Nightmare tenants – 7 things to look for after they have gone

Author: Nick Butt   |   Date: 14th June 2018

One of the worst fears of all landlords – both for private and business dwellings – is having to deal with nightmare tenants who won’t pay their rent or refuse to leave the premises. But what can be even worse is discovering what they have left behind them once they do leave. Here are seven key things to look out for once your nightmare tenant has finally vacated your property:

Anything missing from the property

Some tenants will feel entitled and will try to strip the property before they leave so check for missing fixtures and fittings, including things like the boiler, piping, wiring and any built-in furniture units. Tenants have been known to rip boilers off the walls, or steal all the machinery from a factory unit, to try to sell on.

Unusual smells

It is possible tenants will try to seek revenge on a landlord by hiding rotten food, or worse, within the property to create unpleasant smells so if you suspect foul play you might need to bring in a specialist to find the culprit.

Stained carpets

Whenever tenants leave, the carpets should all be thoroughly cleaned as a matter of course, however, if you have had nightmare tenants they might deliberately damage the carpets so check them all out and then have a thorough deep clean throughout the entire property.

Blocked plumbing

Check the tenants haven’t deliberately blocked sinks and toilets and again, these are areas which will need a thorough deep cleaning before allowing another tenant to move into the premises. If they have blocked any of the plumbing systems you could end up with a hefty repair bill due to flooding potentially.

Exterior of the premises

Take a look around the exterior of the premises to make sure they haven’t smashed any windows, fences, gates, or caused any other damage or graffiti to the outside of the property.

Abandoned belongings

Rather than trash the place, some tenants just make a run for it and leave all of their belongings and rubbish behind in the property – which can result in a problem for the landlord in terms of disposing of it all, not to mention the need for a thorough clean once it has all been removed.


Unfortunately, one of the nightmare scenarios tenants leave behind are infestations such as fleas, bed bugs, cockroaches and mice so always check the premises for any signs of this kind of problem. You might need to bring in pest control expert if it’s really bad or dispose of or clean any infested items such as carpets, bedding and furniture.

When tenants leave it is customary to give the premises a thorough clean before showing the building for potential new tenants to move in, however, when a nightmare tenant leaves, the level of cleaning required can be much higher potentially. However, by using professional cleaning services, the whole place can be restored back to a hygienic, fresh and comfortable property once again.

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