Today I'm going rant against all trashy renters.
I'm not ranting against all renters. That would be silly, since Mark and I have been renting for over a year now. And we're good renters! Always pay on time, the house is clean, nice neighbors...ideal. :)
No...I'm ranting against the people who throw pity parties when it's time to pay rent, and then trash the place before they move out. Oh, I've got stories. Let me share a few. I'm ranting, after all.
See, a couple of years ago, Mark and I decided to get involved in real estate. Good business. We had extra money to throw around, so we didn't mind the repairs and covering for renters. Of course, things went sour and we suffer the repercussions today. But the stories! Oh, boy! Let's see.
Sob story #1: This was actually probably our best renter. A single man moved into one of our houses. Turned out he was a junkie (like, trash junkie) and after two years had collected three boxes worth of peanut butter jars. That's just an example. We got to keep his deposit because he never once cleaned the place, and we spent two days cleaning so someone else could move in. But he paid, and was only late on occasion. Not so bad.
Sob story #2: We'll call these people Joe and Jane. They moved in, everything looked good until about six months into it. Joe couldn't come up with money for rent. We let him use his deposit. (Dumb, and not the last time we made that mistake.) Next month, still no money. We asked Joe to move out. He threw fits and wouldn't let us in when we brought people by to see the house. We did eventually get him out and were only a few hundred dollars less for our troubles. Whew. Not so bad.
Sob story #3: We'll call these people Goodfor and Nothin. Lived in our duplex, kids on top, parents on bottom. Money dried up two months into the contract. Caught them smoking in the house. Kids flew the coop. Kind-hearted husband loaned Goodfor and Nothing money so they could eat while Nothin looked for a job. They left when we threatened with eviction.
Sob story #4: We'll call these people Takin and You. Should be a warning when people can't come up with the deposit money. We let it slide. Four months later, still no deposit. Takin and You separated, and You asked to be on a month-to-month contract. We agreed. As we were approaching the delivery of our second child, we decided we needed a place to live. You agreed to move out with 30 day notice. Then Takin came back. Mark and I packed up our place and pulled up to the house to move in--and they refused to leave. Or pay rent. Two months later and a lovely court hearing, the sheriff escorted them off our property. And we moved in.
Sob story #5 (no, I'm not done yet!): We'll call this woman Bomb. Bomb and her husband moved in. Three months into the contract, husband lost job. We let them use their deposit (this was the last time we made that mistake). Two months later, husband left Bomb. Bomb has no money. Promises money for month #1. We give her three weeks. No money, so we serve eviction. Bomb writes really nice letter, saying she's going to the housing authority and her church leaders and will have all the money for month #1, month #2, and month #3 (which hadn't started yet). We retract eviction and wait. Bomb stalls. Month #2 passes and we serve eviction. She promises to leave. Doesn't leave. Month #3 starts and finally the woman is gone. House is trashed. $1000 later, it's cleaned up enough to get a new family into.
Sob story #6: Family moves in, promises to get utilities changed into their name and not ours. Like dummies, we don't check until six months later. Still paying utilities. Everything gets fixed, but they owe us money. No extra money coming in. Last month, we tell them how much they owe us on top of the rent. NO MONEY comes. We send someone over to collect, and they're gone. And the place is trashed. We file an insurance claim because there's a broken window and holes in the walls. Insurance says won't cover it: it's normal wear and tear of the property.
And that's the end of it! If you ever wondered why we have money problems...now you know! The moral of the story is, if you ever decide to have rental units: 1) Get a management company 2) Require a huge deposit.