Terrible Tenant Tales: Unpaid Rent and Unclean Property

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Terrible Tenant Tales Unpaid Rent and Unclean Property

As a landlord, you always like to imagine a best-case scenario where all of your tenants are completely ideal. You dream of the tenant who always pays their rent on time, takes care of the property as if it were their own, communicates well with you in the event of any issues, and is always pleasant and easy to work with. Unfortunately, as you likely know, this isn’t always the case.

Though you may have a thorough screening process in place before any tenants sign contracts, it’s always possible for a tenant to slip through the cracks, with no warning signs before the trouble begins. Once you’ve established the landlord-tenant relationship, it can be difficult to remove the tenant before any costly damage or conflicts have taken place.

In this series, each month we’ll take a look at a new tale of a troublesome tenant. These accounts are all completely true, coming to us from landlords that we’ve worked with in the past.

What Went Wrong?

This incident began when the previous tenant—every inch the “perfect” tenant—moved out to care for a family member across the country. This happened at an unfortunate time of the year, when business was slow and there weren’t as many candidates to choose from. Though the landlord and her team weren’t entirely optimistic about their eventual tenant, she passed every test and signed a lease.

From the very first month, this tenant was continuously late with providing her rent payment, and eventually reached the point where she ceased paying altogether. After two months in the property, with no payment provided, the landlord evicted her from the house. However, this was not the end of their problems.

Once the house was reclaimed, the landlord came across a very unpleasant sight. The property had not been taken care of in the slightest. The carpets and walls were damaged, and in spite of the landlord’s no smoking policy the smell of cigarettes permeated throughout the entire house. The garage and basement were both filled with personal items, some of which were clearly stolen. As the cherry on top, the kitchen was covered in a two-inch layer of grease, and the stove contained dead chickens, which exuded an incredibly foul smell.

Though the landlord’s team spent days working on the property, it was not sufficient. In order to undo the damage done by this tenant and prepare the property for future tenants, the landlord had to hire a professional cleaning service to spend a full week cleaning the property.

From the two months of unpaid rent to the $2000 it cost to restore the property back to its previous condition and the lost rent in the time it took to repair the property, this landlord lost an estimated 5 months’ worth of rent.

How Can These Situations Be Fixed or Avoided?

In this case, the landlord had taken the right precautions to prevent a damaging tenant from moving into the property, by implementing measures to screen all prospective tenants. However, due to a poor selection of candidates and inopportune timing, the landlord found themselves in a position of renting to a candidate who ordinarily wouldn’t have been their first choice.

In addition to a more thorough screening process to prevent terrible tenants from entering your property, rent default insurance is there to ensure that your financial losses won’t lead to permanent damage for you.

Rent Default Insurance

In the event that one of your tenants does default on his or her rent, Rent Default Insurance is here to reimburse you for loss of rental income in the event of a defaulting tenant. Interested in learning more? Contact us or apply for an instant quote today!


Aaron DiCaprio is an attorney, investor and CEO of Rent Rescue.  Rent Rescue provides rent default insurance that reimburses residential investors a portion of their lost rent and legal expenses when a tenant defaults.  Aaron can be reached at aaron@rentrescue.com.




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John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

Aaron, Over the years I have had a number of "bad" tenants.  Of course the definition of "bad" usually boils down to slow pay or no pay.

The last one I had to deal with was the most memorable.  He started out like the best guy in the whole world, but unbeknown to me, he was into the drug scene and had a number of buddies that he hung out with.  

The way we caught him was a number of power cords running down the stairs to exterior outlets at other buildings - he was stealing power from other tenants and they didn't realize it.

We finally got him evicted, got a judgment against him for damage to the premises and the night after the court judgment he was walking down the middle of a rural road late at night and was hit and killed.

As I understand it there were a lot of folks "looking" for him for one reason or the other.  I guess now they know where to find him!

At the very least, I should have Googled him or stalked him on Facebook to see what I could find.  I could have saved myself and the landlord a lot of trouble if I had.  He was all over both in a very negative way.


I have learned my lesson - do a little stalking and possibly save yourself some headaches - and money!

Sep 25, 2019 07:26 PM #1
Aaron DiCaprio
Rent Rescue - Philadelphia, PA
Rent Default Insurance Expert - Get Peace of Mind

Thanks for sharing your story, John.  You really can't make this stuff up!

Take care,


Sep 26, 2019 06:28 AM #7
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