4 Types of Bad Tenants and How to Manage Them Skip to Main Content
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4 Types of Bad Tenants and How to Manage Them

As a landlord, bad tenants are simply one of the potential pitfalls of doing business, and you need a plan to deal with them in the event you make a mistake. As we become more experienced property owners, we’re better equipped to avoid horrible renters, but even the most successful property managers in North Salt Lake have to deal with this problem from time to time. With that preparation in mind, this article will examine the four most common types of bad tenants. Each class of problematic occupant presents its own set of challenges, and you’ll want to approach each group differently in order to minimize your total costs.

bad tenants

Professional Tenants

These so-called professional tenants are among the most difficult for inexperienced property owners to manage and one of the greatest arguments for having a property management company in North Salt Lake oversee your lease. These people understand the system — often better than you do — and seek to exploit it in order to limit their expenses or benefit in other ways. They work by operating just within the lines so that they can do what they want while trying your hands in the process.

Dealing with Professional Tenants

Such tenants often prey on sympathetic landlords, so put your feelings aside, and if you can’t, hire someone to represent you. You have to make decisions on a case-by-case basis, but the harsh reality is that you need to err in your favor. Don’t hesitate to begin evicting, and if you’re not well-versed in that process, hire professionals who are. These tenants will use appeals, objections and other tactics against you. While you’ll be able to recoup those losses, in theory, the theory doesn’t pay the bills. The greatest advice we can give you in such situations — outside of screening out professional tenants in the first place — is to document everything. Create a journal. Keep all paperwork. Make duplicates and triplicates, and even record video or audio when the situation calls for it.

Tenants from Hell

These bad tenants can range from nuisances that bother you and their neighbors to people who are never-ending pains the neck. The worst kind of tenant from hell has an exaggerated sense of what your responsibilities are as a landlord and will call you for the minor issues on a regular basis. This kind of bad tenant isn’t necessarily toxic, but the costs associated with them can be very real nonetheless, and property managers in North Salt Lake can serve as a wonderfully effective buffer.

Dealing with Tenants from Hell

How you deal with these bothersome tenants will depend on the severity of the annoyance. A step you’ll most certainly want to take is to send the tenant official warnings whenever called for and document them. If a neighbor calls you with a complaint that justifies the police, call on the tenant’s behalf. Talk with you tenants. Be firm but fair. Position yourself as an ally of the tenant, which is often enough to pacify tenants who are nuisances but not eviction-worthy.


Our first instinct was to label this group as deadbeats, but the term deadbeat has an implication that doesn’t fit the usual non-payer issue. Sure, as a landlord, you may encounter bad tenants who are entitled and will exploit you until you can evict them, but the more common type of non-payer is the person who was a good tenant and became a bad one after losing his or her job or having medical expenses pile up.

Dealing with Non-Payers

Went rent comes due, it doesn’t matter whether you’re dealing with a deadbeat or a person who’s simply down on his or her luck. One of the reasons the professionals do credit checks and income verification is to avoid such scenarios. In the event a situation still occurs, you need to behave as a corporation would. Have a policy and stick with it. Feel free to have a once-a-year late payment allowance written into your lease, but otherwise, take appropriate action to avoid being left on the hook.

Destructive Tenants

Destructive renters are perhaps the worst kind of bad tenants because they can cause significant losses for you that you can’t ever recoup or at least take a very long time to recover. This group of tenants encompasses a wide range of personalities. Some of these renters simply don’t care about the well-being of your property, and that mindset takes its toll. A particularly worrisome kind of destructive tenant is the one who begins damaging your property out of retaliation.

Dealing with Destructive Tenants

Throughout a lease, performing maintenance and providing other services gives you an opportunity to keep tabs on a tenant. If damage substantially exceeds wear and tear, you may havethe right to move to evict them. The tenant who retaliates is the one you have to be most concerned with. If the damage is ever outwardly visible, call the police. Call the police each time. At the very least, that will provide you with an official history of the damage. Consult with a lawyer to explore your options, and if your hands are tied, document everything for the civil lawsuit later.

Final Thoughts

Don’t wait for bad tenants to happen. Know the potential problems you face, and plan for them. More importantly, work very hard to avoid them in the first place. The effort you put in during the screening process has a greater effect on your success as a business than almost anything else you do. This truth is also one of the great reasons why you should consider hiring a property management company in North Salt Lake to vet tenants and otherwise protect your interests.

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