These two stories are being told together for three reasons:
- The properties were right next door to each other
- They both took place around the same time
- They were similar in nature
I had a tenant that ceased making rent payments. No other problems, just no rent. I went through eviction and the tenant left prior to the eviction date. When I went down to check on the house, I opened the door and there was water: EVERYWHERE!
The water was running in the kitchen sink, only the trap underneath the sink had been ripped out. The shower was on, and the shower head was pointed OUTSIDE the tub. To make matters worse, this house was built on a wood subfloor.
I called the police. They came out and took my report. I told them the about the former tenants and the eviction, and that I had no doubt that they were the ones who did it. They asked me if I had proof (as opposed to circumstantial evidence; of course, I didn't.) Fortunately the incident was covered under vandalism on my homeowner's policy. Even so, I was stuck with thousands of dollars in damage and about 2 months off the market.
This house was right next door to the house above AND the tenants ceased paying the rent. I had the same eviction attorney doing an unlawful retainer on these tenants only it was taking a little longer because the tenant was counter suing. Yes, the Landlord pays the big bucks for an attorney - but the poor tenant can fight back with free legal help. There was no substance to the tenants counter suite. But there needn't be, since the purpose of the counter suite is primarily to stall for time.
This tenant didn't leave until the Sheriff came to the door and even THEN he didn't leave and that's another story in itself. He did leave within 3 hours of the Sheriff's visit though.
The property was then vacant and needed some repairs. So as time permitted I would go down and do some work on it. One day when I went down to do some work on the house I found the hose in the front yard snaked around to the side of the house and stuck underneath the foundation. It was on full blast. I pulled the hose out and turned off the water wondering what the heck was going on. From what I could SEE there was no damage done. That was until I went into the basement.
Many older homes in Fresno have basements that are dug out with no support for the walls, and due to the hardpan throughout Fresno they really don't need any. Well this home had a hardpan basement and im not sure I can explain this so you get the picture, but the water was shooting under the house (probably for a couple of days) and the soil under the house was so soaked that it collapsed the hardpan wall causing the soil to cave in right up under the perimeter footings.
THIS WAS a NIGHTMARE!
And again, I told the police I knew who did it, but then AGAIN I had no proof.
My insurance company refused to cover the damage. I realized then and there that there is no such thing as distressed properties: just DISTRESSED OWNERS. I was ready to sell to the lowest bidder, and shortly thereafter did. Because of the structural damage I sold that house for only a few thousand more than I bought it for.
Are you sure you want to be a landlord? If you have property in the Fresno area that you need to sell or rent call me. I can help.
© Randy "Lazarus" McAtee
Owner/Broker Lazarus Realty