Real Estate Matters | Watch out for these red flags to avoid nightmare tenants

Sam Lee

Sam Lee is a marketing manager and property consultant at JML Property.  JML was established in 1994 and offers Investment Property & Homes. It specializes in managing properties for owners and investors, and providing attractive and comfortable homes for tenants.

Having a nightmare tenant is the stuff of… well, nightmares. While there are always two sides to a story and there are many negligent or unethical landlords as well, we have also seen many instances where the tenant is intentionally abusive and disrespectful to both the property and the landlord.

While 98% tenants are great, a small minority of tenants make the landlord’s life extremely difficult. This is inflicted through not paying the rent, damaging the property to the point where the deposit is insufficient to cover the repairs, subleasing the property without the landlord’s permission, leaving the property unattended for extended periods without taking precautions against the elements, and the list goes on.

Once the tenancy agreement is formed, it can be extremely difficult to remove the tenant from the property in Macau regardless of how nightmarish the tenant may be.

Considering the dismally low rental yields in Macau and the potential misfortune of being matched with a nightmare tenant, many landlords decide to keep the property empty and forego the rental income. This is a lose-lose situation for both the people who need homes, and the landlord who could have found a great tenant by doing a bit more due diligence.

Below are some potential ‘red flags’ of nightmare tenants. It must be remembered that none of these are sure indicators that the tenant will be trouble, but merely a sign that it might be worth looking into further.

1. The tenant offers to pay significantly above market rent, especially for large properties: This could be a sign that the tenant is planning to sublease the rooms to a large group of people. This can be especially bad if the temporary tenants consistently cycle through the property.

2. The tenant’s salary is equal to or lower than the rent: unless very well justified, again, this could be a sign that the intention is to sublease the property.

3. The tenant does not have the required VISA to stay in Macau and cannot clearly articulate the reason for wishing to rent an apartment in Macau: This should go without saying.

4. The tenant needs to move in immediately: While there may be many legitimate reasons for needing to find a place to stay quickly, one of the reasons might be that there was a big issue between the previous tenant and the landlord.

5. Your agent feels they might be trouble: As agents, we have an obligation to relay any and every offer that comes through. It is at the landlord’s discretion whether they would like to accept or reject the offer. However, since we deal with so many tenants, we have a good sense of whether a tenant will be a nightmare tenant or not. Ask us!

Again, these ‘red flags’ are not surefire indicators of trouble, but a sign that some digging needs to be done. If you are looking to find a great tenant for your property, feel free to get in touch with JML!

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