This 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).
Dealing with bad tenants can cause headaches, and that is an understatement in my case. Below is an account of the struggle I have been going through.
On Wednesday night, October 29, my tenant, Bill called me. I asked him to either pay up all the money he owed me or leave the house immediately (and he would still have to pay the amount he owed to me). He said that he had a divorce court case that would take place on the following Wednesday, November 5th, and by the end of the next Wednesday he would have a clear picture of what he will do. If he decided to stay, he said that he would pay me all the money he owed me and he would like to renew the lease for another year. Otherwise, if he decided to leave, he would pay me all the money he owed me and leave on a good note.
I was highly skeptical about this story. I had heard many stories from him and he had lost all credibility. I did not want to expose his stories. Instead, I played along and told him to give me a final answer on Wednesday.
He also told me that he had some money for me, a check for $400. He said that he would put it in the mail the very next day and I should receive it soon. Again, another one of his games. I have not received that check for more than a week (still not yet as of this writing date).
On Friday, October 31st at 9:00 pm, I received a call from my tenant. He reported that some water pipes in the bathroom were leaking and the house was flooded. I was hesitant to do any repair work. I knew the leaked water pipes would damage the property, and I had to fix it no matter what, but I had hope this would force my tenant out of the house. I told him that I would need to speak to my real estate agent.
On Saturday, both Bill and his wife called me. They said that the sewage pipes were backed up and all the sewage waste and liquids were flooding the second floor and leaking down to the first floor and basement. There were poop all over the place.
On Sunday, I called my real estate agent, Eden and told him the whole story. Eden said that he would take a look at the house and if it was really bad, I should fix it. I told him that I wanted the tenant to leave. I thought maybe this flood would force him out of the house. Eden insisted that I should fix the water pipes because the water floods would damage my floors, carpet, wood and ceilings.
Eden went to the house on the following Monday and told me that the sewage pipe had clogged up and all the waste in the pipes had backed up and the fluids were flooding the second floor, down to the living room.
Eden had to hire an emergency plumber to fix the sewage pipes. I was still response for the bill. Bill paid the plumber with his credit card, and would deduct the payment off the rent that he owed me.
I was tired of the stories and tired of dealing with my tenant. I did not want to speak to them any more. I would focus on removing them from my property.
On Monday, November 10, I mailed all the information to an attorney who would file an eviction application on my tenants.
On Friday, November 21, I received a letter for court hearing at 8:45 AM on Dec 12, 2008.
On Monday, November 24, the attorney office returned my call from last Friday.
On Tuesday, November 25, I spoke to the attorney office again. They told me that I would need to have someone to represent me in court. I asked my real estate agent and offered him $50 for the time. He would be able to make it since he does not have work during the morning.
On Friday, November 28, I mailed my real estate agent a copy of the court hearing notice and a copy of the latest water bill.
On Saturday, November 22, I received a water bill from the Water Company. The bill was 2 months overdue, and the total outstanding balance is now $148.32. My tenant was responsible for the water bill but he did not pay it. I thought I would leave the water bill alone, and let the water company shut off the water, but I was concerned the lack of payments may show up on my credit report.
This month has been hectic. I still have not received that check he promised on October 29. I can no longer expect any checks from him. We will wait for the results of the court hearing on Friday, December 12th.
10/29/2008 – Spoke to tenant, tenant refused to leave
10/31/2008 – Tenant reported broken pipes
11/02/2008 – Report broken pipes to real estate agent
11/03/2008 – Real estate agent, Eden visited my rental property
Hired a plumber and fixed broken pipes
11/10/2008 – Sent mail to an attorney and file eviction
11/21/2008 – Received mail notice of the court hearing
11/24/2008 – Spoke to the attorney
11/25/2008 – Hired real estate agent, Eden to show up in court to represent me
*The names are changed to protect the individual’s identity.
The saga continues in the next monthly update, Rental Property Update December 2008.