There are at least two ways in which tenant referencing can help you avoid getting entangled with difficult tenants. Before proceeding to look at the two, it will be important for us to briefly acquaint ourselves with the process. We will then try to understand who exactly the ‘difficult tenants’ are, why they are unpleasant, and how tenant referencing can help you avoid getting entangled with them.
Introduction to tenant referencing
Tenant referencing is a process through which landlords and other rental property managers get insight on prospective tenants’ pasts. It is essentially a background checking process. Traditionally, it has been done by getting the prospective tenants to name some referees (people who know them well). These people are subsequently called up, or otherwise contacted, and requested to answer certain pertinent questions about the prospective tenants who mentioned them as referees. In recent days, some companies which offer tenant referencing as a service have come up. These are typically folks who, once commissioned, dig up the prospective tenants’ past (legally, of course), giving the prospective landlord or property managers who commission them a comprehensive report at the end of the whole exercise. The reports obtained this way often contain better information than what the landlord could obtain personally, using the traditional approach of asking tenants for referees.
The objective of tenant referencing
The whole point of going to the trouble of digging up the prospective tenants’ past is to avoid getting entangled with difficult tenants.
Examples of difficult tenants
Tenants who have criminal tendencies are amongst those who are classified as ‘difficult tenants.’ Tenants who have poor financial management habits, and who therefore tend to have problems meeting their obligations to their landlords can also be termed as ‘difficult.’ Similarly, tenants who are financially comfortable, but who still tend to avoid paying landlords their rightful rents due to pure belligerence are similarly classified as ‘difficult tenants.’ That still is the case with those who have a general tendency to be a nuisance to their neighbors.
Why difficult tenants are best avoided
There is one simple reason as to why landlords and property managers avoid difficult tenants: because they tend to make life difficult for the owners and managers of properties they occupy. Sometimes, landlord and property managers end up showing a preference to have their properties vacant, rather than having them occupied by such difficult (troublesome) tenants!
The two ways in which tenant referencing can help you (as a landlord) avoid getting entangled with difficult tenants
Tenant referencing can help you, as a landlord (or property manager) to avoid getting entangled with difficult client to the extent that:
1. It can reveal information, based on the prospective tenants’ past, which makes you come to the conclusion that they are ‘difficult,’ and thus avoid letting out your property to them. Without undertaking the process, chances are that you will simply hire out your property to anyone who comes along. And inevitably, you are likely to end up getting entangled with difficult tenants who have been rejected elsewhere.
2. It has the effect of scaring away the difficult tenants, who are likely to be wary of dealing with landlords who ask for references. Now scaring away prospective tenants may look like a bad thing. But it isn’t when you consider the fact that, in the final analysis, it tends to be much better to have your property vacant, rather than having it occupied by difficult tenants who make your life hard.
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