You're not really a landlord until...

…until you walk into a recently-vacated apartment and exclaim, “how can anyone LIVE like this?”

I evicted a tenant, who had lived there for only three months, after a month and a half of no rent and no sign of paying, not even an empty promise.

Let me make this clear: I HATE EVICTIONS. I have a deep-seated moral opposition to forcing someone out of their home. However, their rent pays my mortgage, and if they can’t pay then it threatens my ability to pay.

It’s a nice house, in a very nice middle class neighborhood away from busy streets. 2 floors, large living room and dining room, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, walk-in master bedroom closet, large washroom, a 2-car garage, and close access to an excellent elementary school and a large wooded park. About 1600 square feet, not including the garage. I lived in that house for about a year, and have fond memories of it.

After walking into the house, I no longer regret kicking these people out.

The hardwood floors downstairs had a layer of grime and roach droppings. The kitchen cupboards and cabinets were littered with even more roach droppings. Large brownish splash stains on the kitchen and dining room walls. Pink fuzz growing in all corners of the bathrooms.

The stench was incredible.

They left their sofas, which had been partially eaten by (presumably) an animal. (They opted not to have pets included in their lease.) They left a lot of large furniture, actually, which took five of us about an hour to move into the garage before cleaning. The walk-in closet and the washroom both had been used as dog kennels. The moldy mattresses they left in one bedroom each had ample urine stains.

The tenants were a mom and two teenage kids, by the way. I don’t know if they all wet their beds, or if there was one chronic bed-wetter who slept in all of them.

Red waxy stuff, probably makeup, smeared on the wall in one bedroom. More brown splash stains in another bedroom. A broken window on the second floor. Every carpet had blackened traffic areas, had chewing gum embedded in them, and vague dusty grit and other loose dirt scattered everywhere.

Rat droppings scattered liberally in the bedroom with the makeup on the wall. I first though they were raisins, until I came across a cache of raisins I could compare against. Urine stains on the living room floor, in the corner with the drapes we’ll probably have to burn.

Roaches everywhere.

None of this was detected by our rental management company, who promises an inspection on the first month. They didn’t start eviction procedures either, until three weeks had gone by. Texas law already gives the tenants a free month.

Where was I? Oh right. Pink and brown fuzzy stuff on the baseboards, the mouldings, all three toilets, the kitchen sink, and where the fridge was. Someone had apparently dumped a pot full of pasta behind the stove. More rat turds on the decorative ledge at the top of the stairs. And so on.

It really feels like the movie Pacific Heights.

I don’t really care for the damage and the cleaning, and if it gets too bad I can make an insurance claim. I’ll probably have to make a claim against the hot water heater, which they broke. But my driving question, the one that kept jerking me awake last night, is: How can people live like this?

…Oh, and we fired the management company. They didn’t understand why. :dubious:

How vile! I’m sorry you got stuck with that mess. Not only am I horrified at how digusting their living conditions were, but how did they manage to make such a mess in only three months? I’ve seen Oprah episodes where they discuss people like that but at least their filth had been accumulating over a span of years.

Holy crap. Unbelievable.

People really amaze me sometimes.

… you dismember the corpse and wall it up in the spare bedroom upstairs.

Note to self:

  • Rent from Subway Prophet.
  • Do not rent from NoClueBoy.
  • Offer only leases of six months or less to Arien.


I would amend that to…*Rent from Subway Prophet AFTER the mess has been completely taken care of. :wink:

New list:

  • Rent from Subway Prophet, but not until 2008.
  • Do not rent from NoClueBoy.
  • Offer only leases of three months or less to Arien.
  • Keep an eye on Antinor01.


How is it possible to get that heavy an infestation of roaches and rats in only three months? Did they bring them with them in cages?

  • Charge Fetus double.

Keep an eye on me indeed, why I’m the picture of sweet innocence…

  • :: notices Fetus :: * :dubious:

I’ve told this story before here. When my family first moved to San Diego, we lived next door to a dude who ran a daycare and…bred rats in his garage. Big, HUGE, long, nasty looking rats–seriously big enough to scare our cats, who were pretty large in their own right.

I will never forget seeing one of those creepy motherfuckers crawl across our back yard. Holy crap. I thought the Martians were invading.

When I was in college I belonged to a business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. One weekend, to make money for our treasury, we cleaned out a house, a rental property.

Well, we didn’t exactly clean it. The place needed remodeling and repairs after a set of bad tenants, and the contractor wouldn’t touch it until the worst of the crap was cleared away. That was OUR job.

Floorboards in living room warped, and carpet rotted, after a small leak in the ceiling was left unrepaired. Two inches of black sludge, stinky beyond belief, covering the entire cellar floor. Broken paneling throughout the place, with damp, rotting furniture. The pieces upstairs weren’t worth the trouble of hauling outside, so we pushed them out the window instead.


Mounds of trash mail scattered around, with things like “Overdue” and “Final Notice” on them. While we were there a sheriff’s deputy came looking for the former tenants, but he refused to say what about.

Saddest thing were the baby shoes we found in the trash on the floor, with pictures of a cute little toddler. OMG, was there a kid in there?

We sure earned our fee that day!!!

I’m still trying to figure out how they blackened the carpets in three months. Not the whole carpets were black, just the high traffic areas. It’s like they wiped their feet on an oil slick after entering the house. We’re wondering if they wore shoes 24/7.

FWIW, my wife’s theory is that they have a perpetual dust cloud hanging over them, like Pig Pen from the Peanuts comic strip.

Oh hey, I forgot to mention the mail. There were three Fed Ex overnight packages delivered there with our name on them, one of which had an important part for my daughter’s cochlear implant. (Apparently Dallas Children’s Hospital didn’t get our change of address form…) The packages were from a month and a half ago. The tenants had our contact info.

It’s very hard for me to not picture them as feral animals. Maybe it was the rats who ran the house, letting the bipeds out of their cages occasionally.

How does one break a hot water heater? :confused:

I don’t know, but it pisses me off that people like that give other renters (like me) a bad name.

I’ve been a renter most of my life. I don’t claim to be a great housekeeper. But I don’t leave rotting food around, I don’t smear shit (or anything else) on the walls, if my pets make a mess I clean up (and pay for damages when appropriate - I’ve replaced a number of blinds chewed up by parrots without being asked), and when I move out I clean my own stuff out of the house. I’ve even been known to spackle and repaint the walls, etc., to get my security deposit (or some portion of it) back. Sure, things can get dusty, but c’mon…!

(Fer damn sure plumbing problems are fixed PROMPTLY!)

Get rid of all of that furniture pronto, probably the infestation came in with their belongings. Once you are rid of the last of the furniture, have pest control spray in for the roach and rodent problem. Good luck. That must have been horrifying!

I wouldn’t bring those packages into my house btw, and I’d keep an eye open for any signs of roaches that might have hitched a ride on me in the months to come. I might even be paranoid enough to have pest control over to my house to spray as a preventative measure, but I have an abiding loathing of roaches, and if I have been in a place that has them I wash my clothing and hair when I get home and spray to be sure I didn’t bring home unwanted guests.

So I guess you’ll be keeping their deposit? :slight_smile:

It appears that they wanted access to the pilot light. The hatch just lifts right up - no latches or anything fancy.

They ripped the hatch off, which then tore a couple inches of the metal skin of the heater tank, exposing the insulation underneath. But it’s okay, it’s okay, since they thoughtfully patched it up with duct tape. :wally

My plumber bro-in-law says it’s fixable, but I’m inclined to replace it - nothing drives away confidence like seeing a natural gas appliance held together by duct tape.

Yeah, we need to wait until Monday before we are allowed to dump it on the curb. Technically, we may have broken the law by moving it into the garage, but they weren’t living in the house any more (they moved out three days before), and this cleanup job is obviously going to take more than one day. We’re taking advantage of the weekend to scrub.

I surprised myself by being able to eat dinner after cleaning yesterday! Yay me! :slight_smile:

To clarify: they moved out three days before, but didn’t tell anyone. We think we can consider the house an abandoned residence, but we’re not sure what Texas law says about that just yet. So we took posession, but on the safe side we’re holding onto their junk until Monday, which is when the eviction procedure says we can trash it.