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ibstubro's avatar

If you own rental property or are a tenant, care to share best/worse renter stories?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) April 17th, 2015

Be mindful of stating your country, if the law is involved and you’re non-US?

I’ve owned a small (700 sf) commercial rental building going on 20 years.

The best tenant I’ve had was a tattoo parlor. I think the owner had gotten a lot of grief from previous landlords and appreciated that I never treated him any differently than anyone else. I never had a complaint while he was in the building. As repayment, he would say to me things like,“The carpet is looking a little shabby. Do you mind if I replace it?”

I’ve not had a tenant from hell. But there have only been 4.

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13 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I wanted to rent our first house out when we moved, but Mrs Squeaky is scared to death about getting renters from hell so we just sold it instead,and 2 years later the property sold for double of what we sold it for,I still kick myself for that.

hominid's avatar

When my wife and I were young and childless we drove across the country to California for her job that paid almost nothing (she ran a CalPIRG office). After a month of living in a tent and getting kicked out of campgrounds, we found an apartment.

We were there for 12 months, and we bounced checks 6 months out of 12. The landlord would call and leave an apologetic message asking us to just let him know when there was enough money in the account. After a year, he even offered us the opportunity to renew the lease. He was a truly generous, kind man.

gondwanalon's avatar

One tenant was like something from a movie. She was demented, refused to pay rent drove the other tenants crazy with screaming. After about a year we got her out. All the kitchen cabinets were burnt like she was trying to catch them on fire.

JLeslie's avatar

The two tenants I had in rental properties if my own were awesome. One was an ex-military, now civilian, doctor. The place was kept spotless and I never worried about a rent check. The other tenant I had I met in the elevator if my building. He happened to work at the same company as my husband at the time. He told me up front his credit report was bad because he had been laid off during the dot com lay offs in the late 90’s/2000’s, which was just a couple years before. I didn’t bother to run his credit report. He was a great tenant. After a few months his teenage son (already graduated high school) moved in. The place was in perfect order the couple times I came by. He once even called me to ask if I had received the rent check ok, because I didn’t cash it for over almost two weeks. I had been traveling, but he didn’t know that.

Another time I rented out my Inlaws place for three months. The tenants paid in full up front and had the place cleaned themselves before they left.

As a realtor I did a few rentals where I was on the listing side. I never had a problem.

I worked with a woman who used to rent a property out. She eventually had tenants from hell one time. Wound up having to do $10k in repairs. She sold the place after that.

Most people I know who are landlords are very satisfied with their investment. Tenants from hell are the minority, but when it happens it’s just awful. Also, depending on the state, the laws can make it worse or better. Most people I know who are terrified of being a landlord have never been one.

Judi's avatar

We own apartment buildings and I have plenty of stories. It helps when you have several units because it’s easier to spread out the damage. 2 units and you’re 50% vacant if one unit gets trashed and takes a while to rent.
I have had to depersonalize it and just realize that damage happens and its a cost of doing buisness.
Horror stories:
The most recent was an elderly woman who had lived in the studio apartment for over 10 years. As she aged her health deteriorated and she started wearing diapers. She also had a hard time getting to the trash bins so she threw all her dirty diapers into the bathroom.
Somehow she didn’t realize that she had thrown one into the toilet and she flushed it down. She ended up flooding 4 apartments before we found out about it. Not only did we have to unplug it but we had to clean up all the diapers just to get to the toilet. Then we found out she didn’t have renters insurance…. 10K later.
I’ve been doing this for so many years I could write a book though. So many stories!

snowberry's avatar

We rent our home. The last place we lived in was a nightmare. We had a horrible HOA and the rental manager from hell. The garage was too small for our car and the HOA wouldn’t let us park in the driveway. Finally after a couple of years of fines from the HOA and the nit-pickiest and most insulting rental manager, we moved to a place with a flat driveway. In addition, the new owner-manager is kind of an anything goes kind of guy. We much prefer his almost negligent style over the other manager.

ibstubro's avatar

At least it’s you that you’re kicking, @SQUEEKY2. lol Read a horror story or two and you’ll feel better.

Did you renew, @hominid? Maybe the 6 months you were behind in paying the rent weren’t the last 6?

Still have rentals, @gondwanalon? How many did you have?

I’ve had great luck with my single commercial rental, @JLeslie. A year or more of vacancy was the most costly problem.

Oh! @Judi We just had a woman try to flush a baby’s diaper down the toilet at the auction house during an auction. I didn’t realize how happy I was she didn’t succeed until now.

I don’t know how you stood it 2 years, @snowberry. Well, yeah. I know what a pain in the ass moving is.

gondwanalon's avatar

@ibstubro Still have just 7 rentals and it’s not worth all the problems and aggravation.

hominid's avatar

@ibstubro: “Did you renew, @hominid?”

No. We sold most of belongings in a yard sale and spent a few weeks driving back east. The landlord came by and bought a few of our things that weren’t selling.

JLeslie's avatar

@gondwanalon Why don’t you sell?

@ibstubro I think part of my luck is the properties were towards the higher end. Nothing like what you hear in some markets, but my two bedroom was renting for $1600 a month and the one bedroom I had was $1500 if I remember correctly, but it was furnished. However, you certainly can get crap tenants at any income level and great ones at any level also. A friend of mine rents out two two bedrooms that each rent for $600 a month back 15 years ago, maybe they are $700 now. One of her places back then the tenant had been there for over 5 years. When the fridge broke down and it seemed best to replace it, the tenant asked to contribute so she could get the upgraded one she preferred. She did some little upgrades to the place, always asking permission, to make the place her own, and it added or did no harm to the value of the condo.she was a wonderful tenant for my friend. Her other unti mostly had goos tenants, I only remember one story where she had to evict someone, but they hadnt trashed the place, just not paying.

My cousin“s ex I became very friendly with years after they had broken up. She used to get evicted all the time. She had a daughter who was inbthe tween teen years when I was in touch with her, they both were beautiful. She wore gorgeous clothing, she worked at Sack’s in an upscale mall. She had the facade of being very put together financially, but was a wreck in reality. She never trashed her places as far as I know. I was with her helping her move out one time when she had hours left to get all her stuff out.

cazzie's avatar

I once had to move from Auckland New Zealand to a small provincial town for my boyfriend’s job. He was a regional finance manager for a large corporation that had branches everywhere. We didn’t want to buy anything until we settled into jobs and got used to the area. We had a really hard time finding a suitable place to rent. Most rental properties were very basic and ‘executive’ type rentals were non-existent. One of my boyfriend’s employees had a mother who had just moved out of her home and offered it to us to rent. It was perfect. Loads of space, plenty of area to entertain clients and quite nicely appointed. Everything was fine except the pump for the swimming pool never worked properly and we had a mild earthquake that broke a window in the small garden shed. She even allowed us to have a dog. Trouble hit when our landlady’s daughter was caught stealing from the finance company and she had to be fired and charged by the police for fraud and theft. The shit really hit the fan. We had death threats from her brothers and, of course, the mother threatened to evict us and tried all sorts of crap like taking us to the tenancy tribunal, suing us for a bunch of made up costs and damage. When we realised the employee (daughter of our landlady) was stealing and falsifying documents, we started looking for a new place to live and possibly buy right away because we suspected there would be trouble. We just didn’t know how much. We didn’t want to rent or have anything more to do with that family. I think the daughter’s name was Sharee. A Ford dealership took pity on her and hired her a few months later, even after we specifically phoned them and told them of the trouble we had with her. She made a mint for herself by signing up people for the extended warranties and insurance and pocketing the premium cheques, until she was caught, again.

ibstubro's avatar

Sorry, @gondwanalon. I think time/age takes the shine off.

I try to be that (landloard) owner, @hominid. Have been to my knowledge.

gondwanalon's avatar

@JLeslie Property is a good hedge against inflation. If our economy suddenly collapses and super inflation brings the value of the dollar down substantially, then property will hold its value.

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