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Thread: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

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    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    Carren and I never intended to become landlords. It just kind of happened in 2010 when she was looking at home listings and we saw one we absolutely loved, but we couldn't manage to sell the one we were living in at the time. So we decided that we could carry two mortgages if we could manage to rent out one. We found a tenant and everything was working out pretty well until about a year ago when he started paying the rent a few days late every month.

    It was always some excuse like he had to wait until he got paid, or he had just been hit for child support, or a host of other excuses. Finally it came to a head this year when he ended up three months behind, so we gave him a notice to vacate the premises by the end of June, with the intent to file an eviction if he didn't move. We got a call on July 1 from the neighbor, telling us that he had been there with a truck and had left somewhat in a hurry, and also that he hadn't been there much lately. So we got over there a couple days ago and found all the furniture moved out, but also that the power was out and by all appearances had been out for some time. It was upon opening the door that we also found out, through rather strong olfactory evidence, that the refrigerator had not been emptied and the contents were in an advanced state of pungent decay.

    The other neighbor told us that he had a girlfriend and was staying at her place most of the time, which might account for the fact that the electric bill hadn't been paid in some time, but I just wonder why through all of our harassing him for rent he never told us that he wasn't staying there much lately and that he had let the power get disconnected. To put it simply, the entire house is an absolute mess, the fridge notwithstanding. We're probably going to have to replace the carpet in at least three rooms and the whole house is going to need a massive cleaning from top to bottom. The odd thing is that he left a really nice zero turn mower in the garage, which I'm thinking of either using or selling.

    The only thing I'm wondering about is, since we didn't file an eviction through the courts, how much of what he didn't remove from the house do we have any rights to? Not everything in there is trash. He left a washer and dryer, the mower, an xbox, and some decent area rugs. Also, I think I've been completely put off renting and I just want the darn house sold for whatever we can get. That property tax money could be put to much better use. I guess if you have a good tenant, rental property can been a good investment, but there's also my side of it. I don't think I want to run the risk of dealing with another tenant like this again.
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  3. #2
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    Quote Originally Posted by OldRightHander View Post
    Carren and I never intended to become landlords. It just kind of happened in 2010 when she was looking at home listings and we saw one we absolutely loved, but we couldn't manage to sell the one we were living in at the time. So we decided that we could carry two mortgages if we could manage to rent out one. We found a tenant and everything was working out pretty well until about a year ago when he started paying the rent a few days late every month.

    It was always some excuse like he had to wait until he got paid, or he had just been hit for child support, or a host of other excuses. Finally it came to a head this year when he ended up three months behind, so we gave him a notice to vacate the premises by the end of June, with the intent to file an eviction if he didn't move. We got a call on July 1 from the neighbor, telling us that he had been there with a truck and had left somewhat in a hurry, and also that he hadn't been there much lately. So we got over there a couple days ago and found all the furniture moved out, but also that the power was out and by all appearances had been out for some time. It was upon opening the door that we also found out, through rather strong olfactory evidence, that the refrigerator had not been emptied and the contents were in an advanced state of pungent decay.

    The other neighbor told us that he had a girlfriend and was staying at her place most of the time, which might account for the fact that the electric bill hadn't been paid in some time, but I just wonder why through all of our harassing him for rent he never told us that he wasn't staying there much lately and that he had let the power get disconnected. To put it simply, the entire house is an absolute mess, the fridge notwithstanding. We're probably going to have to replace the carpet in at least three rooms and the whole house is going to need a massive cleaning from top to bottom. The odd thing is that he left a really nice zero turn mower in the garage, which I'm thinking of either using or selling.

    The only thing I'm wondering about is, since we didn't file an eviction through the courts, how much of what he didn't remove from the house do we have any rights to? Not everything in there is trash. He left a washer and dryer, the mower, an xbox, and some decent area rugs. Also, I think I've been completely put off renting and I just want the darn house sold for whatever we can get. That property tax money could be put to much better use. I guess if you have a good tenant, rental property can been a good investment, but there's also my side of it. I don't think I want to run the risk of dealing with another tenant like this again.

    I owned 3 rental properties at one time from 1988 to 1997. My family also has had a long history in the rental business. The best advice I can give you is first of all make sure you find a good agency to run a credit check on a potential person wanting to rent. Explain upfront to the person who is wanting to rent what you consider to be good credit and bad credit and make them pay for the credit check. You can always work out an agreement to give the money they gave you to run the credit check back one everything comes back confirmed as true. Believe it or not people wanting to rent will lie thru their teeth on their application and thus you are out the $50 or so you paid to run the credit check. So make them pay.

    The second thing is being a landlord is not for soft hearted people. I cannot tell you the amount of times early on I got taken advantage by renters because they lied to me or tugged on my heart strings as to why they did not have the rent. Once you have them sign a lease make sure there is a clause in there for late payment. If they are late making their payment enforce the late penalty. I don't care if their car had to be worked on or they got layed off or their kid had to have surgery. You have to stick to the lease or trust me, these people will take full advantage of you.


    Videotape the house before they move in, when they move in and trash it and you have to take them to court, you will have evidence as to what the place looked like before they moved in.

    Also have atleast a one month deposit or even possibly two months.

    Good Luck, we did well at it but I dont miss the headaches one bit.
    Last edited by George Anderson; 07-06-2014 at 10:26 PM.
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    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    My father used to and still does rent houses out. He once had a tenant throw about 2 weeks worth of used baby diapers on the roof before moving out in the middle of summer. He did not know they had moved out, and found out when a neighbor complained to the police about a terrible smell coming from the house.

    He also owns a plumbing/drain cleaning business and we once had a job to unclog a floor drain. After about 20 minutes of running the machine through the floor drain we realized the evicted tenant poured a bag of cement into the p-trap and we had to break it out and replace it. Ended up costing the landlord around $1k.

    I will never rent a house out. For extra cash I would rather work at mcdonalds.

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    When I was still living in Cincy, I used to be a maintenance man for Paul Kautz. He owned a Norwood business called "The Lighthouse" a retailer of lighting. Just out of the service, I repaired and cleaned not only his business but also a number of rental properties he owned in Cherry Grove, Oakley, Norwood and Madeira. I was apalled and astounded at the condition people left their homes in. It was 50/50 whether they cleaned up and tried to get their deposit returned or just fled, leaving the place a shambles. Clogged drains, filthy greasy ruined carpets, broken windows, spoiled food, intentionally damaged drywall - I got to see it all. Decided landlording would never be for me.
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    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    It's the same way running a small business. Your employees take advantage of you left and right, yet somehow you're still the evil one.

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    Member Spazzrico's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    I'm a reluctant landlord. When I got a job out of town back in 2010 while my wife was expecting our first (otherwise we might have done the commute thing for awhile), we had to leave. We tried for several months to sell and not a single person had walked through. We were (and most likely still are) backwards on the mortgage due to the bust. But we were able to rent it out fairly quickly to a young couple who stayed for three years and took great care of the place. We tried to sell again with zero bites and after two months took in new renters. So far they have been great. I'm getting spoiled, but I know we have gotten lucky. At this point I'm just considering holding onto it long term and turning it over to a management company since I live and hour and a half away. It's a nice little place that really works better as a rental for a single person or a couple (765 sq ft), and it's in a location that promotes renting over owning. This year I don't need the income off the rent so I've been stashing all profits in a savings acct. so I will have that money set aside just for the property. I don't want to mix my money with the rental money and I'm trying to start treating it like a business. We'll see how it goes. I'm cautiously optimistic.

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    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    It's the same way running a small business. Your employees take advantage of you left and right, yet somehow you're still the evil one.
    Aren't you a gym teacher
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    It's the same way running a small business. Your employees take advantage of you left and right, yet somehow you're still the evil one.
    Employees are vermin. I laid off half of my rats and the ones I was forced to keep are just freeloading on my dime. I cut their vacation and sick days thinking that it might send them a message but somehow they have turned it around and tried to make me seem like the bad guy.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also I am a gym teacher.
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    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    Employees are vermin. I laid off half of my rats and the ones I was forced to keep are just freeloading on my dime. I cut their vacation and sick days thinking that it might send them a message but somehow they have turned it around and tried to make me seem like the bad guy.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also I am a gym teacher.
    Tell me about it. I just walked by an employee's desk and caught him on a fantasy baseball site and I politely brought up what he's supposed to be working on...then I came back to my computer and came on here. For the record, I'm supposed to be posting another job ad on career builder.
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    Member Razor Shines's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful View Post
    Aren't you a gym teacher
    And now you're gonna say it's wrong for him to be running "kpresidente's Lawn Service" during school? Those employees always whining, never grateful "we're supposed to be in gym class."

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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    I run a little protection business and you cannot believe how many shopkeepers hold out on you. Sometimes when I'm paying my hired muscle, I ask myself if its worth it.
    Last edited by Rojo; 07-08-2014 at 07:40 PM.
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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    Quote Originally Posted by Razor Shines View Post
    And now you're gonna say it's wrong for him to be running "kpresidente's Lawn Service" during school? Those employees always whining, never grateful "we're supposed to be in gym class."
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    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    I gave 2 properties that I've been pretty lucky with. But because I am an absentee landlord and I promised my dad I would never try to use tools again, we have a management company we pay $75 a month to handle this kind of thing for us. Money well spent so far.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  20. #14
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: If you've ever wanted to be a landlord...

    So sorry to read about this. I've been there before with my house in Columbus. I'm not a lawyer, just speaking from personal experience: file a formal eviction motion as a CYA. You don't have any legal right to property he left behind if his lease is still in force and he could be trying to bait you into doing something he can turn against you. By the time I was done with my nightmare tenant he had sued me for discrimination and sent letters questioning my morality to my employer at the time (a big problem since it was a catholic school). I won all of the court cases but it was mighty expensive and mentally taxing.


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