Landlord stories? - Posted by Chris

Posted by Ronald * Starr (in No CA) on July 10, 2002 at 17:07:54:

John Merchant–(WA)-------------

I just checked the legal forum of CREONLINE.COM and did not find your name. You might want to consider reading and posting over there also. The operators of this website are not eager to have us “civilians” answering questions there, but they would likely welcome such a helpful, knowledgeable attorney as you.

I did post a few answers there, but to qustions that were about investing, not the law.

Good Investing and Good PostingRon Starr*

Landlord stories? - Posted by Chris

Posted by Chris on July 10, 2002 at 14:59:48:

Does anyone have experiences to share, either good or bad, about their becoming a landlord for the first time? I’m a writer for a national business magazine, doing an article of advice for would-be landlords. You can reach me directly at

Re: Landlord stories? How about an old favorite? - Posted by GL(ON)

Posted by GL(ON) on July 11, 2002 at 18:57:48:

Tenant calls landlord,in January or February screaming that the furnace doesn’t work, the place is freezing, the baby is turning blue, etc. etc. etc.

Landlord rushes to tenant’s aid, finds furnace working perfectly, heat blasting from all registers, all the windows wide open and the family sitting around in shorts halter tops and bare feet.

I have actually seen this more than once.

My favorites were the family with all the windows open and a snow drift 3 inches high on the back of the sofa who couldn’t figure out why sitting on the sofa in their underwear was cold and drafty.

The other was the guy with the air conditioning going full blast (in January!) who was complaining about the cold. He explained it was his mother in the next room who was cold. Why he needed to burn my electricity to fight my furnace I don’t know, everyone else just shoves the thermostat up to 95 in the shade and opens the windows.

Dead People… - Posted by Adam King

Posted by Adam King on July 10, 2002 at 21:47:10:

Had a friend that had to evict a mother’s son after she died a couple of weeks ago. He had no money, no job and was recently diagnosed with cancer. He felt horrible about kicking him out, but had no choice since his income was now gone. I called him back last week to see what happened and he told me that the son DIED TOO!
He then changed the locks because now there were was no one else to occupy, or claim the belongings since she only had the one son (James) and he was never married. The next day he gets a call from a hysterical woman asking him what gives him the right to lock her out after such horrible incidents?!
Bewildered, he asked the lady who the heck she was?
I’m James’s wife you jerk!
He didn’t have wife my friend replied!
It turns out the mother did actually have other son’s that my fried didn’t know about. There were three of them…all named James…
Man what a world we live in.
PS He also had a tenant throw a fridge out of a second story window!!!

How about a hand grenade? - Posted by Michigan Andy

Posted by Michigan Andy on July 10, 2002 at 21:14:21:

Had one found in a common area of one of my 5-units just a few months back by a tenant who decided to clean out the area. After she and I each called 911, the State Police Bomb Squad was summoned from Lansing (1.5 hours away), and they “detonated” it on the front steps of the building.

Fortunately, the shield absorbed most of the blast, and my steps were in need of attention anyway.

On the positive side, I acquired a home via L/O the same night.

What a roller coaster year! Although I would never again want to go through the hand grenade or lead paint issues I went through this year, I wouldn’t rather be doing anything other than real estate. I love this business!


Re: New flooring and paint! - Posted by Doug

Posted by Doug on July 10, 2002 at 17:09:58:

I had a tenant pay for their own (very nice – top of the line) paint and especially professionally installed linoleum in the kitchen and bathrooms. They’re supposed to notify me beforehand of any modifications, but it this case I was very happy to make an exception.

Made me so happy I recarpeted the rest of the place as soon as I could with some top grade neutral carpet I picked up at a carpet outlet…


How about the tenant getting a pool installed? - Posted by SuperCat (IL, KY)

Posted by SuperCat (IL, KY) on July 10, 2002 at 15:20:42:

I have a real good one right now!!! I have a lease/option with a nice family that has been in the house for 2 months. I live on the same street as this is my former house and driving along see a sign for Aloha Pools in the front yard.
Apparently Monday night they decided to go buy a $5000 pool that requires digging up 4 feet of dirt in the backyard!!! All without clearing it with me.

The lease and a verbal discussion clearly stated that any major modifications to the house require permission.

Anyway worries of liability issues (insurance), mechanic’s liens if they don’t pay for the pool, what happpens if the pool is removed are at stake here. The construction was supposed to start in 3 weeks!!

So I called and find out if there is a fence around the backyard insurance is not a problem, but I will definitely get an umbrella policy in place (which I really needed anyway). I am still in the process of resolving this one.

Anyway I guess, I am a glutton for punishment as I am looking at a former church that has been turned into 7 apartments!!

Re: How about the tenant getting a pool installed? - Posted by jeff

Posted by jeff on July 10, 2002 at 15:37:04:

i have a question for you since ive never experienced this.

who does the pool belong to after installation? im not sure about your leases, but mine state that modifications to the property become the property of the landlord. i know the pool is removable, but as you said before, it will require modification of the land to install. how are they gonna comensate you for your landscapnig required after they tear the pool down? itd be nice if you can claim the new 5K pool and list it as an amenity to yuor next tenants. better yet, evict for violating the contract and charge a higher price for the new amenity to your new tenants. LOL!

id never do this but its something to think about. although i would require the pool to be in my possession or they pay for the landscaping or renew my property to its previous conditions. another suggestion is if they plan on taking the pool, before they start digging, visit with the tenants and demand they pay a new deposit lareg enough to cover landscaping in the future since we all know you wont collect a dime for landscaping after they are gone. if they refuse to pay, then id refuse to allow the pool installation since it is against the lease.

Pool, perm. bldgs. attached to RE are LL’s! - Posted by John Merchant, JD

Posted by John Merchant, JD on July 10, 2002 at 15:47:27:

Pool, if in-ground, and any other bldgs. with foundations, or for which a bldg. permit has been necessary (?) are deemed by law to be affixed or attached to ground and become part of the RE; however, having said that, if I were the landlord, I’d want to be careful about asserting that right…because I might prefer to have the tenant clean it up & take it with him when he goes…so you might want to wait, and see what kind of deal it looks like when finished,then decide after that whether you want to claim it’s yours or if you’d be better off claiming it’s his and he’s gotta take it out and put things back like they were, when he goes. So I’d say, right now, it’s your call, and you can just sit back and see how it looks, then make your election as to whether it’s yours or his.

Re: How about the tenant getting a pool installed? - Posted by SuperCat (IL, KY)

Posted by SuperCat (IL, KY) on July 10, 2002 at 15:45:36:

Well my plan is they have to sign new addendum to lease that says.
Pool is part of house now.
Proof of no liens on pool required before install.
Tenant required to install fence before install.
If tenant wants to take pool with them during a termination of lease(It is a 36 month lease), then they may buy it for whatever costs are to return backyard to normal condition, plus any back rent, etc… (Funds must be paid before removal of pool)