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Honored Advisor

Nasty people

After realizing that today's balmy 92 degrees was the best it is going to be for then rest of the week, i decided tom crawl out of the AC, and headed tom the store to clean the floor. Son gave me instructions to scrub it with hot water and strong solution of white vinegar, so when he has time to come back and lay tile, the space will be ready.

Three hours, six gallons of vInegar and a dozen buckets of hot water, all,hauled in jugs from the house, and it looks some better. I will still probably go over it another time or two...just got to where it was so steamy in there, sweat was running and dripping into my eyes too hard to see.

Not counting this house, which was basically a wreck with a few bales of peanut vines in it when we came here, I have spent a lot of my adult life, it seems, cleaning up after nasty people. Anyone who has ever rented out property, or bought an old building and tried to turn it around knows what I mean.

I would rather clean a hog house behind a thousand pigs, than clean a house behind one nasty human. The last bunch in this place was a crew of hardcore bikers, and before that, a drug dealer who posed as a used car salesman. None very neat, I am sorry to say.

Have one more possible rental coming my way, adjoining the farm. I am almost ready to tell Mike to take the CAT and bury it, rather than to have to clean up after one more lazy slob.

Thank goodness for dust masks and cheap latex gloves.

Have any of a you ever had to clean up behind nasty people? Would you feel the way I do, and want to light a match, instead of grabbing your mop?
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5 Replies
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Senior Contributor

Re: Nasty people

Not one rental property that I have ever owned or managed has ever been worth the trouble.  I have way too much work and responsibility to waste my time chasing rent, fixing damages and deliberate destruction and cleaning up other peoples' messes.  To me, rental property is just one big headache so we divested of ours several years ago.

 

I always look at vacant buildings and dream of the possibilities.  There is a three story brick building in a small town near us that I have said for 10 years would be my dream location for an Italian restaurant.  But I am realistic in my current lifestyle and know that there is not in a chance in the world I could or would do what you are doing to bring back your new property to an acceptable condition.  I just don't have it in me.

 

I am sure that when you are done it will be a fantastic property and a wonderful addition to your assets but I could never justify the work and mess involved as long as I am in my current situation.  I admire your tenacity and vision for this property.   

 

Take photos as you bring the building back to like.  I would love to see how it all turns out!

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Honored Advisor

Re: Nasty people

In my wildest dreams, I would have never picked running a single rental property as a way to pay some bills. In reality, Mike's someplace has four residences on it, all of which at various times have been rentals... Due to their locations, it would be totally stupid to try to sell off a few acres with houses on them, in the middle of almost three hundred.

The only way for a building to run down faster than as a rental is to let it set empty. We are mostly satisfied with the tenants we have now, but we instructed our son to hand pick them to suit himself. He is the one who has to see them in the long driveway, collect rents from them, and go into their homes to fix things when something goes wrong.

We probably do not charge enough rent, but I try to keep tenants as long as we can...turnover is usually messy, on several levels. We figure that if we are reasonable, most of them will be, too. The ones who are generally mature enough to know this are good about handling minor repairs and maintenance.

We did have one pair of fifty- something women who totally trashed a house, though, and the last one to leave was a squatter whom brought in some very grubby man. The sheriff finally escorted them out, not in a formal eviction, but that would have been our next step.

I have started giving a new tenant permission to move things in early, so they do not have just one day to turn everything out of their existing arrangement, in return for them doing the cleanup behind the previous tenant. They can run a Rug Doctor as well as I can, and it is worth it to me not to have to make several drives back home to do scut work.

Son handles paint, if needed, and most of the rest is stuff like scrubbing showers and tubs, which I used to do, but which my knees
can't take anymore, beyond what I have to do here at home.

The store is looking so much better witan it's new roof, doors and window. Most of the next phase is installing the bright vinyl commercial tile I bought for the store portion's floor, and cleaning up the rest of the garage. We are stashing the stuff that will be used in our family " gym" in the clean portion of that now, waiting for the finished flooring to go in.
I remembered to take a tape measure with me up there today, and came home to dig out a new blind I had in a closet, to ffit the new window. If I get moving early enough tomorrow, I might try to get the wall around that one painted, so I can hang the blind, to keep people from peering inside. The big front window will really take some time to paint...couple dozen panes...and I have a wide shade to provide privacy already on hand, too.

When we got word of our farm's production/ repop for this fall, I told Mike that the hired man will have to be willing to do quite a bit of painting to earn his keep for about 3-4 months. The low point of the geardown should be Oct- Nov, and we can still do outdoor painting here then, most days. The whole outside has to be primed and painted ( and our house needs exterior stain, plus stain on
the poolhouse and garage). We have decided that he can assist our son in that same general timeframe on the kitchen fix, and I have a barn roof section to build, plus two small porches on the office to build.

So, it will be quite a while before this store gets its full makeover, but Rome wasn't built in a day. Most important to ke right now is that tomorrow,Mike is moving out a few sacks of feed that were left in the garage, which should help discourage any mice from camping out there this fall. I expect son to have a day or so in August to put the tile down, and trim one of the two garage doors, so that they match better.

Bumped into a plumbers at the diner in town last week, and asked him to find some time to give an estimate on the bathroom repairs. Man, I could have used running water up there today!

I have some " before" photos, and will try to remember to take more as I go along. It won't be fancy even after we work on it for a year, but I think it will look a lt better than it did before we started. Since it is located on a main NC highway through the county, I hope it will give the community a boost in appearance, too.

I do love projects, but will have to pick and choose what I do myself on each one with my age and abilities in mind more now. The days when I could hoist a full bundle of shingles onto my shoulder, carry them up a steep ladder, and nail them down for hours, are
gone. When you have to factor in someone else's labor instead of your own, projects cost 2-3 times more, too.

Getting old is a B, but it does beat dying young!


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Senior Contributor

Re: Nasty people

Factoring the home maintenance costs into the rent is a good deal if you can keep good people in the buildings. Too many like to act nice at the beginning to get their foot in the door. That's when you really have to watch them.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Nasty people

Our son generally rents only to people, he knows fairly well, and he has to go behind them now, instead of us; so, he gets that they need to be mature and neat. I have taught him to let the prospective tenant talk all they want when they call about a rental. Without fail, the true nut cases tell you they are nuts, if you just listen and let them.

I have also taught him not to say that anything is available up front. Let them talk up a storm, and if they are batty, you just say, "Well, I wish I could help you, but we haven't got anything available right now".
I would rather have a house sit empty for months, than take the wrong tenant. If they know it is empty - which is hard to know, since they are all well off the paved road - we can always say they are under maintenance from the last tenant.

Dealing with people is way harder than dealing with pigs...although, the pigs are often more intelligent.
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Veteran Contributor

Re: Nasty people

The dumpster just left today from the last tenant.  If I didn't need the house for farm help, it would be torched.  I can find a lot more fun ways to lose money that don't involve cleaning.

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