If you follow a fool, you get a fools reward. That's life according to Mike. It's also my assessment of the dealings with some of my rental clients last year. In a particular property, I had 5 tenants from a company that was installing a new power lines through our area.
In the beginning, they were awesome tenants. The first 5 were very responsible, paid their rent on time and always kept me up to date in the event the house had any issues. It was great. Then, the main contact had a family emergency and had to go home to Michigan.
He was replaced by a fellow from Florida. If you're familiar with the Winchester/Frederick County area you know it's more like Michigan than Florida. We have all four seasons and it can get pretty cold and snowy in the Fall and Winter seasons.
When the replacement took over the role of the former leader, things started to decline. The rent was late, he complained all the time and over the holidays he let the heating fuel run out and the pipes broke. That was followed by January rent that didn't come.
When I called to request it, he told me that they wouldn't pay the rent until I had the heating system serviced. We had already had the heating system serviced so I knew it was working fine. He was cold, and he figured it must be our heating system. It couldn't possibly be the 8 degree temperature outside and fact that he only put 30 gallons of oil in the fuel tank (1500 gallon tank) at a time. I explained to him that he could not live there free to which he replied, "OK then, kick us out!"
A few days later he received his 5 day notice to move, and that was followed by a summons to court. He decided to represent himself. My attorney told me over and over, "This guy thinks he's an attorney." It has been said that a man who represents himself has a fool for a client.
In court, he told the judge he didn't owe the rent because the house was a horrible place to live, and court date was set. In the interim, he had a home inspector go through the house, and with his help, he pointed out everything that needed to be repaired.
I could have put the list on a 3X5 index card. Ironically, they caused most of the problems. Well, I'm not foolish enough to represent myself in court at this level, so my attorney took him and his crew of mindless followers apart, and of course, we won. They were required to pay all back rent, court costs and interest for the time in question and move.
Before you follow someone down a path, make sure he knows where the path will lead. If not, you may both fall in the ditch, or even worse, be lost. "Nature teaches beasts to know their friends." William Shakespeare, (Coriolanus, Act II, Scene I).