Bad Tenants: Knowing How to Deal With Them

  | 4 min read
how to deal with bad tenants

Bad tenants can make you feel like you made a wrong decision about leasing your property as a landlord. Tenants have different character traits and personalities. It is up to you to decide who you want to live in your house. Sometimes to become a successful landlord, you need to learn how to deal with bad tenants. 

As a landlord, you might not get the chance to do background checks on your tenants. If this is the first time you are interacting with them, they might show you what they want you to see as opposed to their true selves.

We break down different types of tenants you need to look out for and how to deal with them.

Tenants Who Destroy Property

bad tenants to destroy property

Some people will destroy property for no reason, just for the fun of it. They struggle when it comes to leaving a place the way they found it. If a tenant spoils anything, make a formal request for them to do the repairs. If the damage is major, do the repairs yourself then send your tenant the bill. Always document the process to have a trail of where the problem began up to when it is solved. This will help in avoiding miscommunications at a later date between you and the tenant.

Tenants Who Move Out Without Notice

If someone vacates your property without following the right channel, seek legal advice from a lawyer on what steps you should take. If they leave any personal belongings behind, don’t throw them away because if they do take you to court, it could be used against you.

Tenants Who Complain About Everything

bad tenant complaining

Have you come across tenants who agree to move into your property but want to complain every month about minor changes? If you come across such, maybe it’s time to evict them.

Tenants Who Pay Late Rent or Don’t Pay At All

People who pay rent late will have a negative impact on your business.  It is standard procedure to give your tenants a hard copy of the lease agreement because if anything was to come up, you’d be in a better position to plead your case. When people agree to sign your lease agreement, they are agreeing to the policies and rules. Indicate in your lease agreement the expected date for rent payment and what the repercussions are when someone doesn’t pay.

Tenants Who Engage in Illegal Activities

bad tenant illegal activities

If you suspect a tenant is engaging in illegal activities in your property, do some research on your own to find out what is happening. For example, if you get complaints from other tenants, take some time to gather evidence then report the matter to relevant authorities. In a worst case scenario, you can decide to evict the bad tenant from the property.  

Tenants Who Are Noisy

noisy bad tenants

Tenants have the right to live in a peaceful environment free from disturbances from other neighbours. But let’s face it, there are people who want to play loud music or host parties with rowdy friends. In your lease agreement, probit your tenants from engaging in some activities such as hosting loud parties, abuse and violence. If the neighbours complain to you about certain tenants, keep records of the complaints then confront the bad tenants.


You should treat all your tenants, whether good or bad with a level of respect. Your safety and that of other tenants should always be a number one priority. If you decide to take stern actions against bad tenants, remember that the good ones are watching your actions. You don’t want to instil a sense of fear that will make you seem unapproachable when they have a problem that needs solving. Have an open door policy where people can come talk to you any time they need help.

Have you encountered bad tenants in the past? We’d love to hear these stories.


Maureen Mbithe
Content Writer at BuyRentKenya