This is where it all began. Tenant #1. We had no buildings, no experience and a townhouse that we didn't want to live in.
Stuck with an undesired house, we became landlords.
As soon as we took possession, we started pimping out its rental. A couple came in, and they seemed nice. He was a security guard, and she was a waitress, and at $1500/month, we knew enough to know they couldn't afford the place. However, neither could we to be honest, and we didn't have a better option.
And we signed the dotted line.
When I met them, he was a talker. I have come to learn that there are two types of talkers-there are the talkers that just don't know how to shut the fuck up. I can deal with them. There are also the talkers that continually try to 'sell' you. He fit in the latter. He was going on about being a contributing member of his church, wore a cross around his neck, and eventually nailed one to his back as well. He always left the places he lived in better than when he found them. He was a saint with a check book.
I'd like to remind you that we owned this one. It was us on the line.
So off we go. A few months go by, and things seem to be working out well. I'm not paying the mortgage here, so I'm happy. Then they call that there is a problem with the washer. I go to check it out and I'm a little shocked. The dog had been trying to scratch its way out of the garage, so the door jamb is toast. The drywall by the stairs is gouged and damaged. Oh, and before they moved in, I put in some leftover teak flooring I had in the den. It was all scratched. Nice. Even though I didn't buy it, it was $7/sq.ft.
So that was one thing. But the call in February that he had lost his job and they needed to move was quite another. Oh, ps, my daughter had locked herself in the bedroom and I had to smash the door in to get to her was also nice.
In that conversation, we had made arrangements to collect cash from them instead of cashing the check on the first. We go to meet up with him, and the toe was completely different. He steps out in that Christian Audliger? look at me I'm gangsta clothing with attitude. We made further arrangements to do the walk-through on their move out.
In the meantime, we're kinda freaking on the whole situation. It just has this bad vibe. We did manage to re-rent the place, with no downtime.
So we get there on their move out day. Now, embarrassingly enough, I needed to use the bathroom, and we were about 45 minutes early. They weren't there. I broke the rules and decided to use the bathroom that we owned.
The house was a mess. I did feel partially relieved though. Then I realized that the house was a mess, and my relief was short lived. Dog hair was everywhere...floors were a mess, and in a delightful 'fuck you' someone had left a mess in the toilet. Dino and I quickly decided that this was not going to fly. And I got nominated to get that ball rolling.
We were standing in the kitchen, awkwardly, and there was this pause before I said that the place was a mess. They were supposed to replace the door, and that wasn't done. They got angry, and as we had new tenants sitting in their truck in the back drive, I went to quickly make arrangements for cleaners. It was then that he decided to start yelling and swearing at Dino! Right in front of his daughter which was nice.
Oh! I get how the door broke now. Your wife locked herself in there to get away from your rage. Right. I'm there now.
They leave and buy a disposable camera and take their pictures. Cool. We are officially going to arbitration.
Our cleaners, $350 dollars later make the place look spotless. Eastern Europeans man, can't beat 'em.
Thankfully our new tenants were awesome. Gave the situation, and that I was having professional cleaners do their thing, and they took it just awesomely. In fact, we're friends with them on facebook. They left the place spotless when they left.
Fast Forward to Arbitration
First time for Dino. She puts together a package that is supreme court level i quality. Photos and written statements-the whole thing.
We made some mistakes. We didn't send them what was left of the sec.deposit within time. However, originally, we were going to let them go if they paid for the damages and cleaning. We had to reduce the rent by $100 to re-rent it.
They sued us for everything-double the sec.deposit back. We were faced I think possibly paying $1200 to these losers.
So we went after them for everything.
Her attitude on the phone was horrible. For those that haven't been through it, usually the 'judge' asks if they can facilitate an agreement. Dino offered for them to pay the cleaning, pay for the door, drop my labor to install and paint the door and walk away.
It was refused. The judge asks her, 'are you sure?" Remember, the judge has already seen the evidence.
OK-did you steam clean the carpets? "No." When you have a pet, you are responsible to clean them.
"Did you damage the door?" "yes."
Did you sign a one year lease? "yes"
Her photos-the ones SHE took to prove the place was clean, had clumps of black dog fur. Dino didn't refer to the photos we took. She used the other parties evidence. You are supposed to make 3 copies of the evidence package, so everyone can refer to the same photos and letters. She mis-labeled some of them, and conveniently forgot to send some to us.
Ultimately, we had to pay them $120 because of the time issue on sending back the sec.deposit and we didn't know that we had to file to keep the deposit if they didn't agree.
We took that as a win, as these guys were fucking flat ass broke and hoping for a pay day from us to pay bills.
We then searched him out on google, and found a bunch of notices regarding an auction of his car for unpaid storage/mechanic fees and he was just screwed.
So for $120, we learned A LOT about dealing with white trash and the RTA.