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Landlords: A Guide to Difficult Tenants


One of the most daunting things about being a landlord, is the thought that you may not have good, reliable tenants. Unfortunately, problems with tenants can happen to a number of landlords, and you may think that reducing the rent or evicting them would be the best course of action, but there are, in fact, easier ways to deal with them. 


If you choose to reduce the rent, this will obviously affect your income and profits, and if you choose to evict them, this can actually be an incredibly expensive option as well as costing you time and resource. 


Whether you have been a landlord for years, or are starting out on your new venture, you may come across a bad tenant at some point during your time as a landlord. We have put together this guide of the some of the most common problems landlords face, and the ways on how you can deal with bad tenants in case you do come across them. 


Not Paying Their Rent


This is often one of the most common problems landlords face, and it can happen for a number of reasons. This is where communication is essential when you confront the issue, and it is important that you are sensitive to your tenant’s situation.


If your tenant has an income problem, you could always suggest a structured payment option. As a landlord, you should be able to recognise that people sometimes struggle with their bills. Setting up a payment plan and following it up to ensure that your tenant can make the appropriate payments.


Not Looking After Your Property


Another common problem that landlords face is that their property can become damaged after renting it out. If damage to our property has happened, the first step would be to address the problem in writing and keep a copy for your own records. If the tenant can’t fix the problem, you can instruct a company to fix it on your behalf and then pass the bill onto the tenant. In the tenancy agreement or lease, it should state that you have the right to do this when the damage is a lot worse than just general wear and tear. 


This is why it is a good idea to inspect your property during the lease period, just to ensure that your tenants are looking after your asset. 




Not as common as some of the problems mentioned, subletting can still be a problem for landlords. Some tenants sublet their property without even checking with the landlord to see if this is allowed. As such, in the age of Airbnb, this is becoming a more common problem, with tenants leasing their rented homes to those looking for a short holiday.  


Secret Pet Owners


This is often a common problem, where tenants do not ask their landlords permission to have a pet such as a dog or a cat. As a landlord, you will already know whether you want these pets in your property, but some tenants may not ask your permission. The problem with this is that pets can leave lingering smells, which can make the property harder to rent in the future as well as leaving marks on the carpet or even destroying furniture. 


How to Deal with Difficult Tenants


Having difficult or bad tenants can be exhausting when you are a landlord, so if you do have any issues, then it is sometimes best to speak to a professional. As such, choosing to have your property fully managed by a lettings agent, can take much of the stress away. From carrying out quarterly inspections, arranging for any work to be carried out, chasing late rent and much more, having a letting agent to deal with any problems can be the best course of action. Of course, it is important to remember if things to get worse, you may have to seek legal advice. 


Here at Godfrey Short & Squire, we are experienced letting agents in Okehampton who cover the whole of West Devon. We offer two services for landlords who are letting out their property; Tenant Find and Fully Managed. If you have any questions regarding the services we offer, then please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01837 54504.

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