Don’t Get Sucked In By Clever Tenants, Know Them First!

Owners have always been looked upon as monsters that are always after tenants for their payments. Being a landlord, I know what it feels like when you are labelled a cruel brute that’s insensitive to the hardships of tenants. True, many landlords are like that, but not all. These days, there are quite a few owners who are very considerate to their tenants. Fortunately, I believe in being one of them. Let me tell you that it’s not the owner who’s always to blame in the case of a dispute. These days there have been many cases of properties being illegally retained by tenants and some of them with dubious credentials are managing to get a property on rent and are then creating troubles for the landlord in terms of payment of rents, house maintenance etc.

So, why shouldn’t we landlords try to exercise our grey cells a bit and choose our tenants in the correct way? For that, we need to understand the modern day client. Beware! These people are no novices and you might get easily sucked in by a smart one. So you should exactly know the tricks tenants can play on you and be ready with your defensive moves. I’m not saying that all tenants are bad. But you should always be prepared to counter if you come across one such. Here are some tenant machinations that you can consider giving a thought.

Hey This Is Recession Time, So Let’s Make The Best Of It!

You know, quite a number of tenants are opportunists. They know that in the economically lean recent, when market rates of properties have gone down, you have no option but to drop the tenancy rates of your apartments. They’ll try to make the best use of this advantage and you should not give in. Of course, you need to be a bit relaxed with your rental quotes, but don’t go down too low as this is what they are looking out for. Always consult other owners of your area and quote a comparable amount, not more, not less.

We Are The Know-Alls!

Many tenants of these days are very well informed about the current house rents in your area. They have friends and plenty of online websites to tell them the ideal rental rates. So be careful while you quote. You might think that your apartment deserves the best rates as it has some special features. But know that your tenants are no novices. They know what the features should ideally cost and they’re going to bargain for that rate. Even if you think you can convince your tenants into paying more by using some tactics, you won’t be able to do that for long because they are smart enough for that. Very soon they’re going to find out the truth and take you to the task. In my housing complex, the owner of an apartment charged almost double the normal rent for that apartment. The new tenant who was unaware of all this came to know later and filed a case against the owner for taking advantage of his inexperience. Don’t let your greed for huge rental charges get the better of you, and create trouble for yourself.

You Can’t Throw Us out Whenever You Want To

landlordGone are the days when landlords could ask their tenants to leave their properties whenever they wanted to. Owners would reason out that since they owned the apartments, they had the right to take the decision without giving sufficient reason to tenants. But now the scene has changed. Remember that even when a tenant occupies your property, he/she has tenancy rights which you’ve got to respect. If you ask your tenant to leave, he might just tell you that he has paid his rents on time and kept the apartment in a good condition and that he cannot be thrown out for an invalid reason. You, as the owner, should ideally draft out a contract in which you mention the terms of occupancy of your property and get it approved by the tenant. If something is not mentioned in the contract, you simply cannot do anything about it, till the period of contract is over.

In my neighbourhood, there was this gentleman who urgently wanted his tenant to vacate his apartment for his son was shifting from abroad. But this was a sudden development and there was nothing of the sort agreed upon in the tenancy contract. The tenant, who was unprepared, did not agree to leave before the end of the contract. The owner had no option but to wait till the end of the contract term which was for a period of two years.

We’ll stay With Friends, That’ll save us Money!

In my building, there was a bachelor who hired an apartment on his name and later brought in a couple of his friends to stay with him. Of course, this was not mentioned in the contract, so the owner opposed to it. The tenant argues that as the owner was getting his payments every month he should not really bother about the number of occupants. In another incident, a tenant hired out the apartment to a friend on a profit. As an owner, you always can raise opposition to this kind of a behaviour. Better, when you make the occupancy contract mention your concerns regarding these points and have your tenant agree to them. If you don’t specifically mention the tenant will take advantage saying that as it wasn’t mentioned in the contract he has the liberty to do what he/she wants and in such a situation, you’ll not be in a position to fight out for justice.

Now, We Want Tenancy Perks Too!

A new trend that is being observed these days is of owners offering perks to tenants on the occupancy of their apartments. Either they give a rebate on their utility bill or a free parking space, or something else of the kind to attract their tenants. Giving out a property on rent these days is no different from selling a consumer product in the supermarket where you’ve got to boost the sales of your products with attractive selling strategies! Gone are the days when tenants were at the receiving end. This recession has made times all the more difficult for property owners, who due to slackening businesses have to bow down to the whims and fancies of their tenants who are very fastidious and who can easily find themselves another owner who can oblige them if you don’t.

Better Let the Old Tenants Stay!

Old is always gold. If you’ve got a good rapport with your old clients don’t disturb them now. You might of the idea, that by getting your apartment vacated and making a complete turnover might actually fetch you more rents. That’s a good idea, but not in the present times because, due to the recession, a complete turnover is going to prove quite an expensive venture for you. New tenants will ask for subsidized rents which have become a common feature of this financially lean period. The wise thing for you to do would be to not make any changes right now. Since it looks as though the economy is going to improve in a few days wait till then and bring modifications.

About: Claude Ford

American economist. Nobel Laureate in Economics in 2017 for his contribution to the field of behavioral economics. Honorary Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the School of Business of the University of Chicago.

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