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Are any of you landlords?

Share your stories here, please.

I bought a small house in my town in a decent area right before the housing bubble burst. Now 5 years later, I can't sell it for what I owe on it. So, I rented it out. I remarried and have more children now than I did when I bought the house so living in it wasn't an option. We've had one tenant who was great at first. We did a 1 year lease with him and collected a security deposit. The poor guy decided to buy a house while still in his lease with us. He is still paying rent but has moved out. I went over to the house to do a quick clean up and discovered the water and electricity is off. It clearly says in our lease that he is to keep the utilities on until we re-rent the house in which case his lease could be terminated and he would be off the hook. We are only renting it for what we owe on it. Since he moved out, we've shown the house several times and approved a couple of people but no one is biting yet.

I can't imagine doing this for a living. I rented for years before I bought this house and always took care of the property I rented and fulfilled my lease agreement. Ugh!

Answer Question

Asked by HHx5 at 1:12 PM on Aug. 22, 2012 in Money & Work

Level 24 (20,625 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I was manager for two aprtment properties. I did not own them.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:18 PM on Aug. 22, 2012

  • My parents own 23 rentals. One day it will be mine and my sisters. Oh, joy (insert sarcasm). I have helped my dad with the rental units from time to time. Have you considered having a rental management company handle this property for you? 


    Answer by JeremysMom at 1:19 PM on Aug. 22, 2012

  • @ JeremysMom, thankfully my DH has done property management before. Without him, I'd be lost and still in the house for that matter, lol. He has handled the rental application process, the marketing, and upkeep. Good luck to you when those rental properties become yours.

    Comment by HHx5 (original poster) at 1:23 PM on Aug. 22, 2012

  • It isn't worth fighting over the utilities. Just get them turned back on so you can show the house as it will be. Your cost will be minimal and is unfortunately the cost of doing business. It's amazing enough that he is still paying the rent.

    Answer by slw123 at 2:31 PM on Aug. 22, 2012

  • Yes, that's why we aren't pushing it. I'm not even sure suing him for breach of contract if he stopped paying rent would be worth it. I'll just be glad when we get somebody in there.

    Comment by HHx5 (original poster) at 2:39 PM on Aug. 22, 2012

  • Well most likely he could not keep the utilities on and open another account for his new house - they usually do not let you do that. YOU are the property owner - it is YOUR obligation. Contact the utlity companies and list the property with them as a rental and you as the owner - then the utilities will automatically revert to you when someone moves out. We owned 48 properties in the Seattle WA area. We never charged someone for rent after they moved out.

    Answer by booklover545 at 11:38 AM on Aug. 23, 2012

  • We are trying to work with him but like I stated above he is still under obligation because he signed a one year lease and it will not be up till Feb. 2013. In the lease, it states he is to keep utilities on in his name till the lease is up. We agreed to let him out of the lease as soon as we find somebody else to rent it. The guy moved out of his own accord before his lease was up because he bought a house. So, yes, I'm getting the utilities cut back on in my name and it won't cost anything. Usually, the utility company charges a fee to get utilities cut on and even asks for a deposit but I already have accounts with them since I live in the same county as my rental house. I was a little steamed when I went over there yesterday to clean it so hopefully someone will be interested in renting it and there was no water. But, I've since blew off that steam.

    Comment by HHx5 (original poster) at 1:38 PM on Aug. 23, 2012

  • That would be odd for the ex-renter to continue paying on utilities. Best to handle it yourself.

    Answer by tasches at 6:57 PM on Aug. 23, 2012

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