By in Business

Nightmare Tenants - A Look at Things from the Landlord's Side

I wrote in this post about how my husband and I are mom-and-pop landlords. We own a little condo that we use as a rental property, and we also had a couple more properties, since sold. Someone once asked if I liked having rental property because she thought it might be fun.

It might be, but it isn't.

it can be a good investment, but boy it is NOT fun. I have had to replace carpet in that one unit about seven times. One family moved out in the middle of the night, owing three months' back rent, and STOLE the washer and dryer. Another couple constantly complained about every little thing that needed fixing, which I always fixed, and then left--I am not kidding-- over FOUR HUNDRED NAIL HOLES in the walls when they moved out. I gladly deducted the expense from their security deposit.

Yet another couple always paid their rent and never complained, and I thought they were dream tenants...until they moved out. They left the place so filthy and damaged that I just sat down and cried. It was obvious they never complained because they didn't want me to come over and see the horrible state of the place. The damage they did was FAR beyond what the security deposit would cover. The lady I have now is nice, but she pays her rent late about half the time, and there always seem to be little things needing repair. It's just a lot of hard work and some unpleasant surprises, but if you are prepared for that, you can make some income and build equity.

All true. For some reason, TV shows like to depict landlords as being "slumlords", who never fix anything and ignore their nice tenants' pitiful complaints while raking in the money. Um, no. I fix stuff CONSTANTLY. I put a new roof on a house because the tenant said it leaked. When the roofer went up there to tear up the old shingles, they said there was no leak whatsoever (it turns out later the man was just guessing, based on some old discoloration on the ceiling). The man and his family moved out soon after that, leaving the house so filthy I had to sell it "as is". Nice thank you, huh? At least it had a new roof! And just this year, I bought a brand new refrigerator for my new tenant, who said the older one wasn't working. After I had already placed the order, scheduled delivery and paid, she said she wasn't sure, but maybe it was working again.

And I have had THREE DIFFERENT TENANTS break toilets in that same condo. I mean not clog them, but physically BREAK them. One broke the lid of the tank in half, one broke a seat, and one broke a three-inch hole in the porcelain bowl. Yet another dropped a glass bottle into the toilet, wedging it so firmly that the entire fixture had to be replaced.

Whatever. There's no point in not fixing stuff, anyway. They are MY houses, so it's in my best interest to keep stuff in good working order. But dang, people--write a TV show with a nice landlord and some jerky tenants, for a change! That would be more like a REALITY show.

Image Credit » by Bonnybbx

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MelissaE wrote on March 18, 2015, 9:34 PM

I used to work with a woman who decided to try renting to tenants. She didn't do it for long as she said that it was just too much work and hassle.

paigea wrote on March 18, 2015, 9:46 PM

I was a landlord and yup, you nailed my experience. I don't do it any more.

AliCanary wrote on March 18, 2015, 10:05 PM

And you probably had to let things go in your own house to make sure you could fix the rental stuff, right? The condo has had three new toilets, two new water heaters and seven flooring replacements. Or house, which we have had for almost exactly the same length of time, has had NONE of those things replaced. We actually take CARE of our stuff!

AliCanary wrote on March 18, 2015, 10:07 PM

It's seriously awful. And now there's a popular song out about a dude who can't pay his rent, but he has "just enough" money to go out and have a great time at the club. Makes me feel a bit homicidal.

paigea wrote on March 18, 2015, 10:08 PM

Oh absolutely. It is baffling how hard people can be on places. Maybe I will make a post about it sometime! I am supposed to be doing reports right now. lol

Brillian wrote on March 18, 2015, 10:37 PM

It is far from where I am. Landlords here aren't as battered as you are. :) Sorry for the word.
Tenants never impose. We fix whatever we can fix and when we moved in, we usually have unfurnished condos, no refrigerators, no nothing. Well, its cheaper than the furnished that's why we go for it.

wolfgirl569 wrote on March 18, 2015, 10:53 PM

I have seen the headaches my parents have had with a rental they own. I have still thought about trying it but afraid I would go off on a tenant and land my behind in jail.

bestwriter wrote on March 19, 2015, 1:44 AM

I would rather starve than have tenants that would give me nightmares. They care little - after all they do not own that property.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on March 19, 2015, 8:36 AM

I rent my villa out to holidaymakers but would not wish to have tenants in for more than 2 weeks at a time, I did a longer term let years ago and couldn´t wait to get them out, they were lazy, dirty and let their kid run riot, it was a nightmare.

melody23 wrote on March 19, 2015, 9:06 AM

I think its like everything else there is good and bad in any situation, the same goes for landlords and tenants. I am going to write a post about my experiences being a tenant - thanks for the inspiration!

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on March 19, 2015, 5:35 PM

It's unbelievable what some tenants will try to get away with. I have one friend who's tenant stole all the interior doors when she moved out.

HappyLady wrote on March 19, 2015, 5:54 PM

I think it can be hard from both sides. When I accidentally broke a sink I replaced it. Stuff does happen, but why people live like they sometimes do is beyond me.

Colibry21 wrote on March 19, 2015, 6:21 PM

It sure can't always be easy being a landlord. It's not something that I would be good at. I'm sorry to hear that you've had a hard time with some tenants.

Feisty56 wrote on March 19, 2015, 8:36 PM

I've never once imagined myself as a landlady because I know I could not put up with the issues at hand. I've been a tenant many times and observed both tenant and landlord activity, some good, most not so hot. Hats off to you for making speedy repairs. It's too bad your tenants don't appreciate a good situation when they find it.