Landlord = Danger

July 17th, 2010 · Tell Me What You Really Think Here · Property Management, Rental Property

Would You Rent To This Guy?

Is being a landlord a dangerous job? I don’t have any statistics on this but I would say YES.  In the news lately Jesse Thornhill a body modification fan tried to run over his landlord with his car. In true journalistic fashion,in the article, there is a picture of the tenant, but no mention of what their dispute was about. After all if you’re going around sporting horns (WTF?) no one cares what your landlord was doing (if anything) or what the fight was about. They just want to see a freaky picture.

For all we know the landlord may have been eating Jesse’s baby kittens and he was trying to protect them. We don’t know and I find that very irritating. I’m pretty sure that the police would make short shrift of any investigation. Of course the guy with the horns gets arrested! I’d arrest him myself just on principle!

Clearly Jesse has made some very committed decisions about his personal appearance. Like most other people, I’d prefer to keep my weirdness on the inside, well hidden from the public. I’d certainly have a lot of explaining to do if I rented to  this guy.

In Kuala Lumpur the landlords daughter was assaulted for asking for rent.

In Nebraska the landlord is charged with trying to run his tenants over with his car and terroristic threats. It seems everyone is a terrorist these days. I have no idea what the difference is between terroristic threats and regular threats.

That’s just todays news…

I have signed up on Google reader and every landlord article in the news gets read. Most are lacking in details. Clearly, I’m nosy.

Is being a landlord dangerous?

Well my own personal experience would suggest it can be. Some tenants are very confrontational. I was assaulted myself once. A seventy year old schizophrenic woman tried to push me off a porch for wanting to look at a stove her husband claimed he had replaced and submitted a receipt for. (It wasn’t)

I’ve also been threatened a number of times.  I evicted a tenant in Oshawa the third time he threatened me. I’m usually willing to give people the benefit of the doubt if they’ve been tenants for a long time. Maybe they’re just having an extremely bad day. I think most people can relate to this. I have no idea what’s been going on in their life that day and maybe my appearance is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The third time he threatened me was in front of a contractor. The contractor did not want to even go back into the suite and he was a big burly guy, he even agreed to testify. That was my cue to kick them out.

In another building I worked in the accountant got punched in face for not giving the tenant (drug addicted and behind in his rent) a receipt. I evicted that guy too.

At the same building but a different kind of situation a tenant moved in a few days before and the police came and raided him for running guns.They found AK 47’s in his suite.  The month he’d paid for hadn’t even started yet! I kicked him out too. He agreed to move within a few days because I offered to give him his last month’s rent. He moved out and my boss in his great wisdom decided to keep most of the money for damages!  So for a while, the gun runner kept coming by to pick up his check and finally I told him that we were charging him for damages.

I was really pissed off at the boss too. I think it’s idiotic to try to keep $800 from a guy who has AK 47’s in his place.   Clearly he also thought so, on some level, because he made us staff members tell him and didn’t even show up at the office while this was going on. You can put this on the list of reasons why I work for myself now.

Landlords Not Always Angelic

In our business of providing housing to people we meet all kinds of people. The vast majority of people are good, otherwise it would be impossible. Still the more people you meet the greater the chances of meeting those bad apples. That includes landlords as well as tenants for me. I’ve met a worked for some very sleazy characters. The worst one was a guy named Mike. He was an extremely smooth talker, dressed like a banker and looked like a very respectable businessman. He was a nightmare to deal with, every time I rented a property of his, there was drama. For instance, I rented a renovated a house to some great tenants, a family of four, the day they were supposed to move in we went to the property and the contractor had removed all the stuff he had installed because he hadn’t been paid.

He gave me the keys to another property to rent and I went there and the entire basement was full of mold because he hadn’t paid the utilities; the gas was shut off and the pipes froze. The water was leaking throughout the house for I don’t know how long.

There were always excuses and BS with this guy. He should consider a career as a real estate guru. What a liar!

Every day in the news there’s stories about landlord being assaulted and stabbed and all kinds of stuff. It’s not fishing crab on the Bering Sea, but I think it’s up there on hazardous jobs list.  Quite a few landlords have stories about being threatened and intimidated.  It also depends on your clientele, lower income and run down places are worse than the higher end type of rentals.

Don’t be Cruise‘n for a Bruise’n

Every once in a while you hear about something happening to someone you know. You know a guy who never fails to take every opportunity to sleep with married women and he gets caught in flagrante delicte by the husband and gets hurt.  Maybe it’s a mouthy obnoxious drunk who loses a couple teeth in a bar fight. You hear a story like this and you think “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy” Don’t let this be you!

Here’s a link about Workplace Etiquette that’s pretty useful.  Feel free to walk away and defuse situations that look they are getting out of control. Escalation is not the best tactic to dealing with people. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your common sense.

Be Careful!

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