An article this week in Ottawa’s major newspaper describes the ordeal being faced by a man in Kingston, Ontario, who rented out his home to a family a couple of years ago. These people came with a good recommendation, but their stay over a couple of years was a destructive one for the home, including cleanup horrors stemming from some of the most disgusting manners imaginable. After months went by before eviction could be finalized, the home owner is facing a litany of expensive cleanup and repair, likely to the tune overall of $30,000.
It’s amazingly sad how two-faced and negligent some tenants can be. Moreover, it seems they frequently can get away with limited, or even no, consequences. (So far that’s the situation in the Kingston case.)
Therefore, as a public service (especially for those in a landlord/lender situation), here are 10 useful tips:
- Keep a cautious distance from prospects with only one suitcase, who wear gloves
- Be wary of accepting post-dated cheques with erasable financial institution names
- If renting out equipment, make sure potential users can tell each item’s front end from the back
- If renting out particularly sensitive equipment, ensure ‘Please don’t hurt me’ stickers are attached prominently on each piece
- Open DNA files for aspiring renters who come to a contract signing intending to use blood for ink
- Watch for mood swings exhibited by an applicant displaying a ‘push here for Crazy Jr.’ button
- When relatives come to visit a few days, make sure there is a trail of bread crumbs to help them find their way out (unless a dog or cat is around, in which case switch to sticky notes)
- Be sure to add a cleanliness clause for house rentals where applicants have visible dirt under each fingernail
- If dealing with a long-term rental period, arrange for drop-by dates, to ensure saying hello to what’s still a good buy
- When serving as on-site landlord, learn the fine arts of anticipation and indifference
In this context, you can never be too careful.
By the way, if ‘never a borrower nor a lender be’, how would our economy work?