How to Avoid a Nightmare Tenant

By: Sean Wheller

9.Guarantees for Non-Earning Tenants

One would think that renting to a person that is not earning income is not a good thing. It may be so, but there are people that are supported by parents and spouses that live in other cities and counties.

Such non-earning tenants can be students that are supported by a spouse or a parent residing in another city or overseas. They should be given the opportunity to have a place to live, as much as you have the right to protect your asset.

If you come across such a situation, it is suggested that you sign the supporting party to guarantee the full amount of rent in the agreement. The tenant still has to sign on the lease agreement as the tenant is living in the property.

In these cases often 2 things go wrong.

1.The guarantor is not signed on guarantees for the rent and the landlord just takes the tenants word that the parent or spouse will be paying the rent (as this is often done).

2.The guarantor is not signed on the applications form and no ITC check are done.

In both cases the consequences are pretty obvious. The guarantor may not have affordability to pay or has a bad ITC record and may not pay the rent, or they are not signed on any guarantee and if they decide not to support the other party anymore, you are left with a tenant with no ability to pay the rent chasing the money in vain.

Extreme caution should be applied when the guarantor is not living in the same country.

If you need to get the money legally from a guarantor that can't be taken to court in South Africa, it can extremely costly and maybe not even possible.

10.The Rental Foreign Affairs Department

People with passports and visas, such as foreign students and foreign manpower living here for a defined period of time, you must ensure that their visas are valid for the duration of the lease agreement otherwise you may end up with an illegal immigrant in your property.

Another occurrence in the foreign department section was found when students want to rent a place but their visa has not been renewed yet. This could take a couple of months, but that is the least of the problem, the main problem is that their visa may not be renewed at all. If that happens they are also not allowed to work in this country and then how will they pay their rent?
Avoid having this become your problem.

As a learned teacher of mine many times he said: HP, which stands for His or Her Problem. Do not make this problem yours.

11.Learn to Listen

Pay attention to detail. Often landlords want to 'sell' the wonderful property to the potential client, which is the rental. While this is very good, there should be a high importance on listening to the potential client - the tenant.

Listen more and talk less. Pay attention to what they are saying. You will learn much from the conversation you are having with the potential tenant, in particular their character. This will help you determine, if they are easy to deal with, have many problems, keep tidy, have respect for neighbors and many other things which are crucial to selecting a good tenant. After you have presented the property, make a habit of asking questions, listening to details while talking less. Listening does not mean hearing the words, but actually absorbing what is said, so that you can make educated judgments. This will enable you to determine if this is the type of person you want renting your property.

It's your property - you are under no obligation to rent it to anyone.

MOST IMPORTANT - Follow the Process

In summary, after all said and done, you must set yourself up with a system to qualify tenants.

Whatever system you have, in times of stress FOLLOW IT.

No excuses, if the systems worked in the past and proved to be good for you, do not make exceptions, exceptions can be the mother of all mistakes.

Stick to your systems, if potential tenants are trying seemingly force you to do things fast and therefore skip some steps in the process or avoid your own rules and your system, rather move on and avoid the tenant instead of making a major mistake. One month of shortfall is far better than the costs of an eviction no matter how you want to look at it.

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