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Your worst tenant...
Old 11-03-2018, 07:35 AM   #1
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Your worst tenant...

Another thread got me thinking of really bad tenants, and really good tenants I've had since being in the Land Mgmt biz since '06.

My worst (in terms of headache, and financial) : was a couple in their mid 30s, boyfriend/girlfriend. The boyfriend mooched the women, as she worked her min wage Burger King job. Found out cops had been called half a dozen times before I headed down to address the situation. They were they were more than 30 days behind on rent, and it had been five days into the next month so now I was down two months of rent as I prepared the eviction.

As I showed up at the unit (it was a six-plex) the other tenants quickly filled me in on what had been going on. He had been abusive to her multiple times, drunk and angry. BF was a chain smoker, one who would light one while holding an almost out but still lit smoke in the other hand.

She had a cast on. Broke down as I taped the eviction notice from the county and informed her the cops would be there that night to formally serve.

Told me all that had happened, how boyfriend was hurting her, medical bills had caused her to blow the rent budget and he had been mooching. I looked at him at that moment, on the spot, I said "you're not on the lease, get the F%# off my property you are trespassing, or I'll call the cops." He ran down the stairs and as he left the door I said "And if she tells me you came back I will call the cops for trespassing, you are not welcome on this property."

I cut her a deal, I said IF you keep him away from the building, and are able to come up with the past two months rent, I will evict you next week and give you a week to pack and move. She had known the eviction was coming for a good week, but refused to accept the fact.

She agreed, left, came back with 2months rent in cash about 30minutes later from somewhere...and she was gone within three days.

I told her I wasn't running a soup kitchen and she owed BIG TIME! It worked, but damn I had to use some special paint to get the smoke smell off the walls and ceiling, cupboards and porcelain, carpet. Oh they had two cats two, which normally I am cool with animals but I've got stories on that for another day.

I swear to this day, watching that sad excuse of a man run down my stairs to the exit leads me to believe he probably had multiple felony warrants out for him lol.

I fired the gal that was managing the lease and tenant searches, took it on myself, but those two bad months had some serious effects. A couple long term tenants did not renew that year, and I had a bout of bad first month rent-bailers when replacing the good ones.

It is true, one bad apple, can ruin it for the bunch.

Finally got some decent tenants in there, and sold the building. Too much headache, I like the townhomes and SFH. Multi-unit is a whole new game.

Best Tenant: DW and I moved to Maui, the tenants I had, decided not to renew lease... but they did one better, they found my next tenant who was willing to even take a rent increase, and they have been in that unit ever since. That was about 5 years ago. Same tenant, for five years, I never even met them face to face and I haven't had a single call since I moved to Hawaii and back. AMAZING!
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FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:16 AM   #2
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I am not a landlord, so this is a story of one of my sisters...

She had a starter home.... and was always scared that she might be homeless so did not want to sell when they bought a new house... rented it to someone that she felt was a good tenant...

She then sold her second house and bought a really nice house that she has been in for many years...

Now, the tenant does all the work on the house... just subtracts the cost of materials from the rent... so no phone calls to fix stuff... after 5 years she could have raised rent, but did not... she has raised it over the years but has always kept it about 10% less than market...

It reached 25 years!!! Yes, she had the same tenant for 25 years... they just moved out this summer... she said the house needed a lot of work but not as bad as you might think... SOOO, they did some of the work and now are renting it to her son!!!

As you can see... no bad tenants...
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:13 AM   #3
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My worst: he knew I inherited the property and had no clue what I was doing, which is what he went looking for. He sued me (trying to get a free house) claiming my mother's estate wasn't probated properly. It was dismissed with prejudice, but legal fees cost me dearly. During litigation, he was destroying the house. I sold it for pennies on the dollar, during the great recession no less. You can't make this $hit up.

I am NOT cut out for real estate investing. I have no best experiences, unless you count the ones I unloaded.
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:52 AM   #4
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One of my houses was allegedly rented by a nice lady in her 50's. The rent was paid on time and the property manager never bothered to verify who was living there. One day I got a phone call from the neighbor, a real estate agent I knew. She told me the guy had taken his SUV and rammed it into the garage entry wall in a fit of rage. The slump block entry wall was badly damaged and the garage door was hanging precariously. It had been this way for several days and no one seemed to be interested in fixing it. She was also worried about the wife and kids, because he was given to these fits of rage.

I called the property manager, who knew nothing about any of this this. After I hung up, I realized there was no "guy" on the lease and no mention of children and called her back to ask about that. She called the "tenant," who confessed that her son and daughter-in-law were living there, not her. He had been evicted from his last rental and could not find a place to live. He threatened mom that he would stop all contact with the grand kids if she did not find him a place to live.

To top it off, he did not want to get insurance involved. He was trying to get his father, a contractor that had lost his license for various violations, to do the repair work. He got a three day notice to vacate and my insurance company was called. He had no insurance on the SUV, so I don't think my insurance company ever got a dime.

Mom got him and his family out in the three days. I'm sure she found another unsuspecting property manager or landlord before the word got out. The house was actually clean, because he apparently threatened his wife over that and her cooking. The block work was repaired and the garage door was replaced.

I fired the property management company at the next opportunity...
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:09 AM   #5
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I have never had a tenant, but had to treat my daughter as one. We bought her a 2800 square foot ranch home to live in with our two grandchildren. But first thing she did was move in an unemployed boyfriend who we promptly got rid of. Then she moved another "friend" in that we also ordered to leave.

When the house ended up being Grand Central Station for every unemployed, down and out person in town, the police camped out the next street over. Whenever someone would drive to "my house", the police would do a traffic stop. 25% of those stopped had warrants outstanding of some kind and went to jail. After 25 or 30 arrests, the District Attorney threatened to take possession of my house under Drug Nuisance Laws.

We ordered our daughter out of the house, but she wouldn't leave. I filed eviction and had the Sheriff physically removed her. We filed for permanent custody of our 7 year old granddaughter and put her out on the street--where she remains today.

It was our daughter that was the tenant from hell, and a year later she's not going in a positive direction. What a way to spend retirement years?
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Your worst tenant...
Old 11-03-2018, 11:17 AM   #6
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Your worst tenant...

I had a larger than normal water bill. So I though the water line had a leak and went to check it out.
I walked in the basement and there was an above ground pool set up and filled. The windows had condensation and the wood joists were dripping water.
So I ask the one tenet who was home who’s pool was in the basement? He said it was the other guys and did I notice it had no pump or filter. Well I had not, I was so pissed off about this. Turns out they would just dump the water and refill it.

You can’t make this stuff up.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:25 AM   #7
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My daughter. Sigh.
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Old 11-03-2018, 01:12 PM   #8
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Not me (never owned a rental) but a BIL owned a townhouse. The last tenant skipped the last month's rent and when she left she stopped up all the sink and tub drains, turned on the water and left. BIL found out about it when an owner-neighbor called to let him know there was water coming out from under the front door.

As I recall it was about $10k in damages. BIL sold the place right after that.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 11-03-2018, 01:30 PM   #9
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We didn't have many of the problems some of you have described but avoided the problem by screening prospective tenants. Some of you should submit your rental stories to a reality show production company.

We rented one of our homes from 1995 throgh the end of 2002 in an upscale neighborhood to primarily corporate clients who were working temporarily or needed temporary housing until they could find a permanent home. We included landscape maintenance in the rent which kept the exterior in good shape. The income was great during the dotcom boom era. The lease was backed up by the corporation that relocated the tenant. We had had several break their leases early but their employers were required to pay 3 months penalty or to the end of the lease whichever was less. We usually found someone else within 2-3 weeks. Then the dotcom bust came and it became more and more difficult to find suitable tenants. We refused to rent to people with no source of income other than alimony. We refused to rent to large families on welfare (the neighbors thanked us for that). We refused to rent to convicted felons. Many real estate agents warned us that we were on the verge of receiving discrimination complaints. So we elected to sell the property and sold it in 2003. All good things must end.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:10 PM   #10
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Reliving the bad stories is too upsetting! We sold at a loss to get away from the tenant issues plus overzealous HOAs. There were actually four overseers: the townhouse HOA, the townhouse management company, the "neighborhood" HOA, and the county. At one point, we were getting complaint letters and threats from all four of them, some of it instigated by the tenant, the thought of whom scares me to this day. This was the one with an 800 credit rating and no rental history, so we couldn't know he was a psych case when we rented to him. I am very grateful that we did not need rent income to pay our bills or be able to retire.

We did have some good tenants, back in the 90's. For five years, we rented my small "first house" to a young professional couple who were saving to buy their own house. They didn't break things. Stuff just breaks on houses as they age, and these tenants always did the simpler household repairs. Because these tenants treated us well, we kept their rent below what we could have gotten.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:52 PM   #11
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#1 Professionally managed tenants was late on rent and evicted. Found out after they were out that they had moved another 4 person family into the place, so that meant 2 families in a 1130sqft 3BR house. Front door was jammed full of FedEx mailers from the last landlord trying to sue them for skipping on 6K of back rent in another state. Tenants had self-installed cable TV into every room of a block exterior house.

#2 Tenant left the house with 2 foot of maggot infested dog manure in the basement and I don't even want to know what that was that I cleaned off the bedroom walls... Formula 409 in hand pump weed sprayer to pre-soak and then scrub.

#3 Lady attempted to run a day care out of a 2BR 700sqft apartment... kids totally destroyed the lawn and the primary tree in the front yard.

#4 A section 8 tenant's kids urinated all over the radiator in the bathroom. Apparently they never cleaned it up because it ate the paint of the radiator.

Uncounted drunks/domestic situations. And these were in houses in the "nice" part of town with professional property managers.

I couldn't take any more and sold my unit to my Dad who already had 3 SFH and a 4-plex. Now I'm staring at inheriting 1/2 of that mess back. I plan to sell the day the title is transferred.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:10 PM   #12
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My son! He moved out of state and I reclaimed my property. Did you know you can ALMOST flush a bath towel? The”karate room “ needed sheet rock repair.
At least he and his buds paid the rent on time...
A friend was looking to expand their stable of rentals and I obliged. Made money on the deal
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:21 PM   #13
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My parents had a lot of rentals over the past 40+ years, so I have endless stories. My sister and I manage the remaining rental for DM, a small house with a studio unit in the back of the property. Friends of the tenant in the front house informed us that he'd died. Apparently, he had a heart attack in the driveway. We found that he'd filled the driveway, garage, and backyard with enough crap for an episode of Hoarders. It took a large dumpster and an entire day to clean it up. Fortunately, the house was in a little better shape- we think his friends had helped themselves to the contents. A couple years later, the single guy renting the studio committed suicide by gunshot to the head (inside the unit). I can say with 100% certainty that my sister and I are going to sell the property when DM passes. I will be overjoyed to not have to deal with renters ever again. Yes, we've had lots of good tenants, but there are just way too many people who have no respect for anything.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:45 PM   #14
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I've never had the pleasure of being a landlord, but I rented a duplex for a number of years and was a fly on the wall.

First landlord sold the place and a new guy was our landlord - super nice guy. Shortly thereafter the apartment next door was for rent. He rented to to a couple of sleaze bags who seemed to be dealing drugs. Not long after, our apartment was burglarized. Neighbors "heard nothing". These same neighbors got a puppy and one day I heard it in the backyard just screaming. They got in the car and took off. Another neighbor took the dog to a vet for a dislocated spine.

Soon, these sleaze bags were gone and I see a note on the next door from a single woman who badly needed a place for her kids - "no one will rent to me, please help". So, the new landlord takes her in and soon he is knocking on the door constantly wanting his rent. She cries and begs for time, but it continues. Night after night we hear the kids screaming and crashing noises. Turns out they were punching holes in the drywall.

Eventually they were gone and a nice Asian Indian couple moved in - professionals and very quiet. They ask if they can paint the inside and the landlord agrees to pay for the paint. Later he comes to check on the place and they have painted the walls pink with a 4" brush and no masking whatsoever. The paint is inches onto the floor and ceiling - hideous.

When we moved out, the landlord said he was selling the place ASAP.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:08 PM   #15
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Had mostly good tenants, primarily because of screening. I try to provide a well maintained place to live with repairs made promptly to decent people that pay their rent and treat the property well. I charge slightly below market rents and raise rents in accordance with general increases in income, not what the market says I should charge. As a result, I have a lot of stable, long term tenants.

If all landlords screened, made their properties attractive and maintained them, and were not greedy with the rent increases, the rental population would be comprised of higher quality, more stable people. Bad landlords make it more difficult for everyone and the bad tenants bounce around as a result.

As the laws and regulations change, a lot of the standard rental criteria are being classified as discriminatory. Rent control is coming back in vogue as well. If I'm told I have to rent to almost anyone and I can't raise the rent, I will exchange out of residential rentals which will become owner occupied in all likelihood. There will be many fewer rentals with these changes. The remaining landlords will have a lot more bad tenants to deal with.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:32 PM   #16
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Not a landlord, but I moved to rental houses 30 times 15 years for geology or surveying jobs. The renters immediately preceding my move in were clearly some of the worst in the world. I could never be a landlord.

Three of the more memorable stories:

In Anchorage, we moved in in May and he ground was still frozen. There was a lot of frozen trash that the management company couldn't get out yet. We had a Husky dog that we didn't want eating the trash, so we would pick up the trash as each layer unfroze. It turns out the previous tenants just threw their household trash out into the back yard instead of having trash pickup. And most of the trash was packaging from McDonald's.

In Fallon, NV, the previous tenants left a pickup in the back (they came and got it 2 months later), and 4 cats under the house. It turns more than one of the previous tenants had each left a cat behind. Our Husky almost got a couple cats. When we went to leave after 6 months, one of the neighbors came over to ask us if we were taking our dog with us!!

In Fort Collins, CO, the previous tenant hid their cat from the management company by putting it in the crawl space. After we moved in the place smelled terrible (it had not at the showing). After several useless visits from management company people, my investigation found the issue. So the management people just dumped deodorizer down there. Finally, after much cajoling, They did a proper inspection. the insulation had been shredded and peed upon by the cat, and there was cat puddles and feces everywhere. The said they would replaced the floor lining and insulation. But the cat urine was on the ground also. I ended up using $100 of cat urine enzyme on the walls and floors in the crawl space before the new floor lining and insulation was installed. Otherwise there would still have been a smell that might have affected my deposit. The kicker: It turned out the management company initially missed the whole mess and given the previous tenants their deposit back. So they were slow to fix it because they didn't want to tell the owner that. So they sold the expense as 'a wild animal got into the crawl space'. That was physically impossible, but that was their story and they were sticking to it.

"We live the lives we lead because of the thoughts we think" ...Michael O’Neill
"We can cannot compel others to do our will" ....Norman Goldman
"There never is shortage of the gullible to accept the illogical"...Anonymous
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:09 PM   #17
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We have a lot of rentals in a variety of income levels and diverse areas.
1. Professional hockey player thought our 2nd floor bathroom was like bathrooms in Finland with a floor drain. It was not. Bathed baby and had no worries about splashing over the edge. =kitchen ceiling drywall replaced. Good news is this guy with a 4.5 million dollar contract was good for covering the damage.
2. Long term tenant who pays religiously recommends his son for a vacancy at another of our houses. Screened him but not enough. Son was a gangsta - SWAT team broke down the front door and arrested home for multiple drug charges.
3. Same house different tenants. Forgot to set parking brake on car. Car rolled through the front door (yes the same one replaced after the SWAT team). =$15,000 insurance payout and it cost me $2000 to repair. So that was good.
4. House next door. Screened new tenant. Owned own accounting tax prep business. Solid income and good rents history. Screening did not reveal her anger issues. She shot the neighbor across the street when a little girl “disrespected” her own smart mouthed daughter. Good news- I had a nice security deposit. Sold the house and it had tripled in value...
5. Remember the tenant who recommends his family? Well I’m twice bitten by this one. Daughter moves in . Says she has three kids. Didn’t find out until later that she had 8: plus one in the oven. Plus major mental health issues. Quit paying rent, plus quit paying their water bill. By the time the eviction went through they’d been living there for two months with no running water. =clean up required hazmat suits, bedbugs, filth: turned that house around and rerented for $300 more per month while watching its value go up 10% year in a gentrifying area. Holding it now for a long term play with a stable tenant paying $1000/mo. House cost $53k. House worth $185k now without any improvements.
6. In another home, (which my previous tenants had turned into a crank house and then got evicted) An Airbnb guest brought in hookers, guns and illegal downloads. Good news: AIRBNB seizes his security deposit. Plus he pays me $500 more bc he didn’t want to get in more trouble. My neighbors didn’t notice luckily. (This neighborhood doesn’t give a *#~t) Continued renting on short term rentals for 4X the normal long term tenant rates plus no major property damage. He is the only bad guest all year.

Take away:
1. the shorter time the tenant stays in your house correlates to the better condition they will leave it in.
2. Rentals in gentrifying or highly appreciating areas pay off in spades.
3. Interesting stories will give me something to talk about in the nursing home.
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:33 PM   #18
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I guess I was on the other side of the equation when I was right out of college. I rented a house with 3 roommates and although we reported various maintenance issues to the property manager nothing ever got fixed. One day the owner showed up (he had been living out of the country) to look at all the broken stuff. Turned out he property manager had been billing him for repairs that never got done and pocketing the money. Needless to say we had a new property manager from then on.

An old college buddy is a landlord with about ten houses. He told me one of them was being used as a grow house. The only saving grace was that the tenants had rigged up a very good ventilation system in the basement using an unused fireplace, which prevented the buildup of excessive moisture one would apparently normally expect in such a situation. The basement floor was trashed, though, and required etching with acid to remove all the circular stains from multiple "flower" pots.

All this reminds me why I have no desire to invest in rental properties.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:25 PM   #19
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I have a close friend that is somewhat wealthy after being CEO of a large manufacturing company. One day, he says his business friends are the wealthiest men within 100 miles, and that they all have one thing in common. That they are all landlords.

Why not have other people pay for assets that will give you a big return on equity? Many people just don't have the demeanor to be good landlords.

We are in an ultra low cost of living area, but we also have two colleges with 14,000 students. That's two perfect reasons for the rental houses to be more expensive than normal.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:09 PM   #20
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Had a homicide + double attempted homicide at one place about 26 years ago. I was told about it by a friend who saw it on the news. I drove up not sure what I'd find. There was some blood on front and back porches, no signs of violence inside. One of the survivors told me they didn't want any of the belongings. Took me about 3 hours to put all the belongings out on the curb. I tipped the trashman about 50$. He took it all.

I rented the place a couple days later. Replacement tenant still lives there.

Police never contacted me. If somebody else would have removed the belongings I never would have known the homicide occurred. And it was a triple shooting if you're interested.

Whenever I exchange landlord stories this one always wins.
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