The Occupants from Hell!

Rehabbing and House Flipping 832 Replies

I am currently dealing with some occupants (who are no more than squatters) and getting them out so I can get in and start the rehab has been a daunting process. Typically, I get them out with cash for keys and it is never easy, but usually effective.

In this case, I purchased the property (practically stole it on price and terms)Feb 28th of this year and am still working on getting these morons out. I offered them $6k! for keys and they did not take it. I started eviction and they have used every tactic in the book to cause delays and extend the process. On the final hour before the summary judgement hearing, one of the two occupants filed for BK causing another 45 day or so delay. Unfortunately in CA, the laws, for some stupid reason, reside with occupants and not the legal owners. (I wont even get started on politics here!)

The good news is that I was able to have summary judgement against one of the occupants and already filed for the Sherriff to remove her from the premises. Should be within the next week or so for that. The kicker is that once it happens, her boyfriend still has rights to be there (until he is finally evicted) so I am quite sure she will just come right back. When that happens, I will make damn sure I make their lives as miserable as possible for the problems they have caused me. How can I do that legally you might ask? I will have periodic visits to the property and when I see she is there, I will call the Sherriff and inform them that she is illegally trespassing on my property and I want her removed/arrested. I will do this as many times as it takes until they get the point or until summary judgement against him occurs. Either way, screw them both!!! :roll:
What comes around goes around and theirs is coming.

***Update as of today 1-31-16: 5 years and 32 thread pages later, this is still ongoing. The following link was created by a BP Member in support of my situation found on page 32 of this thread. https://www.gofundme.com/OccupantsfromHell

This was approved by the heads of BP to be live in this thread. ***

Updated over 1 year ago

This thread and the issue behind it is getting close to 4 years old now. It is STILL ONGOING and an active thread, not old news. If you somehow get through all 17 pages of it, you will have a full understanding of the dangers that lurk out there!

Updated over 1 year ago

This thread and the issue behind it is getting close to 4 years old now. It is STILL ONGOING and an active thread, not old news. If you somehow get through all 17 pages of it, you will have a full understanding of the dangers that lurk out there!

Updated over 2 years ago

This thread and the issue behind it is getting close to 4 years old now. It is STILL ONGOING and an active thread, not old news. If you somehow get through all 17 pages of it, you will have a full understanding of the dangers that lurk out there!

Medium be logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc. | http://www.barnardenterprises.com | Podcast Guest on Show #32

Yep, been there and done that Will. Have had a few Sheriff Lock Outs and put the furniture out on the driveway. Good luck. Too bad there aren't more "creative" ways to get occupancy of your property!

Will you make those visits at 7:30 AM or after work hours?

Assuming she has a regular job, being arrested and not showing up for work once or twice per week for several weeks is a real career downer.

Being arrested in the evening hours puts a damper on the social life.

Let us know what happens.

The main concern becomes the condition of the property once they are expelled by the Sheriff. There are websites that have postings on various ways to mess up the house in less than conspicuous ways, as well as obvious ways too. Don't be too surprised to find they have deployed some of that ...

Maybe the laws in California are totally screwed up, but it sounds like you need a better lawyer.

How can a BK prevent eviction, if there is no lease or debt owed? If they are squatters, with no lease, it should be a VERY easy eviction.

Edit:
That may have sounded more harsh than I intended. I am actually very curious to see how this plays out, since I would like to avoid a similar situation.

In the middle of the night, cut the electrical line to the A/C condenser...see if they like living without air conditioning.

If that doesn't work, cut the main water line (and then turn it off at the meter :). See if they like living without water.

Of course, neither of those things is legal if a judge told them they can stay, so you never read this... :D

Medium lishproplogoJ Scott, Lish Properties, LLC | j@123flip.com | http://www.123flip.com | Podcast Guest on Show #10

I find it quite ridiculous that they would go through all this instead of taking some money and leave! Oh and Will, I am going to find out when you are purchasing a property and squat for a few days...I will leave for $6k though :)

If you manage to get her arrested, make sure you make a lot of noise and get all the neighbors out to see what the commotion is all about!!!

I am not sure about California State Law. But if you are going to rehab the property, that probably means replacing the windows and some of the doors. Just take out all the windows and exterior doors. If you are going to install a new roof, remove the roof. You probably can't do those things but it is nice to think about! :roll:

Will - I'm on my way to the property right now . . . I can use the $6 grand for getting out!

Sorry to hear about the drama - not sure what the lesson is here, but let all those wanna-be landlords be warned . . . I hope it is resolved quickly and with as little damage to the property as possible.

Medium fbprofileJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets | http://www.biggerpockets.com

From my talks on the message boards with other real estate brokers in CALI in another forum it depends on location.

In Georgia 6,000 is a crap load of money.In California however my REO broker friends have offered cash for keys of 10,000 to 15,000.It takes a bunch of money there to move and I can see 6,000 there not being worth 6,000 in Georgia.

At the end of the day for the tenant it's a business decision.If they had to rent this same property per month what would it cost??

2,000,3,000?? Take that times so many months that they can string out getting free rent and not having to pay moving deposit and first and last and security deposit at the new place and even with 6,000 they might come out way better stringing this thing out for awhile.

So I am not surprised in the least they didn't take the 6,000.

Will did you say the place had to be left in "broom swept condition" to get the 6,000 or if they got out and just took what they needed you would clean up the trash??

You don't want to piss these people off too bad.I have seen people dump cement down the toilets on a ranch slab and the floor had to be jack hammered up and a bunch of new pipe put in.

Have also seen a person tie a refrigerator to the top flight of the stairs so when you came in the front door it came flying down at you.

Also have seen where they take a sledge hammer or regular one and go all throughout the property making holes in the wall so you have to replace all of the sheet rock.

When you offered 6,000 what was their response?? Did they say we need XX to move or did you get offensive when they turned down what you considered your fair offer??

My REO friends do a lot of cash for keys so I have heard plenty of war stories over the years.I hope it works out for you.It will take time but eventually you will get them out.

Good Luck

Medium allworldrealtyJoel Owens, All World Realty | joelowens@comcast.net | 678‑779‑2798 | http://www.AWcommercial.com | Podcast Guest on Show #47

I’m sorry to hear this Will, but it’s actually pretty common. We won’t loan on an occupied property and several of those we loan to have learned this lesson the hard way. Hopefully, this is your first and last time. It took one of our borrowers over 6 month and $15,000(!!!) to eventually get tenants out of an L.A. property for rehab.

Coincidently, just this past weekend we looked at an occupied short sale he wants us to fund. In this case, we all agreed there must be a contingency that the deal doesn’t close unless the property is vacant. Lesson learned.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you walked into someone who knows how to play the system. I hope when you include both the added cost and aggravation, you still have a screaming deal.

Jeff

I knew a guy who was a landlord, he had a girl want to overstay, her tenancy, so he paid two
really big guys to show up and start unloading a van full of stuff, he just told her.
It may take 90 days to kick you out, but, it will also take you 90 days to kick these guys out,
and, if you want to sleep in the same apartment with them, that's fine, but, otherwise, start packing.

She packed up, and the big guys helper her get her furniture out.

she never figured out the big guys were movers.

Pat

I applaud your inventiveness.

Bravo!

I meant to share this earlier, but it's never too late. Here's an article that Peter Giardini wrote in response after reading an article about another professional tenant -- this one seems to be even worse than Will's, but clearly Will got screwed nonetheless.

Check out:
8 Tips For Screening Out Professional Tenants: Your Worst Nightmare!

Make sure to read the first article linked in it for more helpful info, AND you must read the second link - which goes to the article about the scumbag tenant that inspired it.

Medium fbprofileJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets | http://www.biggerpockets.com

Originally posted by J Scott:
In the middle of the night, cut the electrical line to the A/C condenser...see if they like living without air conditioning.

If that doesn't work, cut the main water line (and then turn it off at the meter :). See if they like living without water.

Of course, neither of those things is legal if a judge told them they can stay, so you never read this... :D

J, love the suggestion! I'm evicting a tenant in FL now who can't/won't pay the rent, and she's got all her windows open. Meaning she can't/won't pay for the electric to run the AC, so if she can survive Florida temps with no AC, she can tolerate anything!

Originally posted by Marc Freislinger:
How can a BK prevent eviction, if there is no lease or debt owed? If they are squatters, with no lease, it should be a VERY easy eviction.
The BK did not "prevent" the eviction, just caused another 45 day or so delay in getting him out as now I had to file again for a new hearing to have a judge review the BK scenario, of course, this A-hole has no legit argument to stay any longer than that, so it is only a matter of time.

@Jason - Great ideas, I never read them though. :wink:

@Everybody - Thanks for your responses.

@Many of you - this is not a tenant and I am not a landlord in this case, just a simple case of squatters using the CA laws to their advantages.

@Jeff S - $15k? That sounds like a lot to me, this will only cost me the time and the attorney's fees (at most $5k).
Yes, I did get this at such a great deal so even with these costs and loss of time, I still have a homerun of a deal. In fact, I was able to purchase this for $205k and did it with only $45k out of pocket as the existing mortgage was left in place (subject to purchase).
I also counted on having a full gut job on this property so even if they knock down walls, steal everything, it is accounted for. The exit value is close to $400k, and the rehab should be around $60k. Doing the math, that is all-in at $265k and a large $130k gross spread.

This is the first time I have had this much trouble, but it will likely not be the last, just part of doing business, even if it is frustrating, and sensations of taking a bat to a head are only overcome by fear of obtaining a large boyfriend in jail. :mrgreen:

Medium be logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc. | http://www.barnardenterprises.com | Podcast Guest on Show #32

Will

I can feel the pain. And when tenants like this cause me pain I like to pay it back tenfold. Don't you have contacts with any unsavory types that can communicate with this trash on their level. Might pay to get to know a few. Now days for $5,000 it's possible to have these people out of your life forever.

I could give you details because the statute of limitations on those "evictions" has expired, but I suggest at the least you start writing a history of your experiences to your state reps and try to get them to amend the statutes, and if they don't act, at least arrange for some unwanted press.

Brian, I agree and I will pay it back with as many Sherriff visits as necessary just to cause them as much anguish as legally possible.

As to who I know, I am Italian, so that is not the problem, the problem is, I am not willing to risk my business and livelyhood on characters such as these, I will just eat the time and cost and do it legally, as tempting as the other is!

Medium be logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc. | http://www.barnardenterprises.com | Podcast Guest on Show #32

Originally posted by Marc Freislinger:
...

How can a BK prevent eviction, if there is no lease or debt owed? If they are squatters, with no lease, it should be a VERY easy eviction.
...

The one feature of bankruptcy is that there is an automatic STAY placed on all lawsuits pending against the party declaring bankruptcy. This is one of the tactics employed by those facing foreclosure; they declare bankruptcy at the very last minute before the foreclosure, and the automatic stay stops their foreclosure.

But one thing I have seen more of lately is that those being foreclosed have saved their bankruptcy card during the foreclosure, so that they can then play that bankruptcy card when it comes time to get them out. The banks are really taking lots of time now to complete foreclosures, so the need to use bankruptcy to buy more time has been lessened for some of these folks. But then they can buy more time to live free AFTER the foreclosure by using bankruptcy.

And this is what has been played on Will by these occupants.

Will

I expected the high road from you and of course it is the right road. I legally extract everything I can from the trashers and I get and renew judgements, to warn others about them.

When my brother and I were young investors we made the mistake of doing business in a war zone and our "rent enforcers' were very effective, so we didn't lose money. Of course we wised up and adopted the market we did business policy had to be bread and butter, or better and our world changed.

Of course I'm still serious about suggesting a well thought out suggestion on a small amendment to current statute being presented to your district rep. The present status quo is only acceptable to the trash using it.

@Brian P - I agree, letter(S) plural from multiple people such as myself to our state and local government officials could potentially light a fire under one of them to do something about these terrible one-sided occupant laws.

@Steve B. - Great response, exactly what i would have explained. The BK gives the occupants the automatic stay which is the delay in the process I spoke of. Now I filed for summary judgement to remove the stay caused from the BK filing and the judge should have no other choice but to rule in my favor.

Medium be logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc. | http://www.barnardenterprises.com | Podcast Guest on Show #32

Very frustrating, but part of doing this business. As difficult as it is to hold my temper, I will take this in stride and keep moving forward while retaining nasty thoughts about these low lifes.

Medium be logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc. | http://www.barnardenterprises.com | Podcast Guest on Show #32

Any updates? Are they gone?

It has been two weeks since your last post.

Not yet, court date is at end of month for final summary judgement. Once I am awarded that, it should be within 1-2 weeks to have the Sherriff remove them both.

I will keep you all informed of any developments. Thanks for the question Kevin.

Medium be logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc. | http://www.barnardenterprises.com | Podcast Guest on Show #32