Investing in rental property can be very lucrative, but you'll think twice about that after reading these horror stories!
Two Insane Nightmares
We had our day in court. The female, who was usually dressed nicely, with fake nails and an expensive weave, showed up looking like an old hag. The guy was using a walker (eye roll – this jerk didn’t need one). They claimed I was a slum lord and never fixed anything, but I had receipts for every repair including a new AC unit.
After I got the judgment against them, I tried to garnish the man’s wages, was told he worked for the Coca-Cola Company. It turns out they’d never heard of him, but after a little digging I found out they had both been arrested for selling the other thing with the same name. The officer showed me mugshots dating back to the early ’80s! They also stole the refrigerator.
Another nightmare: This past summer, I had a family of seven that moved into a five-bedroom house. They paid their deposit and the first month’s rent. That’s it. Haven’t seen another dime from them. To top it off, they didn’t get the power switched into their name so I got a $400 power bill. About a month ago, I called the water company, turns out they never had the water turned on, so they had been stealing water. The water company pulled the meter.
When I gave a 24-hour notice to do a walk through (with the police present), the woman answered the door told me, ‘You can’t come in, and we’ll get out when you follow all the procedures and the sheriff kicks us out.’
I think they’ve done this before.”
The Police Get Involved
“We had a young couple move into a house. They were young and were using benefits to pay their rent, but the landlord wanted to give them a chance.
Two months later, we got a call from a locksmith contracted by the police. The police raided the house the night before because the young man was slinging illegal substances. They smashed the front door frame out of the wall and the locksmith was called in to make good.
We called the girl. The young man was in police custody and she couldn’t afford the rent, and she wanted out of both the tenancy and her relationship.
We made a house visit to check the state of the door. It was bad. They had a dog (in a house with a no pets policy) and it had been shut in a bedroom a lot. Feces and chew marks/scratch marks everywhere. And they had smoked (no smoking policy) and the house stunk of stale smoke. The landlord agreed to let them out of the tenancy and get the house back on the market. It cost thousands to fix everything. New front door, redecorate all new carpets. It was just about ready to advertise when we had a call from the neighbor. There had been a disturbance the night before and he had to call the police.
The young man, upon being released from police custody and unable to get back with his girlfriend, had broken back into the property a couple of days earlier to squat. He then had a visit from his supplier he owed a lot of money too. His supplier ended up stabbing him. He almost bled to death on the brand new cream carpets. Once we’d got MORE new carpets in, and fixed the broken window from where he’d broken in, we found a new, reputable tenant. A nice young man who was an abuse counselor, which turned out to be good because a lot of the local addicts didn’t get the memo about their dealer being arrested and then stabbed, so he had a lot of visitors in the beginning but knew how to deal with them.”
So-Called Friends Trash A Place
“My parents have owned properties for a while, so there have been quite a few troublesome tenants, but the one that I’m personally invested in is the last one to grace our property. They decided to rent out my childhood home and I suggested it to a coworker. I worked with this woman for several years at that point and thought she and her family were decent people. I trusted them.
They brought bed bugs into the place and did quite a bit of damage to the walls. They also pulled out and sold 100-year-old hardwood trim, removed the central air unit and sold it, and messed the place up. They then proceeded to skip town after being kicked out once they found out that their wages were being garnished.
Having tenants leave behind a pile of trash, horrifying bathrooms, and holes in the walls is common, but I hold a bit of a grudge on this one.”
The Most Manipulative Tenant Ever
“I have a crazy/manipulative tenant. She looks after the place well, but I wonder if the psychological damage is worth it.
Early on in the tenancy, she complained about the shower curtain sticking to her. It’s a shower-over-bath setup, and since she pays her rent reliably and keeps the place clean, we pay to have a glass screen put in.
We specifically instructed that the glass screen goes in front of the shower head. After it’s installed, I get a complaint from her about how she has to turn the shower head 45 degrees to stop the water hitting the ground. I go to inspect and find that the glass is inexplicably at the other end of the bath.
Turns out she’d insisted that the installer ignore our instructions and put it there, for whatever reason.
I told her that since she’d countermanded our instructions on something we were paying for that was now a permanent fixture in our property, she was lucky we didn’t charge her for it and that she was going to have to live with the setup she’d insisted on having.
Later, she asked if she could put a cat flap in the back door. We agreed, on the provision that she pay for it herself and that it be a proper cat flap, not some dodgy-DIY version.
She puts in a rubber-flap cat door, which I wouldn’t have gone with but whatever. We let it go.
Little did we know where this was leading.