Posted almost 5 years ago

Mixed Up Move Ins

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We had a move in mix up a few years ago.

The tenants in a duplex were friends. One was moving out, the other wanted to move into his friend’s side, as they are not duplicate units. We verbally agreed to let him swap, but they took the liberty to make the move earlier than we anticipated, without our involvement. So the paperwork was late and we didn’t’ have a basis to refund or keep the first tenants deposit. Fail!

That situation seemed bad, but this recent mixed up move in is far worse…

This is a house managed by our property manager. Couple A moved in back in August, then they got sick with cancer and stopped being able to work steady. They never got the deposit paid off (it kills me that our PM consistently lets tenants move in without all the move in money!) and they stopped paying rent altogether in November. We did not hear anything or get any money December & January, but we saw a moving van and knew the house wasn’t sitting empty. Our PM was on an extended trip, so we expected the money to flow when she got back.

But the plot thickens. Couple B applied for another house that our PM manages. The PM didn't get their application verified before leaving on vacation. Couple B is sisters with Couple A, so couple A gave couple B the keys when they moved out. Couple B told our PM’s vacation replacement that the PM had OK'd the arrangement, but she hadn’t. The PM came home and was really upset. No money, no rental agreement!

She’s been aggressively working the situation, spending a lot of time making their life miserable and chasing a rental agreement or eviction. We have now been paid for one month rent (February?), but waiting to see how this plays out. Bizarro! And oh so hard to sit back and let someone else drive the outcome of our assets and cash flow.

I’m sure some reading think we should fire the PM right away, but that is a topic for a future blog post. She does things differently than we do, and some of it really frustrates me, but I’m not convinced we are worse off.



Comments (4)

  1. Roy is right. This will be a test for your manager. I am sure you will learn from this. I always try to look upon these things as learning experiences!


  2. Michele:

    Wow, we've had tenants "sublet" to friends on us before, but you've got that topped.  Dawn is spot on: No money (deposit & first month's rent), no keys.

    This will be a real test of your new PM ... if she's made of the right stuff, she'll take the hit for this and make you whole from her future fees.


  3. Wow, I'm sorry to read this, Michele... what a mess. As a business owner, you set the standards that you want other people to meet but, the truth is, people are imperfect and you sometimes have to accept some imperfection if you want to run your business (people are people, after all!). Yet, this is too much. I truly hope you get this resolved ASAP... and not just with the tenants but also with the property manager, too.


  4. I think you need to make it an absolute rule that she CANNOT let anyone move in without collecting all the money up front.