Sign of good tenant turning bad

Hello fellow landlord,

I wanted to create this topic. Not to name the tenant, but for landlords to watch for the tell-tell sign of good tenants turning bad, so we can all learn what to watch out for and think ahead what to do with it when the situation arises.

OK, share my own experience first. I have been renting my property for neary 15 years, had all sorts of tenants during these time. Although I am careful on selection, it is unavoidable to get the bad apple. So these are the signs I found I shall start to think whether good apple turning bad:

  1. complaining about small stuff.
    e.g. say the bed mattress was old/uncomfortable. He was good tenant for a couple of year so I bought a new one to replace it. after one month, he gave notice and left and took the new mattress with him.
    e.g. the other one says the washing machine doesn’t drain without me checking, asking for rent deduction. When he moved out, he took the washing machine with him. (if it is not working, he surely won’t want to take with him). It is my washing machine. It was 8 years old so I didn’t chase for it.

  2. complaining about cold or anything not measurable.
    They either want to rent deduct or want to move away without paying in the end.

  3. a couple renting a huge house / tenants rent somewhere more than they need
    a couple rented one of property, just two adult rented for 4 bedroom house. Indeed, from the second month, complaining about all sorts of small issues. I made mistake to release them early for ending the contract. I fed up dealing with them. haha. Turned out it was good my current tenants appreciate my house and pay on time no problem.

Look for other’s experience and what to watch out for.

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Hi Jessie2

Yes it’s good idea.

I have a tenant moved in September and he has been
complaining one after another after 1st month.

  1. he complained about the bed frame saying it making noi
    creeking noise and not strong and want me to get rid off bed and he wants buy his own.
    I know that bed is solid pine wood and very strong. I just refurbished the flat and two builders has to move when they were working.

  2. then started complaining about fridge so I thought ok I will get a new one as it’s undercounter and can go wrong
    and then not replying to email So cannot order and still moaning text messages so I emailed to ask him to give me authorisation to give his details for delivery but replying to my emails.
    So I have now ordered two thermometers for fridge so I can go and check personally if there are any issues but again no reply

  3. complaining about cold

So I asked what is wrong as I new economy heater is
Installed last year and he could send contact
directly company and can explain as he is living in the flat as I have given all instructions and information with check in
inventory. Then he replies that it works and it’s landlords
responsibility sort out and asking to sort out in next a few months.

Also telling me that he can send me the link for what is landlord’s responsibility.

Also heater is near window etc

I replied to him saying I am a professional landlady and I jan not renting property first time

  1. Now he complained to environmental officer saying
    that there is draft coming from windows and door

So I received letter from environmental officer So I have replied to them before Christmas.

He was aware that this is is grade 2 listed building so
have single glazed big factory style window and the
main door is a fire-proof door.

Then a few days ago he started calling and I did not answer the phone because I have already emailed him and also said by message that from now on all communications will be in writing so clear record can be kept for both parties and as evidence.

Yesterday again he sent message trying threaten that he will report to Tower Hamlets council.

So my main suggestion to all landlords is that it’s best practice to keep communication by emails - short and informative
as can be kept good record for evidence.

I agree with you is just that trying to reduce the rent especially
in winter months towards their electric bill.

Even I have told him before that if he was not happy then he can leave but now trying be awkward.

I will keep up once I get any information from environmental officer.



A good subject. We have also been the victims of this and it’s not pleasant as once these people have gained entry with a contract in place, it was a hard call to get rid of them.

Our mistake and part in it was to run around wiping their noses (thanks Colin!) and a feeling of responsibility towards keeping them housed.

Wish we had got rid as soon as the six months was up but being new Landlords we were uninformed and naĂŻve unfortunately.

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I would like to update that as i saw my tenant accidentally
as I live on the same building and I had to go first floor.

He was standing in corridor without face covering and wearing shorts and hoodies and said hi to me and started
talking and coming closer to me so I had to say keep the distance as he was not wearing face covering.
Completely wrong not wearing face coverings since
in this high coronavirus.

So politely I just said keep the distance and just reply to my email as I would not discuss anything in corridor as it’s not professional and as he has not been replying and complaining.

But what was shocking that he said that he came out of his hospital after major operation just a day before and he was waiting for his friend in corridor.

Then when I got home and was checking email and one of them it was his.

He sent copy what he has sent email to environmental officer complaining and complete lies god knows whatever he has been thinking.

But I have kept proof of all his text and WhatsApp messages
so I have proof.

Also while all these going on and I could feel that he is going to cause the problem

  1. for fridge
  • I ordered two thermometers so I could check the
    Temperature when he gives me authorisation to go and check
    to make sure if it’s working or not.
  1. for cold in flat
    I since we got the electric meters room and only concierges are allowed to go so I have asked for the meter reading
    last month and again last night.

Also I requested the meter readings for my flat as it’s the same size and same economy 7 storage heaters.

I knew that he has not been keeping his heating on as clearly can say from electric usage.

So I have evidence too. People can’t complain about cold in property.

So I would like to suggest that if any tenants complain about
cold in properties then we could ask them to provide the evidence how they are using heating and also energy
usage either if it’s electric or gas and proof of record of temperature.

Also from one of the landlord’s suggestion about smart humidity gadget so I ordered two smart thermometer for my home and keeping the record. So thanks to that landlord
but sorry don’t remember name.

Just wanted to say that there is 0.5degrees difference between 2 thermometers.

(Colin I have been thinking about you and I know
I made mistake renting my flat to this guy. )

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we can all make mistakes .

Thank you.

But from previous a few bad experience, i always keep
record of all communication in black and white.

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Are you trying to be a psychologist here? Get a life, sort the problem .

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Wow what a problem you are having.
My advice is to ask your tenat to write down all of his problems and then let the environmental officer and any official from Tower Hamlets to come (providing you are doing everything by the book) and inspect the property.When they turn around and say everything is fine ,he will not have a leg to stand on.
Finally a piece of advice to all Landlords seeking to evict tenants is to tell the tenants that unless they pay all the rent, you will pursue them in court and get a CCJ -County Court Judgement. This will ruin their credit rating , credit cards, future tenancy agreements, their work etc.A CCJ is more painful for the tenant ,than it is for you to obtain.
We Landlords have to stick together in these times of attack from the Government - tax hikes, more stringent rules and eviction bans.


Totally agree a CCJ Is great to get you own back on a scumbag tenant

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Hi John27
Yes I have already sent an email to environmental officer and and also when tenant send email to again and he send whe the copy too saying that landlady does not care.

So I replied to environmental officer that the warehouse conversion is according to the Tower Hamlets planning permission.

I thought people are getting furloughed and did not discriminated with people with some benefits towards the rent.
Also I had a character reference from his work place personally.

But now I have just told him that all communication will be by emails and also asked for permission to enter to check but he has not replied.

So waiting for the environmental officer reply.

I donot worry about anything because my apartments are upto very high standard and I give best service.

I think all tenants should be on a public register and should give a reference and record of not just previous address but previous at least 5 years address where they lived.

Also at the end of the tenancy that all landlords and managing agents if they are using full management agents should
update references of their tenancy.

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We all get it wrong occasionally, but selecting the right tenant is crucial to success in renting. In 12 years, I’ve only had to remove 2 tenants (I know that’s quite a result). I don’t think its coincidence that those I evicted came to me via estate agents. Since doing my own viewings, I have a better relationship with my tenants. A proper check in inventory helps too. The start of the tenancy defines the future relationship. Find a tenant you can work with & make sure the property is in the best condition it can be. I always say to my new tenants, all I ask is that they keep the place nice, pay on time & talk to me if theres a problem. It’s worked well so far.

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I’m with the Scottish landlords association, my problem is that the Scottish law keeps changing, with more rights given to the tenants & less help towards the landlords.
I have good tenants but mostly bad tenants. I stuck to the rules with the local council & everything is done by the book. Why is it my tenants can get away with everything, I have new tenants which seem really nice maybe a bit too friendly arising my suspicion. They wanted a a years tenancy which I agreed & contracts signed only to find Scottish law has changed again, we no longer have short tenancy it’s now classed as a running tenancy making it harder to get rid of bad tenants. So as I do everything to the book & check with the SLA before I do anything. As a landlord I like to make sure everything is working, trees & hedges trimmed, all outside maintenance is done. So I email my tenants to let them know I will coming over to do some maintenance, suddenly it’s no need we have done it, no don’t come over & the made me quite suspicious, so I told them I’m coming over gave them a weeks notice so plenty of time, I got a bloody shock when I arrived to find they have sawn down all my trees in my garden & ripped out my shrubs & tons more stuff… I was told by SLA that I could give them 6 months notice due to COVID but they can refuse to leave & I would have to apply to the courts. Due to all these lockdowns I still not been able to do an inspection inside…I got some much verbal abuse from my tenants, which I found very upsetting after all the damage they had caused… I do wonder at times is it worth renting when we have no government backing it’s my house & we have to follow the law in how are house is let out… but they don’t give a dam when they damage your property not once have I been able to claim any deposit from the scheme even with photographic evidence…if your house is at the correct standard for renting out don’t give any more to the tenants, I now let my house unfurnished which is so much easier & they can damage their own stuff & pay for it… when they view your property it’s always good enough for them & then they try knocking rent down by giving you a list of problems or try reporting you…I say let them report you & let the council do an inspection…end of the day it’s our house & were trusting them with the biggest & most valuable asset to us. I think we should be rewarded not get kicked in the teeth.


I have been renting for almost 14years and I have one tenant living in my flat 10years.

Most of the time get good tenants and even I manage by myself.

I will wait and see what happens as I have requested to tenant to give me access within 7 days to the flat and waiting for the environmental officer’s reply.
It’s really unfair that when any tenants complains then they sent letter to landlords Immediate to resolve within
14days but when landlords reply and and complain about tenants not giving access to to flat to check the problems then don’t reply.

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Buddy, I hear you & understand. But, my approach is maybe a little different. I don’t care if they make the garden easier to manage. I don’t stress unless what they do damages the property to the point of a safety issue. If they don’t resolve issues by the time they check out, that’s the point to think about issues like this. I’ve successfully kept deposits on a number of occasions. The key is to not be sensitive about their damages. Your approach needs to be business like to keep a deposit. It’s all about evidence and reasonable argument. Always refer back to what the AST says. That document is the most important. The last deposit I kept was because the tenant left the garden like a jungle. She said it was unusable because of building work next door. I said the AST stated she must keep the gargen in a certain way. I gave prices for skips and labour to rectify if. The DPS agreed and settled in my favour. Simple really. You just need to remove any emotion and replace it with a reasonable, business like case in your favour. Is worked well for me over the years.


Your right what your saying about the emotion, yes I’ve had my house 30 years, my previous tenants caused so much damage in the house, which we had photographic evidence but some how we never seem to get the deposit back. I am putting my house up for sale & buying another house closer to where I live & will not have the same emotions towards a house I not lived in. I find it interesting to see if how everyone deal with crap tenants.

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I had a few rouge tenants.

The trick they use a lot is complaining about cold house even in Summertime like during the 1st lockdown in 2020. This is HMO and heating is on me.

Complaining about facilities not working while they are.

Complaining about the place is dirty while they have a shared duty to keep the communal area clean according to the contract.

Complaining about others sharers.

Three motives: reduce the rent, getting out of the contract early or simply show to other sharers that they are powerful.

The environmental officer will contact the landlords straight away on the tenants’ complaint and scare the shit out the landlords.

When I complained about the tenants making a mick of me for telling him to remove his items out of the fire exit, the environmental officer simply gave me a phone no of a “landlord tenant relationship manager”. The phone was never answered and voice mail never replied.

Agree on a tenants address history of the past 5years with reference on each rent recorded.
Tackle the “complaint” instead of yielding to their demand. It will be never ending and in an HMO other sharers are watching too.