Landlords watch out for the serial squatter

screening tenants

The headlines read:

Couple accused of being serial squatters in at least THREE multimillion-dollar California homes while 'living like pigs'

What Is a "Professional Tenant?"

Don't be fooled by the term "professional." These are not good residents! We call them "Professional Tenants" because they make a habit of going from property to property and fooling owners into allowing them into their rentals.

How can investors recognize these renters and keep them out of their rental properties?

  1. Carefully screen tenants background
  2. Interview past landlords on the phone.

It is a landlord's worst case scenario come to life - you suddenly discover that you have squatters in your property. You have heard of squatters' rights and you imagine people who will be impossible to evict and who will squat in your property forever.

The main scam goes like this:

The rental application is completely filled out, proof of residence and employment are all there. So you take a security deposit and the first month's rent by check.

Your mistake you decide to take checks, and hand them the keys to the rental.

Later when you notice that the checks have bounced, the tenant is legally entrenched in the property.

Now their withholding rent from you, complaining that the property is terrible. You file for an eviction but the process goes slow.

Read about evictions and the pain.

But don't despair - it is possible to evict squatters and get your property back. Just be careful and interview the past landlords from the application, before you take the risk.

If you suspect monthly rent collect problems

Tell the tenant you will schedule a maintenance inspection on rent day. Part of the collection of the rent, you must replace the furnace filter and check all plumbing fixtures for leaks. And anything else you think you should inspect. You tell the tenant that this is to properly maintain the house.

Inspections require a 24 hour written notice.

Check your applicant's background here

Relevant Information:

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