What to Do When a Bad Tenant Asks for Reference?

Property Management Blog

If you have been a landlord for some time, you have good and bad experiences with your tenants. You can forget a good quality tenant, but it is hard to forget bad tenants. How can you forget a cunning tenant who walked out in the middle of the night without paying his due rent? You still feel bad and wish to get a chance to take revenge on these kinds of tenants. You get a chance to take revenge when your former tenants are asked for a reference. While it can be tempting to do a tit for tat to someone who has duped you in the past, it is not always right to follow your instincts. Let us know what the best way is to handle a request for a reference for former tenants.

Even if you have a great screening process in place, it is impossible to say with certainty that you will never have a bad tenant or two in your property. Some bad tenants can sneak past your screening process while others can become bad after living in your rental property. Justice of God is such that some of these bad tenants turn up later in future and ask for your help. They have lived for certain duration in your property and need to explain the gap in their living history to their new landlord. They need a place to live and they need your help to prove they are good tenants to their prospective landlord.

It is natural for you to become angry when you hear the name of one of your former bad tenant. Memories of how this individual fooled you and ran away without paying rent come back to your mind. Now that you are being asked about this individual, you feel the urge to spill the beans by sharing all the details about the past incident. However, it is not in your interest to curse the former tenant and say bad things about him. What you say now can come back to haunt you in future. This is because it has become very common to sue landlords these days and your words can be used against you.

Pause for a moment and think what you will get by cursing your former tenant now? In fact, you should refrain from saying bad things about your former tenant and play it safe when he asks you for a reference.

What is the right approach?

The best way to deal with this situation is to behave like a professional and just state the facts when asked for a reference. There is no need to cover up the misconduct of your former tenant.  By doing so, you will be doing injustice to the landlord who has asked for a reference. Stay calm and state the facts as they happened without losing your temper. Do not use words, sentences and phrases that can be used against you in a   law court in future.

Stay cool, calm, and collected

If a tenant left without clearing his dues, just say that he owed you this amount at the time of leaving your rental property. If he was late in paying rent, just mention the number of times he missed payments on the right time.  Do not call him names and use no cuss words when talking about any of your former tenants. If you evicted a tenant, just state the facts with dates without saying any bad things about him.

You can be diplomatic and yet take your revenge on your former bad tenant. This is the best way to give vent to your feelings when a former bad tenant needs your help in getting a place on rent.

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty. 

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