This story is infinitely tamer than my Drug Dealer Tenants post. But bad tenants are bad tenants. So here’s another landlady horror story for you.
This story happened shortly after my daughter was born. We were cycling through tenants like crazy because nobody seemed to want to live in a basement and listen to a baby scream all hours of the night. Gee, I wonder why?
We managed to secure two First Nations girls as month-to-month tenants. They were students at a local college. They were very friendly, and we were too exhausted from tenant hunting to check out their references. We were just glad that someone wanted to rent our place!
At the end of the first month, they told us they had problems with their payroll, and wouldn’t have the rent until the middle of the next month. We agreed to let it slide. But of course, by the time the following month rolled around, they still didn’t have it. So we had to serve them an eviction notice.
Because the local tenancy laws protect tenants, we couldn’t evict them without letting them live there for free during the last month. So they squeezed two months’ of free rent off of us. And get this: they couldn’t find a new place to store all their things. So after they vacated the basement suite, they shoved all their crap into her garage. And kept it there for three weeks.
Also, they didn’t clean up the suite after they left. I.e. More work for me.
After three weeks, they snuck back into our garage, without notice, and cleared away all their valuables. But guess what they didn’t take? That’s right, all their crap! We were saddled with broken tables, entertainment centres split in half, a disgusting old sofa, soiled and stained box-springs and mattresses, old clothes, chairs, party hats and other junk. They didn’t answer their phone, but even if they did, they clearly didn’t want to come back and take responsibility for their garbage.
I had to spend the next year posting ads on Craigslist, hoping people would want their things. Junk Removal companies said it’d cost around $400-$500 to throw everything away. I wasn’t going to pay that!
Eventually, people took the chairs and even two of the mattresses. But we were still saddled with an unbelievable amount of garbage. Luckily, we moved houses a few months later and the new owners didn’t mind helping us toss the rest out. But you should’ve seen our place around garbage day every other week. The trash and recycling bins were always full because we had so much shit to throw away!
Lesson Learned: Always check prospective tenants’ references, and ask for at least three. Saves yourself from trouble and headaches later.
That concludes my second and final tenant horror story. Got any of your own? I’d love to hear them. Don’t forget to like, comment and share.