Hoarder Tenants Holdover

12 Replies

Has anyone ever had a situation where they have hoarder tenants that have so many belongings, it is hard for them to get all their stuff moved out? I have dealt with this a couple times. My tenants have to give 60 days notice, which is plenty of time to move everything. The issue is hoarders are in denial about their situation. They don't take action to deal with the mess and underestimate the effort involved in moving. They come down to the deadline and it is just too much work.

In my current situation, I told them upfront they had two to three times the amount of stuff that a normal tenant has. I warned them the move would take much more than they thought. I suggested a moving company. I followed up regularly and pushed them. Then moving day comes. I am two hours away from the walk through and I find out the property is filled with possessions and not cleaned. Tenant is combative and obviously overwhelmed. I suggest again getting a company to move or clean, but they insist on doing it all. 

I knew this would be a problem so I padded several days in for the new tenant to move in, but I a fear I will run out of time. With this particular tenant, putting pressure on makes them shut down, so I need to coax a solution. 

I went over to help them and I think it is moving in the right direction. I am looking for any advice on this situation and how to deal with it in the future.

One option would have been waiting to the lease the property until vacant, but that would have put vacancy in the middle of winter and would have resulted in lost rents. Maybe that is the only answer??

Anyone dealt with this? How do you motivate the current the tenant and what do you say to the new tenant? 

If there is hold over and the property is not available for the new tenant, what kind of legal or ethical responsibility do you have to the new tenant?

@James Wise and @Nathan G.  

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

Has anyone ever had a situation where they have hoarder tenants that have so many belongings, it is hard for them to get all their stuff moved out? I have dealt with this a couple times. My tenants have to give 60 days notice, which is plenty of time to move everything. The issue is hoarders are in denial about their situation. They don't take action to deal with the mess and underestimate the effort involved in moving. They come down to the deadline and it is just too much work.

In my current situation, I told them upfront they had two to three times the amount of stuff that a normal tenant has. I warned them the move would take much more than they thought. I suggested a moving company. I followed up regularly and pushed them. Then moving day comes. I am two hours away from the walk through and I find out the property is filled with possessions and not cleaned. Tenant is combative and obviously overwhelmed. I suggest again getting a company to move or clean, but they insist on doing it all. 

I knew this would be a problem so I padded several days in for the new tenant to move in, but I a fear I will run out of time. With this particular tenant, putting pressure on makes them shut down, so I need to coax a solution. 

I went over to help them and I think it is moving in the right direction. I am looking for any advice on this situation and how to deal with it in the future.

One option would have been waiting to the lease the property until vacant, but that would have put vacancy in the middle of winter and would have resulted in lost rents. Maybe that is the only answer??

Anyone dealt with this? How do you motivate the current the tenant and what do you say to the new tenant? 

If there is hold over and the property is not available for the new tenant, what kind of legal or ethical responsibility do you have to the new tenant?

@James Wise and @Nathan G.  

 This is one of the many reasons why you should never show rentals until they are vacant. You just don't know when it's going to be move in ready for the next tenant. We've had this policy for years. Only way to do it. We stand by it 100% of the time. We have even fired or been fired by several PM clients who wanted us to deviate from it. Nope, not gonna happen.

My lease agreement includes a "holdover" clause. If they are not out on the prescribed date, I charge them a holdover fee that is 4x the prorated rent. Instead of $50 a day, it's $200 a day. 

We remind them of this when they give notice. If we anticipate a problem, we remind them again. The holdover fee should be enough to put your new tenant in a hotel or something until you can turn the property over to them.

Joe, I understand of course wanting to minimize vacancy, but if you are aware of a hoarder situation, it's generally ill-advised to pre-market that particular unit.

If they don't get their stuff out timely (they won't) and won't take you up on your offer to pay for a moving company or some similar cash-for-keys situation (they likely won't), really your only course of action is a proper eviction, which of course would put you outside of your next move-in timeline. Other than that you can wait and see how long it takes, but again I virtually guarantee it will not be done in time for the property to be professionally cleaned, any repairs done, and ready for tenants to move in on their agreed upon date.

As for your new tenants, you probably don't want to advertise that you're moving them into a unit that a hoarder is in... do you have other available units? If they've executed a lease and paid you, they have every expectation that the unit will be ready for them to take possession as of the lease start date. You can try to renegotiate the lease (change the date or the unit) or let them out. This is certainly going to put them in a difficult situation, as renters rarely have a lot of overlap between rentals and will probably have to be out of their current housing soon. Work with them and help them find a solution, even if in the end that isn't them renting one of your units. That's certainly better than facing some kind of lawsuit.

Originally posted by @Anna Sagatelova :

@Nathan G. In your experience, if you've had to put tenants up in a hotel because the unit wasn't ready for them to move in - did you also pay for storage for all their furniture and other personal property?

In my experience, I've only had it happen once. The new tenant had their belongings in a moving truck so they were able to hide out in a hotel for a few days and extend the truck rental until the unit was ready to move in. the departing tenant was charged enough to cover the costs so we avoided disaster.

I've had other tenants stay longer but I build in an automatic 3-5 day vacancy to allow for inspections and cleaning. That usually covers any holdovers, but I still charge the holdover fee.

 

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :
Originally posted by @Anna Sagatelova:

@Nathan G. In your experience, if you've had to put tenants up in a hotel because the unit wasn't ready for them to move in - did you also pay for storage for all their furniture and other personal property?

In my experience, I've only had it happen once. The new tenant had their belongings in a moving truck so they were able to hide out in a hotel for a few days and extend the truck rental until the unit was ready to move in. the departing tenant was charged enough to cover the costs so we avoided disaster.

I've had other tenants stay longer but I build in an automatic 3-5 day vacancy to allow for inspections and cleaning. That usually covers any holdovers, but I still charge the holdover fee.

 

I built in 7 days on this one. They will pay the holdover expense, but I could care less about the money, I want them out. I scheduled a professional cleaner as a backup. All the remaining belongings are now in the garage and they are should be out today. Still too close for my comfort. 

On the positive side, had I let it go vacant, it would have likely sat empty for two months and cost me over $2500 in vacancy expense. 

So do you generally show properties before they are vacant? I know some PM companies don't like James mentioned is his policy.

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

So do you generally show properties before they are vacant? I know some PM companies don't like James mentioned is his policy.

I know a lot of managers and Landlords refuse to show occupied rentals but I have a pretty good process that works well for me and reduces vacancies significantly.

When a tenant gives notice, we conduct a pre-inspection of the rental 3-4 weeks prior to termination. This enables us to identify any maintenance required during turnover (painting, carpet, etc.) and talk to the tenant about the move-out process. We also look at the rental to see if it will show well to potential renters. If so, we market it and coordinate showings. If the tenant is a slob or the type of character that would be detrimental to showings, then we don't market the rental until they are out and it's turned around.

There's a little more to it but that's the basic gist. Works very well for us.

 

@Joe Splitrock

Wait. Did the new tenants see the unit when it was full of crap?! That might be a great market sell by you. Glad it’s working out ok. I’ve done both. I try to show the unit early and get somebody signed before it’s empty. But my last unit had abandoned property and I needed to get it cleaned out, painted, and other fixes before I could show it at all.

Originally posted by @Anthony Wick :

@Joe Splitrock

Wait. Did the new tenants see the unit when it was full of crap?! That might be a great market sell by you. Glad it’s working out ok. I’ve done both. I try to show the unit early and get somebody signed before it’s empty. But my last unit had abandoned property and I needed to get it cleaned out, painted, and other fixes before I could show it at all.

Yes, they saw it full of crap and still wanted it. I was surprised. The house itself is really nice and the neighborhood is amazing. There is a private park in the back yard. I have pretty much 0% vacancy because most my turns are back to back. Vacancy is the silent killer of profits.

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

My lease agreement includes a "holdover" clause. If they are not out on the prescribed date, I charge them a holdover fee that is 4x the prorated rent. Instead of $50 a day, it's $200 a day. 

We remind them of this when they give notice. If we anticipate a problem, we remind them again. The holdover fee should be enough to put your new tenant in a hotel or something until you can turn the property over to them.

Thank you. I'm going to see if this is permitted in Ohio. I'm using a slightly modified version of the BP Ohio lease and it's not in there.

 

My lease is so ridiculously skewed in my favor that I just throw the crap out or burn it if it’s not taken with them . I wait on no one . Many times I’ve burnt tenants belongings in my backyard in a giant bon  fire because they are too lazy to gather their crap . 

The blazing fire not only rids me of the burden of storing their junk but it also offers me a soothing Therapeutic effect on my inner child seeing their belongings go up in smoke . Kinda like chestnuts roasting on an open fire at Christmas 

Just to close out this discussion, the tenants were out within the 7 days I padded into the turn over. The property was cleaned and passed over in perfect condition on the date promised to the new tenants. I ended up helping the tenant load their trailer the last night. Not ideal, but the turnover happened with no vacancy and no costs to get the property rent ready.