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Thinking of landlording?
Old 02-10-2009, 02:00 PM   #1
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Thinking of landlording?

Seems to me this about covers it.

Murphy's real estate laws

  • That sweet little girl with the baby that you rented to, will start dating the mad motorcycle man from hell, ... and several of his friends, ... the very next week.
  • Tenants have at least one relative get sick or die per month, so ... they will just have to pay you later.
  • If a tenant attempts to replace the washer in a faucet, plan on replacing the faucet; perhaps all the plumbing in the building.
  • Prospective tenants who make an appointment to see your rental across town, often get kidnapped on the way there... so there was just no way they could call you.
  • Tenants only lock themselves out in the middle of the night... or on Christmas.
  • When a furnace breaks in mid-winter, it is always the heat exchanger.
  • At least one tenant's check will be "lost in the mail" every month.
  • Every lost pet will find its way to your rental.
  • The hardware store closes five minutes before you get there.
  • A tenant's ability to see dirt and damage is much greater when they move in than when they move out.
  • Your best tenants always get job transfers during the worst rental markets.
  • Everything in your rentals will break 10 times faster than in your own home.
  • The insurance inspector always shows up to take photos of the building as you are putting the evicted tenant’s possessions on the curb.
  • Tenants always swear under oath that the window was broken when they moved in.
  • When a tenant calls and says, "Hi, how are you?" something is drastically wrong.
  • If it exists, your tenant will try to flush it down the toilet.
  • If you have any questions about anything, ask your tenants.
  • If it is pouring rain, you can be sure the windows are open at one or more at your units.
  • Proper disposal of chewing gum is in the carpet
  • Tenants who pay the lowest rent are the least likely to move.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Seems to me this about covers it.

Murphy's real estate laws

  • That sweet little girl with the baby that you rented to, will start dating the mad motorcycle man from hell, ... and several of his friends, ... the very next week.
  • Tenants have at least one relative get sick or die per month, so ... they will just have to pay you later.
  • If a tenant attempts to replace the washer in a faucet, plan on replacing the faucet; perhaps all the plumbing in the building.
  • Prospective tenants who make an appointment to see your rental across town, often get kidnapped on the way there... so there was just no way they could call you.
  • Tenants only lock themselves out in the middle of the night... or on Christmas.
  • When a furnace breaks in mid-winter, it is always the heat exchanger.
  • At least one tenant's check will be "lost in the mail" every month.
  • Every lost pet will find its way to your rental.
  • The hardware store closes five minutes before you get there.
  • A tenant's ability to see dirt and damage is much greater when they move in than when they move out.
  • Your best tenants always get job transfers during the worst rental markets.
  • Everything in your rentals will break 10 times faster than in your own home.
  • The insurance inspector always shows up to take photos of the building as you are putting the evicted tenantís possessions on the curb.
  • Tenants always swear under oath that the window was broken when they moved in.
  • When a tenant calls and says, "Hi, how are you?" something is drastically wrong.
  • If it exists, your tenant will try to flush it down the toilet.
  • If you have any questions about anything, ask your tenants.
  • If it is pouring rain, you can be sure the windows are open at one or more at your units.
  • Proper disposal of chewing gum is in the carpet
Same for cigarette butts.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:32 PM   #3
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Sounds like you had a rough month. Hopefully March will be better for you...
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:56 PM   #4
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Sounds like you had a rough month. Hopefully March will be better for you...
Nope, been pretty easy. less than 1/2 the list happened - but there's not much foreign to me in that (copied) list.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:00 PM   #5
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Me: Why is water all over the windowsill and the carpet is damp?

Tenant: Oh, it rained again.

Me: Is the window leaking?

Tenant: Yes, every time it rains. We leave it cracked open some because it gets hot up here and when it rains it blows in on the window sill and runs onto the carpet a little.

Me: Oh??!?

T: Yeah, can you fix it?

Me: Grrrr... I thought you were attending the local university and getting your PhD there? Something doesn't add up... Can I see your documentation for your graduate assistant position again?
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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I've had some indirect involvement with a rental property recently. Enough to know I'd rather crawl naked from Phoenix to Las Vegas than be a landlord.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:18 PM   #7
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Yep, all the reasons I gave up slumlording landlording. Every time I start to think about doing it again, Calmloki's posts remind me why I gave it up and why I shouldn't be tempted to do it again...

R
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:30 PM   #8
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I looove that list
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:34 PM   #9
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Add: tenants who pay the lowest rent are the least likely to move.
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:46 PM   #10
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When I was renting and moving to a new state after a year, I sometimes left slight messes (pile of trash near door when left during a blizzard) I did not expect to get deposit back.

They did refund deposit; I guess a small pile of trash was minimal compared to the OP.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:13 PM   #11
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I have a family member who has been a renter his entire adult life. He is, in most ways, a wonderful man, and I love him dearly. However...he is not only not neat, the idea of cleaning never even occurs to him. He moved out of a house he'd rented for 5 years or so, and was outraged that the landlords didn't give him his $500 security deposit back. He was talking about taking them to small claims court, but never did. A good thing, I think, because the landlords probably would have counter-sued him for their costs to refurbish the house. I'm pretty sure that all the drywall in the bathroom had to be torn out and redone due to mold and water damage, along with all the carpets needing to be replaced, etc.

In addition to the problems inside the home, this house had a very nice, professionally landscaped yard that was maintained by gardeners paid for by the landlord. I went to visit one day, and noticed that all the plants in the backyard were dying. I asked what happened to the yard, and he kind of absent-mindedly waved his hand and said "Oh, the sprinklers were leaking, and were driving up my water bill, so I just closed the valve back there". It simply never occurred to him to call the landlord about the leak.

I genuinely believe that none of the above was done out of malice. His standards for what is acceptable are just drastically different from most other people. I'll NEVER be a landlord.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #12
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Guess we are lucky with our tenants. The only problem we had is one rent check over the past three years bounced due to "uncollected funds". They were very embarassed and paid the fee our bank charged. Even so, I gotta say I'd like to get out of the landlord business sooner rather than later. It's just this lousy real estate market that has kept us from selling our rental so far. I don't think it's getting better anytime soon and think we will put the place on the market in a year or so unless the "tea leaves" tell us it would be better to wait. Bottom line, even with the best tenants, being a landlord is a major pain in the a**.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:54 PM   #13
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So, my mom had the same renter in her townhouse for 8 years, and he eventually bought the place when she put it on the market. Are you saying that's not the way it usually goes?
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:08 PM   #14
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So, my mom had the same renter in her townhouse for 8 years, and he eventually bought the place when she put it on the market. Are you saying that's not the way it usually goes?
Our tenants asked us twice about buying our rental, and we did all we could ethically do short of introducing them to real estate agents. And then they went and bought a cheaper home in our neighborhood. So after filtering out the first half-dozen reactions that ran through my mind while reading your post, my remaining (typable) response is: Yes.

We've learned not to assume that the tenants know how to (or care to) do anything. We take care of the yard. (The lease has a clause requiring them to pay the water bill and to not mess with the sprinklers.) We paint the exterior. We add salt to the water conditioner. We change the batteries in the smoke detectors. We scrub/vacuum the refrigerator coils. We lubricate the garage door. We flush the water heater and clean the dryer exhaust duct and the vent fan ducts. We do a walkthrough every year, including a check of the toilets & faucets. We have the carpets professionally cleaned every 12-18 months, preferably when they're out of the house for a few days. When they give notice, we ask that they not clean the carpet, not paint the walls/doors, and not even patch the picture-hanging holes. (We'll give them a roll of blue painter's tape to mark the location of the holes.) We practically ask them to call us if the toilet paper needs changing.

You would think that, freed of these onerous burdens, tenants would put a little extra effort into cleaning kitchen appliances and bathrooms. If you think that, then you're not an experienced landlord.

Yes, we do a bunch of maintenance just as if we owned another home. And, gosh, we do! But we can do the maintenance on our schedule, and we do far fewer repairs by surprise...

Our tenants are moving out at the end of the month. Tomorrow we'll be going over to the rental for day #1 of 2 with front-yard-sod guy, while we finish the reflective foil insulation in the attic. Thursday we're going over for day #2 of sod and day #1 of washing/priming/painting the lanai reflective roof paint, while we finish installing new lanai carpeting. And then Thursday evening, heaven help us, we're going to list the place for rent on the military's real-estate website. We figure we'll either get a tenant within the next two weeks or get a very clear signal that it's time to sell. Since we're setting the rent at approximately 80% of an O-6's housing allowance, it should have plenty of time to get scooped up. I don't know whether that makes me happy to get rid of the place or resigned to another consecutive landlord term...
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:08 AM   #15
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I've had a rental townhome in Virginia Beach since 1989. I haven't lived in the state since then. I've only had one bad incident with a renter and it took me mearly 2 years to get him into court.......but I did and I got my $$$$$$. I don't think I will ever again be a landlord by choice!

Mike
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:38 AM   #16
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I'll add -

Exceptions to your NO PET POLICY include: mice, bats, squirels, racoons, skunks and chipmunks.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:02 AM   #17
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Exceptions to your NO PET POLICY include: mice, bats, squirels, racoons, skunks and chipmunks.
We don't even try to have a "no pet" policy-- just a clause that pet damage will be subtracted from the security deposit.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:26 AM   #18
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I'll add:

If you let a tenant have a cat the tenant will have five cats.

If you put in new carpet the next week there will be a permanent iron mark on the carpet.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:48 AM   #19
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...
If you let a tenant have a cat the tenant will have five cats.

....
If you say "no cats allowed" tenant will take care of strays "temporarily."
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:08 PM   #20
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Our tenants asked us twice about buying our rental, and we did all we could ethically do short of introducing them to real estate agents. And then they went and bought a cheaper home in our neighborhood. So after filtering out the first half-dozen reactions that ran through my mind while reading your post, my remaining (typable) response is: Yes.
Man, you'd think I'd have learned to use that <sarcasm> smiley by now. My mom's experience was true, but I'm absolutely positive it was a one in 10,000 experience. We bought a townhouse recently to be able to visit our DD and DGD as well as other family members. I'm seriously thinking about renting it out in 4-5 years if we don't need it for the stated purpose anymore, but before I do I'll come back and read this thread and the others like it.
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