Troublesome Tenants Making Your Life Tiresome?

Posted on December 9, 2012 by

We’ve all heard the horror stories of pesky tenants causing property owners endless amount of toil and trouble. From messy students, tardy rent payers to those who just flat out skip town. Last year the Village Voice compiled a list of New York city’s work tenants on record, the article, which can be found here:, gives you a good idea of the kind of nonsense that landlords all too often have to put up with.

Ranging from the insane to the downright emotionally damaging, a troublesome tenant can really have an adverse effect on the quality of a property owner’s life, on both a financial and personal level. The articles recounting of a tenant who was a food hoarder is a particularly visceral, if exaggerative, display of the issues that landlords all too often have to deal with.

Obviously all landlords have contracts signed up with their tenants and security deposits to fall back on in case of damages to property, be they little or large. However, it’s disheartening to hear about the amount of times that tenants seem to be getting away with breaching simple contractual agreement without any repercussions. So, do landlords still stand a chance in a world which seems to increasingly be favouring the tenant? Can action still be taken? Well, yes- it would seem that there is in fact hope.

While contractual terms and agreements are often fairly open to interpretation and hard to steadfastly pin down on transgressors there are some rigid and austere sections to most contracts written up between tenant and landlord that are actually as clear as day and, most pertinently, effective in the court of law. In the event of your tenant breaching his/her contract/tenancy agreement your best course of action is to utilise a Section 8 notice to quit. Section 8 is a notice that covers many different breaches of contract, be it mandatory and discretionary grounds for possession or the more common usage of the notice for rent arrears.

In the circumstance that your tenant hasn’t paid the rent for 8 weeks/2 months (conditional on them paying on a monthly/weekly/fortnightly basis) or for 3 months (conditional on them paying on a quarterly/yearly basis) then you are well within your rights to serve a section 8 notice. More often than not there are simply just no excuses for such an obvious breach of contractual agreement and the landlords case will stand up in court. Tenants’ defences against these charges are often flimsy and, unlike their opposition, rarely stand up in court.

While a lot of people are reluctant to lease out their properties due to horror stories around the problems tenants can cause, the plain and simple truth is that most tenants are normal/nice people who treat their homes with respect and abide to contractual terms. However, for those who are still cautious in case they catch a stroke of bad luck examples such at the Section 8 notice are sure to restore some hope and faith. A poor tenant can really affect your cash flow if your primary source of income is through leasing out your properties, don’t let troublesome tenants reduce the profitability of your business; if they’re playing up on you use Section 8 and take some action.