How much damage can they do in 60 days? Find out!

22 Replies

How much damage can a single tenant cause in 60 days? Watch the video below.

Background: tenant was no problem for 18 months but then one of her utility bills reverted to the Landlord due to non-payment. It wasn't much but it's still a red flag. Tenant said she would pay it and put it back in her name but then failed to do so.  Next month, rent was a few days late, utility still not paid, and the tenant wasn't communicating with me. Bigger red flag.

I had a gut feeling something was wrong so I went and inspected the unit. It was spotless. We had painted and put new flooring in right before she moved in and everything still looked new, was neatly decorated, and even smelled nice. No signs of unauthorized tenants or pets. I was happy to see the condition but still didn't feel right based on some of the Tenant's behaviors.

The Tenant was on a month-to-month lease at this point so I recommended giving 30 days notice. Owner wanted to keep the tenant a few more months before selling. I recommended removal several more times and finally got approval two months later. I served a 30-day notice and tenant was supposed to be out June 10th. On June 3rd, I saw the tenant was arrested for breach of peace. In my experience, this usually indicates a domestic situation and someone kicking in a door or punching a hole in the wall. Since the tenant was still in jail, I went up to inspect and was shocked by what I found.

My original video showed much more but I shot this one after emptying the place just to avoid showing any personal effects.

@Nathan G. I have experienced this type of tenant as an investor. This is part of the reason I stopped investing out of state in lower cost areas, and instead focus locally here in Chicago. I don't have to deal with these kinds of things with the higher quality tenants. 

@Nathan G.  you and @James Wise  should swap videos.

the reality is when I fund these rentals like this and I have funded them since 2002 in 10 plus markets from Chicago to ATl and every where in between.. all the wholesale deals or as is on MLS deals that get put into rehabbers pipelines look like this or worse.. and 95% of the damage is done by past tenants … this is just what U get when your taking on life long tenants in those markets ( don't know yours) and the bottom of the rent schedule.. IE rents in a market say go from 500 to 2k. your 500 to 900 this is how they basically treat there houses.. very rare is a owner going to get a home back after these tenants that does not need 1k to 2k for turn over.. there is no such thing as broom clean LOL

However I have to think out in your area its not as acute given the small market.. 

just think ( I think we were talking about this on another thread) a lot of major cities the utls run with the land.. and the professional life long tenants just wont pay them.. they know they wont be shut off.. leaving the landlord with thousands of dollars of utl bills.

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It is scary to know something can go south so quick. My utility company offers revert to landlord and I keep telling them no so that I don't potentially get stuck with a tenants electric bill.

Plus if I know utilities are off and I want the tenant out, I can call code enforcement and they will put them out after 24 hours notice because house is not habitable without utilities. This is a short cut I have learned to bypass an eviction and it is legal in my area.

Originally posted by @John Warren:

@Nathan G. I have experienced this type of tenant as an investor. This is part of the reason I stopped investing out of state in lower cost areas, and instead focus locally here in Chicago. I don't have to deal with these kinds of things with the higher quality tenants. 

 Ten years with 300 rentals and this is the first time I've dealt with something like this. That's a pretty good record.

Originally posted by @John Underwood:

It is scary to know something can go south so quick. My utility company offers revert to landlord and I keep telling them no so that I don't potentially get stuck with a tenants electric bill.

Plus if I know utilities are off and I want the tenant out, I can call code enforcement and they will put them out after 24 hours notice because house is not habitable without utilities. This is a short cut I have learned to bypass an eviction and it is legal in my area.

that is a good arrow to have in your quiver..  when I fund a lot of the lower end deals I see 

Wow I'm more disturbed by the violence that was taking place in that home and the people involved than the actual property damage... 😢 guess I'll need some thicker skin on this REI journey..

Originally posted by @Jessica G.:

Wow I'm more disturbed by the violence that was taking place in that home and the people involved than the actual property damage... 😢 guess I'll need some thicker skin on this REI journey..

 That was my first thought. I know her parents and asked if they were aware of what is happening. They said they had no idea but I don't believe them because they are currently caring for their 12-year-old grandson that was living in this home. The interesting part is they have no idea where there daughter is but the husband is still around and was removing things from the home. I hope she's OK.

Originally posted by @John Underwood:

It is scary to know something can go south so quick. My utility company offers revert to landlord and I keep telling them no so that I don't potentially get stuck with a tenants electric bill.

Plus if I know utilities are off and I want the tenant out, I can call code enforcement and they will put them out after 24 hours notice because house is not habitable without utilities. This is a short cut I have learned to bypass an eviction and it is legal in my area.

@ John Underwood How do you find out if the utilities are off? I’m going to look into this. My rentals are in California so it might not be something I can do, but it’s worth looking into. 

Originally posted by @Jennifer J.:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

It is scary to know something can go south so quick. My utility company offers revert to landlord and I keep telling them no so that I don't potentially get stuck with a tenants electric bill.

Plus if I know utilities are off and I want the tenant out, I can call code enforcement and they will put them out after 24 hours notice because house is not habitable without utilities. This is a short cut I have learned to bypass an eviction and it is legal in my area.

@ John Underwood How do you find out if the utilities are off? I’m going to look into this. My rentals are in California so it might not be something I can do, but it’s worth looking into. 

If the meter is missing that is one way. I have also called the utility company and explained I am the owner and they have told me if utilities are off or not.

the only thing i could see is the owner's reserves account getting lower and lower with each new hole/bad repair/terrible paint job appearing in the frame... terrible situation all around. 

@Nathan G.

Sounds and looks like a relapse. Possible scenario: she did her best to keep it together and then went on a bender after the inspection. Maybe the wrong man entered her life. The wrong man who regrettably believes he knows how to patch drywall.

I look at things like this and am thankful that the only substance abuse problem I've ever had was cigarettes and my wife forced me to finally quit for good eight years ago.

@Jessica G.

It doesn't matter how thick your skin is. If you're in the C or D property segment you're guaranteed to see brutality that beggars the imagination. I once bought a house that a guy convicted of molesting his daughter formerly owned. You wouldn't believe the number and size of the crosses this guy had all over his house. I'm sure he thought he had an especially meaningful personal relationship with the Savior.

@Nathan G.

I’m going through the same exact thing. I think the guy is on drugs and the next door units have talked to me and think he is being abusive to his wife. I just had the sheriffs serve him the “3 day pay or leave” paper so I’ll find out on Monday what kind of damage he has done.

@John Underwood I actually like the code enforcement violation, eviction. Taking notes to research in Atlanta area. My lease also says, if landlord can not correct the condition in seven days then the lease is nullified and deposit will be returned.

Originally posted by @Al Pat:

@John Underwood I actually like the code enforcement violation, eviction. Taking notes to research in Atlanta area. My lease also says, if landlord can not correct the condition in seven days then the lease is nullified and deposit will be returned.

 Unfortunately, utilities off is not enough in Atlanta for code enforcement to do anything. 

Had a squatter in a house next to mine for 7 years. No utilities. Neighbors tried for years to get him out. Police, code enforcement...nobody could do anything.

Also had a woman with 11 kids live in a house next to another house of mine. No utilities. Code couldn't get them out. 

I was stuck in the same situation like yours. I spent a lot of energy, especially time to deal with it. That's why I am so serious about choosing tenants right now. I know how hard it is to deal with these tenants. 

I have seen & bought much worse from exasperated landlords who chose tenants without screening or as in this case drugs take over & the result is inevitable. I once had a couple of kids cleaning out a duplex we bought that was so bad I was dry retching walking through it. I asked the kids cleaning & gutting it if they had ever seen anything that bad. The young girls responded "yep I have relatives that live like this'.