A quick note on keeping your head

I spoke with a landlord this morning who had filed an eviction action against his tenant.  The case, he said, was not going well and he needed some help.  Something he said caught my attention.  He was explaining about how his tenant had been doing massive amounts of damage to the upstairs rental unit in his Chicago two-flat.  The tenant was “going to town” on the plumbing system and had flooded his unit below.  He is now afraid that his drywall ceiling is about to fall in on him from all the water damage.

He knew that the tenant was itching to get into his unit and he didn’t question why.  The landlord admitted to me that “I got my mind blurred by first month’s rent and a security deposit”.  Wow – that says it all.  A shocking admission, but also a realization of the truth.  This landlord indicated that it was shortly after problems began that he did some digging on the tenant and found, through a simple internet search, that the tenant had a bad reputation for evictions and damage.  If only he had done some research before he took that check and handed over those keys.

The moral of the story?  Nothing new here.  Landlords, do your homework.  Get a past eviction check, get a criminal background check, call references, do a google search, and do your due diligence.  Before putting someone into your investment that you have worked hard to earn, use your head.

Don’t get your mind blurred by first month’s rent.

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4 Responses to A quick note on keeping your head

  1. Sky says:

    It’s stories like these that are the reason why I always screen prospective tenants!

  2. jcqnich says:

    Can’t he contact the local authorities for vandalism to the property?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      He sure could. The trouble is that the authorities might not want to get involved (this sometimes happens when the police view the damage as a “civil” and not “criminal” matter). A landlord could also sue a tenant for the damage but that assumes that the landlord can prove the tenant did the damage and, if so, that the landlord can actually collect on the judgment against the tenant. Not the two easiest things in the world sometimes.

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