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Old 11-21-2018, 03:54 PM   #81
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Parameters for entering the unit are supposed to be spelled out in the lease - the boilerplate leases we used for MD and FL had the same "24 hours notice with tenant permission, or immediately if needed to mitigate damage."

The nightmare tenant pushed the "permission" thing to the limit, and beyond, once he found out we had decided to sell. Everything we tried, he had a counter for. He was among the most passive-aggressive people I have ever dealt with.

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We have all our locks set with a master key. Tenants are informed that we can enter (Oregon) with 24 hours notice or if we have their permission OR if we need to enter to mitigate damage. Downstairs apartment has water raining from above? We can knock and enter the upstairs unit. Smoke coming from under the door? We can knock and enter. If I run into a lock that a tenant has replaced without giving me a key we are going to have an earnest conversation. Gonna be very peeved if I have to kick down a door.

Many tenants work and it is way more convenient for us both if they give me permission to enter during the day to fix a problem like a faucet leak vs. waiting for them to get home - hint: landlords don't want to work in the evening or on weekends any more than tenants. I tell potential tenants we have to be comfortable with each other and if they aren't comfortable with me having access to their apartment as needed they should live elsewhere. That said, it is the tenant's apartment - I was aghast when I heard my Mom was just going into the rooms she had rented out in her home just because she felt like it.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:04 PM   #82
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Your whole post was great, this part triggered long ago memories.

We rented a half duplex, the landlord is next door. Nice couple but one day we came home and there's a acrylic case over our thermostat that we can't open. Heats turned way down, there was a brief discussion and I smiled and said thanks. One of those blue ice bricks fit right on top of it, instant heat.
..........
I also lived in a duplex with one furnace and one thermostat and it was on the other side when we moved in. The minute the other unit was vacant, I sneaked over and moved the thermostat to our side of the wall, which was easy as it was obvious from the holes that this switching back and forth had been going on for years.

My craziest landlord (the one that walked in on us in bed) also used to enter while I was gone and unplug everything, in the belief that anything plugged in, even if off, consumed electricity.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:22 PM   #83
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one day we came home and there's a acrylic case over our thermostat that we can't open. Heats turned way down, there was a brief discussion and I smiled and said thanks. One of those blue ice bricks fit right on top of it, instant heat.
Very, very cool! Errrrr, maybe I should say "warm."

In our case, the bldg had hot water heat with one boiler and four zones. Each flat had it's own thermostat. After numerous entries to our flat by the MIL to turn our thermostat down, the landlord admitted that the boiler was not keeping up in the frigid weather (gee, cold weather in Chicago, who knew?) when all four zones were constantly calling for heat. His DW, in one flat, and his MIL, in another, were complaining of being chilly. So they figured if they turned down our thermostats so our zone would call for heat less often, there would be more for them. (This applied to the other tenant too, of course.)

You know, if in retrospect they had come to us and explained the situation, I think we might have been able to work something out. DW and I did have the issue that since I worked night shift and she worked day shift, there was almost always someone home, so no good time to turn the flat into a freezer. Still, we weren't uncooperative people and, in fact, I worked with the previous owner on several repair issues (did electrical work for him gratis) just to be a nice guy.

But no...... They had to do it the sneaky snake way. And, the opening of cabinets, closets, the fridge and drawers was really uncalled for too. Were they looking for an illegal substance or?? Who knows? When the tape was pulled back (indicating it had been opened) on 22 yr old DW's lingerie drawer, we were starting to feel especially intruded upon.

I really hadn't thought about this whole deal for years so digging up these past memories has been an experience!
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:28 PM   #84
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Agree with use of the "happy clause" with tenants who behave badly. Indeed we offered it to our current tenants.

We have a rental, SFH in a very good school district. But It was a fixer- upper, even before we could advertising it.

Tenants were in for 2 months when the septic system started to back up. Yikes ! Turns out Previous owner was less than honest on sales disclosure. (We called the septic company that supposedly had done work and they had no record of the work)

The tenants - a family - were unhappy bec they had to ration water use until septic repair could be scheduled.

So we said ....."We want you to be happy. You are clearly not happy with the house so we are offering you a penalty free option to leave." No more complaints !!

The rent is at least $100 less then similar rentals and we suspect they soon figured that their patience was worth more than moving.

That was one year ago now, they always pay rent on time, and we hope they stay.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:38 PM   #85
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I rented a succession of "managed building" apartments during my 20's. I had no issues with management. I paid on time, they left me alone. These were not the greatest apartments, but they weren't the worst available either...I think the cheaper you go, the more issues you may have, same as in most things in life.

I certainly never heard of anyone being walked-in-on by management. I, OTOH, had that problem when I started sharing with roommates. The roommates didn't barge in, but their boy friends often had no manners whatsoever, and sometimes acted like they owned the place and I didn't exist.

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The landlord used her key and usually entered while we were away. At one point, we were suspicious someone had been inside because the thermostat had been turned down (a lot) and some loose papers that had been on the kitchen table were on the floor. Later, I was working second shift at my factory job and DW was working days as a school teacher. I awoke hearing footsteps and thought DW had returned home meaning I had overslept. Rushing out to the kitchen in my undies, I walked right into the landlord's MIL which was quite a shock for both of us. From that point on, we put tiny pieces of tape on drawers, closet doors, cabinets, etc., to see if she was opening them, and she was. She wanted us to keep the thermostat at a very chilly setting in the winter and liked to enter to be sure we were complying. She also insisted, very firmly, that she had a right to "check on things" whenever she pleased and would be continuing to enter when we were away. Well, we purchased our own home and never rented again. Looking back, perhaps this unsavory landlord was a blessing since we were "city kids" and enjoyed living in our flat in the city and the urban lifestyle. Might have taken us years to get up the gumption to buy and move if the original landlord, a real nice guy and a real pro at the business, had not sold and moved.

Earlier in this thread, I asked for advise on how (hypothetically - I'll likely never rent again) renters can get a fair shake from excessively profit-minded or incompetent landlords who either withhold services/repairs, are late with services/repairs or just act weird. Having read through this thread, it seems like the answer would be to rent in a corp owned large complex. That way, I'd think you'd have a better chance of not having to share tight quarters in a small building with a resident owner who's a bit, shall we say, creepy.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:48 PM   #86
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We did smile, apologize and got the missing pan to him in a couple of days. However his attitude set the tone for the relationship, and it was my pleasure to not allow our lease to be extended. Karma is a bitch sometimes!

I’ve always explained to my tenants that if there was any kind of emergency repair that I couldn’t handle immediately, they could get the repair done and send me the bill or receipt and I’d reimburse them immediately. They also knew if they ever withheld rent, I would begin the eviction process.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:24 PM   #87
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I agree with the emergency repair policy. Just don’t think the lack of a microwave crisper pan quite qualifies.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:34 AM   #88
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Grew up in Chicago. Had a friend whose father was a landlord. His son invited me on "repair" runs to some apartments, which was usually heat and water checks. I remember that whole thing being creepy as hell. No warning, just kind of barge in.

Maybe that landlord is one of the ones listed above.

Everywhere else I lived had 24 hr warnings to the tenant when the landlord did this kind of activity.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:59 AM   #89
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Agree with use of the "happy clause" with tenants who behave badly. Indeed we offered it to our current tenants.

We have a rental, SFH in a very good school district. But It was a fixer- upper, even before we could advertising it.

Tenants were in for 2 months when the septic system started to back up. Yikes ! Turns out Previous owner was less than honest on sales disclosure. (We called the septic company that supposedly had done work and they had no record of the work)

The tenants - a family - were unhappy bec they had to ration water use until septic repair could be scheduled.

So we said ....."We want you to be happy. You are clearly not happy with the house so we are offering you a penalty free option to leave." No more complaints !!

The rent is at least $100 less then similar rentals and we suspect they soon figured that their patience was worth more than moving.

That was one year ago now, they always pay rent on time, and we hope they stay.
Just curious......... How long did the family have to go without a properly functioning septic system? Beyond the obvious health issues, how bad was the smell?
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:02 AM   #90
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The septic would back up if everyone showered in AM and mom did a load of laundry.
So they had to use a shower schedule and laundry on non-shower days

Unfortunately it lasted 2 months before fix. We also gave them $50 off/rent /month for 6 months to compensate for their inconvenience.

They knew from talking with neighbors that septic issues are common and that there are not enough companies in our county, hence the delay.
If they call with a problem DH and I can fix , we are there the next day.
We just replaced insulation and we pay for yearly heating warranty (if heat goes out tenants can call company directly- $250/year) .
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:07 AM   #91
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oh,.....no odor unless the Schedule was violated. The family has 2 teens, so parents had to a role in limiting their shower time.

We had been in the house (2 adults) doing repairs for 6 months and had no back-ups.
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Old 11-28-2018, 04:34 PM   #92
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Our worst tenant was actually a boyfriend of a tenant that was a perfect tenant. She was part of the production staff at one of our local news stations. Paid on time.

Her boyfriend gave me a look one day like he wanted to kill me. A few weeks later my wife received a call from a Police Officer, asking detailed questions about our tenant. Turns out when she was out of town, her boyfriend used her car and killed someone.

Honorable mentions go to the following:
1. A suspected suicide victim. Turns out the note he sent his parents was a goodbye note that he was moving to Colorado, although he wrote it more like a suicide note. My wife had to go down with the cop to see if he was dead in the apartment.
2. A hooker
3. A hoarder
4. A drunk with an arsenal of weapons

Needless to say, we sold all 7 units. The stock market made a lot more money, and was much less risky
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Old 11-29-2018, 11:01 AM   #93
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I owned a 6 unit apartment building and got another large water bill. As a landlord I had access to the basement where the utilities were located. There was also a washer and dryer for tenant use. Well I went over to check why I got this high water bill. I walk in on a 350 naked woman doing laundry. She screamed, I screamed. It was awkward. Anyway, turns out she was running a laundry service for the neighborhood. The machines got disconnected shortly afterwards.
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:45 PM   #94
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Ok, laundry service for the neighborhood, but why was she naked?
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:49 PM   #95
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The machines were for tenant use. But she was running a laundry service. Why she was naked I have no idea. Her apartment had a sepertate entrance to the basement.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:16 PM   #96
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Perhaps it got hot in the basement, with the dryer running full tilt for hours on end. And you said she had a lot of extra flesh, which creates extra heat. Were you paying the tenants' utilities? Musta been a big power bill, on top of the water use.

Apartments I lived in, usually had a communal laundry room with coin-operated machines. They were expensive, and nobody could have made money doing other people's laundry. Otherwise, I'm quite sure some would have tried. Just like with illegal subletting, some tenants can't resist the opportunity to make an extra buck when they think nobody's looking.

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Why she was naked I have no idea. .
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:24 PM   #97
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Man I thought my bad tenant story would be a winner. After reading the thread, I'm not sure it is even in the top 10. But still not a bad story.

The last tenant my old property manager got me was a woman in her late 20s with decent credit, worked in one of the bigger Casinos. After paying for 4 months, she stopped paying

My new property manager is very good and doesn't put up with crap, so we served her an eviction notice fairly quickly. Boyfriend troubles I guess.

About a week before the eviction was to go through, I got Facebook message from a friend her in a Hawaii, that somebody wanted to talk me.

It turns out during the eviction, the tenant had tried to sublet the place. The prospective tenants got suspicious when she demanded cash and won't take a cashier check, so they found my name in property rolls and tracked me down. But why sublet once when you can do it twice. When the sheriff arrived to evict her she was in process of sub-letting to a 2nd couple.

Whew, what I relived she is gone, I think. Left the place a mess but didn't horribly trash it.

Wrong, new tenant tells there is water damage all over the place and the water heater is missing.

Turns out that even though we had changed all the locks, the tenant from hell had kept the garage door opener. Had come back and stolen the water heater. of course, she had not bother to turn off the water.

Insurance covered much of the damage, but my premiums increased 50% the next year.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:23 AM   #98
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My last few years at Megc*rp were very full and I didn't have time to read my magazine subscriptions. I saved them and I'm going through them now. I have gotten to an older Popular Mechanics article that is very entertaining that covers the highs and lows of being a landlord. He ends on a positive note about landlording, although he is now out of the game. Worth a read!

Popular Mechanics: What I Learned About Life by Becoming a Landlord

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Lesson one: People will flush anything down a toilet. Curlers. Popsicle wrappers. Combs. I'm not saying they do it on purpose. Maybe they didn't notice the jet-black comb on the blazingly contrasting white porcelain floor of the toilet bowl. Maybe they just flicked the handle and down it went. Accidents happen. But when you're the one kneeling on a damp bath towel on a Wednesday afternoon, fishing around in a toilet with a thirty-foot snake, I'm telling you: You see some stuff. Poker chips. Warning labels. Handfuls of expired vitamins.
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