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Rental Nightmare Update

January 5th, 2010 at 11:19 am

In June, we hired a property manager who promptly evicted the tenants at one of our rentals. Back in August I http://financiallyfree2bme.savingadvice.com/2009/08/09/renta... about how the evicted tenants had trashed the house. I am happy to report that the property is FINALLY back to normal and it has been rented effective January 1. It was expensive to renovate and if it were not for the sad state of the real estate market in ID, we would sell it in a heartbeat. We are finding that rentals require far more work than we have the energy for.

One of the mistakes we made was hiring a property manager who wanted to do all the work himself. In the long run, he cost us more money because he has a full-time job apart from his rental management business, and he did the work when he had time. He is a hard-working, honest man, but it took him way too long to complete the repairs. And since we were in CA most of the time, it was "out of sight, out of mind." But we are grateful he was able to evict the tenants who had stopped paying rent.

So, more than $15,000 later, here is where the money went:

~ Six PITI payments @ $835 each
~ New linoleum and carpets
~ Two coats of KILZ on the subfloor
~ New paint throughout
~ New blinds on all windows
~ New backyard landscaping (top soil, lawn, sprinkler system)
~ New DW and micro-vent
~ Electrical outlet repairs
~ Trash hauling and cleaning (it was utterly unbelievable)
~ Utilities, including the $329 water bill of former tenants

As it was, the house would not have been ready to rent by January 1 if it had not been for my DDs and SILs who spent the day after Christmas helping us finish up the cleaning and repairing the front and back doors. The property manager was out of town on a family visit and dh and I were determined to get it ready.

You may be wondering if the evicted tenants vandalized the house. They did not! This was the result of four years of living in a house without ever cleaning it. We made the mistake of not having a property manager for several years and not bothering to do an annual inspection. So, most of this is our own fault for being lax about an investment and "assuming" all was well. We paid dearly for our mistakes and learned something about human nature through this experience.

There are people who are simply not clean... they think nothing of fouling their own nest, worse than animals. I have a hard time understanding what would compel a human being to live with animals and their feces... how do they present a semblance of normalcy outside the home? In my career as a school principal, I saw youngsters removed for "neglect" from filthy homes that were cleaner than this one.

And, no, we will not try to recover anything from the former tenants. It would be like trying to get blood out of a turnip. They apparently lost their jobs and like many people living on the edge, were only a heartbeat from being homeless. I feel sorry for these people, especially the children in this family.

New paint, carpets, and blinds:

Sparkling clean kitchen with new micro-vent:

5 Responses to “Rental Nightmare Update”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I am so soryy for you. when I was younger, we decided to buy a few rental houses. Thinking the tenants would make the payments and we would own the houses free and clear someday.
    Sadly, I had tenants just like yours. They really trashed all three properties. We had to sell them for far less than we paid for them. I know some people have good luck with rentals, but I would never have one again.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    That's too bad about the mess they left behind. But it looks like a very nice place, inside and out, now. I hope you get better tenants.

  3. scfr Says:

    Wow - I'm at a total loss for words.

  4. John DeFlumeri Jr Says:

    I know how it is, I was a landlord of a 2-family house for over 10 years. Never made money always lost a lot and had nightmares every month.

    John DeFlumeri Jr

  5. -Jerry- Says:

    What a mess, I'm sorry that happened for you! Tenants can be unbelievable -- some of them are amazing and thoughtful, and others lead to nothing but headaches. There's no insurance either way, unfortunately, so I need to be grateful for the good ones...

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