Of course you won’t allow your bad tenants to talk you into giving them their deposit back before you have inspected their units.
But what about your good tenants?
What happens when they give you a very convincing story that they’re pressed for time- moving to another state, and unless you want to go over there late at night you can settle up now. After all, they’ve never done anything shady in the two and one half years they’ve been there.
These are the credible tenants who have not only paid on time, but well before time. They’re the ones you could depend on. You never had a problem with them.
Okay, you give them their deposit back. All smiles. Everyone is happy.
The next day after they’ve moved out, there’s a bottom springs mattress plopped out beside the mailbox.
Wasn’t that important clause outlined in the lease stating all belongings had to go with the tenant? They can not leave any trash, cars, pets, plants, etc.?
Yes, but you still have the mattress. Now what?
Well, you’ll have to move it off yourself.
Is there a lesson here?
It can happen to the best, most seasoned landlords who have seen it all, heard it all and smelled it all. In fact it recently happened to one landlord with 5o years of experience.
Here’s the thing. The good tenants would never do anything like that. Or would they?
And what about that explanation from psychologists that you can judge future behavior by past behavior. Forget it. It doesn’t apply to tenants.
Remind your tenants, good and bad, what your policies are and stick to it. Your rules are there for a reason.