The word “professional” might indicate an excellent tenant. That’s not the case. In reality, professional tenants are some of the worst tenants you might ever have to handle.
Professional tenants disguise themselves as the best of the best. They look nice and present well. They seem like the ideal tenant, but once they get into your rental property, they become a nightmare. If you’re getting started as a landlord you need to know what to look for in a professional tenant and how to deal with them.
Looks Are Deceiving
If you aren’t careful, professional tenants can make it through your screening processwithout raising suspicion. This makes them dangerous.
They’re polite and have perfect answers to all of your questions. They often arrive with cash on hand–ready to pay a deposit for your rental.
What you don’t see is how good they are at being professional tenants. They know legal loopholes and how to work the system to avoid paying rent and evictions.
They are “professional” in the way they go from rental to rental with no intention of a long-term stay. They dodge responsibility and rarely follow through on past due rent.
Professional renters are amazing actors. They put on a show to impress a landlord. Once they’re approved for a rental home and move in, they change into terrible tenants.
Look for Red Flags
Professional tenants are very good at what they do. You need to avoid them to save yourself a lot of headache and financial problems.
You might not see the potential issues without running a thorough screening. Be sure you run a background check and look for these red flags.
- A history of evictions–If one eviction shows up in your screening, talk with the applicant. They might have a special circumstance. However, it’s worth letting them know you see the eviction and it’s a concern for you. If they have more than one eviction, this is a serious reason to pass on a tenant.
- Delinquency with prior landlords–Sometimes an issue doesn’t go all the way to eviction. Late payments or other landlord-tenant problems are red flags to consider with any potential tenant.
- They show off legal knowledge–When a potential tenant walks in talking about real estate, rules, or tenant laws, that’s a sign of a potential problem. A good tenant shouldn’t take the offensive in how much they know about defending their rights.
- A checkered financial picture–If the background check shows bankruptcies, a history of unemployment, or bad credit, beware of this applicant. Chances are, a professional tenant will offer cash in an attempt to avoid digging into financial history during the application process. This is a big red flag.
- Bad or suspicious references–A professional tenant will provide “staged” references. If you notice a similar story between several references, chances are they’ve been coached by the potential tenant. Also, take notice of references you can’t reach. If you aren’t able to correspond with past landlords, that’s a bad sign.
If you find one or more of these red flags, consider denying the application. Cash in hand is tempting, but don’t be fooled. This smooth talking professional tenant is already planning how to take advantage of you and your rental property.
Look for Help
Call in the professionals to deal with professional tenants. It’s not worth the guessing game to try to figure out if a tenant is genuinely “good” or just pretending to be good.
A property management company has experience dealing with professional tenants.
Do You Have a Professional Tenant?
If you know you already have a professional renter in one of your properties, it’s not too late to get help.
Call a reputable property management company to evaluate the situation. Let them help before you take action against a problem tenant.
A property management company knows how to deal with professional tenants. They’ll work to resolve any issues with minimal impact to your bottom line while working within the law.
How Can You Avoid Future Professional Tenants?
When you work with a property management company, you benefit from their extensive screening resources. They run everyone through a thorough background screening.
This screening includes finances, credit, prior rental history, employment, and criminal history. Reduce the potential for a polished professional tenant to slip through the screening cracks and into one of your properties.
Let the Professionals Deal With the Professionals
Uptown Dallas Properties can spot a professional tenant before they have a chance to cause problems for you. It only takes a few minutes to run a potential tenant through our robust screening process.
We collect all rent payments online–a deterrent to dishonest, cash-only professional tenants.
While prevention is the best solution, we’re prepared to help you with any current problem tenants that cause headaches for you. If you’d like to get started with a property manager, download our free guide to find the best one for you.