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Terrible Tenant

Old 12-01-2019, 04:43 PM
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We have a rental property with a tenant who has been there for 3 or 4 years. He was apparently raising dogs there, and in the past year has generated lots of complaints. This is a waterfront condo, and a very nice place. This guy is an attorney, so you'd think would have some clean living habits. After the third complaint I scheduled an inspection, and what I found blew my mind. It looked like the floors had been covered in mud and people were jumping around kicking mud up on the walls the last 3 years. Literally, you can't see the color of paint on the bottom 2' of the walls, and this filth goes as high up as the ceiling in some places. The hardwood floors had some sort of sealer he put on them, then he tried to scrape it back off. I can't even paint the picture of how nasty it all looks. Carpets have piles of dirt in them. Just imagine the nastiest situation possible, then multiply it by 10, and that is what I am dealing with. And the stink.....

We have been batting back and forth since my inspection about how he is going to start repairing things. He's finally thrown in the towel, after a 4th complaint by a neighbor, and he is going to move out. As a landlord where do I stand with this guy. Maryland laws would apply. Is he only on the hook for his security deposit, or can I go after him for more damages. He is apparently a really bad attorney and it might be like trying to get juice out of a prune. What should I do?

At a minimum it will need all new floors, new screens/sliders, new paint, maybe new subfloors, and that is just the start without poking around too much.
Old 12-01-2019, 04:49 PM
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Go after him for damages as long as the lease he signed exempt him from them. If he declines fight fire with fire and get a lawyer worth a shit to handle it.
Old 12-01-2019, 05:06 PM
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Side question : out of curiosity, why do you think a lawyer would take better care of a rental ?
Old 12-01-2019, 05:15 PM
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I had the same problem with a renter. They basically ruined the house. Had to pull all of the carpets, replace all windows and doors, scrape the ceiling and new bathrooms and kitchen. It was disgusting. The guy was a POS without a pot to piss in, so i didn't go after him. Can't get blood from a rock. $50ish thousand later and the house looks new and has the best tenant that I've ever had. Is it worth the hassle to you and do you think you'll actually get any more money from him? If so, go for it.
Old 12-01-2019, 05:15 PM
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Go after him in court, bear in mind my experience says they try hard to moderate the case instead of try the case and award a clear winner.
Old 12-01-2019, 05:22 PM
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Money or not go after them so they can't keep doing it. Get est of repairs, photos, and file in court. When you win, register the lean in court and go after any assists and future earnings.
File with all three credit bureaus, then turn over to debt collector. They will get 50% of what they recover but they have a tendency to go after blood.

Doug
Old 12-01-2019, 05:22 PM
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3 years with no inspections is the root of the issue.

on all of our family rentals we do bi-monthly hvac filter changes. Built right into the contract, and puts someone in there to put an eye on things. Not perfect but keeps ahead of most bs
Old 12-01-2019, 05:27 PM
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Just curious, you say he’s moving out. What are the circumstances? Is he up to date on rent? Has he notified you in writing? Etc....
Old 12-01-2019, 05:30 PM
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Autobahn has got it right, we are in ours monthly, that’s the only way to stay ahead. Put it in the lease agreement and at first sight of problems address them!
Old 12-01-2019, 05:36 PM
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Me thinks you are using mud euphemistically.
Old 12-01-2019, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by YFMF View Post
Go after him in court, bear in mind my experience says they try hard to moderate the case instead of try the case and award a clear winner.
Sheesh I'll take the under and say let it go but get the shit cleaned up asap and move on. You never know what curve balls you might get if you fight it. If you cut ties emotionally and financially you can control your destiny.
Just my .2

Stinky humans

Last edited by stokes_landing; 12-01-2019 at 07:24 PM.
Old 12-01-2019, 06:07 PM
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So, curious question....

You say he's a lawyer. As a lawyer, is he expected to be upheld to a "higher standard"?

What I mean is, are lawyers expected to uphold a higher moral standard in their civilian life?

Could this person lose their bar accreditation for trashing your place?
Old 12-01-2019, 06:10 PM
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Maybe you will get lucky and he will set it on fire on the way out.
Old 12-01-2019, 06:25 PM
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Sue and threaten Bar Association complaint
Old 12-01-2019, 06:33 PM
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Was he breeding Pit Bulls ?
Old 12-01-2019, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bigjimmie View Post
Side question : out of curiosity, why do you think a lawyer would take better care of a rental ?

cause all lawyers are great people! Duh 🙄
Old 12-01-2019, 06:37 PM
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...depends on what the particular Maryland judge you get thinks that, "normal wear and tear", amounts to. If you knew that he had pets in the place and didn't inspect for years, you're screwed. Add to that the attorney might know somebody that has something on the judge, and your case is scrubbed. Finally, getting a judgment against an attorney is throwing good money away because he can fight his case forever and it won't cost him a dime...and he knows all the rules and tricks.

I think I'd rather have fought the POS I had to evict than fight an attorney in court. The judge isn't necessarily fair, and nothing you can do about it.
Old 12-01-2019, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Pourguy1 View Post
Autobahn has got it right, we are in ours monthly, that’s the only way to stay ahead. Put it in the lease agreement and at first sight of problems address them!
Monthly???? As a renter of the last 10 years, I would say FU. Obviously you wouldn't rent to me. We are a family of 4 with twins. Having to schedule and be present for inspections makes me think you aren't renting to the cream of the crop.

I haven't seen my landlord in 4 years. If something breaks, I email him the cost, fix it or get someone to fix it. My father managed 200 apartments at one point. He would have had to have a crew of inspectors to do what you are asking.
Old 12-01-2019, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Pure Luck View Post
I had the same problem with a renter. They basically ruined the house. Had to pull all of the carpets, replace all windows and doors, scrape the ceiling and new bathrooms and kitchen. It was disgusting. The guy was a POS without a pot to piss in, so i didn't go after him. Can't get blood from a rock. $50ish thousand later and the house looks new and has the best tenant that I've ever had. Is it worth the hassle to you and do you think you'll actually get any more money from him? If so, go for it.
Think about your next fishing trip and what you want to do with your time?
Old 12-01-2019, 07:13 PM
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Been in the rental biz a long time , it's very hard to get anyone to change their lifestyle . By the time you figure how to cancel or not renew the lease , the damage has been done . Sometimes ( not all time ) , if they pay on time ,it's easier to just simply let them stay . If you have to paint and redo the floors anyway , screw it , crank the rent a bit to help offset the damages . You can still try to sue later when they move . Chances are they will stay along time because they are too lazy to move . I have one like that . When they leave , it will become a shiny redo up for sale .

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