Seven: The sin of gluttony brings flashbacks to how tenants sometimes take care of their property

by 4, October 2012 13:16

When I watched the movie "Seven", there were many graphic and difficult scenes to watch.  Seven was a thrilling movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Spacey.  In the movie, a unnamed killer (who in the end is simply identified as John Doe) arranges several gruesome murders to replicate the seven deadly sins.  If you watched the movie, you probably cringed at how graphic and disgusting some of the scenes were. However, over the years as a property management company in the Houston and Dallas markets, we have found homes that would have seemed to be scenes straight out of the movie. I never understood why tenants would request a home be immaculate, but then upon a inspection, we discover that they take very little care of a home after they are given the keys.  Ashoka Lion will share one tenant story (name will not be revealed) to illustrate the kinds of flashbacks to Seven that we get as a property management company on a periodic basis.

My tenant story involved a lady who on paper seemed to be a solid prospect. Solid work history, no eviction or broken leases on record, made pretty good money , and did not register any red flags criminally. However, after this tenant moved in, we had a plumbing request. She had garbage disposal problem. We sent repair guys to the home, and they were thoroughly disgusted. In the home, they found dishes were piled high with uneaten foods left around the room and trash everywhere. The repair guys are instructed to inform our property managers of these kinds of issues, so we can schedule follow up inspections or send warning letters to tenant.  The guys continued to resolve the issue, and in the garbage disposal; the repair guys found pork bones and silverware in the garbage disposal. We obviously warned the tenant regarding this matter, but like a horror movie, this was just the begining. She later complained that the toilets were blocked up, so our property managers had to send repair guys out again. She had called our property managers to tell us that the toilet was blocked at 1 pm on a weekend, and we got a guy there around 6 pm. To our horror, her toilet was blocked up, but instead of leaving it alone; her family decided to continue using the toilet and caused it to over flow (no further details needed).

Truthfully, dealing with a tenant like this will make property management firms and their landlords think of the sin of wrath (not discussing further to avoid revealing too much about the movie).



Amityville Horror: Know before you buy!

by 1, October 2012 14:34

To commemorate Halloween, Ashoka Lion will be providing a fun look at our favorte horror movies. Amityville Horror (1979) was the story of a family who got a great home for a incredibly low price. Unfortunately, this home has a few issues including leaky pipes, bad phone connections, pest problems, and of course a demon possessed home. Now, I doubt most investors or landlords in Houston or Dallas ever face the need to have a home excorcised while adding a new paint job and floors, but it does remind owners to understand that unexpected things can pop on any real estate investment.  It is very difficult to learn every aspect of a home before buying, so the unexpected can arise. For our firm, we do request owner's to tell us about their rental properties to help us have a idea of what we could be facing.

The disclosure forms help us to know if there were any major repairs, types of ammenities, and features. Also, it helps our owners to remember things that may have been issues in the past (foundation, termites,etc). This kind of information helps us better understand potential issues that may arise and cost as a landlord. Owners must realize that those cost must be reserved for potential replacement for things like water heaters, garbage disposal, carpets,etc.  Being a landlord can be very lucrative, but it means trying to understand the risk. Our job as property managers are to help our Houston and Dallas owners understand and prepare for the worst and minimize the risk.  However, even with the experience of our property management team, you can encounter weird situations.

Now whether you are home buyer or investor, you have to accept the risk of the unknown, but I am not sure whether there is enough of a deal for a investor to buy a home that scream "GET OUT" to you!  

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