If you’ve owned investment property for any length of time, you may have already come across them – and if you plan to be a landlord for a long time in the future, then the reality is that you probably will meet them at some point down the road. “They” are destructive tenants.

These are the renters who may do anything from tearing up the carpet, putting holes in the walls, pulling doors from their hinges, and a whole host of other “unique” damages that you’ll find either before or after they have vacated the property.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you won’t always be able to completely rid your properties of such inhabitants. However, by dealing with them in a certain manner, you can help yourself to reduce the likelihood of both the damages and the expense.

Certainly, one of the best ways of minimizing the “tenant from hell” effect is to have a good screening process up front. This means prior to renting to anyone, you need to ensure that you do a good, thorough screening that includes running a background check – which also includes a credit check. You should also contact their previous landlords and verify their income. It goes without saying that you should collect an ample security deposit prior to allowing anyone to reside in the property.

You should also have a set of written rules for the property. This means having a well-written lease that everyone signs. Included in the lease should be when the rent is due – as well as how much the late fee will be if and when the rent does not arrive on time.

A good landlord will also need to be as strict as possible when it comes to ensuring that the rules are followed. If you let the little things slide, some tenants may move on to bigger things when it comes to not following protocol. So, don’t let it happen.

There should also be penalties in place for when the rules are broken, such as monetary fines if a window or appliance breaks and it is clearly the tenant’s fault. As an example, putting the entire remains of a Thanksgiving turkey down the garbage disposal does not constitute normal “wear and tear.”

If the issue gets too bad, don’t be afraid to begin the eviction process. Although this can be somewhat intimidating if you’ve never done it before, it can oftentimes save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Oftentimes, having a professional property manager deal with your tenants can save you countless hours of time in running your investment properties – while still benefiting financially. Want more information on how the process works? Give us a call and we’ll talk.