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Old 05-13-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
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Landlord question (my tenants moved out)


So they moved out, basically without telling anyone they were gone, even though they were a week ahead of the notice they gave. Tried to get the keys from them and they wouldn't return calls. Finally found out that the keys were left on the counter. They didn't pay april or may rent, and the place is trashed.


I now have to give them a good faith estimate on the repairs which i am allowed to do myself as long as the rates are reasonable. The cleaning of the carpet and general cleaning of the house will be easy because i'll get a professional service for those. The broken sliding glass door frame is going to have to be done by the glass company since they will have to reglaze the fixed pane.

I have some holes in sheetrock to redo, some touch up painting and some chewed up trim that needs to be fixed. What kind of rates should I charge for these kinds of items?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-13-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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Landlord question (my tenants moved out)


Estimate the time and materials,like you would a job. Use a reasonable rate for the time based on handyman rates in your area.

Around here $45 to $65 is about the normal---although some of the handyman chains charge a lot more.

Is there any chance of collecting?

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Old 05-13-2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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Landlord question (my tenants moved out)


Around here landlords require a security deposit along with the first months rent. The SD covers general maintenance issues left behind by less desirable tenants and is returned to the good tenants upon their departure....

Might want to revisit your graciousness to your tenants, no way should a tenant burn the LL for two months. Put it in the lease that ten days after the non-payment of a months rent doesnt get paid, a LL visit to the property will be done for payment and property inspection...

LL's work too hard to accumalate their real estate, just to let people that dont care about anything in their miserable lives tear it up and not even pay the rent. ...

Sorry for the unprovoked rant, the neighbor across the street from us lost her home in a short sale, now its rented to undesirables, so I am a little raw right now about renters.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:31 PM   #4
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Landlord question (my tenants moved out)


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Estimate the time and materials,like you would a job. Use a reasonable rate for the time based on handyman rates in your area.

Around here $45 to $65 is about the normal---although some of the handyman chains charge a lot more.

Is there any chance of collecting?
I doubt it. She finally answered my wife's call, and refused to give the new address.


Jeeps : we had a property manager. They gave him every excuse in the book for a whole month, and at the end of that month, they gave notice and said they would pay back rent when they moved out. At that point filing for eviction is just further wasted money, so we toughed it out.

Would have been nice if they had at least cleaned the place. I am really peeved about the broken sliding glass door frame too. It's brand new, and it cost me a grand.

At any rate, this property manager is out, and we are gonna do it ourselves. What a waste. Had we not paid him 100 a month for his services, we'd be able to cover the rent and probably most of the damages.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:24 AM   #5
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Landlord question (my tenants moved out)


My brother and I have 30 rental units and deal with this from time to time. We do not charge repairs to our own time any more. We get estimates from contractors for repairs. We also do not chase people for money owed. We let the court system handle it. Over the past 10 years, we have had 5 instances where we used small claims court to collect for damages or back rent. Never lost a claim yet. Get the estimates from a couple of contractors for the repairs and add it to the amount of back rent owed. file a claim and if you do not know the new address for the people, simply address it to the address they rented from you. If they did a change of address it will get forwarded to them. Send it registered and you will get confirmation that it was delivered. We only had one where id came back to us due to no address change at the PO. We knew where they worked so we hand delivered it to them. Out of the 5 we had to take to court, we only had one who showed up to defend herself and she wound up digging the hole even deeper. Once the jugement is set there is a procedure you have to go thru and it is different from area to area. In our area the sherriff will handle the notification of jugement to the person if they do not come to court. once that is done garnishment of wages can be done.

Just currious, how many properties do you own that you need a property manager? we handle all of our own properties with the ecxeption that we allow a few realtors here to do rentals for us. We have a pretty good contract that they must adhere to to be able to rent our properties that protects us from them just putting anyone in to collect a commission.

As far as deposits and rents are concerned, we are not controlled in any way in this area so we can be pretty tough on up fron money. We require first and last months rent, Security and we also do a water deposit. We have to do the water bill deposit as in our area the water is a city controlled utility and the billing is tied to the property not the user. If someone leaves without showing that they have a fully paid final water bill they do not get the deposit back untill we get the final notice
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:25 AM   #6
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Landlord question (my tenants moved out)


danpik : That is all great information, thanks.

We only have the one property, and we figured that having a property manager would end up being less headache for us. Honestly, the guy was a complete idiot, and we ended up doing everything ourselves anyway.

We won't be hiring another property manager again.

In this particular situation, the husband works on a crabbing boat, and the wife doesn't work. I doubt I'll be able to hand deliver anything at work. I'm willing to bet that these losers are pretty wise to the system too, and will probably continue hiding from this debt.

In California we are restricted on security deposit, and it can only equal two times the monthly rent, so we can ask for first month $1000, and a $2000 security.

Can you give me some tips on checking people out during the application process?
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:34 AM   #7
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Landlord question (my tenants moved out)


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danpik :
Can you give me some tips on checking people out during the application process?
Well, I have been doing this for over 25 years. I can tell by the answers I get to questions weather or not they are worth renting to in most cases. We have a fairly extensive application that they have to fill out. Again, depending on where you are some stuff can not be asked. We are fortunate where we are that there are no limitations. One good question we ask is "where do you work"? If they can't answer that we refuse to rent to them on "basis of income". Other questions we ask are last residences. We know out city real well so just looking at the address can tell us what type of housing they are currently living in. sometimes we will drive by and look at the condition. Good renters will usually take care of a property and it will show as to how the grounds look. We ask for 1st & last months rent, Security Deposit and water bill deposit. We do not budge on these. If you can not come up with the funds to cover these we do not rent to you. We look at the car they drive...If it is clean and well kept it is an indication they will probably take care of things...not always but most times. We look at how clean they are, how well do they speak (gramar..etc...) Other little "tells" such as answers to questions that should be simple but they answer with a bunch of explanations. Never rent to someone who needs to work out arraingements to pay. You will lose in the end.Do not be afraid to call previous landlords. Their current one may paint a rosy picture but the one prior to that will tell everything. Look at current addresses. Have they moves 5 times in the past 4 years for example. Frequent moves are a big red flag for us. As I stated in the previous post, we also take referals from realtors. We require a credit check from the realtor to go with the application. That helps the realtor as well. Once they tell the applicant they have to pay for one, most decline.

Experience is your best friend here. Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:52 PM   #8
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Landlord question (my tenants moved out)


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Originally Posted by danpik View Post
Well, I have been doing this for over 25 years. I can tell by the answers I get to questions weather or not they are worth renting to in most cases. We have a fairly extensive application that they have to fill out. Again, depending on where you are some stuff can not be asked. We are fortunate where we are that there are no limitations. One good question we ask is "where do you work"? If they can't answer that we refuse to rent to them on "basis of income". Other questions we ask are last residences. We know out city real well so just looking at the address can tell us what type of housing they are currently living in. sometimes we will drive by and look at the condition. Good renters will usually take care of a property and it will show as to how the grounds look. We ask for 1st & last months rent, Security Deposit and water bill deposit. We do not budge on these. If you can not come up with the funds to cover these we do not rent to you. We look at the car they drive...If it is clean and well kept it is an indication they will probably take care of things...not always but most times. We look at how clean they are, how well do they speak (gramar..etc...) Other little "tells" such as answers to questions that should be simple but they answer with a bunch of explanations. Never rent to someone who needs to work out arraingements to pay. You will lose in the end.Do not be afraid to call previous landlords. Their current one may paint a rosy picture but the one prior to that will tell everything. Look at current addresses. Have they moves 5 times in the past 4 years for example. Frequent moves are a big red flag for us. As I stated in the previous post, we also take referals from realtors. We require a credit check from the realtor to go with the application. That helps the realtor as well. Once they tell the applicant they have to pay for one, most decline.

Experience is your best friend here. Good luck.
Thanks again.

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