Custom Search

Rental Property Intro
Investment Strategy
Property Values 101
Find a Property
Financing Property
Cash Flow Analysis
Landlord 101
FREE Landlord Forms
Landlord Insurance
Tenant/Property Law
Rental Property Tax
Foreclosure Property
Commercial Property
Retirement Savings
Sell Property
Property Definitions
Rental Property Blog
Property News
Real Estate Videos

Follow Me!
Bookmark and Share

Landlord Blues: Burned Again by a Bad Tenant…

Show Your Love

Buying Rental Property
Landlord Advice
Real Estate Financing Tips
Real Estate Investing Strategies
Real Estate Taxes & Insurance
Selling Rental Property
Trends & Current Events

Sometimes it sucks being a landlord.  As I’ve said many times before on this blog, the worst part of being a rental property landlord is dealing with crappy tenants.  And unfortunately for me, I just got rid of very bad ones.  It’s my own fault; I knew something was amiss, but I wanted to fill the vacancy quickly.  I clearly failed to practice what I preach in this situation, and I learned a pretty hard lesson.  That is, it’s much better to have your unit vacant an extra month than to move-in a questionable tenant.

The tenants in question moved into one of my 1 bedroom apartments on 4/1/2011.  The first couple of months were fine, but things quickly degraded after that point.  I tried to evict them in late July for not paying the July rent, but unfortunately the judge gave them an extra week to pay and they did.  So, per NJ state law, I had to let them stay.  Well, that was the last rental payment I received.

One month later, after not getting any August rent, I again filed for eviction (which kills about 3 hours of my day each time because the county courthouse is located 1 hour from my home).  The court date was scheduled for about 3 week later, and they were officially out of there in early October.

When I finally locked them out, I noticed that they were nice enough to steal my gas stove and refrigerator.  And as an added bonus, when they took the fridge, they took out all the food…and left it to rot on the kitchen floor and countertops.  It stunk to high heaven (which wasn’t helped by the clogged poop toilet that had been like that for 3 weeks).  The odd thing is, they took my appliances, but left all their stuff behind!  I don’t know if they got thrown in jail or got shot or what, but now I am required to store their stuff for 30 days to give them time to claim it…at my expense!

Now, let’s tally up my losses from these deadbeats. The rent is $650 per month, and I did not receive any rent for August, September or October, so right off the bat I’m out $1,950 in income.  The stove and fridge were purchased (used) for $200 from, they stiffed me with a $150 electric bill, I paid about $150 in court costs, about $100 in cleaning and other supplies, and about $100 for an ad in the paper and tenant screening costs.  So my total hit was $2,650, less their security deposit ($975), leaves me in the hole $1,675. And that doesn’t even factor in about 20 hours of my precious time.

So, kids, the morale of the story is to be patient, and never allow anyone to move in to one of your units unless they’ve passed the muster.  If I would have chosen to let the unit stay vacant another month to find decent tenants, I would have only been out $650 instead of $1,675.  How depressing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *
Email *

footer for rental property investing page