Just when I thought it was going to be a good day, the phone rings with news that there is an ambulance at one of the properties I manage. A neighbor says our tenant, Jan, is lying in the yard moaning in pain.
By the time I arrive, the ambulance has left, but without Jan. She is in the house according to the neighbor. The neighbor also tells me that Jan was sprawled out in the yard for quite some time but seemed fine - until the ambulance arrived. Then she started crying and complaining of numerous aches and pains caused by a crack in the walkway on the property. When I am shown the location of this fall, I see there is nothing wrong with the walkway. It is not cracked or damaged inany way. I need to investigate and document this incident immediately. I knock on Janʻs door but she does not answer.
After I leave, she calls my office to let us know that she has fallen off the concrete walkway and had to call the ambulance. “There are lots of witnesses!” she stresses. She says she will not be able to work or pay the rent because of her numerous injuries. Because this accident happened on our property, rather than sue us, she has decided that she will do us a favor and just stay for another year rent-free instead. How very thoughtful of her.
Jan has been renting this home from us for nearly a year and her lease is due for renewal shortly. All had been going well until she lost her job and began struggling to make ends meet. This was an interesting strategy she was trying.
After telling me again that she had to receive medical attention (she did not) and that she was horribly traumatized by this incident, I told her how sorry I was that this happened to her. I told her that I would need to provide my attorney with evidence that her injuries would prevent her from being able to pay the rent. I also need to get a statement from her multiple witnesses and a letter from her employer confirming her disability and any benefits she may be entitled to receive. I would need these things within 24 hours to stop the eviction filing we had already begun because of her delinquent rent. There was a long pause and she had nothing further to say.
We moved forward with the eviction and she was gone within the month.
🔑 Hiring an experienced property manager can save the homeowner from dealing with tenants who can and will attempt to intimidate or manipulate them.