How to deal with bad tenants

How to deal with a bad tenant

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As a landlord, dealing with bad tenants can be one of the most challenging aspects of property management. Whether it’s late payments, property damage, or constant complaints, bad tenants can cause a significant amount of stress and financial loss. However, with the right strategies and legal knowledge, you can effectively manage these situations and protect your investment. This article will guide you through the process of dealing with bad tenants, from identifying potential issues in the tenant profile to taking legal action if necessary.

Understanding the Tenant Profile

Prevention is always better than cure, and this is particularly true when it comes to managing tenants. Before you let out your property, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough tenant screening. This includes checking their credit history, employment status, and references from previous landlords. A comprehensive tenant profile can help you identify potential red flags and avoid problematic tenants in the first place.

Communicating Effectively

Good communication is key in any relationship, and it’s no different with your tenants. If you’re dealing with a tenant who is consistently late with rent or causing other issues, it’s important to address the problem directly and professionally. Keep a record of all communications and ensure you’re clear about your expectations and the consequences of not meeting them.

Using a Condition Report

A condition report is a document that details the state of the property at the start of the tenancy. This can be invaluable when dealing with disputes about property damage. By comparing the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy with the initial condition report, you can determine whether any damage has occurred and who is responsible for it.

Security Deposit and Rent Arrears

In Singapore, tenants are required to pay a security deposit prior to the commencement of the lease. The common practice is one month for every 1-year lease. This deposit can be used to cover unpaid rent or damage to the property. If a tenant falls into rent arrears, acting quickly is important. Send a formal letter requesting payment and outlining the potential consequences of non-payment, such as interest and even eviction. If the tenant fails to pay, you may need to take legal action to recover the debt.

Working with an Agent

If you’re struggling to manage a difficult tenant, it may be worth considering hiring a property management agent. An experienced agent can handle all aspects of property management, from finding tenants to dealing with disputes and legal issues. While this does involve an additional cost, it can save you a significant amount of time and stress in the long run.

If all else fails, you may need to consider legal action. There are a number of scenarios in which the landlord may want to evict a tenant (i.e. remove a tenant from your property/land). However, the only scenario where you can legally do so is when the tenant has breached their tenancy agreement.

The kinds of breaches that may most reasonably give rise to a need to evict include:

  • Failure to pay rent or consistently paying rent late;
  • Causing damage to property and
  • Conducting illegal activity that creates legal liability for a landlord, e.g., subletting to illegal immigrants.

It’s important to follow the correct legal process, which includes serving a formal notice of eviction and obtaining a court order if necessary. Failure to do so could result in legal penalties.


Dealing with bad tenants can be a challenging aspect of property management, but it’s possible to navigate these situations effectively with the right strategies and resources. By conducting a thorough tenant screening, communicating effectively, using a condition report, and holding the security deposit, you can mitigate many of the risks associated with bad tenants. Working with an agent or taking legal action can also be effective strategies if necessary. Remember, it’s important to stay professional and follow the correct legal processes at all times to protect your investment and maintain a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

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Whether you're a Home Buyer, Seller, Tenant, or Investor I'm just a click away. Contact me today for a chat.

Need any Help?

Whether you're a Home Buyer, Seller, Tenant, or Investor I'm just a click away. Contact me today for a chat.