My tenants moved out a couple of weeks ago. I have been spending every spare minute trying to get the place ready to rent again.

  • The countertops needed to be replaced at a cost of $4,000.
  • The lawn is dead because they turned off the sprinklers in a bid to save money.
  • They glued mirrors to one of the walls with construction adhesive. The entire wall will have to be ripped out and replaced in order to get them out of there. I will do it myself, but a contractor would charge $3,000 or so to get it done.
  • There is a large amount of filth in the place. I found sausages under the stove, and it looked like no one had moved any of the appliances to clean behind or under them for the four years they were in there. There are bits of food stuck to walls, ceilings, and some of the light fixtures.
  • Most of the light bulbs needed to be replaced. Of the 42 bulbs in the house, 24 of them were burned out.
  • There were over 200 nail holes in the walls, a hole in one of the doors, and numerous pushpins in the ceilings and walls.
  • The lanai screen needs replacing after someone/something pushed it out of the frame.
  • The screen door from the lanai to the back yard has to be replaced.
  • They painted a bedroom that has to be painted back to its original color.
  • The laminate floor in three different rooms has liquid damage from what appears to be pet urine. I’m not going to replace it now, but reflooring the place will likely cost $6,000 to $7,000.
  • The stove and refrigerator need to be replaced. The glass cooktop on the stove was shattered.

All in all, the damages come to about $20,000. There is no way that I am giving this guy his deposit voluntarily. He is claiming that, since I am doing most of the work myself, I can’t bill him for anything but materials. He claims that since the appliances were more than 5 years old and depreciated, I can’t bill him for that, either.

This is why landlords need to charge so much. This is wiping out a large chunk of the profit from the past four years they were renting from me. This reduces my ROI to about 2.5 percent per year. I would do better putting that money into a high yield CD. The only saving grace here is that the property has increased in value, so when sold I can pull some profit out.

I am seriously thinking about selling now, but the wife likes the passive income and wants to try to find another tenant. So for that reason, I am spending most of my free time getting it ready for the next tenant. Then once that is done, I have to get the other house ready for sale.

For the next couple of months, I don’t have a lot of free time.

Categories: Me


Bigus Macus · February 2, 2024 at 6:27 am

I guess they won’t be asking you for a reference.

AZFloyd · February 2, 2024 at 6:46 am

“I am seriously thinking about selling now, but the wife likes the passive income and wants to try to find another tenant. So for that reason, I am spending most of my free time getting it ready for the next tenant.”

The wife wants…? Serously? How come she cant fix the house? Because equality. Who wears the pants in the family? So what does she do while you are spending your time working? So you work a full time job AND work in your houses(s) just to satisfy a vagina?
Seriously, no offense, you seem like an honorable dude, but I have no sympathy. I respect your work ethic but If your life is overworked because you have to have a vagina present, you deserve misery. And this, making life all about making a vagina happy, is the cause of the decline of western civilization. American women need to be told to shut the fuck up. We have a negress on the supreme court, who cant tell you what a woman because American men are fucking weak cowards. I dont feel sorry for men who live a life of toil because they are too weak to live alone.

    Divemedic · February 2, 2024 at 7:51 am

    It isn’t like that. She works Monday through Friday during the day and also works Tuesday and Thursday nights, while I have every Monday, Tuesday, and alternate Wednesdays off. That means I am the one with the most time during the week to get it all done.
    My first wife was a lazy bitch. That’s why she is my ex wife.
    This wife contributes as much as I do. The reason I defer to her on financial decisions has more to do with the fact that she was the vice president of a bank before I met her, and has the Master’s degree in finance. She makes many of the financial decisions because she is the one who is smart with investments. Me? Not so much. I like wasting money on stupid shit like guns.

    With us, it’s a cooperative effort. She moderates me and my tendency to rush into things because she is far more cautious than I am. The whole owning a rental thing was my idea, but it took me two years to convince her to buy one. She likes to wait and watch things play out before jumping into it.
    It’s that cautious streak that is largely responsible for us owning three houses and having a net worth in the 7 figure range.

    Skeptic · February 2, 2024 at 10:07 am

    Wow. Tell me that you’re a bitter incel without telling me that you’re a bitter incel. Sounds to me like DM has a genuine partnership, which is honestly what most men with healthy mindsets aspire to. You’ve obviously failed repeatedly to have one of those – so instead of figuring out what’s wrong with you, you pat yourself on the back for being “strong.” Congratulations.

nones · February 2, 2024 at 7:14 am

Tenants. I’ve had tenants that left the place ready to rent without so much as my having to vacuum the place. I’ve also had the Dyke Bitches From Hell. Disgustingly filthy people that don’t deserve to live in a tent along side a busy highway. I had a tenant that broke the toilets.

    John · February 2, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    I second the dyke comments, had 2 year up a place of mine a couple yrs ago…flooring, walls, smell, painted walls purple…I sometimes wonder why I do it but I like DM like mailbox money!

Elrod · February 2, 2024 at 8:45 am

There’s no vaccine against Bad Tenants, but there is Larger Security Deposits and higher rent. Ask your in-house financial wizard about “staggered returns” on higher deposits and sliding scale reduced rents; a 3-month security deposit gets returned to the tenant in small pieces in the form of reduced monthly rent after 6 months if the property doesn’t require high maintenance costs during their tenancy. A friend with multiple rentals offers a good interest rate on the higher security deposits and higher rents with a percentage of each month’s rent accruing to the high security deposit he insists on and “sells” it as an ROI opportunity to the tenant – if you like getting “your taxes back from the government” this is the same thing. He puts the money in savings acounts and CDs and considers the delta on what he gets vs the rate he offers tenants as “insurance policy against major repairs.” So far it seems to be working.

Some counties in FL install 2 water meters, one for house water, one for the irrigation system. No idea if the utilties involved have the ability to bill those meters separately, but if they do have the house water billed to the tenant and irrigation water billed to you and incorporate that expense into the rent. Long term, cheaper than replacing the lawn.

RE: walls. Many years ago helped a friend restore an abused house into a rental; every wall was a total disaster so the easiest solution was the two of us installing new 1/4 inch drywall over the existing walls and hiring finishers for one day to do the mudding and taping. We even got away with butt-joining the factory edge of the quarter inch against the door, window and baseboard trim and easing the drywall/trim junction with caulk rather than re-cutting and spacing the trim out; it looked just a tiny bit odd but since all the doors, windows and baseboards throughout the house looked the same when we were done no one ever noticed. Heavily popcorning the ceilings covered all those problems.

Himself · February 2, 2024 at 9:15 am

The balls on some people. Have they no shame?

I guess it’s the old “Ain’t my stove”, “Ain’t my floor”, “Ain’t my lawn”.

The agreement on the place I’m renting specifies a minimum amount of watering, and the landlord made it a point to show me that clause.

Not that I have problems with that. I’ve been fixing stuff all month. Mostly because I don’t want to live in a dump and I have the material left over from owning houses for 30 years.

I will be doing some touch up painting, but it’ll match the color that’s there.

Nolan Parker · February 2, 2024 at 9:48 am

Passive income is a type of unearned income that is acquired with minimal labor to earn or maintain.
Not sure what you are talking about Is passive income.
Hopefully you have good tenants more often than not. Rental property has been a winner for lots of people. Apartments have the benefit of The Average, but a guy who has one or two places is hurt by crappy tenants. Isn’t there a rental property owners Association that bad tenants are reported to? I know that exists in Texas. Probably costs more to join than a small operation can afford?
Sorry about your losses. That sux. I liked and took care of the places I rented.

    Divemedic · February 2, 2024 at 10:20 am

    We rented to these tenants for four years, collecting rent every month for little no no effort. The rent in this case seems to have largely just covered our costs while we wait for the property to appreciate. We aren’t going to make money on this deal from renting it out- we are going to make money when we sell.
    So you are right- it isn’t a reliable passive income stream because we break even on the rent. It seems to me that we are making money by flipping real estate, just on a long term time scale.
    That’s why I am considering selling.
    We should wind up getting an ROI of about 12% per year, if we can sell at what the market is now. When we finally sell, who knows?

      NGA · February 7, 2024 at 8:13 am

      Real estate may be due for a substantial correction (although for now, it seems to have just slowed, without much price decline in many markets). It is hard to make it as a small landlord, because of the deadbeat/psycho problem. Two bad ones in a row can destroy even your property appreciation profits.

Big Ruckus D · February 2, 2024 at 10:33 am

Your wife likes the passive income, but the ROI was effectively 2.5%? Sell the house and put the proceeds in the CD that earns more than 2.5% a year (hell even a 6-7 month term does better than that presently), and avoid the risk of the next tenant turning it to shit again. Or not paying rent after a certain point and requiring all the expense and aggravation of an eviction. The general quality of tenants is in decline, and is a direct reflection of the ongoing ruination of society.

Rental property has been a fairly lucrative deal for the last couple of decades (when played right, though not all factors that play into that are within ones control) but I see the window on that closing. Yes, there will still be lots of rental property, but running it and remaining profitable will be a real bitch for the small time operator. The big time corporate outfits and slum lords will somehow make it work, but I question the longer term viability for an honest individual like yourself to make a go of it.

Demographics, economic conditions, and the likelihood of further govt intrusion (rent controls will rear their ugly head again, book it) on private property rights, when all considered, would make me very uncomfortable to own rentals on a forward basis now. I think it foolish to assume all the above will not make the proposition less attractive over the next several years. The entire profit can be wiped out far too easily, and can become a massive liability just like that. You mention the increase in value. If it is up that much, and you can legitimately expect to sell it at a substantive gain in the current market (which is getting soft), I’d cash out, even with the tax implications.

Don Curton · February 2, 2024 at 11:33 am

I haven’t rented in 30 years, but I thought some rental contracts, especially house rentals, had a clause allowing the owner to perform periodic inspections in order to prevent this sort of stuff. You could catch the damage while it was still manageable and also kick the tenants out for lease violation. Not sure if that’s an option anymore.

Liberty · February 2, 2024 at 11:55 am

Sucks to have this happen.

The best renter screening tool I’ve ever used is a 2 month security deposit. Elrod above has some interesting ideas on this. Never thought of paying a higher rate on deposits than the state requires.

Your lease could mitigate some of this by spelling out expectations up front. And you should be driving by your properties from time to time and getting inside for some reason at least annually.

    Jonathan · February 2, 2024 at 4:47 pm

    I know a couple guys who have rented successfully for years.
    Some of the tips they mention:
    – always pay the water bill so you know usage. It’ll show if they sublet, if family members leave, etc.
    – always drive by it often. It’s best if the rentals are close to your home if not next door to it.
    I’ve been a landlord a couple times and been fortunate so far…

Boneman · February 2, 2024 at 12:26 pm

Folks bitch on landlords here in FL all the time. Constantly about how rents increase. Never do they ponder why. Just the increases in insurance premiums alone year over year that have to be passed along are stupefying. I’ve explained that to a couple of “renters” I work with and it’s almost funny to see the lights come on when I tell them how much _MY_ homeowners insurance went up after Ian.

I feel for you. The Mrs. was pondering KEEPING our place in Cape Coral as an “Income Property” and buying another place for us to live in. All the time assuming that I would take care of any and all “Maintenance” issues w the “Rental Property”. I was adamant: NO. AbsoLUTELY NOT.

All that you’ve got to fix either way would have to be done. That said, you have a window. It will take a bit of time. Once completed well there you go. It’s ready to either A: Re-rent or… B: SELL. Perhaps the paradigm might shift at that juncture.

Good luck and God Bless. I don’t envy you the amount of work. I needed a nap just reading your post.

Dan D. · February 2, 2024 at 12:56 pm

I rented my house to an LAPD cop and his family for 4 years. After they moved out because I wanted to sell it I met the realtor who emerged from the front door in tears. “They trashed your house.” Of the smaller things were purple walls that required some alcohol treatment to be repainted, holes drilled in the cabinetry for knobs – but they took the knobs, trees I had planted cut down, it went on. Landlords that “wish the best” are n00bs and I learned my lesson for sure. And yes he did ask for a reference.

Pete · February 2, 2024 at 1:20 pm

But communists on Reddit told me that landlords are nothing but lazy parasites that sit around getting fat on gouging poor people, extracting rents that they do nothing to earn.

SoCoRuss · February 2, 2024 at 1:35 pm

This shows the different in renters now vs renters in the past. When we rented we always tried to make sure everything was the same or better when we moved out.
We have had fellow military friends who rented out their homes when they PCS’d from a base. There was no way I wanted to get involved in that from long distance military moves around world. But now most have given up due to renter problems and covid restriction BS. I had a friend that almost lost a house to foreclosure due to the COVID BS. The renters didn’t pay, trashed the place and had to be force out finally at a lot of his personal expense.

I told him too bad there wasn’t a accidental fire and collect the insurance, that would have been better financially.

Fishlaw · February 2, 2024 at 2:30 pm

Been there. Done that. Never again.

That's the Way I Like It · February 2, 2024 at 4:12 pm

Saw a dank tweet breakup by phone about women’s suffrage is why we are where we are.
Vet them and better and rent/sale before the CPUSA (D) branch of the UNI club we aren’t in makes housing a human right for the replacements.
Harold the Brain engineer did his own windows replacements half a block away before moving to Pineland due to the Stig Beal Coup Bolshevik Revolution 2.0 and vibrant diverse enrichment and saved about $18k in the process.
The snowflake cupcake generation muh cellphone generation won’t be able to do anything without mommygov.
And it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of useless idiots.

Carrie · February 4, 2024 at 2:33 am

Since wifey likes the passive income, is wifey also going to help you paint, or clean, or do the other ten messy jobs that are required to keep the passive income coming in?
Also: you probably already have this covered, but it not: do you have an LLC that “operates” the property, and to which to tenants were making payments?
This is a good way to defeat the idiot tenant (at least if anything has to go to court) because your LLC is a business, like any other business, and “no, you don’t get your money back because that’s how business works”.
I’m so sorry that those people trashed your place. It made me frustrated just reading it.
An LLC is also a good way to put a layer of paperwork and legal protection between yourself as a person and then, in case they ever tried to pursue legal action against you (because we know people are that dumb). They’d have to do it against the LLC and not you personally.
Every state is different, but my accountant told me a few years ago to do that, to be on the safe side. And I’m thankful that he did. Still learning about these types of things.
Good luck!

Dick Tickles · February 4, 2024 at 5:20 am

Why did you by a stove with a glass cooktop?

What difference does a bedroom’s paint color make?

Do pushpin/nail holes cause enough damage to warrant replacement?

Since YOU own the property, why aren’t you paying to water the lawn?

    Divemedic · February 4, 2024 at 7:58 am

    1 Because the glass cooktop looks nice and I am not running a shitty slum rental. That doesn’t excuse breaking it.
    2 See #1, above.
    3 It requires repair. If I don’t, it looks like shit and I can’t charge as much for rent. Either way, it costs money.
    4 I don’t pay the water bill for the same reason I don’t pay the electric- I have no control over how much the tenant uses. If the tenant is using utilities that I pay for, they will abuse it and increase my costs.

    All of the above is in the lease. They signed it, they are bound to live by it.

JC · February 4, 2024 at 9:54 am

I rented a condo in SOFLA for 10 years, I would rather try to rob banks with a spork then ever be a landlord again. F that.

Anonymous · February 10, 2024 at 6:08 pm

> I had a tenant that broke the toilets.

Me too. I could not believe it. They claimed that they dropped a hair brush into the toilet and the porcelain broke. Yeah right, pull the other leg, it has a bell on it.

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