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Are "Professional" Tenants a Good Thing? The Answer May Surprise You


To many people, the term "professional tenant" could be unbelievable. Property managers and owners hope for a tenant who pays rent on time every month without any issues. However, it's important to remember there are "professionals" out there, which can ruin a rental home and a property owner's ROI.

The best property management Jacksonville offers has seen these types of tenants in action, and we're here to warn you that they are not a good thing for real estate investors. They know how to find loopholes within a lease or rental agreement and use them against the landlord. When looking for an ideal renter, use these Jacksonville property management tips to avoid bad or professional renters. Keep reading to learn how to spot one (and avoid them). 

What is a Professional Tenant?

Professional tenants aren't easy to spot. However, while they often evade tenant screenings, they aren't invisible. 

What is the definition of a professional tenant? These troublesome renters understand the nuances and intricacies of the rental system to take advantage of it. While they can appear to be excellent prospective tenants during the application and review process, here are a few warning signs to look for to identify professional tenants:

  • A track record of eviction lawsuits, other forms of litigation (particularly with landlords), or prior problems with a property owner
  • Someone who is well-versed in federal, state, and local rules and isn't bashful about displaying their knowledge
  • A background check that reveals a history of bankruptcy, judgments, liens, and bad credit
  • Inconsistencies in their recent rental history that cannot be explained or verified
  • Fake landlord or other references

If a potential tenant has a few of these red flags, you could be dealing with a professional renter. However, if you're not sure of what you're seeing through your screening process, work with a property manager to help you identify warning signs and avoid a potential professional tenant. 

Professional Tenants Are Trouble for Jacksonville Fl Property Owners

Now that you know the warning signs, what can happen if a professional tenant slips through your screening reports? These residents create significant (and costly) problems for property owners. 

Paying Only Partial Rent

Professional tenants frequently pay only part of their rent each month (or no rent at all). After moving into a property, these tenants can be difficult to remove if they've signed a lease—even if they don't fulfill their obligation to pay rent. 

Some property owners might initially be flexible and accept partial payments. However, this simply buys a professional tenant more time in your property. Trying to collect late fees also becomes a futile effort with these residents. Not only do property owners lose monthly rental income, but they also lose penalty fees outlined in the lease agreement.

When residents don't pay the rent in full every month, property owners should consult the lease, send appropriate reminders, and work with property management experts to deal with problem residents. 

Selective focus of dollar banknotes in hand of mature businessman in glasses and formal wear isolated on grey (R) (S)

Prefer to Pay in Cash

Because it's difficult to track, most professional tenants attempt to pay the security deposit and rent in cash. With cash payments, it's easier for these residents to claim they made a payment or even produce bogus rental receipts. In many cases, professional renters offer to pay several months of rent in cash, in advance, in exchange for skipping the tenant screening process. 

A Jacksonville property manager recommends keeping a record of payments or non-payments and thinking twice before accepting a large amount of cash in lieu of a background check for prospective tenants. 

Make Bogus Claims About the Property 

Professional tenants often make bogus maintenance requests to create a cause to withhold rent. Professional tenants may state that the property is entirely unfit for human habitation and even trash it as "evidence." A property owner should keep detailed records of all maintenance and repairs to fight bogus claims with bad tenants in court during the eviction process. It's also important to perform inspections before, during, and after a lease. 

Happy family with children relax at home on weekend (R) (S)

Property Management Companies Can Help With Screening

A key to stopping a professional renter before they move into your rental property is to have a proper screening process in place. A property management company can be a valuable asset through this process and help investors avoid professional renters. 

Professional management companies recommend:

  • Asking questions of all references, including previous landlords
  • Looking at a background check and verifying all employment details, bankruptcy records, criminal and court records to ensure they are correct
  • Conducting a thorough credit check
  • Personal interviews
  • Taking notes throughout the screening process. 

Keeping track of your research through the tenant screening process can save you time and a costly mistake by avoiding professional tenants!

Property Management Experts Deal With Professional Tenants

Are professional tenants real? Yes, they are, and their goal is to live in a rental property as long as they can without paying the rent! Partner with the best property management Jacksonville offers to find quality tenants and avoid bad residents. Reach out to the expert at Spectrum Realty Services to learn more about how our property management services can protect your properties!

For more information about finding quality renters, download our free Tenant Screening Checklist today!TSCL.BLOG

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