Landlord Locked Out, Tenant Refuses to Leave

by | Aug 27, 2018 | Tenant Screening

A Tulsa landlord is struggling to recover his property after his lease-breaking tenant locked him out and refuses to answer the door.

According to a report, the tenant was offered the rental home out of kindness. He was supposed to stay for three months, pay nominal rent, and do a little work around the property. But that didn’t happen.

When the landlord discovered the tenant was breaking the lease agreement, his first impulse was to call police, but he soon learned that the police cannot intervene in a lease dispute. That is up to the courts. The police officers did offer some sage advice: be careful who you allow into your property.

Now, the landlord must undergo an eviction proceeding, which can cost thousands and take weeks or months to complete. And an eviction will be more complicated if the identity of the tenant is in question.

In a similar case, an Airbnb guest took possession of a property and then refused to leave. After remaining for 30 days, the man declared that he was legally a tenant and entitled to all the protections of the local rental ordinances. The stunned owner had no recourse but to file an eviction action — and grab a hotel room — until she was able to recover the property.

While the tenants in these cases differed in terms of financial means and culpability, they had one important thing in common: they lacked accountability. To hold tenants accountable, landlords need leverage. The best tenant for any property is one who has something to lose — whether it’s hard-earned credit or a good rental history.

Tenants avoid accountability in several ways, including falsifying their information. This can range from providing fake references to providing false identification or fraudulent employment and credit information.

Another strategy is to look for a landlord who is easy-going. What landlords see as kindness, an unscrupulous tenant perceives as weakness or apathy. Inexperienced landlords are at risk of falling into this trap by offering concessions to a tenant who soon exploits the opportunity.

These situations are bad enough, but it can get a lot worse for landlords. A problem tenant does not have to remain at the property for long to cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage, commit crimes, or drag the landlord into a costly dispute with city officials over the condition of the property.

Fortunately, there are two simple steps that help to minimize this income loss:

Tenant background checks that include speaking with previous landlords and running a tenant credit check, eviction report and criminal background; and

Signing up to Report Rent Payments each month to a credit bureau.

The first step confirms that the applicant has something to lose. The second one holds the tenant accountable.

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 is 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.

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