A landlord’s nightmare – non-paying tenants

Quick question: What’s the worst nightmare a landlord can ever have?

  1. A messy tenant
  2. A tenant who secretly smuggled in a pet snake
  3. A tenant who didn’t pay rent

If your answer is 3, then you’re right. I mean, what can be worse than a non-paying tenant? Couple days ago, my landlord told me that one of his previous tenant “spirited away” after three months of not paying rent.

“So how did this happen?”

“So this lady -she’s a bit of a troublemaker- told me that she had lost her job and asked if I could delay rent. I said ok because she was still quite reliable at that time. Subsequently, she missed out on her rent for the next month, and the month after. At that point, I thought something was fishy. Oh by the way, she has a girlfriend living in thailand.”

“Ok, so what happened next?”

“Well, I was already starting to get frustrated at the third month, so I confronted her and she said that she’d pay rent after her trip from Thailand”

(I know, strange that you can plan a trip overseas but not pay your rent, right?)

“So anyway, I waited for her to come back….and she never did. She just disappeared.”

“What?? So she left all her belongings in the house and left just like this?”

“Yeap. And I had to make a missing person report too. Just in case she got kidnapped. I couldn’t reach her mobile phone either.”

My landlord lost 3 months worth of income that day.

So what’s the lesson from this story?


  1. Don’t be afraid to ask


If your tenant is late to make payment for more than a week, don’t be shy to ask when he/she is ready to pay their dues. If there is a valid reason for it, it is up to you to decide if you want to accept it and push back rent. Try not to get too emotional about it! You paid good money for your property and your tenants have to pay for it. It’s YOUR property, not a refugee camp.

  1. Be firm and know your rights as a landlord


Know that you have every right as a landlord to evict a tenant when you give your property for rent in Singapore if they breach any terms in the contract.

3.Do a profile check and take note down their employer and the company’s contact number


This is just a precautionary measure to have a secondary contact if your tenant goes missing or claims to have lost his/her job. It is always handy to have the employer’s contact details to double check on the facts. This is especially useful if your tenant is on an employment pass.


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