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Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 08:23 AM   #1
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Landlord Perils

Here's a pop quiz for all those landlord wannabees:

One of my tenants has not had heat for a year now. Not a problem until last night (coldest night of the year here ... next couple days no better). They got thru the night leaving a trickle running in all the faucets and electric SPACE HEATERS in every room. Just a matter of time before this one POPs and makes a heck of a mess. He owes a grand to the propane company. Tanks were pulled last month. He's also behind in the rent over 1 month. Already served the NOTICE TO QUIT; but a court date and eviction would be 6-8 weeks away. He makes payments weekly to keep from slipping further behind.

Here's my choices:

a. Pony up $1500 to the gas company and have propane service there by COB. And forget about the back rent. And until service is restored a hotel room might be in order .... or a flight and vacation package (Disney sounds nice).

b. Let him slip another month behind so he can find another propane provider. You'll need to lie when called by the provider to determine if they're new tenants or at least say he's no longer in the unit.

c. Do nothing. Pipes haven't froozen YET. Maybe stick some more electric space heaters in the place and ride it out.

Ok, quiz time ... what would YOU do ??
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 08:32 AM   #2
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Re: Landlord Perils

I am not really a landlord (nor a wannabe). I vote C.

JG
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 10:16 AM   #3
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Re: Landlord Perils

I think it depends on where the rental is located .It's one thing to do without heat on cold days in Northern Florida but to do without heat in Buffalo is inhumane .
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 10:50 AM   #4
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Re: Landlord Perils

The plot thickens ...

Option A - previous provider says they'll have new tanks and propane at the house today IF the back bill is paid in full (~$1000). He's got $500 (my weekly payment) and is looking for another $500 from friends/family.

Having a hard time believing the company will not "surprize" him all kinds of re-connect fees and/or make him pre-pay to fill-up. We'll see ...

Option B - is OUT ... new providers need a week to send out a sales guy and process a new customer.

Option C - Just put in 2 more electric heaters. Bearly staying ahead of it ... hot water line in the bath room is frozen. All other pipes are OK.

The tenant is supposed to take a 1/2 off from work "to deal with this" ... not sure what that means to HIM (except beg/borrow/steal $500).

The unit is near the MA - NH border.
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 01:57 PM   #5
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Re: Landlord Perils

I'd try forgiving the past due rent in return for him leaving NOW, as in the next few days. Then I would buy propane and rent it out to someone new.

has he applied for emergency fuel assistance, like from the Salvation Army?
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 02:06 PM   #6
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Re: Landlord Perils

I like Martha's idea.

Going forward
I'd do a better job at screening tenants or stop renting to low-rent tenants. Or, if I was still intent on serving the low income market, I'd only rent to section 8 tenants.

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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: Landlord Perils

I agree with Martha; that's what I'd do.
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 03:00 PM   #8
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Re: Landlord Perils

Just got off the phone with the tenant ... he came up with $1000. The gas co. dropped in a small tank to hold them until a crew can bring in larger tanks (Monday?).

Of course my weekly payment went to "cause". Unit is 70 degrees. Bathroom hot water line is unfrozen.

Reiterated he's leaving in March because he can't afford the unit : ... we'll see. When the cold snap ends I'll try Martha's idea. Just to pull on the heart-strings ... there are 3 kids in diapers in the units.

Thanx for the feed back!
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 03:08 PM   #9
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Re: Landlord Perils

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
Reiterated he's leaving in March because he can't afford the unit : ... we'll see. When the cold snap ends I'll try Martha's idea. Just to pull on the heart-strings ... there are 3 kids in diapers in the units.

Thanx for the feed back!
This is why i don't think I will ever be a residential LL. Couldn't stand to let the kids freeze or put them on the street, so I'd lose my shirt.
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 04:00 PM   #10
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Re: Landlord Perils

I hear ya ... 20 years I've been doing this only 3 evictions involving young kids went down to the wire (sheriff brings in the movers). Most others result in the tenant moving to friends/family before the movers show-up.

One of the 3 was real tear-jerker ... New Years Eve, this family of 4 - two young kids - was in total denial. Ingored the 48 hour notice. They were just sitting down to BREAKFAST when the sheriff and the moving crew showed up. Not a single box packed (I had to pay an extra $250 ... cash on the spot). The mover hired 2 more bodies off the street to help ... now everything is flying out of the unit. But they won't store perishables (food, plants, animals) sooo ....

Stunned the tenant - holding his 18 month old half dressed in December - walks over to my truck and says "tryan, I need to come back for the food in the fridge. Please don't throw away the food in the fridge. I need the food in the fridge."
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 06:30 PM   #11
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Re: Landlord Perils

I'd turn the water off too, that'd solve the problem of the pipes freezing.

He's gonna have one hell of an electric bill this month from using the space heaters. That'll be next months problem.

At least he didnt get 'creative' and drag in a kerosene heater or gas grill and burn the house down.
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-26-2007, 06:36 PM   #12
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Re: Landlord Perils

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
I hear ya ... 20 years I've been doing this only 3 evictions involving young kids went down to the wire (sheriff brings in the movers). Most others result in the tenant moving to friends/family before the movers show-up.

One of the 3 was real tear-jerker ... New Years Eve, this family of 4 - two young kids - was in total denial. Ingored the 48 hour notice. They were just sitting down to BREAKFAST when the sheriff and the moving crew showed up. Not a single box packed (I had to pay an extra $250 ... cash on the spot). The mover hired 2 more bodies off the street to help ... now everything is flying out of the unit. But they won't store perishables (food, plants, animals) sooo ....

Stunned the tenant - holding his 18 month old half dressed in December - walks over to my truck and says "tryan, I need to come back for the food in the fridge. Please don't throw away the food in the fridge. I need the food in the fridge."
maybe you should retitle the thread "tenant perils".
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-27-2007, 09:38 AM   #13
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Re: Landlord Perils

Quote:
Originally Posted by winnie
maybe you should retitle the thread "tenant perils".
winnie
I must have a thousand stories from my "former life" as an active
landlord. Here again, guess I was lucky as I never had to go through
the complete "legal/stuff in the street" eviction. Always was able to
negotiate some kind of a deal to get 'em out. Even if I lost some rent,
it was always a relief.

JG
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-27-2007, 09:44 AM   #14
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Re: Landlord Perils

Quote:
Frankly, a good .44 mag or at least a .357 mag revolver seems the way to go, where legal, with training.
oh, sorry...wrong thread
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-27-2007, 05:05 PM   #15
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Re: Landlord Perils

When I was a landlord and would face these types of situations I would go to the tennant and say I understand that they have fallen on hard times but I'm running a business. But so I can stay in business I need someone who can make the payments on time. But I like you and I will give you 200 or whatever in cash if you can be out tommorow. Thats a lot of money to someone who has none. And you arn't making anything with them in there.
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-28-2007, 02:25 PM   #16
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Re: Landlord Perils

One of the happiest days of my life was the day I sold my rental home in CA. The check at closing was very nice but the relief was incredible. I had been a long distance landlord for 13 years and the chance of ending up with a meth house was getting far too high.
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-29-2007, 06:28 PM   #17
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Re: Landlord Perils

Ugh. Some days I'm glad we pay the heat for our rental units.
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-29-2007, 06:50 PM   #18
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Re: Landlord Perils

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
"tryan, I need to come back for the food in the fridge. Please don't throw away the food in the fridge. I need the food in the fridge."
< Please, Please the baby is sick. How could you just throw us out into the cold !>

Isn't it great being a landlord.

Isn't it great when your values as a human being clash with your good sense. It's funny how they never discuss this in those get rich quick real estate books and seminars.
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-29-2007, 10:11 PM   #19
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Re: Landlord Perils

I feel for ya, good luck. Sure makes you appreciate the good tenants.
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Re: Landlord Perils
Old 01-30-2007, 01:06 PM   #20
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Re: Landlord Perils

Quote:

Isn't it great being a landlord.

Isn't it great when your values as a human being clash with your good sense. It's funny how they never discuss this in those get rich quick real estate books and seminars.
Yeah, I let him come back the next morning and get his food. Didn't change the locks until the next afternoon. All the risk was mine ... he could have brought a bat and sought a little "revenge" on my vacant unit ... or left the water running ... or poured cement down the drains ... blah, blah, blah. Sometimes being human trumps business-sense.

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