Real Estate Lessons Learned: Nasty, Funny, Horror Stories
Things happen in real estate that no amount of planning, studying and risk management an prepare you for. Everyone has a nasty, funny, horror story when you’re a landlord, business owner, or tenant, and our panel of guests don’t disappoint. Lessons learned don’t have to be expensive when you take away a nugget from the following stories.
“I was a landlord for a period of time and rented 23 homes. With that many families coming and going, I had my share of tenant issues. People wanted to use giant nails to hang pictures, not pay me at Christmas time, flush all kinds of stuff down toilets, and leave windows open and water running all the time! The worst issues were the cases where the tenant completely trashed the apartment right before disappearing in the middle of the night.
In one particular incident, I entered an apartment, with the Constable, after an eviction hearing. Every room was covered in trash, clothes, and broken household items to such an extent you couldn’t see any of the floor throughout the apartment. The place smelled and was so dirty. As the Constable and I stood in disbelief in the living room (on top of the trash), we saw the floor move. (Imagine the scene from “Star Wars” where Princess Leah, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are stuck in the trash compactor and something starts to move under the water. That is how we both felt.)
Well, the floor moved again. We couldn’t figure out what was happening. Finally, several cats emerged from under the layer of trash on the ground and we soon figured out this family had left all their pets behind. Cats and birds. The bird cages had been covered with blankets and the cats were left to roam free. Yes, we called Animal Control who came for the pets, but I will never forget that moving trash floor.”
“On my first investment property, I rented it out to a family who had their grandmother live with them. No problems. Then the grandmother died and the whole family kind of broke down. I ended up having to evict them and also evict the dead grandmother as her name was on the lease. Then I found out they let their pets poop all over the carpet and left the grandmother’s belongings in the house to be cleaned out by me. It was really weird and awkward, but I figure that if things are still working out after that, then I should be good to go on any more real estate investing.”
“DRD Enterprises Inc of Davie bought an existing Greenbelt Aquafarm on a short sale in 2009 with the intent to develop an off-the-grid fish farm using SafeDomes as solar / wind power plants. Under farm law, no permission is required to build farm structures such as these.
Within two months of investing my savings, sole proprietorship, DeSoto County accused the company of Mfg. for resale? Nothing had been built or sold? The county literally broke Florida law by stopping farm development here.
Flash-forward, a request under Freedom of Information discovers that Florida Department of Agriculture has declared DRD Enterprises guilty of manufacturing for resale yet cannot produce any evidence. If the department does not say this it means they did not protect my rights against the county.
Flash-forward, DRD Enterprises files a civil rights complaint against six defendants in (the) Florida government. A broke bankrupt violated corporation must hire a law firm to fight the state of Florida, good luck with that. So ends DRD Enterprises Inc aqua farm adventure in real estate. ”
“A friend turned on her dishwasher, and left for the local shopping mall. She came back 3 hours later and her house had burned to the ground, due to faulty wiring with the dishwasher. Her horror continued for the next
year, trying to get reimbursed from her insurance company, all because she did not have a home inventory to prove all of her contents in the home. This and other disaster stories are often times when people realize they need a digital home inventory that is not stored inside the house.”
“One of our founders had built a brand new house. Four years later, the hot water heater breaks, leaks and causes damage around it. All because the area she lived in has hard water and she did not drain the hot water
heater annually. Who knew you should do this?”
What’s your story? Let us know in the comments below (if ti’s good enough, we’ll add it to the story).