Sell or rent our current place? Also, landlord horror stories

posted 9 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
8628 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle

Well, if you used a management company you wouldn’t have to deal with 2am phone calls to fix things – however, be prepared to pay $50 for them to change a lightbulb. My family has rental properties that I will eventually inherit and my plan is to sell them. We’d be living out of state and the management companies just take too much off the top and charge way too much for simple things. Aaaand, the areas aren’t that great, which leads to undesirable tenants. My parents spent a lot of time in court dealing with non-payment on rent, evictions, etc. One couple they evicted trashed the house. I mean, they removed every single door (including cabinet doors), took all the appliances, locked a dog in a room for weeks and ruined every inch of carpet. It was horrendous and such an expensive job to clean up/fix. They sued the couple, but since their wages were so low they could only collect $50/week until basically forever, but the couple skipped town and left no trace so they haven’t collected a penny (for damages OR back rent). That’s the main reason why when I inherit I will sell.

Post # 3
1004 posts
Bumble bee

The stuff on the floor that looks like shit, is in fact shit.


I had two tennents. One was awsome, paid on time and was tidy. The other was a horrible, dirty, deadbeat, waste of skin. Being a landlord was alot of work and I don’t think I would do it again. I definitely would not rent to someone with dogs (I love dogs but the chance of damage goes up)

 Even the good tennent required alot of cleaning/repairs when they moved

Post # 4
2521 posts
Sugar bee

Holy Cow!

OP, thank you for asking this question, as Fiance and I have been wondering the same thing regarding the condo we currently live in. The area where we live is in extremely high demand, in an already-high-demand city. 

But reading these horror stories is making me nervous… Maybe it’s better to just cut and run?

Post # 5
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I rent a flat and even though our tenant is lovely and its a new build so supposedly low maintenance – it is a LOT of hassle.  Things inevitably do go wrong and tenants are not incentivised to ‘fix’ or problem solve as you might in your own home.  You also have increased paperwork / tax to consider. All in all, I wouldn’t personally recommend it unless you treat it as a job.  Most of the time people will get far more enjoyment/ benefit from using proceeds from a house sale towards their main residence.

Post # 6
652 posts
Busy bee

Would it be possible to rent it out with Airb&b or VRBO? Short term tenants and increased daily rates. If you have that kind of attraction to the area of town the house is located it can be even more lucrative than renting. 

Post # 7
991 posts
Busy bee

My next door neighbors rented to their previous tenants niece,  they turned it into a drug den and left with $50k in damage.  

My sister friend rented her townhouse furnishedX.  They disappeared owing rent and took all her furniture. 

My two other friends had tenant that wouldn’t pay and the laws took them months to evict.

i would never ever be a landlord.

Post # 8
2499 posts
Buzzing bee

I would definitely only do it if you have the time available to consider it a job. You’ll have to care for both their home and your own basically – organize any repairs whenever and wherever, bring them a spare key if they lose theirs etc. It’s not even necessarily them being inconsiderate because they CANT organize repairs/have spare keys cut etc. because then you would have to pay for arrangements that they had made and usually you don’t want them to be able to make unlimited numbers of keys. 

But if you have the time to find a great tenent and care for the property then go for it! Just make sure you treat it like a job and are familiar with the legal responsibilities of both parties. 

Post # 9
5933 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

sweet844 :  my dad has been a landlord since I was a child. One issue (sorry but it is true) was that he tried to be a good person and rent via section 8. The vast majority of tenants he got that way were highly undesirable: drugs and domestic violence to the point where dad got a concealed carry permit to use when he stopped by. A girl who made fries by first putting the oil on the stove and then going to the store for fries. She burned half the building down and the other half got soaked. It rained before the roof was completed and that resulted in another insurance claim. Crack heads, houses full of roaches, a guy who nailed the windows all shit and smoked like a chimney (I got to help clean that apartment). A couple who threw lard on the ceiling in a fight, people who don’t report damage, leaks, etc. people who leave all their furniture, food and trash. 

He did better when he phased out section 8. Even better when he started renting to Air Force members who can be held accountable by superiors. And best when he sold the apartments and bought real houses and let a realtor deal with all the hassle. 

It sounds bad but I’d still be willing to give rentals a try. Find local landlords to discuss any concerns, they can be helpful about how things work in your area so you can be proactive about issues. 

Post # 10
803 posts
Busy bee

Some of the time nightmare tenants are caused by nightmare landlords. It took 9 months to fix our kitchen tap, 1 month to fix our boiler with a 4 month old baby in the house during winter, we’ve told them we can’t shut any internals doors in the house and 2 1/2 years later we still can’t. We’ve had the shower leaking 3 times all taking between 2-4 months to fix, the front door couldn’t be locked for 2 months unless with tremendous effort of my fiancé (meaning I could never leave the house without him as I physically couldn’t lock the door, not ideal when we both work at different times) without mentioning the hunks of plaster falling off the walls due to subsidence. 


theres probably more I just cant be bothered to think about it as it makes me angry. 


So we are slightly naughty tenants as we had rescued an abandoned cat and he lived with us for a while until we could find a suitable home for him. So we kept a cat for probably A year without permission. But considering the amount they have put us through I don’t even care!

We have always paid our rent on time and there is nothing wrong with the property (apart from a few wall scrapes but that’s mainly because if you try to clean the walls the paint just rubs off) 

but if you are a good landlord you will more than likely have good tenants and there is definitely good money to be made with property as you get the rent and you also get the sale value at the end of you do decide to sell.

Post # 12
872 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

I wouldn’t do it either.  We’ve been trying to sell our old house.  I had a friend that is in a bad situation — had to leave an abusive husband, getting divorced, 4 kids – that needed a place to live.  She asked us if we would do a rent to own.  We agreed because we wanted to get it sold and were able to help her out by providing her and her kids a place to live.  She was going to buy it as soon as the divorce was final, which was supposed to be in 2 – 3 months.  The divorce dragged on for over a year.  As soon as the divorce was final, he let their old house go into foreclosure and quit his job, leaving her kids without insurance and child support.   Without that money, she wasn’t able to buy the house.  When she moved out, the house was a mess.  The kids had drawn on walls and the carpets were filthy.  The kids had also gotten paint and nail polish all over the wood floors.  We had to repaint everything and replace all the carpets.  It took us weeks to get it all cleaned up well enough to relist.   This wasn’t a cheap rental either.  We were getting $1500 a month from her.  I had been in her house before and it was very clean.  But, I guess it makes a difference when you are a single parent and it isn’t your house.  

If you can sell it and be done with it, I would.  

Post # 13
7381 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Landlording is not the quick, easy money you think it will be, and even pricing your rental property in a high price range does not weed out all the fuckups, weirdos and losers who look great on paper then suddenly lose their minds as soon as they get the keys.  I am blessed to have a *fantastic* tenant currently who pays her rent mostly on time (never past the 5th of the month) and has only made legitimate complaints (once about the downstairs neighbors having too many parties, and some maintenace work for the radiators), but before her was a guy who literally never took the trash out in the 10 months he lived there before I evicted him. When he was finally evicted for not paying the rent (a process that takes about 10 weeks in my area, plus however long the marshals take to show up and actually do the eviction), he literally walked away, leaving his furniture, trash, cat and bedbugs (yes, bedbugs) behind. He also had broken in the apartment door when he once locked himself out, ripped the smoke detector out of the ceiling (rather than change the battery when it started beeping), and let his cat use the closet as a litter box. One bad tenant can eat up all of your profits for a year’s worth of rent payments or more, and it’s even worse in a house than in an apartment/condo.  We spent over $14,000 to clean up after that asshole, and that’s after he skipped out on over $7000 of unpaid rent.

If you go through a property management company, they will keep about 20% which usually is money well spent to avoid the hassle of collecting the rent, screening the tenants and managing any repairs, but that’s still a big chunk of your money gone. Plus your homeowners insurance will probably go up, your property taxes may go up depending on where you live (owner-occupants usually pay less than owner non-occupants), and you may need to pay licensing fees to your city (I pay about $580 every two years in fees and inspections).  In most areas you will continue to pay water/sewage as well, so your $900/month over your HOA fees and mortgage is really going to be more like $500/month– which is good money, but may not be worth the hassle and stress.

You also want to look into tenant rights in your area, as you may not have the right to kick the tenant out if you choose to sell the house; this may be a very big deal, as tenant occupancy can make a house very undesirable to a potential buyer. It’s another very big factor to consider.

Not saying 100% don’t do it, but do keep all your options open. For $500 a month in income, you may be better off selling the house and dropping the money into a mutual fund that never calls you to complain about broken things and won’t let its cat shit in your closet for 11 months.



(PS my condo rents for $1700/month on a one bedroom so the price point did not weed out the loser, and he did pass a credit check, background check and normal rental application.)

Post # 14
712 posts
Busy bee

I rent out my house that I got from my first marriage (FI and I bought our own place together). I use a management company rather than dealing with it myself. My property management company charges 10% as their fees and it’s been great. I own the first house without debt, so the income from that pays all of my expenses on the house I have with Fiance as well as insurance and taxes on the rental home. I think it depends on your situation, the management companies in your area, and the type of tenant your house would attract – my rental is a 4 bdrm house with a huge fenced in backyard in a residential neighborhood, so it attracted a family that can’t afford to buy.

Post # 15
1101 posts
Bumble bee

Our next door neighbor owns a duplex so he rents out half. My Darling Husband is friends with him so they talk. His renters (have lived there for years) recently were something like 4-6mo late paying rent. She finally came up with the cash. 

My cousin rented his house out. They trashed the place. He needed to replace all the carpenting. They put holes in the walls and broke the windows. 

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