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Major issues with the Renter of the Townhouse :(

December 28th, 2016 at 03:15 pm

When we bought our new home this summer, we decided to hold off on selling the townhouse that was in my name only & instead rent it out. This was for several reasons, mostly financial.

We went through a very reputable Property Management company, who did a thorough vetting of applicants. We (my husband and I) made the final decision on the renter. She had ok credit, no issues with previous landlords/apartment complexes and although was lower income, seemed to be good.

She moved in mid-August. Paid up the deposit, 1st months rent, etc. Paid September and October with no issues. She sent a check in November, which BOUNCED.

The same week we were notified it bounced, I was in the neighborhood dropping off my 2016 HOA check and saw that the front door (screen door) was off the hinge and laying in the yard.

I notified the property management company, who said they had no contact with the renter about any issues with the door and that they had not received any response to calls, emails and a note on the door about the rent.

Because of the issue with the door/damage to the property, they serviced notice per state law for an indoor inspection and a day or 2 later, did a walk through.

The interior had no issues, was well maintained and very clean luckily. The PM left a note that because of the lack of contact and the returned check, they would be speaking to the owners (us) who may choose to exercise their right to start court proceedings.

The renter called that night. They said they'd been in a car accident and had to be out of work, had their phone shut off and other excuses why they didn't reach out.

They said they are just returning to work now and would be paying a 1/2 payment the next Friday & another 1/2 payment the following Friday. However, this would put them another month behind as December 1st was in between those 2 promised payments.

Based on the lack of communication, lack of clear plan to get caught up, bouncing a check so early into the lease, etc, we decided to go with giving notice & starting court proceedings to get her out of the house.

State law has us waiting for a court date. In the mean time, Dec 1st passed with no payment. The Promised Payment Friday did not appear.

The PM talked to her again and she said she meant the 'following Friday as she's paid biweekly'. That next Friday passed with no payment as well.

As of today, a 3rd Friday passed with no payment. So she is 2 months behind, owes 2 months of late fees and is aware of the eviction process starting.

If she magically got caught up , we could drop the court proceeding, but in the mean time, she is not in communication and has not paid.

We used our Rental EF of 1 month mortgage to the Dec 1st Mortgage payment. I cash-flowed 1/2 of January 1st's mortgage payment and used savings for the 2nd half.

For Feb 1, I am doing OT to avoid using savings for the payment. IN Jan, we should get a court date, but it could be until late Feb before she is out. Once she is, we are going to just sell the house.

Its going to be a real challenge to sell at the amount owed on the mortgage Frown

We knew renting was a gamble and it did not pay out for us. Unfortunately the house values in that neighborhood plummeted quite a bit in the last 8 years and its not going to get better. Crime went up in the area and a lot of homes are for sale, but just sitting.

I am not looking forward to this process, but we have and will be doing everything to do this in the smartest way possible. Wish us luck!

4 Responses to “Major issues with the Renter of the Townhouse :( ”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That's too bad it didn't work out.

  2. starfishy Says:

    ugh - sounds like an awful situation. good luck with the next few months and the sale.

  3. livingalmostlarge Says:

    Are you sure it makes sense to sell? Has it cost anything to carry it these months?

  4. Househopeful Says:

    LAL, We are paying the mortgage out of pocket, but we are not getting rental income. The PM company cost was 1 month rent and with a new tenant, we'd pay another 1 months rent plus costs of cleaning and upkeep. Given the state of the neighborhood (crime has significantly gone up), things are not getting better and finding a decent renter will be harder and harder.

    We have weighed a lot of this for over a year. Our original intent was to rent a few years then sell, but if we are going to not even be able to go a year with a renter who pays in place, the loss of money will be significant.

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