Rental Property Update December 2008

By | January 14, 2009

Rental Property - Master Bedroom Ceiling FanThis post is about my rental property in Philadelphia. In this post, I talk about my landlord experience – the good, the bad, and the ugly. All my posts that are related to the rental property can be found in the Rental Property section, including the bad tenant saga series).

There were a lot of things that happened in December with the rental property. During the beginning of the month, I received a notice from the water company that the water bill was past due. Since the water bill is in my name and is tied to the property, I will ultimately have to pay for the dues.

My tenants reported yet another issue in the house and demanded repairs (details below). My real estate agent suggested that I fix the damages as soon as possible and I did just that.

They had owed me 6 months of rent payment plus other fees. I followed up with the eviction process and showed up in court to receive a ruling against them. However, towards the end of the month, they filed a petition against me and asked for another court appearance.

Below is a detailed account of some of the events that occurred.

Fri, 12/05/2008:

I received a letter from the Philadelphia Water Revenue. The letter is a notice for water shut off. The water bills were 3 months overdue and the tenant failed to pay the bill.

Sat, 12/06/2008:

My tenant called me during the evening around 7 pm and he reported an issue with the sewage pipe. He said that a pipe in the basement broke and the basement was flooded with water, feces, and urine. He said that the house was not in good living conditions and he threatened to called License and Inspections (L&I) if I do not fix the pipes on that night.
I called my real estate agent and he said that it would not be good to have L&I involved. He advised that I call a plumbing company and fix the pipe problem soon. He recommended a company by the name of Roto Rooter. I called Roto Rooter and they sent someone to the house around 11 pm. Since then I had not heard from my tenant.
I called my real estate agent and he said that it would be best to avoid having L&I involved. He advised that I call a plumbing company and fix the pipe problem soon. He recommended a company by the name of Roto Rooter. I called the company and they sent someone to the house around 11 pm.
I had given my credit card info to Roto-Rooter because my tenant said that he does not have a credit card, as a result of a current divorce with his ex-wife.

Sun, 12/07/2008:

I called Roto Rooter during the morning to check the status of the repair. I was surprised that there were no charges. I had no heard back from my tenant so I left the issue alone.

Fri, 12/12/2008:

I traveled to Philadelphia and attended the court hearing and received a ruling in my favor by the judge

Fri, 12/30/2008:

The tenant filed a petition against me. He asked the judge to have a court hearing and hear his story. We had to wait for the court date.

The attorney office and I had been exchanging phone calls during the month. Sometimes they were not very understanding of the situation and were slow to respond to my calls. It was very frustrating to go through the trouble with the tenant and not get the necessary help from the attorney. As of the end of December, we had to wait for another court hearing date and the attorney said that they would notify me once they have the date of the court hearing.

The saga continues in the next monthly update, Rental Property Update January 2009.

12 thoughts on “Rental Property Update December 2008

  1. Dreamybee

    Wow, it’s been a while since I stopped by-you’re site looks great! Sorry to hear that you are still dealing with your renter. What a nightmare. I can’t believe he had the gall to not show up for your court date and then request a court hearing, not to mention the call about the broken pipe when he hasn’t paid rent in 6 months. A$$hat.

    Reply
  2. pfincome

    Sorry to hear about your renter. This is good information for me to hear and one of the reasons why I worry about purchasing a rental property.

    Reply
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  4. Aaron

    That is unfortunate to hear. However, on the bright side, this is good information for readers to learn about – the stories of being a landord. Keep up the posts about the real estate – it is really interesting to learn about.

    Reply
  5. Smarty Guy

    Aaron, this whole tenant drama makes me feel like I am on a reality-TV show. People are looking forward to the next episode and my friends gossip about my battles with the tenant.

    Reply
  6. Donnie

    I’ve often thought about buying a property and renting it out, but stories like yours really make me think twice about it – maybe I’m better off putting my money in a real estate stock 🙂

    I work with defaulted student loans at work and I talk to people like your tenant all day long. They can be the some of most “scummiest” people you’ll ever meet. Here’s an interesting story for you: One lady refused to make voluntary payment arrangements, and choose to fight the wage garnishment we were going to start. The hearing is done via a conference call between us, the judge, and them. They are notified of the date and that they need to be available from 8am until noon, because the judge will only call once. We called this lady at about 9am. She picks up the phone and shouts “it’s a little early isn’t it?” and hung up. She calls us back around noon wondering when we were going to call for the hearing. I told her how we called and this is what you said to the judge. I wish I could have seen the expression on her face as she realized what she did. And then she had the audacity to ask if she can have another hearing. (Nope!)

    Keep us updated, and good luck.

    Reply
  7. Smarty Guy

    Hey Donnie,

    When I bought my property, I never expected to deal with people like my current tenant. Some landlords get lucky and may never have to deal with people like this.

    Interesting story about the lady who hung up on the judge. She got what she deserved. In my case, the tenant did not show up in the first court hearing. The judge ruled in my favor. Then he had the audacity to file a petition, gave a medical excuse, and ask to speak in front of the judge. Now, the eviction process is stopped and we have to go back to court again. I’ll post my updates soon.

    Reply
  8. Pingback: Rental Property Update - November 2008 | Growing Money

  9. Rachel

    Lately I have the same issue with my tenants – my realtor got the lawyer and got everything done for me. However, what about the money? Does the court follow up on that – or they simply get the tenant and that it. How can we retrieve the loss in rent, water bill, and legal fees and damages done to the our house???

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Rental Property Update – November 2008 | Growing Money

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  12. Sean Post author

    Rachel, speak with your lawyer and see if they can pass a judgment on your tenants. The judgment will become a debt to them and they would have to pay back the money to you before making any huge financial purchases in the future.

    Reply

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