Sometimes being a landlord sucks!!!!!!! - Posted by Thom

Posted by SusanL.–FL on December 23, 1999 at 08:30:25:

We finally got really ‘burned out’ with the ‘landlording’ and decided it was time for a little R&R…

I almost felt sorry for my buyer (of that duplex). I kind of ‘wonder’ if they had just come into some money. She tried to sound like she knew what she was doing as a new landlord—think that maybe she had just finished a book or two…and that was about it.

Why I think she didn’t really know what she was doing as far as investing goes: On a little $40,000 handyman duplex, she wound up putting down a $13,000 down payment (!!!) PLUS her closing costs!!!
(I didn’t say a word.)

I couldn’t IMAGINE an investor tying up THAT much $money$ on such a small purchase!

(That place I had originally bought with ZERO down!)

Guess that is the difference between someone with a little bit ‘o knowledge under their belt and one who is chompin’ at the bit to ‘get started’ in real estate (and not really knowing the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ yet.

On THAT property ALONE, I could write VOLUMES (on tenants) !! :-)))

Sometimes being a landlord sucks!!! - Posted by Thom

Posted by Thom on December 21, 1999 at 17:19:37:

My choice in real estate investing is long term rentals. Today I received a call from one of my tenants telling me that her tiolet was overflowing. (luckly it was the gound floor) When I arrived the apartment was full of people and the tiolet was full of S__t.

To make a very long story short, I cleaned out the toilet, removed it from the floor and found a half of a beer can and a lighter stuck in it. I also found three extra bodies living in the apartment.

This afternoon I give the renters a 3 day notice to correct the problems or get out. Some Christmas gift…

don’t flush anything that has not been eaten first! - Posted by Mel

Posted by Mel on December 25, 1999 at 19:52:04:

Rented a houseboat once. This statement was in bold type on the contract. Big bucks if you have to pay for the repair. I now put it in all my leases.
Kinda says it all without saying alot!

Best of investing and Happy Holidays!

Most of the time being a landlord sucks!!! - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on December 24, 1999 at 24:37:59:

Ahh! The wonderful days and memories of being a landlord. Like… and … and the time that… or when…???

I guess my memory is really getting bad. At the moment I can’t think of any fond memories - but those tenants sound vaguely familiar.

Oh how I love paper investment. It’s just that those occasional paper cuts can be annoying. :slight_smile:

Re: Sometimes being a landlord sucks!!! - Posted by CarolFL

Posted by CarolFL on December 22, 1999 at 22:00:33:

All of our locks are mastered and the plumber has the key. The tenants have the number. And his assessment of the situation is binding.

We still may show up if there is a septic tank problem, just to “share the pain”, but Dennis doesn’t bring the honey dipper!

We also “drop in” ontenants occasionally, check to see how many people are there, and have leases that cover such antics.

It’s a learning curve!
Merry Christmas!

Re: Sometimes being a landlord sucks!!! - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on December 22, 1999 at 13:14:30:


I hate to tell you this, but get used to this. I have found that lower-income people seem to beat on the places more than regular folks.

In the future, I would try and get someone in there that has a job, that way they are not at home all the time busting your placen up.

If this place is in a rough neighborhood, just get used to it.

Good Luck,


Re: Sometimes being a landlord sucks!!! - Posted by steve

Posted by steve on December 22, 1999 at 12:42:40:

You also might want to keep an eye out for drug activity in/around the place. Half a can and a lighter sound like equipment for the use of illegal drugs. Could be that the user was cooking up a dose in the head, and had to flush it or get caught.

Change your perspective… - Posted by Mark (SDCA)

Posted by Mark (SDCA) on December 22, 1999 at 10:13:42:

When you are a rehabber, doesn’t it suck when your a) doesn’t show up b) screws up the job c) walks off the job?

If you are a sandwich leaser doesn’t it suck when all your T/B calls are from people who couldn’t qualify to rent a garage?

Here is my point. We all have things in REI, life etc that we don’t like/want to do. By doing them, we are making ourselves better and enriching ourselves. Wouldn’t you rather be you and fixing the toilet thatn being your tenant??

Sure… maybe you hate dealing with tenants and toilets. Isn’t it fun when the rent checks roll in every month? Most people hate the 1st of the month. Their rent is due. Car payment is due. Mortgage payment is due. I LOVE the 1st of the month because every 1st of the month, I am richer than the one before. And if I really start to feel down, I go into my little Excel spreadsheet and pull up my net worth and see how my tenants are making me financially free each and every month. It’s a lot of fun and makes dealing with problem tenants A LOT easier.

Cheers and Happy Holidays,


Let me just say ? I F-E-E-L your pain! :slight_smile: - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on December 22, 1999 at 08:52:38:

I know what a headache ?landlording? can be at times. I got to the point where I couldn?t devote as much time to staying ?on top of things? as I should have. Once the ?inmates? felt they were in control, it was all over but the shouting! :slight_smile: One of the last incidents we faced was having one of our duplex tenant switch refrigerators with one that didn?t work then vacated the property leaving ROTTING meat scattered hither and yon
That was kind of the final straw (and we were burned out). From that point on we decided to sell the properties and just hold the Notes for the buyers. It was a win-win situation all around----happy new homeowners (who now took care of all the repairs) and happy former landlords!

I receive a monthly newsletter from our local real estate club. In it they offer a brochure full of containing 21 effective forms. They will help to to increase your cash flow and decrease your headaches. One of the forms is titled ?Maintenance Agreement? (puts the expense of maintenance in the lap of the tenant and encourages a tenant to be more responsible). The complete packet sells for $29.95 (and in my opinion, if one little tidbit of information helps a landlord out, then it was well worth the price).

I believe it can be found under the WealthBuilder$ web site:

Hope it helps.

P.S. I had one low-income tenant ( father & his 3 young boys) who were SO dirty and SOooo destructive BUT they paid their $455 promptly every month. I figured the lesser of two evils (at that point) was letting them stay (as opposed to having to do a TOTAL remodeling job on the duplex if I booted them out. So the third year I sent them a note saying that I appreciated the fact that they paid on time and therefore, wouldn?t raise the rent that year. (It was a little added incentive to keep them in place.) And it worked!

They went with the unit when I sold it! Cianara?

Re: Sometimes being a landlord sucks!!! - Posted by John Butler(Stl)

Posted by John Butler(Stl) on December 22, 1999 at 24:57:21:

If I were you, I would make sure that you have enough cashflow that you can hire some of the really icky jobs done. If you make sure you buy the property right, then you can afford to pay someone else to deal with the crappola!? You gotta look at your long term goals and determine if cleaning toilets is the best use of your time or finding other properties. Not trying to be critical, but I think you will be much satisfied with being a landlord when you start hiring it done.

My 2 cents,


Re: A Landlord gotta do what a Landlord gotta do! - Posted by Millie I.

Posted by Millie I. on December 21, 1999 at 23:59:59:

I am glad you are standing firm, otherwise they will walk all over you.

Try to have a Merry Christmas,
Millie I.

Re: One question. - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on December 21, 1999 at 21:36:25:


Are these tenants low income?

Re: Sometimes being a landlord sucks!!! - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on December 21, 1999 at 21:21:55:

Make sure your rental agreement forbids this stuff. I have specific clauses covering this garbage in mine.

The tenant pays the first $30 of repairs on my rentals. This usually slows down the calls. On top of that, any plumbing problems that are caused by the tenant are paid in full by the tenant (i.e. they get deducted from the deposit and then the tenant gets a bill from me.)

As far as other occupants, the rental agreement says that any non-approved occupants will cost $100 per month per occupant.

Of course, you have to go over this in detail before they sign the lease, and they need to know you won’t put up with any of their BS.

Never half a beer, but… - Posted by David

Posted by David on December 21, 1999 at 18:58:52:

had a 3 bedroom house that only had one bath and was rented to a family of 4. One day mama bear calls and complains the toilet won’t flush and how I need to do something immediately. I asked if she had flushed anythoing that shouldn’t have been, Oh no we wouldn’t do that. You need to fix this defective situation that is your fauly, she implied. Called plumber who released the clug, a toothbrush, probably flushed by one of the kids. Here’s your toothbrush back madam.
Another time with a multiunit a tenant flush sanitary napkin(s) putting the entire building out of commission, so to speak.

Re: Preventive Maintenance reduces headaches - Posted by Millie I.

Posted by Millie I. on December 23, 1999 at 24:52:48:

There are times that I like to sell all my rentals and move on to Notes, but when I look at the 97% receipts a year, and the four or five calls per quarter I get from all my multi’s and SFR in 4 towns, I am not doing badly at all.

The key is preventive maintenance. I do scheduled pre-season check on all my multi-units to minimize unexpected problems. I get calls, but few and far apart. I may get one or two emergencies a year. All my SFR have been renovated before the tenant moves in. SFR tenants have to pay the first $50 of every maintenance call. I always tell them to take care of the house, because I may sell it to them one day. They almost never call me, and the rents keep coming in.

I never fix toilets, don’t care to, that is the tenant’s responsibility (in the lease), not mine. If they clogged it, they fix it or pay to have it fix if they want to use the toilet again. If the toilet gets old and cranky, I will have a professional replace it. So I don’t understand why people assumes that all landlords fix toilets.

Yes, I am a professional landlord, I have my ups and downs like everybody else, but like Mark, I am grateful I have what I got, it allows me to invest full time without needing a job. I have a lot of time to flip houses on the side, add to my inventory, and increase my income and net worth.

So even though it is not smooth sailing all the time, I have a lot to be grateful for.

Merry Christmas to you Mark, and everyone else
Happy Investing,
Millie I.

Re: Change your perspective… - Posted by Skip (CA)

Posted by Skip (CA) on December 22, 1999 at 12:29:28:

With the attitude you’ve shown above I have no doubt that you’d be a success in any endeavor. Success to you!
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all.

Re: Change your perspective… - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on December 22, 1999 at 11:37:17:

I agree. Once the property is rented it isn’t too bad spending 5 or so hours a month to net a few hundred dollars in profit. Lets see $400/5 hours a month = $80 an hour. Not a bad wage. But I keep trying to remember when was the last time I spent 5 whole hours a month dealing with a rental property. I think the only time that happens is during a vacancy.

Re: Sometimes being a landlord sucks!!! - Posted by thom

Posted by thom on December 22, 1999 at 08:34:53:

John, any other time of the year I would have hired it done. However, my plumber is on vacation and this is the slowest time of the year for me. So rather then find a new plumber, you know the rest. Anyhow, sometimes it’s good to make unexpected visits. Thom

Agree Rob Plus… - Posted by Hugh James

Posted by Hugh James on December 22, 1999 at 11:34:36:

I try very hard to factor damage and eviction costs into everyone’s rent. I use previous years figures as opposed to the standard 5% vacancy figure. Also, two other things. 1) Since running water doesn’t stop up toilets, our first “beer can in the john” visit is 100% at the tenant’s expense–pay or go. 2) We make some excuse (usually legit) to visit every unit at least every 5 or 6 weeks, usually for some minor job. My rental agreement (no lease-M2M rental agreement) is straight up–you move ANYONE into that apartment without my permission and you either move or get evicted. Period. No second chance. Far and away the most expensive problems I’ve experienced have come from tenants subletting to others without my knowledge or permission, and I’m very up front with them about this policy. That was two years ago, and things have improved.

Mine too… - Posted by thom

Posted by thom on December 22, 1999 at 08:48:24:

I have the first $50 in my agreement, but $50 does not buy a plumber around here. The tenants are all named. If anyone else is living there they are in violation and can be evicted. If that wasn’t the case they would have a dozen people in a 2br.