Whether a tenancy ends badly often depends upon what happens at the earliest stages of the leasing process. Here are four policies that can stave off the stress and income loss associated with eviction:
Nonpayment of Rent
The most common reason for eviction is nonpayment of rent. Fortunately, that tends to occur more with tenants who previously have displayed a lack of financial responsibility. By adopting a tenant screening policy that includes a tenant credit report, a landlord can discover if the tenant has shown disregard in the past.
Checking with the previous landlords can fill in any gaps that may not have been reported on the tenant’s credit report.
Late Rent Payments
Another frequent reason for eviction is late rent payments. Rather than leaving cash flow to chance and risking an eviction, a landlord can avoid late rent payments simply by signing up to Report Tenant Pay Habits.
Monthly rent payment history is added to tenant credit reports, providing strong incentive to pay on time, and avoid any negative consequences — like the inability to qualify for a subsequent rental or home purchase.
This information becomes part of a database through Landlord Credit Bureau, and can be referenced each time a landlord orders a credit report on a new tenant.
Refusal to Pay Rent
Sometimes an eviction results from an ongoing dispute with a tenant who simply refuses to pay rent or wants to terminate the lease early. This typically is tied to the condition of the property.
The best way to avoid the eviction is to prevent the dispute in the first place through active property management, including property inspections, proper maintenance and prompt repairs.
Even if an eviction is brought on different grounds, tenants frequently use the poor condition of the property as a reason to reduce the amount of rent owed. It’s important to document the condition of the property. For instance, inspection reports, maintenance checklists and repair requests can be used to show the landlord is on top of things. If the landlord has this sort of documentation, it is likely the property is well-kept, and disputes are less likely to crop up.
Breaking the Rules
Rule-breaking is another common reason for failed tenancies. Tenants who understand the rules of renting are less likely to break them, and that’s the best way to stave off evictions. The best strategy is to educate tenants by stressing what is or is not allowed on the property.
This process begins at the earliest stages of the leasing process, with the rental ad. State any specific restrictions such as no smoking, no pets or crime-free certified in the ad in order to discourage problem tenants from applying in the first place.
It takes repetition for most people to learn and to remember, so provide multiple opportunities to review the rules with tenants. Provide written copies, whether in the lease or in a separate addendum. Also, make the rules available online or in accessible places for quick reference.
Consider providing a warning for a first infraction to avoid filing an eviction case that may be difficult to prove. Whatever the policy, stick to it so tenants don’t become trained to ignore rules.
The lease and rules should be relevant and not petty. Treat the lease like it’s more than a mere legal formality. It is a road map for success. Of course, that means that the landlord must live up to their end of the bargain, too.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.