Diary of a reluctant landlord

trying to sell a house in 2011 & 2012 was difficult. Prices had plummeted and buyers were scarce. Many homeowners were underwater, but needed to move. So, many decided that for the first time in their lives to become landlords. The strategy was to rent out the property for a couple of years until the market turned around. In 2015, the strategy seemed to work. Prices had rebounded, mortgage rate were still low and more buyers were coming into the market place. In fact, it seemed to good to be true. Now, here are a couple of true stories of removing the tenants. Oh, didn’t think that would be a problem, well, sometimes it is.

House #1: tenant has been in place for over a year. They failed to notify the owner of several problems. One, a tree branch fell on the house knocking off the gutter and part of the siding. With a large hole, critters, such as; squirrels, rats and bats found a new home in the attic. Two, the tenants dog was bitten in a fight with a rat or squirrel and needed stitches, plus could have died. Wait a minute, the lease clearly states ‘… no pets’. That did not stop the tenant. Three, the lease clearly states only one occupant. That did not stop the tenant from having a friend, with another dog move in. The tenant stops paying rent and you try to evict them. At the first court appearance, the judge says the owner did not fill out the paperwork correctly, so they must refile to take possession. Another month passes with no rent, several occupants and two dogs are in your property. In addition, trying to arrange the pest control company with an appointment to go into the attic has been impossible. The tenant won’t talk to the owner or return calls. The situation keeps deteriorating. Court date is set for Sept 8th. Hope it works out. I’ll keep you posted.

FSBO Landlord

House # 2: tenant with elderly mother and two children live in your property for over three years. Rent is paid on the 15th of each month, that’s because that is the date the elderly mother receives her social security check. Six months ago the rent checks start to be late and eventually stopped. I found out the elderly mother had died. Time for them to move out so you can sell the property. Unfortunately, they refuse to move out, so it is back to court for an eviction. Things go smooth at court and you get a court order for possession. They still do not move out, so you schedule the police to be at the property to physically remove all property. This is not a pretty scene. Luckily, in this case, the tenant was gone, so that saved a little aggravation. Unfortunately, they did not take all of their belongings. You hire help and get a dumpster. After all items are removed a new occupant was discovered. German roaches. Thousands of them. I mean, how could anyone live in such conditions. They were all over the place. In the kitchen, in the air ducts, in the electrical outlets, etc. In the old days they used to put a tent over the property and fog it for several days. Now, they fog and vacuum. But, that did not work, so they are going back in to do it again. As soon as the roaches are gone, this property will be sold.

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