Facing duplex owner does not screen tenants & our tenants suffer.

9 Replies

We have owned this duplex for 30 years have been lucky to have good tenants that pay on time & keep the place up. We get high market rent because the interiors are very nice & we have a reputation for caring. Our problem is the owner of the facing duplex is a slumlord & all he can see is the cash. He does not screen tenants & gets the low hanging fruit. Purple bedsheets for curtains, clothes scattered about the yard, endless visitors on bikes or cars that stay less than 5 minutes or several that just hangout. Needless to say this makes a more civilized tenant uncomfortable & not wanting to continue our relationship. I have offered to buy out the owner, but I am sure the place is paid for & he has no incentive to sell. For him any cash is found money. I also considered a fence down the middle between the buildings, but I do not think that is the cure. Our latest tactic was to call code enforcement for the numerous code violations, but that is temporary not a permanent fix either. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Calling code enforcement because you do not like his screening methods isn't very nice.

You mentioned he likes money so I don't see why he would sell. 30,000 today is better then $400 a month right.

Try to buy him out at FMV, and if he don't sell, then there is nothing you can do.

Joe Gore

I have the same situation - my place is pretty nice, with a decent yard, flowers, etc. & the place next door has toys, trash cans, bikes, strollers, etc. scattered all over the yard. Weeds, bedsheet curtains, screaming kids at all hours - I'm not sure what the solution is. "Ugly" is not a code violation in these parts!

The (new) owners are only after the easy cash, naturally & have no inclination to upgrade either the property or their screening process. 

I'm interested in hearing what others have to say.

Just to paint a picture when the owner rents a unit, he tells the tenant if anything breaks, its on them.

The code violations include 45 tree with the top 15ft dead, sofa on driveway for 2 weeks plus, foliage overgrown at back of property.

 I have offered to buy in the past & he says he does not want to sell. I thought the owner might be interested in a buyout with some cash up front & monthly cash flow with no tenants, toilets & code enforcement.

I also considered offering the offending tenant a cash incentive to move, which in the long run would be cheaper than a $800 vacancy in one or both of our units.

Thanks for the comments.

I hope when you call code enforcement that you are giving your real name, just in case he wants to sue you so be careful what you are doing. Make a real cash offer none of this $500 down and monthly payments you might get him motivated to sell. How do you know he does not screen his tenants he might have a lower screening process then you and is his unit full?

Joe Gore

@joegore Just out of curiosity what happened to make you so sensitive about code enforcement? 

Please enlighten me as to how he could sue me for calling code enforcement regarding valid violation issues. I would suspect there is laws against retaliation for that sort of issue.

The process is there to keep things safe & up to code & that is the owners responsibility without being policed. If he showed the initiative to keep up the place we would even contribute to the effort, as we have in the past. I have had several of his move outs leave all their furniture on my property, which prompts code enforcement to site me. We get along with code enforcement because we are pro-active.

If I were in his position (and not going to reinvest) and someone offered me 10 or 20K & payments, I would be all over that. The main trick is trying to come up with a FMV. His building needs a roof, air conditioners & interior renovation.

His unit is full now, but i would rather have a vacancy than a tenant that keeps things stirred up with the other 3 tenants around him  & which may ultimately result in more than one vacancy if something is not done.

@Pete Moss

Everyone should be concerned about code enforcement and what I was saying most people will call anonymous. Talk to the landlord and let him know your thoughts on the outside garbage on his property that is an eye sore to the neighborhood, but you cannot tell him how to screen his tenants.

Joe Gore

@Joe Gore 

You failed to answer his question about your comment about him getting sued.

As usual you make a statement and fail to follow it up when questioned.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here