This post is about an eviction, It was the type of eviction that I had only read about in books. It was a few years back, so I can look back and laugh. When I was dealing with the eviction, I think I went into a sort of survival, lets get it done mode. I learned a lot from the experience. It was one of those situations that makes you stronger. It allowed me to see the best in people and the worst in people.
Let me explain what happened. It started with a poor screening job by a property management company (that no longer works for us). They selected tenants that paid the rent on time, however, they loved to party. They also had friends that loved drugs, swords, guns, and fighting with the other tenants in the building.
It became a regular event to have police show up, which lead to phone calls to me personally (since my property manager tried to ignore the problem). I asked our property manager to evict the tenants. She served them with a five day eviction based on violence, and safety issues with the other tenants.
I was concerned that the five days would come and go, and the tenants would still be living in the apartment. I went to the apartment on day number six. I had already asked some of the other tenants if they had left, and it appeared that they had.
I rounded up enough courage to enter the apartment. The condition of the apartment was not great. There were cigarette buts everywhere, the bathroom sink was ripped off the wall, most of the walls had holes in them, there were sword cuts in the ceiling, food, dishes, garbage and furniture all over the apartment.
I was standing in the middle of the living room thinking it was the fifth of the month, how quick can I get it ready to rent for the first of the next month ( I do not like to lose revenue).
I sprung into action. I went home and grabbed my 4 X 8 utility trailer, pulled it up in the parking lot and started hauling furniture outside. I started to create a bit of a neighbourhood buzz, and people started asking if they could have some of the furniture. I gave most of it away, plus it was garbage day, so we convinced the garbage collectors to take extra. Then I brought the rest to the recycling drop off. I was able to make a lot of people happy that day with some new furniture, plus everyone who lived in or near the building seemed glad the tenants were gone.
I had my superintendent of the building and a couple of neighbors help me with the furniture and junk removal. Then I called a fantastic handyman, and our plumber. I think everyone felt bad for me, so they sprung into action. We had the place back together and ready to go within a week.
I was also able to find a new property manager, they posted an ad and had it rented for the first of the following month.
Here is what I learned:
Proper screening of property management companies is critical to your business.
Proper screening of tenants including a credit check is crucial.
Having a team that consists of contractors, plumbers, electrician, handymen, and painters is also critical especially in a time of need.
Even though there are people who do bad things, they are balanced by people who do great things. Always be grateful.
When you are backed into a corner, you can accomplish great things, especially when you surround yourself with great people.
Although I do not want to have another eviction like this ever again, I feel like I earned a few landlord stripes. I also hope by writing this post, it will show the importance of tenant screening.
Until next time,
Michael P Currie