Every landlord has at least one scary story to tell about their experience as a real estate investor whether it be tenant or property related. While I would never want to fully scare you out of actually investing in Sacramento property based on these scary stories it is still important for you to be aware of both sides of the coin when it comes to being a landlord. Furthermore, if you’ve already been a landlord for a while and maybe had a ghostly experience of your own, it may be of a bit of comfort to you to hear that you are not alone.
Tenants That Never Pay Rent
As many landlords discovered in 2020, even the most qualified tenants can run into a rough patch that turns into your loss. Despite an in-depth screening process, you could wind up with tenants that regularly or possibly even never pay their rent past what was required to move in. This is truly disappointing! Worse yet, there is little you can do about it in the immediate future because you need to follow the laws following notices and evictions. In 2020, there was essentially nothing that many landlords could do about non-payment of rent as a result of the moratoriums.
One local landlord shared a story where he leased an apartment to a tenant that stopped paying rent almost immediately. When he went to check up on the property, he became suspicious that the tenant may have also been stealing appliances or other valuable assets from the apartment. He was wise to call the police who arrived and questioned the tenant. The landlord was shocked when the new tenant accused the landlord of trespassing and even said that she did not recognize the landlord! The police sided with the tenant and the landlord had to watch from across the street as the tenant took off with the property’s washing machine. Talk about a nightmare!
Tenants That Punish The Property
Unfortunately, there are times when the relationship between landlord and tenant transforms into a less than pleasant one. This could be due to a number of reasons but when it does happen, there are tenants that decide to take their frustration out on the property. For example, it is not uncommon for tenants that are being evicted to trash a property from top to bottom and leave in a way that makes it difficult for you to recover your costs of repair. This is one reason why it is always wise to be as pleasant and positive as possible with your tenants through the eviction process.
Another story that I have heard one too many times from landlords is not all that different to this one. There was a landlord who unfortunately had to evict tenants after they stopped paying after the second month. Despite going through the legal eviction process, the tenants were furious and decided to take it out on the property. After being told to leave, the tenants broke off the door, poured paraffin wax down the drains, shorted out the electrical system and ripped up the carpet. And that’s not all! They stabbed holes into the drywall, poured battery acid on the tile floors, broke all the windows, sold all of the appliances and spray painted the walls. Sadly, that landlord was so traumatized by going through this avoidable nightmare that he gave up his portfolio.
The Argumentative Tenant
There are some people in this world that are simply miserable people that are determined to try and make those around them miserable as well. Unfortunately, landlords are a common target for these people who thrive off of conflict and complaints. Although they may be minor, the tenant who issues constant complaints about the unit or the way it is being managed can quickly become a major thorn in your side.
Tenants That Won’t Let Go
Squatters have become the norm thanks to the Coronavirus Pandemic. It goes without saying that it is tragic that people are losing their jobs and are unable to pay for housing. Unfortunately, for landlords that weren’t insured or prepared for the pandemic, the costs of housing tenants that are essentially squatting has been tremendous.
Even during normal circumstances, the cost of trying to remove tenants that refuse to pay or leave can be shocking. Not only do you have to deal with court fees and the loss of rent, but you may have to come out of pocket even further to get the property back on the market and rented again. Not to mention the cost of all your time spent on the eviction and rerenting process.
The Tenant That Takes You To Court
Sadly, there are people out there that look for ways to sue you or cost you in any way that they can. It could be because they became disgruntled during your lessor-lessee relationship, or perhaps they are scam artists that simply like to turn an easy buck. Either way, it is immensely important that you always have all of your legal ducks in a row so a nasty tenant can’t get lucky against you in court. Remember, documentation is always your friend when it comes to going to court against a tenant so having a system that documents all of your communication, maintenance requests, legal notices, etc. will go a long way to protect you. This is why we use a sophisticated documentation system at Alpha Property Management to help protect all of our landlords from nightmarish sue-happy tenants.
Have A Nightmare To Share?
Have you ever had a nightmare experience with a tenant? How did you handle it and what did you learn from the experience? Please comment and share!