Slumlord Hell

24 July 2011 | Rent House

Well, the beginning of June our local renter let us know he would be moving out at the end of the month.  I was quite sad about it, actually.  He only lived there a year and a half, but he was an awesome renter.  Never late with the payment, didn’t trash the place, always polite when he would call with a question or problem, and appreciative when we would fix things as quickly as possible.  Blaine and I don’t ask for a lot from our renters …. mainly, pay the rent, preferably on time …. don’t burn the place down or trash it beyond repair ….. and, finally, don’t move out, leaving so the place so freaking infested with cockroaches that the exterminator has to tell you when he comes to bomb the place for the fifth time in one month that no, no, that’s not dirt on the walls and floor and ceilings, it’s actually cockroach shit.  So much cockroach shit you can SEE IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES.

Wait.  Did I not tell you guys about that?  About how when our first renter moved out, Blaine forbid me from going into the house until we got it dis-infested, because he said, and I quote …. “Kristie, if you go over there and open the front door, you will have a heart attack.  And you will fall down dead on the floor.  And the millions of roaches in that house will pick up your body and carry you away ……”

So, yeah. *THAT* wasn’t a pleasant experience, getting that place all cleaned up again.  Because you can about imagine what condition the rest of the house was in.  I vaguely remember that I did NOT blog about it, because she had kids that went to school with my kids, and I have local friends who read this blog (or at least I used to ……) and I didn’t want anyone to put two and two together.  Now, she’s moved away, her kids are gone too, and her disgusting, filthy, nasty living habits, and the subsequent SUCK she left us with, is fair game for sharing.

Needless to say, having a renter who paid on time (did I mention she was six months behind in her rent when she moved out as well?) and took care of the property was like having Christmas every month.  Blaine and I were thrilled.  We were, understandably, sad to find out he got a job opportunity in another town and that we’d have to find new renters all over again.  These new renters move in Aug 1st, and we’re crossing our fingers that they are as wonderful as he was.  Or at the very least, that they fall more on the end of the spectrum he did, than our first Renter-From-Hell did.

But of course, even the best of renters actually LIVE in the house, so there is work to be done in between.  We decided to bite the bullet and have the property re-sided, since it was time.  Beyond time, if you looked closely at all.  And we called an electrician to have an outlet placed on the front of the house.  There were no electrical outlets outside …. at all.  Doesn’t that seem odd?  I’ve been over there this month to trim the hedges and bushes, and had to plug the electric trimmer into a plug in the living room and drag the cord outside.  Not exactly classy, but it got the job done.  But it seemed much more convenient to have an outside plug, so we paid to put one in.

Then, after the siding was complete, those guys told us an bunch of wires were loose on the back of the house, coming from the utility room.  So, we called the electrician again.  And paid his bill …. again ….

Then we had to get the front door replaced, which Blaine probably could have done himself, except the frame and casing had to be replaced, and the thresh-hold had broken, so the entire thing had to be rebuilt …..

And the renter had used his own stove, and then took his stove with him, so we had to buy one and have it delivered …..

And the carpet in the master bedroom was disgusting, so we had new carpet put in ……

And when Blaine went to patch up the nail holes, we realized that to make things look decent, we really should throw up another coat of paint …. on every room in the house ….. so that’s what I’ll be doing this week ….

And an interior arched door in the living room is buckling near the top, so I guess we’ll need to call someone to have that shored up, but I don’t even know who you call for that sort of thing ……

Remind me, again, why I thought being a landlord would be fun???  And a great investment?  Because so far, I think we’ve spent every dime of profit we’ve made this year …..and then some.  But you know what?  As long as its not being spent cleaning up cockroach excrement, I’m not complaining.

5 Responses to Slumlord Hell

  • 1 Rita B Says:

    At least you are making a profit. DH’s job forced us to move 3 years ago and the market forced us to rent our house out vs selling. 3 years later we are still making 1/3 of the mortgage payment, the tenants pay the other 2/3 and we cover the HOA and anything that goes wrong. I *wish* I could just break even!

  • 2 M Says:

    Oh I sympathize…we spent a YEAR of driving 500 miles every weekend…EVERY holiday too… fixing up my mom’s house to rent….BECAUSE it was trashed. I hope along with you that the renters stay and pay :)

  • 3 Andrea P. Says:

    Oh my goodness Kristie! I’m still stuck back at the part about the cockroach shit on the walls. Holy hell. I would have died. My hubby and I have thought about rental properties – owning them – and have decided they are a lot of work. You seem to be well aware of this! Good luck finding great, new renters.

  • 4 Christina Says:

    Because without landlords and places to rent some of us would not have a home, I moved 5 months ago out of a townhouse into a real house rental, the put alot into redoing floors (the kitchen is still in need of stuff but they ran out of time) we have put alot of time and our own money into fixing up stuff because it is our home not a place we live, imagine our surprise to find out we were the only tenant in 12 years to do as much as we have done (the last renters ugh I know of them trashed the place and there place before that and before that) we lucked out with the place we are now I rented it sight unseen (inside) because of the location I had seen the outside 2 years ago when it was previoulsy up for rent (back then there was no way i was moving all the kids including a few month old twins)

  • 5 marie Says:

    I think I may be missing the right place to find you since there have been no new posts that I have seen resently.
    Miss you and your updates of you wonderful family. Please come back, tell me where to find the new posts.

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