Do you enjoy horror stories? Here are some involving bad tenants.

If you own a rental property, effectively screening prospective tenants can help reduce the chance of some of the horror stories that others have experienced from happening; additionally, you can reduce the stress, headache, and back-aches that often accompanies the being a landlord. The guide below will help you learn to discern a good tenant from a bad tenant, a responsible tenant from an irresponsible one, and a non-paying tenant from a paying one. First, let’s do story time.

Worst tenant stories

Story 1
“We had a tenant who had a toilet drain break on the second floor and didn’t tell us, just stopped paying rent. Raw sewage broke through a first-floor ceiling and pooled in the basement. I took us four months to get them out, and they left filth everywhere. Used sanitary napkins in their daughters’ closet. Refrigerator so disgusting we threw it out. And of course, 1/4″ of sewage in the basement, soaking into their piles of trash and growing mold. The worst part: she was a social worker who specialized in teaching at-risk teens how to function in society. He was a co-worker of my husband’s, and they ran into each other regularly. We won a $5,000 court settlement against them.”

Story 2
“I have three tiny homes (fixed base, no wheels) and rent them out.
I hadn’t received a check from one couple, couldn’t get them on the phone. I take a drive up there and it is gone. The home was disconnected from power and water and disconnected from the slab.
Three weeks later, the cops found the home on the back of a flatbed three states away.”

Story 3
“The guy kept his motorcycle in the living room and it dripped oil on the carpet. He came home drunk a lot, so he drove the motorcycle into, and through, interior walls. He kept meat in the fridge just on the bare shelves, and that dripped too. He tore the bathroom sink off the wall. And he stopped paying rent.”

Story 4
“I’ve done property management for the past seven years, and have WAY too many “didn’t pay the rent/destroyed the house” stories. However, the WORST in my mind was a group of tenants in a house who moved out due to nonpayment and LEFT THEIR [expletive] DOGS. One dog in the house and two others chained up in the backyard. We immediately called the police on those [expletive].”

Story 5
“I accidentally rented to a guy that was cooking, selling, and running a pawn for meth business out of the house I was renting. I didn’t realize the extent of it until I got a call from the neighbor across the street saying the front door of the house had been open for three days, and I should probably come check on the property…

From one of my favorite websites Bigger Pockets, check out Tenant Screening: The Ultimate Guide to help you find your ideal tenant(s).


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