Then, how to separate the wheat from the chaff within difficult tenants since knowing how the person in front of you behaves enables you to better manage your relationships and here, lease management of course requires a quite different level of vigilance according to the tenants’ behaviour.

Knowing some tenants' behavioural trends may enable either to avoid some tenants' with bad profiles from the outset, or to better manage them afterwards (for those already in the premises).

Typologies of tenants on which bases?

A classification of the diverse types of bad tenants is not necessarily easy in view of the diversity of situations and characters with corresponding rather broad variety of practices and behaviours.

It is however possible to set up a typology of behaviours on the basis of some important parameters of the tenant-lessor relationship such as the tenant’s behaviour as to :

. compliance with his obligations in general, . payment of the rent, . the correct use and the conservation of the rented place.

Are tenants’ typologies useful?

When watching the behaviour of your various tenants over time within the framework of your leases, you manage to identify some signs you may use as landmarks, and many thus draft lists of acceptable tenants and those to exclude. Taking into account such information can enable the lessor to better see the behavioural patterns (bad or good behaviours) common to some tenants, and this allows them to anticipate on the surroundings of their tenants management to be set up (standard, or with an increased level of vigilance).

Such management optimization will of course contribute to secure the recovery of the rent, therefore, as the case may be, the investment which the lessor has made (the scheme of which should not be endangered by the tenants’ malpractices) or even more simply the covering of his essential needs.

Such an optimization becomes even vital when the rent recovery has to secure the repayment of a credit or the covering of the above-mentioned needs, and in these cases, there should be a zero tolerance. Thus the lessors in these cases will be lead to refuse tenant X while a lessor having none of these constraints will perhaps allow himself to be less rigorous and let the same tenant in.

The few profiles of tenants included below correspond to behavioural characteristics found here and there, in whole or in part and to various extents, in different categories of tenants.



They know they signed a lease including rules to comply with, but after signing, they become amnesic and respect very few rules. For some of them, it is due to their irresponsible and careless way of functioning: for example, they did not bother reading the contract. For others, it is rather a strategy …

The damages will almost be the same for the lessor who will have the impression to speak Russian to someone expressing himself exclusively in English. With this type of tenants, the zero tolerance policy is a must!


During the lease, at the time suiting them, they start the cat and mouse game -they of course stop when the needs to be met are theirs.

For everything which must be signed, the signing is always postponed until the very last minute. When you call them, they will ‘get back to you very soon’ but they don’t return your phone calls or do so well after.

With this type of tenant, keeping low your adrenaline level is a high performance. It’s up to you to see if you can keep up the momentum.


They indeed signed the lease, but for them, compliance with its terms of payment is the Olympic Games’ marathon. With them, a high adrenaline level is guaranteed -especially if the rents are intended to cover your vital or important needs-, with however a difference between two profiles : those who pay with delay and those who do not pay at all or pay no more.

The very bad payers

Some of them purely and simply lay their strategy on a series of alibis -rough patch in life, which they just put forward gradually : here a medical problem having left them broke after payment of the hospital bills; there, a relative’s death etc. and sometimes, you are simply told that ‘ he/she has travelled’ …

From time to time, when their memories fail or when this gymnastics was too quick, the same alibi is used again within a rather not-so-distant interval, thus leading to the same uncle’s death in the village twice… Sometimes, these non-payments are the announcing of the tenant’s close, abandonment of the place on the quiet…

After several unsuccessful telephone reminders and other contact attempts, you will be obliged to move up a gear to have a chance to master the situation.

The late payers

Unlike the previous ones, they do pay the rent, but do not comply with the terms of payment and this can also make you vulnerable if you have yourself payments to make or expenses to be covered at precise periods.

The causes for these delays may vary: an oversight, an extended absence which is not reported to you or an incident which has postponed an expected payment but which nevertheless could have been anticipated etc.

If they are less harmful than the first ones, they however deserve a stringent follow-up with relevant schemes such as for example the inclusion of a delay penalty which will bring back to more rectitude after having paid this penalty two or three times …

You can download some fact sheets on difficult tenants in the Welcome Kit: « Some tenants / lessors' profiles to avoid/ requiring your vigilance ». To do so, click here.

__According to you, which of these types of tenants is the most harmful ?

Have you faced other types of difficult tenants ?

How did you solve the situations you faced ?

Share your experiences here-under.

To see other types of problematic tenants,click here.

For profiles of bad lessors,click here. __

For the french version of this article, please click here.