“Folks completely abandoned the place. The 10 th came around and there was no answer at the
door. Calls went unanswered. After 3-4 days we started the eviction process. By law, we could
not enter the apt until the Court said we could. By the time we could enter, all the food in the
fridge rotted and we had to get the place completely revamped with new carpet, paint and
fixtures. This cost us thousands of dollars, but more importantly cost us close to $3000.00 in lost
rent while the eviction and construction occurred.” – Del Santo Mike, CT

“One tenant refused to pay the rent and refused to leave. It took us 3 months to finally evict her.
The eviction cost us $1000.00 and the 3 months she stayed there without paying cost us
$2100.00. The only silver lining was that we found out she was working again and we sued her in
small claims court and got most of the money back.” – Del Santo Mike, CT

“A tenant had violated our “no pets” rule and had a ferret. The entire building was infested with
fleas. We had to fumigate the building. We tried to evict her and she stayed 2 months without
paying – costing us $1800 in lost rent.” – Del Santo Mike, CT

We had an investment property in Denver and our tenant told us he lost his job, his girlfriend left him (he was abusive) and he was moving to FL. This was during the middle of winter and mid-term. We were in panic mode trying to find a new tenant. Luckily, after 45 days, we found someone whose company was relocating him for work and he signed a lease with us. Definitely a stressful time given our financial situation as without this stroke of luck it would’ve probably taken us several months and thousands of dollars in lost rental income before finding a new tenant.
– DiCaprio Aaron, PA

First, we have been landlords for 17 years. At present, we have 4 properties and are very particular about who we rent to. After doing our research, we developed a system for hopefully choosing the best tenant. We have them fill out an application. We run a credit check. We check references. We contact prior landlords, and most importantly, we “drop in” on where they are currently living to see how they live. If the place is a total mess, that is a dead give away on how they will keep our property. Additionally, we never waiver from a security deposit. The ones that ask to “pay over time” are the first out the door. We only have single family houses. We don’t care how many children a tenant has, the more the merrier, as long as they are good tenants and pay on time. We accept Section 8 and PA, gladly. Our goal is to provide a home to a family where they can settle in and be a family. Many times we hear that our property is the first bedroom many of the children have had to themselves. Our rent is below market – we know it – but if it provides a home to children and gives them a place to be proud of, we have achieved our goal. And it is truly their home. They are responsible for lawn maintenance and snow removal. We do all repairs and maintain the appliances, but other that that, it is theirs. We pride ourselves on having long term tenants, but no matter the process, we have dealt with some doozies over the years. Here they are: – Westlake-Spoto Jean Marie, NY

Allie. Allie was our first tenant. It was our first property. She taught us about market rate rent. She was a single mom with 4 young children. The house we were offering was a single family home, with four bedrooms, attached garage and yard. She had always lived in a small apartment. This was her first “real home” as she put it. Everything was fine for the first 10 years. She had been on and off Section 8 and PA. It always seemed to work. And then it stopped. The rent was late one month, then two, then three. We tried to give her breaks, but she never caught up. After multiple attempts to contact her were unsuccessful, we actually went to the property only to find she was not living there anymore. Her daughter and her boyfriend were living there with their multiple children. The son was in jail for attempted murder and her other children were just gone. The property, which was usually kept up well, was a mess. We served a three day notice and then commenced eviction proceedings. When we reclaimed the property, we were disgusted. The property looked like it had not been cleaned in years. The wall stove was just gone. No explanation for that. The bathroom looked like someone died in it. The carpet was destroyed. And then there was the fourth bedroom. We have a strict no pet policy for obvious reasons. When we opened the door, the smell was something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It was obvious she kept one or more dogs in the room. The smell of urine and feces permeated the walls and wood floor. Try as we might, there was no way to remove the smell, or the scratches and parts of the room had been chewed beyond repair. We ended up gutting the place and replacing walls and floors. It took months and cost us well over $4,000 and 4 months rent. – Westlake-Spoto Jean Marie, NY

Marvin. Marvin and his girlfriend were great tenants for the most part. We actually moved them to the front of the list when we found out that he had three children. His girlfriend had three children and they were adopting his girlfriend’s three children after her sister was murdered. That meant there were 9 children and 2 adults living in our five bedroom property. The second floor to this property is quite large and a teenager’s dream due to the space. It was perfect for them. They always paid on time and everything was great until the phone call. One day I received a phone call from the Department of Social Services. They wanted to know why I was listed as the property owner, but Marvin was the landlord. Quite confused, I told them I was the owner and landlord. They said their records showed Marvin was the landlord and he had been submitting paperwork for the past year indicating how much rent his girlfriend owed, which determined how much subsidy they received. When I asked the DSS worker how much rent was indicted, it was DOUBLE what we were charging. Basically, they were running a scheme where they put in for double the rent to Public Assistance. Marvin “the landlord” received the check. He would then cash it and pay us our rent and kept the rest for themselves. They must have know that something was up, because when we went over there to “discuss” the situation with them, they were gone. And when I say gone, there was nothing left in the house. To this day, we have no idea where they went. That being said, the house showed tremendous wear and tear from a family of 11. It took us 2 months to repair and get it ready to rent again. During that time, we lost rent income as well as the month they vacated the property as they never paid. In total, we lost three months rent and money for repairs – carpet, walls, refrigerator. – Westlake-Spoto Jean Marie, NY

Myron. Myron moved in after Marvin. Myron was such a good prospect, we actually had him on a waiting list. Myron and his girlfriend, Symisha, moved in with his 5 boys. They were all young, well behaved and Myron had a solid work history. Myron paid on time for years and kept the place up well. He raised his 5 boys. All graduated high school and went on to college. One of them was accepted into the Naval Academy. All was good until one day we received a phone call. He and Symisha had broken up and he was moving out – that day. No notice, no warning and he was only paying us half a month because he was only living there half a month. We went over there to discuss the situation with him, but he just sat there crying and moaning. He ended up leaving with a promise he would send us the second half of the rent. That never happened. To be honest, the place wasn’t in bad shape, but because it was mid-month and the fact we have to clean the place, we lost 3 months rent by the time the new tenant gave notice to her prior place a moved in. Ironically, we ended up running into BOTH of them at the State Fair last year and they hugged us telling us we were their favorite landlord. Not a word, though, about the rent they still owed us. – Westlake-Spoto Jean Marie, NY

Lisa. Lisa and her family moved in the month of June. Her husband was in the military, but was enrolled in a special program at Syracuse University. We have a long standing rule that if a military family is deployed, they can leave regardless of the lease on a moment’s notice. All they have to do is provide a copy of the papers and they immediately receive their security deposit as well as a waiver of any remaining rent due as of the day they leave. Lisa called one day to advise her husband had been deployed. We thanked her for his service and asked her to forward us the paperwork. They left the next day, mid-month, without having paid any of the rent. I called Lisa’s cell phone numerous times to inquire about the paperwork and the half month’s rent. She always promised it was on its way, but never arrived. Neither did the half month’s rent. This went on for a month before we finally gave up. Basically we had been lied to and they were gone. We lost a month’s rent and then another month while we prepared the place for the next tenant. – Westlake-Spoto Jean Marie, NY

Tianna. Tianna moved in after the perfect tenant moved out to care for her mother in Arizona. We didn’t have a good feeling about Tianna, but she passed all our tests and there wasn’t many people to choose from given the time of year. Our instincts proved right. After being continuously late with the rent from month one, it got to the point where she wasn’t paying at all. After two months of no payment, we evicted her. When we reclaimed the house, it was a nightmare. The clean up took days. There was garbage strewn throughout the house. The carpets were destroyed. We have a no smoking policy. The whole house reeked of cigarette smoke. There were holes in the wall. There was junk left in the garage that had to be removed. There was obvious stolen property in the basement. And worst of all, there were rotting chickens in the stove. In case you’re wondering – it smells like dead bodies. There was also a two inch layer of grease throughout the entire kitchen. We had to hire a professional cleaning service because no matter how hard we scraped, it just wasn’t good enough. They were in there for a week to the tune of $2,000. On top of the lost rent due to non payment as well as the time it look to repair the property, we lost approximately 5 months of rent. – Westlake-Spoto Jean Marie, NY

Cynthia and Dwight. They moved in after Tianna. They were a nice older couple who had good references and we were happy to have them. They got along well with the elderly neighbor and all was well until they stopped paying the rent. Because they had been so good, we cut them a lot of slack, too much slack. After five months of excuses, we had had enough and evicted them. We were out $4,000 at that point. While the place was in relatively good shape, the pipes and scrape metal in the garage weren’t. Turns out Dwight stole every piece of metal in the garage he could get his hands on and sold it as well as some of the plumbing in the basement. We obviously had to replace the plumbing in order to get things in working order. We lost another 2 months rent between repairs and getting a new tenant in the place. – Westlake-Spoto Jean Marie, NY

Evelyn. Like the rest, Evelyn came with good references. She had two children and seemed happy to be in a home instead of an apartment. Everything was good as first. She got along very well with the elderly neighbor. She paid the rent on time. There were no issues. Until the first phone call. One day we received a call that Evelyn was selling drugs out of the house and was a prostitute. We had no evidence of that and advised the caller to notify the police and deal with it that way. The caller didn’t. Instead, she kept calling us, over and over and over. We repeatedly asked her to call the police if that was the case. The rent money over time turned from a money order to sweaty $20 bills. We started to question what was going on. When we went to inspect the property, we learned Evelyn’s (mentally deranged) son was living in the basement. The basement is not habitable and meant for storage and washing machines only. We told her that was not acceptable, but she didn’t listen to us. We also heard a dog when we were there and reminded her of our “no pet policy”. We received reports of people coming and going constantly. We knew it was not a good situation. Then we went over to do a repair in the kitchen and saw cockroaches EVERYWHERE. We immediately called in an exterminator. She was there, the exterminator was there and I was there. It was disgusting. I told her to get out right then and there. We served her with a 30 day notice, but still had to go to court to get the property back. Once we did, it was a mess. The dog “she didn’t have” had destroyed the back stairway. It smelled of urine and feces and had to be gutted. The kitchen was missing cabinet drawers and doors and had to be scraped for grease. The carpets were destroyed and had to be replaced. There were holes in the wall from someone putting their fists into them. The screen door in the front was just gone. The garage door no longer closed. There was mold in both bathrooms. The shower stall had to be pulled and replaced because it could not been cleaned. Worst of all, Evelyn’s son refused to leave. Turns out he had been burglarizing the neighborhood. We evicted her while he was in jail. When he got out, she apparently didn’t tell him she was gone. We went over there one day to find him in the basement (he broke the backdoor lock to get in). We had to call the police to get him out. Another time, I went over alone. I went into the garage and he was there – just sitting there – with a knife. I slowly backed away telling him I forgot something in my car. I ran as fast as I could while calling the police. By the time they got there, he was gone. Haven’t seem him since. We have a new tenant in there, but I’m always worried he will come back. On top of all that, Evelyn left a HEAP of trash and belongings at the curb. I called her to tell her to get her stuff out of there, and she claimed she called the City for a pick up, so it wouldn’t be problem. It was. She never made that call and were were fined $400 for an extra pick up. We were not able to recover that cost, or the last month’s rent, or the cost of the multiple repairs we had to do. We lost approximatley 4 months rent between unpaid rent and time needed to do repairs. All in all, she was the worst tenant ever! – Westlake-Spoto Jean Marie, NY

We had a tenant in village shires I had to take to court 3 times before finally getting the eviction. She was late on rent on at least 10 payments and had around 5 bounced checks before she just stopped paying at all. Well we had evictions twice where constable came to the house and she came up with money both times so we had to let her stay. 3rd time she finally left. This dragged on for almost a year. – Zeitlin Sam, PA