Bad tenants are inevitable. No matter how well I vet applicants sometimes a tenant’s bad behavior can’t be foreseen. I’ve had two sets of tenants who, in hindsight, I regretting not evicting early in their tenancy. And I’ve had another tenant who threatened and harassed me at my home office. Mostly I’ve had many, many, many excellent and respectful tenants, so the bad ones stand out all the more.

I’ve had many clueless tenants who have a feeling of renter’s entitlement and who believe that the owner of the property should attend to them like a concierge.

Recently two 30-year-old female tenants who did not own any tools would email me to do things for them like unscrew a stuck bolt so they could change out a light bulb. Not only were they lame enough to not have a few simple tools, but they were also shameless enough to draw attention to the fact that they were woefully ill-prepared.

Now my lease requires that tenant have both kinds of screwdriver, a wrench, a toilet plunger and, if there’s carpet, a vacuum.

One downright bad and disruptive tenant I’ve had did the following: repeatedly did not pay the water bill and lied about why; painted several rooms in the house in colors ranging from blood red, to dark teal to very dark purple without permission; neglected to turn in the required move-in condition report sheet–which is an essential item to have in avoiding he said/she said drama about damage charges at move out; lied many, many, many times about all sorts of things including saying she was out of town attending to issues related to her family  so that she could justify numerous requests to reschedule a move out walk through; left the place filthy such that a cleaner spent 27 hours cleaning; left paint splatters all over a nice slate tile floor; left a pile of items and trash in the garage.

The worst thing this tenant did, however, was verbally accost, intimidate and harass me. She cornered me in a bedroom, screaming into my face and otherwise act unhinged and threatening during the move-out walk through. These kinds of incidents take a hard toll, but in the end, that’s my job: to face the irrationality with a problem-solving mindset.

Another time I replaced a large hot water heater in a 4-plex on  a Monday. The water heater turned out to be a lemon and required 3 return trips by the plumber, a reputable company. I called the plumber the mornings of Tues., Wed. and Thurs. They went to the property each time. I informed all tenants on a daily basis of the situation. A tenant in the building sent an email today threatening to post a bad online review, as if threats would some how cause the process to go any faster. Her dad subsequently called me 8 times and texted me twice in the span of two hours. He was not a party to he lease and I told him not to contact me after he called yelling the second time. The police officer who contacted him reported that this fellow was a “very unpleasant” person. The tenant’s mom then sent a multi-paragraph threatening email. Meanwhile the tenant’s roommate called to apologize for the errant tenant and to disavow her disgruntled roommate.

By Published On: July 21st, 2016