Let's Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Sailor on May 14, 2007 at 16:06:50:

Sorry about your husband’s injury & that you are having a settlement problem w/the insurance co. I also had mega-settlement problems on more than one occasion when I was in Calif, & situations like that are beyond frustrating. However, I do know for certain that it has been to my benefit to maintain my business w/my current family agent of 15 years.

For those who are needing new insurance or thinking of changing agents, remember that it is not just the agent, but the company that needs to be researched. Some insurance companies (Allstate comes to mind) have really a-w-f-u-l records. Although things like that are easy to check online these days, I seem to recall seeing ratings in Consumer Reports (available FREE @ your local library).

Natalie, sure hope your DH is doing better now & that your suit is finally over soon. It’s bad enough to have an accident happen, but then to have to fight it out afterward makes it all the worse. In a situation like yours w/an uninsured driver & a recalcitrant insurance company, true justice is beyond hope, but I w/keep my fingers crossed that you achieve an equitable settlement.


Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on May 09, 2007 at 17:16:36:

As much as I love this part of the month (you know–the part of the month when the rents are coming in), the second half of the month is the opposite (all the mortgages are due, and all the bills are due…) Let’s have some FUN.

Let’s share some landlording stories. I already shared this one to a different posting, but I will re-post it to a new and different thread.


family of skunks took up residence (sans lease, I might add) under one of my properties. tenants did not report problem. one Friday night, after a 12-pack of beer, tenant thought is might be a good idea to shoot bottle rockets [July 4th was coming] at the varmints to get them to leave. It worked. It also burned down my house.

The insurance payoff created a nice capital gain, so I did not get too terribly pis$ed off.

East Texas presents MANY funny situations.

OK. someone else needs to post a good 1. then I’ll share another classic.

Oldie but a goodie… - Posted by Ben (NJ)

Posted by Ben (NJ) on May 11, 2007 at 20:44:23:

About seven years ago I acquired a two family through tax foreclosure. I thought I inherited two tenants but it turns out I had two squatters. Funny part was one squatter moved in first and then had the stones to RENT out the other side to the other squatter. Quite the entrepreneur! LOL.

Re: Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by Pete CA

Posted by Pete CA on May 11, 2007 at 10:48:15:

here’s the experience with my 1ST property…

I bought 3 units in a bad part of L.A. 2 units were vacant and a crackhead with one red eye and one white eye was “watching over the place” and living in the back unit. I spent a ton of money rehabbing the building and used my agent as a “property manager” because he owned 4 other 4 plexes in the area. He never did a credit check of any of the three new tenants and from the looks of these people he didnt care who was renting from me. Long story short…all three paid the first months rent plus deposit… then mysteriously stopped paying the rent.

I went down to see what was going on and here’s what I see…a large group of Grape St. Crips (large local gang) hanging out by the middle unit. the front door/wall/windows of the middle apartment unit had been shot up with a sawed off shotgun. Bullet holes, broken windows, etc everywhere. Called the cops and filed a police report. About a week later I drive back to the units to check on things and I see all the gansters in the front yard again so I flag down a passing cop and tell them there are some threatening looking people on my property and I’m scared to enter it. The cops look over and recognize the gangsters so they launch the cop car up over the curb and right into the front lawn of the property…jump out with guns drawn and chase down and catch 4 of the gang bangers…so I had to file another police report for that.

I eventually fired my “property manager” and all of my lovely new tenants because apparently the back tenant was a crack dealer in the area, the middle tenant was a prostitute with 6 kids from 6 different daddies, and the front tenant (who was actually the best out of the three) broke up with her boyfriend who made all the money…so she didnt think “paying rent was necessary” because she “didnt make enough money now that they broke up”

Moral of story…screen your tenants well either with a professional management company or do the screening yourself. I have learned that you can sniff out a scammer or dishonest person pretty quickly if you meet them face to face :slight_smile:

Re: Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by Edwin

Posted by Edwin on May 11, 2007 at 24:31:06:

This wasn’t a fun experience, but rather probably my worst tenant

Had a tenant that had become chronically late about paying her rent. I
gave her numerous chances to straighten up, but finally I said "you
have to go."
I filed an eviction and got a judgment. After the sheriff tossed her out,
the evicted tenant and the neighbor across the street came to me
pleading for another chance. I said “no,” but finally relented on the
condition that she voluntarily be vacated within the week. She moves
back in, and a few days later when I come to tell her to get out, she
tells me to sue her.

So I get to go through the same ugly court eviction again. She contests
it. I finally win. Sheriff tosses her out again, but she has nowhere to
go. And I’m not relishing the idea of moving all her crap out of my
house. She had every room filled with furniture and junk. She had
turned the backyard into a miniture auto junk yard, Left about 12
broken down, junk non-running vehicles. Many without wheels.
Through much coaxing and prodding, she finally got most of her stuff
out of the house. Took three flat bed trailers. She slept on the front
lawn on a mattress for about four nights. I didn’t like that a bit, but I
didn’t like the idea of moving her stuff out, either.

I got to waste several hours of my time supervising the move-out,
mostly to ensure she didn’t try to take up residence in the house again.
One afternoon I left for 45 minutes to go eat lunch. When I returned, I
see her car has four flat tires. “What happened,” I ask? Turns out her
"boyfriend" had come by, got into an argument with her, and decided it
was appropriate to slash her tires. He didn’t like me, either. Made me
really glad I didn’t happen to be there when all this happened.

She eventually got most of the house cleaned out, but I did end up
having to get rid of all the vehicles. I tried to donate them to salvage
yards if they’d pick up for free, but they all turned me down since I
didn’t have titles. To make matters worse, the code enforcement
people told me to hurry up and get rid of the cars. “And don’t just
abandon them on the street,” I was warned. Well, that’s what I ended
up doing. One by one I and a guy I hired with a truck and chain hauled
those cars off the property and as quietly as possible deposited them
on various streets surrounding the property. I hope I never have the
hear the sickening scraping sound a truck with no rear wheels makes
when it’s being dragged across pavement. The whole thing was one
royal PAIN IN THE A**!

Lessons learned: When a tenant becomes a problem, act fast to get rid
of them. Also inspect the property regularly to make sure it’s not
becoming a dumping ground for vehicles and other assorted junk.

fire story - Posted by ken

Posted by ken on May 10, 2007 at 18:36:02:

I had a house in a bad area.I drive down the street and see my tenant out front waving me down.I stop and he asks if i got his call.This was before cell phones so i say no what is wrong.He says the house is on fire, smoke coming out of back apartment.I ask if he called fire department he says no he called me.We called 911 and my maintenance man and myself ran to the apartment got in and so much smoke you could not see a thing.Tenant left potatoes boiling when they realized they were going to be late for appointment to renew their welfare case.Fire department shows up just as we had it under control and their first thought was to break windows to air it out but we stopped them

Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by Bill H

Posted by Bill H on May 10, 2007 at 17:04:25:

I guess my favorite would be the female tenant who got a phone call from her boyfriend…decided it was a bit racy for the kids to hear…took the phone to the back bedroom…forgot she had put on a large frying pan of grease to cook tacos…result…one burned up kitchen, dining area, living room…never did hear what the phone conversation was about…BUT…it must have been HOT too.

Darwin award - fire story - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on May 10, 2007 at 12:38:54:

Second story tenant had a beef with first story tenant. Set his place on fire. Went upstairs and some time later realized he was trapped above the fire. Had to jump from his second floor to get away from the fire he started on the first. Impaled himself on the fence.

Re: Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by DaveD (WI)

Posted by DaveD (WI) on May 10, 2007 at 09:35:18:

I had to get rid of a guy once who was a roofer with a drug problem. Only time I’ve ever had to go all the way: judgement, sheriff, and his stuff kissing the curb. With the predictable atrocious mess left inside. One thing I had to laugh about was his generous use of roofing nails for picture hooks.

Same unit, different tradesman. He got behind as well. He was in the sheetrock business. Parted on friendly terms but noticed he used a lot of drywall screws for picture hangers.

Same unit, framing carpenter. Had the presence of mind to tell him about the first two, and he agreed to use the appropriate picture hanging hardware. If you read this far you can figure out the rest of the story. Got behind, moved out, left a lot of FRAMING nails stuck in the wall where his pictures used to be.

Can you imagine a flat-roof hot-tar specialist? Bet he wouldn’t use nails! Scary thought. Fortunately I declined on that one.

Lesson learned. Find someone other than self-employed tradesman with ugly trucks to rent to. Good grief!

Fire Tale #2 / Not Funny - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on May 10, 2007 at 06:47:37:

place: Longview, TX

situation: manager leases house to nicely dressed school teacher with well-behaved children. she pays deposit and first month’s rent. but she dosn’t move in. a “friend” moves in a couch and a couple chairs, and commenced to dispense dope to a steady stream of eager clients.

around the 5th of the next month, manager drives by looking for tenant and rent. manager calls me. “your house on S. 12th Street is gone!!” SAY WHAT??? “its ashes, dude!”

after talking to the Fire Marshall and Police Detective, here’s the explanation. the dope dealer was under surveillance, and knew the heat was on. he knew he had to move to a new location. but he did not want his clients to return to this particular house. so he torched it. they had seen it many times before.

Re: Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by lukeNC

Posted by lukeNC on May 10, 2007 at 06:41:07:

I had a property with notoriously late paying renters who used every excuse in the book.

Then, for a while they paid on time. Few months later I get a call from the guy saying “I have to end my lease, I’m in jail.”

Ok, I go by the house that day, there are 2 pit bulls roaming about in the house. The guy had been in jail for 2 weeks and left them in there. It was horrific.

I called animal control and got the dogs out. Cleaned up the place and listed in for rent again at a cheaper rate to get it filled quickly.

How bout this same guy is going to call after he gets out of jail, upset that I lowered the rent, cussing me out on the phone.

You Know What They Say about Crackheads - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on May 10, 2007 at 06:37:04:

…you don’t have to fire them.

just pay them.

Re: Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on May 09, 2007 at 23:34:15:

This is a stupid landlord story, with me as the stupid landlord. It was
one of those times when offering to pay the tenants to leave DID NOT
work. I didn’t know then what I know now: drug pushers cannot leave
the home location because 1) need a place to work from and 2) no one
else will rent to them.

So, we make an agreement to move the whole family out and put their
stuff in storage. We show up in the early AM, with rented truck, with
rented guys and move all their crap, in many loads to the storage unit
(which we rented). It’s a scene the whole time. Dozens of people from
the neighborhood in and out all day. Police cruising by all afternoon.
Needles on the ground, barefoot toddlers running around
unsupervised, absolutely disgusting filth everywhere. The guys we
hired are freaking and want special gloves.

It’s getting dark, the house and yard are empty. We get the last of their
crap into the storage unit, and go back to the house to meet the
tenants to give them the keys to storage and to lock up the house. No
such luck. These people have no possessions in their house but they
were having a dinner party with friends in there. They were going
nowhere. And they knew it all along. We left the storage keys in their
mailbox and drove home. We were so stunned and so stupid.

I was selling and was in escrow to close asap. I gave the buyers a 2K
reduction in purchase price and they closed the next day.

If only I had known that I could have avoided that day for only 2K.

Re: Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by Joe Kaiser

Posted by Joe Kaiser on May 09, 2007 at 20:36:50:

Back in the day, I had a 35 unit apartment building in a rougher part of
town, and I’d collect rent carrying a golf club.

I met a guy in the hall who asked, “what club?”

I said, “7 iron.”

He said, “that ain’t gonna be enough club.”

And he was right!

I later evicted a gal and because I really needed her out, offered to help
her move. The last thing we loaded onto her borrowed truck was the
refrigerator, and it nearly killed me hoisting it up there.

But getting her out of the place was worth the effort and as she drove
off, with me waving goodbye, it occurs to me, “hey, that was MY


Re: Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by Pat

Posted by Pat on May 09, 2007 at 20:07:45:

Landlording involves managing people more so than property. I’ve always enjoyed messing with the tenants’ heads to keep them off balance.

Some time back I had a tenant (derived from the French word for pest)who fancied herself a spokesperson/organizer for the others. One day while I was collecting rent she started in on me in front of a crowd of other tenants and friends. She complained that, once again, the upstairs renter had overflowed the toilet. This time she was especially angry because all of the bathrooms line up over each other and the overflow occurred while she was sitting on her throne!The water and the saturated suspended cieling tiles came down on her head.

She demanded to know what I was going to do about it. I hemmed and hawed for a minute while scratching my head and told her, in front of her friends, that I’d solve the problem by providing the upstairs tenant with a new plunger and I’d get her an umbrella! The whole crowd roared with laughter and even she couldn;t keep from smiling. As it turned out she became one of my best tenants and stayed with me for a long time.

If this topic continues I’ll relate how I collected on a fire even though I didn’t have insurance.

Re: Let’s Have Fun / Landlord Stories - Posted by RJB(MA)

Posted by RJB(MA) on May 09, 2007 at 18:32:22:

Twenty years ago, or so, I had a moron living on the third floor of a three family house who decided to get a water bed. He started filling it and figured it was going to take a while, so he went out to shopping…leaving the hose running.

When he came back, the mattress was almost spherical it was so overfilled. This bubblebrain thought it was so funny that he actually took pictures of it. After shutting off the water, he went back out to get the pictures developed. What he didn’t know was that the tremendous weight had broken the wood frame, which in turn punctured the mattress. This thing had three times too much water in it.

The poor tenants on the second and first floor were flooded out big time…TV’s, stereos, collapsed ceilings, waterlogged mattresses… the works.

Needless to say, said moron was very quickly gone. I haven’t allowed water beds since. Just another day in the life of a landlord.


Lame but true … - Posted by Redline

Posted by Redline on May 09, 2007 at 18:10:05:

OK here goes …

5 story brick building. We have rules saying NO satellite dishes allowed affixed to the outside of the building. It’s also clearly stated in the lease. So you know, 2 tenants go and have theirs installed (so much for the property owner permission form from DirectTV). Anyway, my manager orders them removed. Eventually our super goes in and removes them when the tenants aren’t home (after proper notice given).

Tenant comes home, furious, calls mgmt company and says we have to reimburse her for cost of 6 months service (they prepaid?), cost for the receiver and the cost of her cable bill (which was in arrears) because now she has to go back to cable but they won’t turn it back on because she owes them money! LOL …


See John Behle’s Story Below - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on May 09, 2007 at 17:43:00:

JB posted a good about using a propane torch to open a frozen gas tank.

Here’s my next offering:

This, thankfuly, is not my experience. It comes from buddy who owns about 50 units in Pittsburg, California (an armpit 40 miles east of San Francisco).

tenant was smoking crack and got a little too high with a fully-engaged butane torch in his lap. when he awoke a minute or so later, he was on fire. he burned up his couch, the carpet, and a lot of his own flesh. regrettably, he did not neuter himself.

it gets better

a couple weeks later, my buddy is served with lawsuit papers. the guy in the next apartment sued for damages to his persnal property (about $1500) because the spinkler system WORKED!!

after a little investigation/interrogation, my buddy learned that the aggrieved plaintiff was the guy who sold the rock to the burn victim.

case dropped quickly.

Re: Oldie but a goodie… - Posted by michaela-CA

Posted by michaela-CA on May 16, 2007 at 24:09:42:

Just curious? Did that make the 2nd one a ‘tenant at will’, if he rented in good faith?


My Favorite Darwin Winners - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on May 10, 2007 at 16:58:54:

a few years back, one of the winners was an East Texas good ol’ boy who was playing “pass the rattlesnake” with his buddy… [ETX is my investing turf, which made it funnier]

and my all-time favorite story was the guy who went ice-fishing with some dynamite and his labrador retriever. he slid a stick of tnt down the ice, and to his HORROR, the d@mned dog retrieved the stick and brought is back.

I felt really bad for the dog…