Debunking the Myth of Terrible Tenants

Things landlords like: letting their property to awesome tenants.

Things landlords don’t like: letting their property to terrible tenants.

Seems fair enough. After all, nobody likes people who are terrible at things. And tenants are just the absolute worst.

Well, at least there are according to, erm… actually, we’re not 100% sure where the stereotype came from. But this TV show might have something to do with it.

Paying the rent late, not paying it at all, treating the property like trash, causing problems with the neighbours, lying about pets, playing Old Town Horse by Lil’ Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus on repeat — the list of heinous things tenants do goes on and on.

In fact, tenants are so bad, that the buy-to-let industry is only worth a paltry £239 billion. Those pesky renters. Ruining everything.

As you might be able to tell, there is a hint of irony in our words. That’s because, just like all stereotypes, the idea that all tenants are bad should be taken with a gigantic pinch of salt.

Most are a shining beacon of light, paying their rent on time and treating the property like, well, their very own home. Which is why we thought it was important to debunk some of the myths surrounding terrible tenants.

Myth 1: They don’t pay their rent on time

Late rental payments are problem numero uno for landlords. And, yes, we get it — sometimes renters fall on hard times, or unforeseen circumstances arise which makes them unable to pay the rent. But in the rare cases where that does happen, they usually have an open dialogue with the landlord and come to a resolution everyone is happy with

One or two horror stories about non-paying or late-paying renters are enough to strike fear in the hearts of landlords, which makes everything seem so much worse. These tales are few and far between, however. More often than not, renters pay on time and are eager to do so.

There is always the option of taking out rent guarantee insurance if you want total peace of mind. And setting up a standing order for monthly payments adds an extra layer of security. But late rental payments isn’t a frequent problem in the lives of landlords.

Myth 2: They don’t look after the property

It’s always a concern that you might let your property to someone who treats it as if it isn’t theirs. It’s an understandable worry too — especially as the property is an asset. But tenants — just like most people — aren’t particularly keen on the idea of living in their own filth.

And here’s something that people often forget: just because a renter doesn’t own the property, it doesn’t mean that they won’t treat it as their own. So, don’t worry too much, because while it might be true that your tenant Mitch has the odd day where he doesn’t feel like doing the cleaning, most of the time he likes to keep the place spotless.

Plus, the tenancy agreement (AST) usually states that tenants need to get the property professionally cleaned before they move out. You also have the option to withhold some of the security deposit if you think there is damage or the property hasn’t been taken care of properly.

Myth 3: They always complain

A good relationship between landlord and tenant is important. However, landlords often fear that tenants will be in constant contact with them, bringing up the smallest of small problems. And nobody wants a tenant that complains all.of.the.time.

Picture the scene: it’s midnight, and you get a call from a panicked tenant. You ask what’s happened, and they tell you there’s a spider in the bedroom. Slightly bemused, you ask what you’re supposed to do about it, only for them to suggest you come over and remove it.

Or perhaps they fire off a quick text asking you to change a lightbulb. Such scenarios lend themselves to worst-case scenario situations, and the truth is that most renters simply get on with things. If there is a major problem, such as a leak or the heating stops working, then they’re entirely within their right to contact you. But most of the time, they just want to get on with their lives.

Myth 4: They’re disruptive (party monsters)

Unless your rental property is set within acres of land, chances are your tenants will be living in close proximity to other people — aka, the neighbours. And the last thing you want is to have a tenant that holds all-night parties every week or is generally disruptive to those around them.

Anyone aged between 18 and 30 is totally throwing 24-hour parties and will turn your property into their own version of The Hacienda, right? Well, not exactly. The majority of renters respect the AST and the space where they live. There may very well be the odd social gathering, which is entirely different from 24/7 parties, mind.

There are rare cases where renters treat where they live in with little to no respect, but the overwhelming majority do the exact opposite, and are keen for their home to look and feel like one at all times.

Myth 5: They sublet without you knowing

Renting can be expensive — especially in major cities where prices can be higher than the average. Many landlords worry they will rent a property out to a tenant, only to find that it’s been listed on Airbnb or that the tenant has turned the one-bed flat into a two bed and is illegally subletting the other room.

For the tenant, it means paying less rent or earning some extra cash when they go away. For the landlord, it’s a complete violation of the AST. However, in most cases, the renter will contact the landlord and ask for permission before doing anything that isn’t stipulated in the AST.

While tenants have rights when living in the property, they don’t want to risk upsetting landlords by doing unreasonable things. Which is why most “tenant nightmare” cases are few and far between when taking into account the entire private rental population in the UK (4.7 million).

Myths. Debunked

It would be naive to suggest that landlords and tenants don’t encounter any issues at all. Renting is like any other business, and there is a service involved — with the paying customer expecting an excellent service for their cash.

Of course, it all gets a little bit more personal when the service they pay for is a home which is owned by someone else. But we’d say that 99.999999% of tenants aren’t monsters, and they just want to enjoy living in their shiny new pad.

Communication is key for mitigating any issues and stopping things turning into bigger problems. Which is why everyone here at mashroom is dedicated to creating a lettings platform that holds landlords and tenants in equal weight, allowing them to communicate directly through mashroom.

It helps keep them in perfect harmony, which means landlords and tenants can sit around the campfire playing the ukulele — or just enjoy a good relationship with each other that sees everybody happy.

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