you into the property for an inspection
- They break the lease rules
- You see property damage caused by the renters
- They never respond to requests for payment or notices to quit
- They abandon your badly damaged property without notice or forwarding information
If it's happened to you (or is happening now), you are not alone. These renters have likely done the same thing to rental property owners before you, and they're probably already on to their next target. Before you abandon your rental property, too, a Metro Atlanta property manager can help!
Avoiding Them Is Best
What's the best way to deal with professional tenants? Avoid them!
However, spotting them is difficult without a thorough renter screening process and knowing what to look for. As we mentioned, these renters look like they will be excellent residents—on paper. The information on the rental application raises no red flags at first glance. When meeting them, professional tenants look and act like they will be excellent residents for your property.
Real estate investors must recognize the signs of these terrible renters before allowing them to move into your rental. Once they're in, they're already causing problems, and they're difficult to remove.
Look for the Signs
Professional tenants will give themselves away if you know the signs. During the screening process, look for:
- Someone a little too eager to move in right away
- Offers of cash to cover the security deposit or first month's rent
- A person who shares unsolicited information about rental laws in Atlanta, trying to appear knowledgable
- A refusal to allow the background screening (with a cash incentive to let them move in without it)
Rental property owners want eager new renters, but being "too" eager and hoping you'll skip the due diligence of a background check is a red flag.
Never Skip the Screening Process
If you're a local investor, you have the opportunity to meet potential renters in person and look for the signs of a professional tenant. Even so, without the right experience and a thorough background check, you risk placing bad residents. When investing as an international rental property owner, you need a trusted expert to handle the screening process for you.
Cash and a kind face are tempting! However, there's is not enough cash to justify allowing a new renter to move in without applying a thorough screening process. If the thought of letting a professional tenant into your property worries you, let a property manager handle all renter screening.
"Professionals" Are Critical (to Deal With These Renters)
Dealing with and avoiding professional tenants requires a professional Metro Atlanta property manager! When these renters realize you have professional property management, they won't stick around to cause problems for you.
The Compass Property Management team has the experience to identify professional tenants and keep them out of your rentals. If you're dealing with one of these residents now, we can help you deal with them legally and efficiently. Contact us to learn how we can help!
Is it time for a property manager? Get our free resource, "The Guide to Finding the Best Metro Atlanta Property Management Company."