Been a landlord my entire life. My father is a landlord. The family business is real estate. I have been managing tenants my entire life. I have NEVER had a tenant try to stay at one of my units without paying rent until today. Sure, I’ve had late payments. But this is my first ever legal eviction (and my parent’s 5th legal eviction in their entire lives). It all started because I trusted a recommendation from another tenant. Never again.
I was remodeling a unit that rented for only 1,100, and I managed to rent it out for 1,750. Its a HUGE jump that was commensurate with the comps in the area. I found this tenant literally before I finished renovating and didn’t even put an ad up. It was a couple. Thank GOD I mad them sign a lease (my parents prefer to have at-will tenants).
First Red Flag: 2 dogs and 2 cats. Pet policy was only for 1 dog and 1 cat. I let it slide because I do like animals, especially dogs. The bad part is that one of their dogs smells SO BAD. It has open sores on its back and is disturbingly obese. I don’t think they take very good care of it.
Second Red Flag: Unbelievable stench. I couldn’t even go inside their apartment for more than 5min without gagging. Its smells like a dog’s asshole in there. I can literally smell their apartment from the common areas of the building. If its windy, I can get a whiff them from down the block.
Third Red Flag: Late payment on 1st month’s rent. Because they moved in so fast, I cut them a break and allowed them to pay me 3 weeks late. Huge mistake.
Fourth Red Flag: Failure to pay 2nd months rent. The excuse the couple gave me was that the husband’s mother died and he needed to cover expenses for the funeral. I’m not heartless so I let them be late again. The next week I visit he slipped up and forgot his own lie: told me that it was his FATHER that died.
Fifth Red Flag: Their phones are disconnected periodically due to nonpayment. Their excuses never match up. Husband tells me its because the phone company screwed up, wife tells me its because they just got a new number (they didn’t).
Sixth Red Flag: Three months in and 2 months late rent, they tell me their hot water has never once worked. I am renovating another unit in their building and see them every other day. They never ONCE told me about this problem. When the plumber gets there, they won’t open the door. After copious knocking and announcing myself, I walk in wit the spare key. I told them the exact time this repair would take place and told them I had to fix it. The problem with the hot water was that these Neanderthals broke the shower handles. We also discovered that day that they had been letting their cats sh*t in the bathtub.
Seventh Red Flag: Accused of B&E for fixing their hot water. They demanded a free month of rent. The husband seems fine enough but the way the wife talks to me and my father is so ridiculous. She acts like she’s our boss, telling us things like “I’m not going to get into that with you right now” and “you’re harassing us” when we asked her why she hadn’t reported a hot water issue for over two months.
Needless to say, by flag #2 I had already initiated eviction proceedings against them. We have over 100 tenants and not one of them have ever acted this way. My working theory is that they were going to take advantage of the eviction moratorium, but that literally ended two days after they moved in (that’s some luck they have).
They have expressed no willingness to move even though they are supposed to be out in 2 days (or eviction mediation IN TEXAS begins, thank god I put that into my lease). My eviction lawyer says that’s normal, and they WILL end up owing me, but that collecting is a different issue all together. Researching debt collection agencies right now, but they owe about 4k and I don’t want to give a company 50% of that just to collect.
I’m treating this as a learning experience more than anything. From now on tenants will need to pay for and pass their own background and credit checks. No more recommendations from other tenants. I also am no longer allowing more than just 1 dog. I simply can’t count that people will take care of their animals. These two literally take their dogs out back to sh*t and NEVER clean up after them. Landmine after landmine on my lawn…
Also, now that my lawyer allowed me to shadow him as he filed, I now know how to file an eviction myself (am a lawyer).