TENANTS FROM HELL #1 Deplorable living conditions. PICS INCLUDED!

89 Replies

TENANTS FROM HELL #1

Deplorable living conditions.

Running one of the largest rental portfolios in the Cleveland, Ohio area I have managed 1,000's of properties & dealt with countless tenants. In short, I have seen it all. From death threats to tenants being murdered to overdose to theft, property damage, fire, destruction, damage & everything else in between.

The purpose of this blog is to peel back the curtain on the Property Management Business and show you some of the real life things that have happened to me or members of my company 1st hand. It's not always sunshine & rainbows. If you have the stomach for it, it's a very rewarding business but sometimes it can be scary, disturbing, challenging & sometimes down right disgusting.

ENJOY!

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The situation:

We had some tenants who were nothing but trouble. We inherited them with the property. Constant issues with these people. We eventually evicted them for non payment of rent but they sure made things difficult before we got them out of there.

At one point they broke the basement steps & tried to work themselves into a payday with the husband claiming he injured his back when he fell on the broken steps. They would contact our office & harass the staff claiming their attorney would be seeking damages in court if we did not pay. We instructed them to have their attorney contact our legal department it eventually fizzled out once they realized there wasn't a payday in their future. You see in this business you will quickly learn that all tenants have an "attorney" on call. However, it seems he never answers.

After they gave up on the back injury they moved to complaining about the roaches. They would contact our office regularly accusing Holton-Wise of being a slumlord because their house had roaches. When our staff explained they would need to clean up the house as they were the reason for the roaches they balk."NO, NOT POSSIBLE. HOW IS IT OUR FAULT. YOU ARE THE LANDLORD IT'S YOUR FAULT THERE IS BUGS." The staff would explain over & over that in the current state of the home there is nothing an exterminator can do. The 1st step is for the house to be cleaned. Once cleaned up, we could get an exterminator out or just move to do an eviction, tenants choice.

Shortly thereafter we got them out due to non payment of rent. When the staff got to the home on eviction day they were still living there so they had to be forcibly removed. Below are some photos to provide you an insight into how these folks were living. Many new landlords can't fathom that people would live like this, but they do. These aren't the 1st & surely won't be the last folks I've encountered who live this way.

Normal 1515980765 Tenants From Hell W 120th Eviction Bed Far

Normal 1515980780 Tenants From Hell W 120th Eviction Bed Closer

Normal 1515980793 Tenants From Hell W 120th Eviction Bed Closest

Normal 1515980814 Tenants From Hell W 120th Basement 2

Normal 1515980829 Tenants From Hell W 120th Basement

Normal 1515980853 Tenants From Hell W 120th Eviction Bedroom

Normal 1515980869 Tenants From Hell W 120th Floor

Normal 1515980883 Tenants From Hell W 120th Backyard

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

disgusting! I’m not a neat freak by any means but that makes me want to throw up in my mouth. Sorry you dealt with that! 

And PS -I’m dealing with a cat pee house that smells terrible and I’m wondering how the tenant has been living there… But your pics make me feel so much better about my situation! :)

And Jim don't you just chuckle when a home inspector finds a spot of mold the size of a dime and the buyer FREAKS out   LOL  these people live in a petri dish... as you know we have of course seen worse.

and for all of you would be landlords  beware...

A year or two ago I stumbled across a 4 family listed on the MLS for what seemed to be an unreal deal (it far surpassed the 2% rule with current rents which were well below market). So I jumped on the opportunity to go take a look, the second the front door opened the only thing you could smell was mold and filth. We made it halfway into the second unit before turning around to not return. The first unit was about the same condition as you've got shown above, but the second unit... oh boy it was bad. There were mattresses on the floor, two or three in every room, all the windows were blocked off, no light bulbs in any of the lights, all the electrical was exposed and done by someone who had no idea what they were doing... everything about the place was a disaster.

Walking through that property opened up my eyes to the conditions that some people live in and needless to say, I was blown away. I'm sure its 10x worse in person to see this unit

Yikes, I've looked at a few similar properties and some that were much worse where I barely made it past the living room before turning around! Seeing those pics brings back the smell that I've got burned into my memory!

This reminds me of a commercial/ residential property that I looked at while in KCMO. Open wiring hanging face level from the ceiling, dead rats floating in the tub, plywood counter tops. The most disgusting living conditions I've seen. And believe me, I've been in lots of nasty houses after being in the fire service for 25 years.

What was worse is that the property owner bragged that he only rented to "illegals" and took recommendations for future tenants from his illegal tenants. They don't turn him in, and I n turn he wouldn't turn them in. I don't even know how that property owner and his agent could even show that place with a straight face. Disgraceful.

My agent got a clear picture that day what my tolerance level is for scum bag sellers and scum bag agents.

Originally posted by @Andy Webb :

@James Wise - curious to know: did you see the property before buying?  How long after buying did you keep these tenants?

Andy

It was one of my clients properties. Yes we all knew the condition before the purchase. Everyone talks about the BRRRR method, well this is what the BRRRR method really looks like. You get good deals on properties when you can take problems away from tired sellers.

I think we had those tenants for roughly 4 or 5 months.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

That is appalling to look at... ewwww.

Thats why I do bimonthly inspections . And screen tenants . I stay in class B areas . I have looked at louses like that and they make want to puke . I have no clue how people can CHOOSE to live like that .  Being poor , doesnt mean being filthy . I have been in lots of lower income houses that were clean and neat .

Yep, I've seen some pretty nasty ones. The latest was a tired Landlord that wanted helping getting her tenants to catch up. Long story short, I showed up to inspect and could smell sewage before they even opened the door. Basement had standing water and tenants had put boards down so their CHILDREN could walk to their bedrooms without getting their feet wet. Family Services removed the kids that day.

@James Wise I've seen just about everything but my problems are fewer and farther between. You show properties cash-flowing $300 a month but how does that pan out when you have so many evictions, dead druggies, unauthorized people and pets, filthy living, etc?

Looks like you got a nice "travel neck rest pillow" out of the deal!

Mike Cumbie, Real Estate Agent in NY (#10401285310)

@James Wise WOW, you hate to see that!! Just out of curiosity, how long did it take and how much did you spend to clean up and renovate a property in this bad of condition? I see some properties in similar condition, but not nearly as bad, with a lot of student tenants and college-area properties, but curious to know how much it takes to get one of these properties into move-in condition. 

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

Thats why I do bimonthly inspections . And screen tenants . I stay in class B areas . I have looked at louses like that and they make want to puke . I have no clue how people can CHOOSE to live like that .  Being poor , doesnt mean being filthy . I have been in lots of lower income houses that were clean and neat .

 B-Class definitely cuts down on a ton of problems. This property itself wasn't in an absolutely horrible area though. Solid C-Class. We cleaned it up pretty well.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633
Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

Yep, I've seen some pretty nasty ones. The latest was a tired Landlord that wanted helping getting her tenants to catch up. Long story short, I showed up to inspect and could smell sewage before they even opened the door. Basement had standing water and tenants had put boards down so their CHILDREN could walk to their bedrooms without getting their feet wet. Family Services removed the kids that day.

@James Wise I've seen just about everything but my problems are fewer and farther between. You show properties cash-flowing $300 a month but how does that pan out when you have so many evictions, dead druggies, unauthorized people and pets, filthy living, etc?

 Well a few things to note. Our portfolio is very large so 10 people dying every year is only about 1% of our tenant base. In addition to that the negative experiences are what makes for the most read stories. "Hey guys my tenant paid rent this month" doesn't really open up much dialogue. The rough stuff is typically a minority occurrence but again considering the size of our portfolio ($50M+) we have so many units that crazy stuff happens every month even though there is a much larger amount of units that you don't hear about as they are chugging along. Depending on what type of asset a client buys will determine the likelihood of these types of negative situations. Client goes B-Class & up it's a smooth ride. C-Class is in the middle & D-Class, well D-Class is a party baby!

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

@James Wise that cleaned up rather nice .   As a side note , in the basement , there is one thing I like to do . I paint the walls and the ceiling joists semi gloss white . and the floors grey . It brightens it up and it cleans up rather easy 

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

@James Wise that cleaned up rather nice .   As a side note , in the basement , there is one thing I like to do . I paint the walls and the ceiling joists semi gloss white . and the floors grey . It brightens it up and it cleans up rather easy 

 Great tip. They really do come out pretty nice when you do that.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

@James Wise The Real Estate business shows a fascinating side of human behaviour — good and/or bad. In reality, many people do live like this in America. For those of us saying ewwww and disgusting, this is a good reminder for us to remain grounded and be grateful for what WE consider normal.  

Not surprisingly, I have noticed that inherited tenants can get very entitled and try all sorts of trickery to try to get what they think they deserve. You have to have a certain type of personality to be a full-time PM. 

This is a good visual for some considering the jump in the PM and REI in general :)

HGTV doesn't prepare us for this lol 

Thanks for sharing James. - Ola 

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

Thats why I do bimonthly inspections . And screen tenants . I stay in class B areas . I have looked at louses like that and they make want to puke . I have no clue how people can CHOOSE to live like that .  Being poor , doesnt mean being filthy . I have been in lots of lower income houses that were clean and neat .

That was my first thought.  When was the property inspected by PM?

When a few women investors viewed these properties they did not mind. Just hire some male day labors to trash them out.  The fleas have not got much to eat finding these skirted legs tempting.  Getting home where the heck these fleas come from?   I viewed an abandoned property today!

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