Property investors are obviously in it to make money, but not everyone is ready to deal with the difficulties of handling tenants. Without the right protection and proactivity, being a landlord can be your biggest nightmare.

1.    Bad tenants. One of the worst things that can happen to a landlord is letting an irresponsible tenant through as a result of inadequate screening. Bad tenants can cause you a number of problems, including property damage (deliberate or accidental), rent payment issues and complaints from either the neighbours or the authorities. Some tenants could even just turn into pesky squatters.

2.    Broken rules. Irresponsible tenants generally don’t care about any rules you’ve set – they’ll sneak in pets or guests even if you’ve said no, and leave you to clean up the resulting mess. In some cases, longer-term tenants even turn your place into short-term rentals like AirBnB or Stayz without your permission so they can benefit illegally from your investment.

3.    Payment problems. This is one of the most serious potential risks for a landlord – not getting paid or getting paid late. Some tenants only cough up the money if they’re being chased for rent – and in some cases, they just run off without leaving a trace. There are also tenants who pay in arrears, making it quite stressful when a check bounces.

4.    Lack of maintenance. You tend to take care of what’s your own, but it’s hard to trust that tenants will do the same. So a property you rent out in excellent condition could end up being a disaster in a year’s time if you’re not mindful of checking in.

5.    Lazy property managers. Property managers are supposed to make things easier for you when it comes to managing rentals, but a bad property manager can further complicate things for you by being difficult to reach – leaving you hanging as to what’s actually happening with your property and leaving your tenants without a contact.

For the full story outlining the risks of being a landlord, along with risk mitigation steps to put you in the driver’s seat, read the complete feature article in the July 2019 edition of Your Investment Property.

- On sale at news agencies and Coles supermarkets from June 6 to July 4, 2019; or download the magazine now.