Selecting a GOOD tenant is half the battle in being a landlord. If you select a PITA * Pain In The A-- * tenant, life for the remainder of the tenancy or lease can be very emotional and financially devistating.
The cost of paying a professional to select and screen rental applicants is MUCH cheaper than an attorney defending you in court
A couple walked into my office today. They are landlords. They rented their condo in Daytona to a tenant.
They came from the court. It was a pre-trial.
When the tenant sent them a letter in April that there were hazardous conditions and because of that he was terminating the lease, the lady was in the Hospital.
She somehow found us and asked to contact the tenant and take care of the hazardous conditions. We tried to contact the tenant several times, but he never responded. The hazardous condition was a can of touch-up paint in the closet.
We suggested that we would remove the can, but, as I said, the tenant did not return the calls and never emailed back. This was the end of our involvement, and the rest of the story I learned today from the couple.
The tenant demanded the deposit, they did not return the deposit because all this stuff about hazards was BS. The attorney for the tenant filed a lawsuit. It is a well known and very aggressive and expensive attorney.
Landlords do not have an attorney, they just could not afford one. The lady was involved in terrible car accident, and she was lucky to survive. There is a lot of metal plates in her body now, holding her in one piece.
So, not really a very happy story.
They are lost in what is happening. She keeps telling her story, and gets emotional and cries all the time. I feel sorry for them, but the problem is that it has nothing to do with her tenant situation.
The tenant took advantage of them, there is no question about it. He stole half of their expensive European furniture, caused damage to the property, and even such crazy stuff as urinating on the carpet. Yep, it is quite ugly…
But by law they had 15 days to claim damages. It is Florida Statutes 83.49. Deposit Money. And if they have not claimed damages, they forfeited that and they have to return the deposit.
Return the deposit to a guy who has stolen from them? Who damaged the property?
They came to vent and they were going through those details what the tenant did to them, and I was looking at them and thinking, that this did not happen today, it happened when they signed the lease. When they decided that they are smart to do it on their own with a guy who found them on Craig’s list.
I asked them why they did not call an agent when they wanted to rent, any agent, even us… And I heard that old story that they were too busy, blah, blah, blah…
I heard this before. What happened to them is not something out of the blue. Absolutely not. They caused it when they signed this lease.
It is all so convoluted now. They lost money, and without money they can’t rent this condo, and they can’t afford empty condo, while they have to pay maintenance fee and taxes… But you can’t help them. At least until they understand that this was not an accident. At least until they understand that renting requires more than putting the property on Craig’s list and the rest is guaranteed.
They vented how bad was their tenant. And how he failed them They yet to understand how they failed as landlords.
Right now they are not ready for me…
P.S. How often the problem is that people do not understand that DIY bears a high risk of losing money. If you are in dire situation, and can’t afford losing money – hire a professional.
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM * GIBSON MANAGEMENT GROUP, Ltd.
"...to be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous