but it has to happen.
The story is long, skip to the 4th paragraph if your just looking for the drama!
I have several rental properties. I'm a nice landlord, but you have to do your part too. I walk through all of my properties every three months, at the same time that I change all the air filters, check under and around all the sinks, toilets and showers for leaks, open and close all the windows and doors to make sure everything is sliding and latching correctly and check the attics for roof damage or leaking if that unit has attic access. I live in a state where I have almost zero legal obligation to maintain my rental properties above any standard of "not actually falling in on the family" but my places are NICE and I still rent them for a reasonable rate. I don't feel like me talking care of my properties should be an upcharge.
So... this particular unit is the larger 2 bedroom half of a duplex (the other side is a smaller one bedroom). Attic access is on the larger side. Part of the lease agreement includes that tenants are not permitted to store anything in the attic or use the small part of the attic with a floor for anything. Im legally not allowed to lock it off from them, and I never bust anyone's nuts over a box of christmas decorations ending up there, but its clear that its not included in their rental space, is not a legal room and should not be used for any purpose.
Last week I sent out all of my "Intent to Enter" letters, giving tenants a full 7 days (im only required to give them 24 hours, by the way) notice that I will be coming through the units to do my quarterly maintenance check. I knock first, but if no one is home I let myself in. Tenants received this policy in writing when they moved in.
I arrive at the unit in question and my Intent to Enter letter is taped to the front door with a note and a receipt for an air filter. The note basically said that the occupants replaced the air filter last week because it was super dirty already, so there is no need for me to come in, everything is fine. The receipt was dated for the evening before.
NOPE! I knocked on the front and back door, then let myself in.
HOLY HELL... the house was a MESS! Rotting food on the counter, several bags of trash not stacked by the back door, unflushed toilets, childrens toothbrushes on the bathroom floor, cat shit in the hallway... I never found a cat, but I don't allow cats in any of my units and they have paid no pet deposits.
The last time I was in this house (only three months ago, mind you) it was not as well kept as I would keep my own house, but nothing overtly wrong with it. The parents slept in the first bedroom.. their room was a pig sty, but mostly just laundry and stuff. The kids room used to be really cute. Two matching twin beds, toys in baskets, books a cute little animal rug, but yesterday when I went in the twin mattresss were gone, the beds were shoved together and a full size mattress was over the top of the two twin frames. The room was full of adult dirty clothes and shoes and boxes of crap everywhere.
Then I noticed that the trim around the attic opening had suff marks on them. Sure enough there was a ladder in the hall closet! I put the ladder up to the attic access (the scuff marks lined up with the ladder!) and climbed up.
Their fucking kids are sleeping in the fucking attic in the middle of July!!!!! Their mattresses were on the floor, their clothes were in boxes along the edge of the couple piece of plywood that are laid out over the ceiling joists, a few toys, a fan and a lamp.
Im pretty sure these kids are either 6 and 8 or 7 and 9.
CPS took their kids last night. The two adults that were there who are not on the lease went to jail as did one of the parents. I am officially evicting them today. Makes me sad for them and for their kids, but who puts little kids in an attic so their drug dealer can sleep in the kids room?! GAH! What happened to that poor family? They were fine 3 months ago and passed backgrounds when they moved in, had good references and rental history.