Tenant wins $17,000 judgment. Landlords, maintain your rentals!

19 Replies

This is a great example of how "saving" a little money by neglecting maintenance can cost you much more in the long run. If your rentals are well maintained, you'll get better-quality renters, they'll make more effort to maintain them, and the tenants are more likely to stay longer.

https://www.kcur.org/news/2021...

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@Nathan G.

He got away with it for 28 years. Wow. Try that here in Allegheny County...the more you look at this situation, the worse the guy looks. Perfect example of someone who doesn't need to be self-managing. I did get into this thinking it couldn't be that hard, everyone should be able to do it. Not really. Plenty of Winters out there.

Updated about 1 month ago

I'm having trouble finding 1613 E 83rd St on Google Maps, Nathan. 83rd Street seems to be in East St. Louis anyway.

This is why I dont buy the hype of cheap rentals. On a house that rents $575 or even under $1000 you really cant turn a profit while keeping it fully up to date on maintenance/safe. A simple electric panel replacement would wipe out months of net cashflow. Slumlording is a liability. The low income tenants and welfare crowd tend also like to sue more often, this is backed up by data insurance companies use when quoting your property based on poverty rates of neighborhood. 

Reading the story, I'd say what sunk him was changing the locks, removing the thermostat, and removing the mailbox. That's a self-eviction, which as far as I know is illegal in all states. The electric panel stuff, well that should be stuff he wants to fix just to maintain a safe house.

Other parts of that story are ridiculous, however. How can the landlord "assure" a renter the electric bill is about $100/month? Electric bills are based on what you use. I have had tenants in the same property have electric bills more than $100 in difference between them. And the tenant sounds like a professional tenant to me, frankly. She's been a renter for 30 years, just happens to be on disability for a mysterious degenerative bone issue - notwithstanding a picture of someone morbidly obese having anything to do with her situation - and knows enough to get an advocacy group involved. Unfortunately for this slumlord he just rented to the wrong person.

So I don't see anything but one bum giving another bum their comeuppance. 

Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@Nathan G.

I'm having trouble finding 1613 E 83rd St on Google Maps, Nathan. 83rd Street seems to be in East St. Louis anyway.











Yes, it does not seem to exist...maybe just in the mind of some writer.

People complain about Fake News---Maybe this is just that.

Some SJW's attempt to get people to file lawsuits against Owners in hopes of a thousand dollar payoff--by writing a Fake story.

I wonder who that lady really is in the pic.

Originally posted by @Scott Mac :
Originally posted by @Jim K.:

@Nathan G.

I'm having trouble finding 1613 E 83rd St on Google Maps, Nathan. 83rd Street seems to be in East St. Louis anyway.











Yes, it does not seem to exist...maybe just in the mind of some writer.

People complain about Fake News---Maybe this is just that.

Some SJW's attempt to get people to file lawsuits against Owners in hopes of a thousand dollar payoff--by writing a Fake story.

I wonder who that lady really is in the pic.

I found it Scott:

https://www.google.com/maps/pl...

Originally posted by @JD Martin :
Originally posted by @Scott Mac:
Originally posted by @Jim K.:

@Nathan G.

I'm having trouble finding 1613 E 83rd St on Google Maps, Nathan. 83rd Street seems to be in East St. Louis anyway.











Yes, it does not seem to exist...maybe just in the mind of some writer.

People complain about Fake News---Maybe this is just that.

Some SJW's attempt to get people to file lawsuits against Owners in hopes of a thousand dollar payoff--by writing a Fake story.

I wonder who that lady really is in the pic.

I found it Scott:

https://www.google.com/maps/pl...

Ah-ha! So it was in KC and not St. Louis anyway. Wonder how I screwed that up, it was right there in the title!

Two slimeballs that went at each other, sounds about right, JD. Professional tenant versus slumlord.

Originally posted by @Jim K. :
Originally posted by @JD Martin:
Originally posted by @Scott Mac:
Originally posted by @Jim K.:

@Nathan G.

I'm having trouble finding 1613 E 83rd St on Google Maps, Nathan. 83rd Street seems to be in East St. Louis anyway.











Yes, it does not seem to exist...maybe just in the mind of some writer.

People complain about Fake News---Maybe this is just that.

Some SJW's attempt to get people to file lawsuits against Owners in hopes of a thousand dollar payoff--by writing a Fake story.

I wonder who that lady really is in the pic.

I found it Scott:

https://www.google.com/maps/pl...

Ah-ha! So it was in KC and not St. Louis anyway. Wonder how I screwed that up, it was right there in the title!

Two slimeballs that went at each other, sounds about right, JD. Professional tenant versus slumlord.

Sounds like that old claymation show "Celebrity Death Match" :P
Originally posted by @JD Martin :
Originally posted by @Scott Mac:
Originally posted by @Jim K.:

@Nathan G.

I'm having trouble finding 1613 E 83rd St on Google Maps, Nathan. 83rd Street seems to be in East St. Louis anyway.







Yes, it does not seem to exist...maybe just in the mind of some writer.

People complain about Fake News---Maybe this is just that.

Some SJW's attempt to get people to file lawsuits against Owners in hopes of a thousand dollar payoff--by writing a Fake story.

I wonder who that lady really is in the pic.

I found it Scott:

https://www.google.com/maps/pl...

Thanks,

It looks like a nice cash flow type rental.

Too bad it's operated so loosely.

I suppose he will have to fix the electric now that it's become public.

Old cloth covered arcing wire = a potential fire.

I would not be surprised if he gets a ton of offers to buy the place now.

A little more curb appeal and it would be a very "cute home".

Just my 2 cents.

Just a good reminder that every profession has good and bad. This doesn't mean all landlords are evil, even though that is the narrative that some like to advance.

There was just a landlord on BP complaining about their tenant reporting power problems. They were blaming the tenant, but it sounded like a floating neutral or phase dropping in and out. I had to tell them to stop blaming the tenant and fix the electrical problem, before someone got electrocuted or the place burned down. 

Part of the problem is inexperienced landlords who are in over their heads. Add to that just enough self confidence to believe they are never to blame for anything and it is a recipe for disaster. 

If a landlord wants the government to stay out of their business, do a better job running your business. 

I have said before, tenants go through screening but landlords do not...

@Jim K. yes it says Kansas City in the title and five times in the article, haha. 

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I did a quick mockup of some curb appeal, but I think it's over kill for the neighborhood.

It is a "Cute" house on what looks like a nice wide lot, or an empty lot next door (that looks like a jungle of mosquitoes and snakes).

A little curb appeal goes a long way on some of these lower end homes, but the neighborhoods tend to be "Worn" and it not worth it.

Originally posted by @Scott Mac :

I did a quick mockup of some curb appeal, but I think it's over kill for the neighborhood.

It is a "Cute" house on what looks like a nice wide lot, or an empty lot next door (that looks like a jungle of mosquitoes and snakes).

A little curb appeal goes a long way on some of these lower end homes, but the neighborhoods tend to be "Worn" and it not worth it.

Damn, that makes *me* want to buy it!

So she is paying $575/month for a run down place in a bad area. Zillow rent estimate shows this place at $850/month.

Someone will buy the house and spend $15K to fix up the place. Then they will list it for rent at $900. All the people involved in the story will then complain about the rising rents and the greedy landlords.

Like it or not, slumlords serve a market segment. They provide housing for the "one step away from being homeless" people. While I'd never play around with safety issues, people who rent well below market have to accept well below average conditions. 

I know a local Landlord that has been a slumlord for nearly 40 years. He takes the first person with cash in hand, usually about 20% below market. No written lease. He keeps utilities in his name so he can shut them off if the tenant isn't behaving. He tells tenants the rent is cheap so they can take responsibility for maintenance. When one tenant moves out, he doesn't inspect or clean! He just gives it to the next person and lets them deal with it. I wouldn't say he's evil, but he's definitely not nice.

On the other hand, his monthly net income is about $45,000 so he can afford to pay a judgment. :)