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Property Management | Leesburg Landlords: Beware of 'Professional Tenants'

Posted by Gunn Property Services on May 21, 2020 7:30:00 AM

Many of us have met someone who says all the right things—but is not what they seem. This can be frustrating and disappointing in one's personal life—but as a top provider of property management, Leesburg landlords, we know that developing trust in a tenant who turns out to be acting in bad faith can be ruinous.

House problems - Copy
In times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are truly struggling and desperately need to negotiate with their landlords to get through a few tough months and back on their feet. The majority of renters you interact with are excellent tenants—and are not seeking to take advantage of a crisis for their gain.

However, so-called "Professional Tenants" prey on landlord generosity—especially during a time like this. It can be challenging to tell when someone is deliberately creating a scam versus merely going through hard times.

If you want to cultivate good professional relationships with your tenants—but aren't sure how to identify a Professional Tenant—turn to only the best property management, Leesburg landlords! Here are some considerations to factor in when you are worried about a particular tenant.

Please note: This blog is not intended to act as legal advice. When in doubt, reach out to your skilled attorney or the best property management Leesburg has to offer! Gunn Property Services is proud to assist and support property owners during these troubled times.

What Is a Professional Tenant?

The main point of the term "Professional Tenant" is that these types of renters understand, from a tactical perspective, how to get into your property rent-free.

  • They know how to "wow" landlords to cause you to overlook red flags on their applications.
  • They are focused on getting into your Leesburg rental property without intending to pay you in the future.
  • They understand—with an attorney's level of skill, in some cases—how eviction processes work in Leesburg.

Sometimes these traits manifest as a willingness to pay you just enough to prevent an eviction, or else they call a landlord's bluff by not moving out until the whole case is resolved. This ends up costing you big time in court and lawyer fees—as well as the lost rent.

As you can see, this is a very different scenario from someone reliable with their payments up until a worldwide crisis. Unfortunately for tenants who moved in right before the current crisis, many landlords will have a hard time distinguishing Professional Tenants right now from honest, hardworking folks. The latter simply have no cash due to a sudden job loss.

This makes correctly identifying whether you are working with a Professional Tenant or a renter down on their luck crucial moving forward. When in doubt, it's better to turn to your ally in property management, Leesburg landlords! Here are some tips on what to look for.

Angry woman arguing during a phone cal - CopyIdentifying Traits of Professional Tenants

While no Professional Tenant looks exactly like another, these can be warning signs of a Professional Tenant:

  • Expecting some kind of special treatment or fast-tracking during the application process, including not submitting an application or not giving a clear enough set of information to allow for background screening.
  • Claiming that they can't provide rental references due to 'not being on the lease.'
  • Enticing a fast move-in through paying cash up front, especially for two or three months ahead. 
  • Acting intimidating or pushy for what they want before you've had a chance to screen their information.

Some tenants may have one of these warning signs and simply be in a hurry to move into your property. But when multiple signs are emerging, there may be cause for concern.

It's important that you do your due diligence as a landlord. If you have a Professional Tenant feeding you false information on their application, you can usually discover this right away with an in-depth look into their background check. Skipping the background check when screening a new renter is one of the worst moves you can make as a Leesburg landlord.

Avoiding Professional Tenants

Make sure you document every interaction with your renters. As one of the premier providers of property management Leesburg offers, we know that if you have a renter constantly changing their story as to why they can't pay rent, this is not likely to be due to pandemic-related job loss. Your paper trail is the key to moving forward and finding a resolution to this situation—even if that means pursuing eviction when it is available to you legally. 

On the other hand, if you find your renters are collaborative, willing to get on a payment plan for their missing rent, and actively pursuing either unemployment benefits, a job, or both, it makes sense to work with them! We want to emphasize that not every tenant who is missing rent payments is a Professional Tenant.

Building trust and being flexible with tenants during temporary setbacks like COVID-19 can benefit you in the long-term. They may choose to continue to rent from you because of your kindness during a challenging time.

Property Managers Know the Warning Signs

One of the ways that you can handle the concerns of identifying professional tenants is by working with the top providers of property management Leesburg offers.

Their experience in the industry gives them a better-than-average understanding of the behaviors of Professional Tenants; they've seen more of them and watched how those situations have played out. A property manager is also a fantastic buffer and mediator for you when documenting interactions.

Your property manager will also have expert tools available to place only the best renters in a rental home, which usually ensures that Professional Tenants are screened out from the start. However, we know that some scam artists are slippery, which is exactly why we offer our Eviction Guarantee at Gunn Property Services.

Learn more about what we can do to protect your investments! Get in touch with us and let us show you a higher standard of Leesburg property management.

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Topics: Property Management (Leesburg), Screening Safely, Tenant Tips