This is part of an ongoing series about how I became the owner of a rental property in Florida while living in Utah, and all the adventures I have had along the way since closing in early 2009. If you’re just joining me now, you can check out the first installments here:
- Life As A Landlord – The Beginning
- Life As A Landlord – The Approval Process
- Life As A Landlord – Down Payment And Closing
- Life As A Landlord – Loose Ends
- Life As A Landlord – Classic Problems
- Life As A Landlord – Where is the rent!?
- Life As A Landlord – Eviction
This story started two years ago and with this installment we are now caught up to the present. We have been without a rent check since December 2010 as we tried to work things out with the tenant and then had to go through the unbelievably long eviction process. Now the tenants are gone and I’d really just like to get this baby back on the market and get a tenant in there.
According to the property management company, there have been several inquiries on the place and the rental market is really picking up as Spring gets into full swing. That’s great news! But we first have to deal with the cleanup of the place to get it rent-ready again.
When the tenants moved out, I let out a sigh of relief. I didn’t realize that people actually trash places, I mean the tenants lived there rent free for months as they worked the system, what possible reason would they have for causing physical damage to the house and more financial damage to me?
Nevertheless, soon after the official eviction I got an email detailing all the damage as well as pictures of the place. I had never actually seen the inside of the house, so that was interesting. It has nice tile floors and good lighting – it really isn’t a bad little house. But overshadowing the little good that I found in the pictures was the damage.
Before even looking at the pictures, I was shocked. In the damage report, here is what I found:
- The chain link fence needs repair as it looks someone drove a car through part of it.
- There are half a dozen mattresses in the back yard that will need to be hauled away.
- The back yard is also full of other misc furniture items including a full entertainment center and a couch.
- The roof had some damage from general wear.
- The landscaping needs work as it has been obviously neglected, specifically there are tree branches too close to the roof.
Inside the house, the damage is far worse…
- All the doors were torn off their hinges and would need to be repaired and rehung.
- All the blinds were torn down and would need to be replaced.
- Several of the light globes were missing or broken.
- The carpet badly needs a cleaning and will possible need to be replaced. (replacement not included in the estimate)
- The utility room was full of black mold that would need to be thoroughly cleaned – the room would need to be checked for water damage.
Aside from that damage, the house was full of trash. There were more mattresses, a smashed big screen TV, two or three trashed couches and other random stuff including what looked like a rifle of some sort. The walls were all a very dark gray from general neglect as was just about everything in the house.
Out of all the things about the house that I found there was one major thing that I just couldn’t understand and that is the mold. It’s obviously been there for a long time and what I couldn’t understand is why the tenants never let me or the management company know. It’s my responsibility to get things like that fixed. I mean, how can someone live like that?
So this is where we are now. I’ve got a house with lots of crap in it but no tenant. The total estimate of damage to the house is $2,700 and that’s just an estimate. If there does appear to be water damage, I’ll have to get that repaired as well.
What do you think, has this been worth it?
Image by Seattle Municipal Archives br>