Landlord Problem Solving

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David Codelli
  • Investor
  • Carlsbad, CA
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What would you do with problem tenant

David Codelli
  • Investor
  • Carlsbad, CA
Posted May 13 2022, 17:52

I've rented on 1996 SFH to the same tenant for seven years. She has always paid the rent on time, and I never get complaints from the neighbors, but she has not taken great care of the house. I know she has had adults stay with her for extened periods that were not on the lease. The children she had when she first moved in are adults now that still live there. Last year, she had a visitor that forgot she had a slow cooker cooking in a bedroom that resulted in a small fire. My insurance covered the 20K damage, resulting in an increase of my monthly insurance. The insurer went after tenant, who had let her renter's insurance lapse in violation of the lease terms. She was apologetic, saying it was a mistake and it was a mistake that she has now fixed. The insurance settled with her for about 2K (she was lucky) and reimbursed me for the deductible. I raised the rent to cover my increased insurance costs, but I have not raised much over the seven years.My handyman was doing work at the house recently and reports that the house now smells badly of marijuana (in violation of my no smoking lease). He's saying that if I don't renew the lease and wanted to rent out to someone else, it will need serious remediation. In addition to new carpet and paint throughout (which are due anyway), he's recommending a thorough TSP cleaning of all walls, triple coats of special primer, and replacing the kitchen tile. When last I visited at the time of the fire, the place was dirty, but I actually didn't notice a bad smell.The house is in Murrieta, CA, which seems to be in high demand right now. I'm constantly getting letters offering to buy it, which I don't get for my primary (in San Diego).Current lease expires June 30. I'm considering three options:

  1. Raise rent significantly, by $500, which would put it just a bit over market rate
  2. Sell as-is, by getting quotes from Sundae and the other services I keep getting notes from saying they will buy "as is"
  3. Kick tenant out, clean it up myself (well, have my guy do it) and re-rent

We recently advertised a different rental and had no shortage of quality tenants apply.What do you think?

San Diego, California

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