Renting out your property can be both rewarding and challenging. While rental income is a positive aspect, dealing with difficult tenants can be a source of frustration. Various tenant behaviors, such as late rent payments, disruptive conduct, or property damage, can pose challenges for landlords. However, understanding different types of difficult tenants and adopting effective management strategies can help mitigate their impact. Let's explore five common types of difficult tenants and offer tips on how to handle each situation.
The Bender of Rules
When tenants sign the Tenancy Agreement (TA), they agree to its various conditions, subjecting them to compensation, intervention, or eviction based on violated clauses. Some tenants may creatively bend rules, like secretly having pets in a no-pet policy or exceeding declared family members. It's essential to be firm and adhere to the TA, even if tenants attempt to guilt-trip leniency.
In extreme cases involving criminal activities like drug-related offenses, alert the police. Swift eviction or legal intervention may be necessary in such situations
The Person Who Puts Off Rent
The Rent Procrastinator consistently pays rent late, partially, or attempts to avoid payment altogether. To address this, ensure your Tenancy Agreement specifies due dates and outlines consequences for late payments. Implement a late fee (around 5-10% of monthly rent) as permitted by regulations. If tardiness persists for more than two consecutive months, communicate with the tenant to identify the issue and seek a resolution. In cases of deliberate evasion, issue a notice to pay or vacate, emphasizing your seriousness. A substantial security deposit (usually 1 month's rent) can mitigate potential losses.
The Covert Correspondence
HDB flats are designed for affordable living, not investment. Landlords must be aware of rental and subletting restrictions to avoid legal issues.
Rental Violations and Guidelines:
Renting out the entire flat during the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is not allowed. Spare bedrooms may be rented, subject to regulations
Pretending to occupy a locked room is prohibited. At least one bedroom must be occupied, and each lease should be for a minimum of 6 months.
Owners in proxy, where tenants pose as owners, is not permitted.
All tenants must possess legal permits to reside in Singapore.
Adherence to the Non-Citizen Quota is necessary if tenants are non-Malaysian Singapore PRs or foreigners.
Renting out the entire flat after MOP is allowed only for Singaporeans; both Singaporeans and PRs can sublet spare bedrooms.
The maximum subletting period is three years for Singaporeans/Malaysians and two years for others.
Adhere to the maximum number of tenants: Up to 4 for 1- and 2-room flats, and 6 for 3-room and larger flats.
The Self-Proclaimed Designer
This tenant takes the liberty to customize your rental property, making alterations without seeking approval. While some changes might improve the aesthetics, any permanent modifications require your consent. Your Tenancy Agreement (TA) is crucial for enforcing rules on maintenance, approved decorations, and alterations. Ensure the TA clearly outlines the consequences for breaching these terms.
Having a comprehensive TA and taking "before" photos of each room will serve as evidence during the final inspection. This documentation helps ensure the tenant reinstates the property to its original state at the end of the lease.
A substantial security deposit (typically one or two months' rent) can also assist in covering repair costs for potential damages caused by the tenant.
The Picky One
While a nitpicker might not violate any legal terms in your Tenancy Agreement (TA), dealing with constant, minor complaints can be frustrating. It's reasonable for tenants to report significant maintenance issues, but bothering you about trivial matters like a loose door knob or personal preferences in property design is unnecessary.
Establish clear boundaries and respond promptly to genuine emergencies. You're not obligated to address every minor complaint. During lease renewal, evaluate whether continuing with The Nitpicker is worth the stress and effort.
To avoid such situations, thoroughly screen all inquiries and offers, saving yourself from the hassle of managing a challenging tenant.