Costly Tenant

My inherited tenant is costing me a bagload of money. When I purchased the 4-unit, it was 50% occupied. This tenant has screamed at my property manager and threatened to beat her her up (all while completely nude). She could not figure out how to open one of the windows so she did what any sane person would do… she shattered the glass and left the apt open to the elements. The other current tenant refuses to sign a lease and is actively looking for someplace else to live.

I’ve begun the eviction process, but I can’t fill the 2 (maybe 3) other vacancies while she is still there. It would be easier to swallow if she was only having an affect on the cash flow from her apt, but she’s effecting every apt in the building. She’s a cancer on the whole property.

I hope the eviction process in SW Ohio is quick.

I hope the eviction process in SW Ohio is quick.

What are you evicting this tenant for? If you’re evicting for non-payment of rent, it will probably take a little more than a month. However, if you’re evicting because the tenant broke the window or is obnoxious, that could be another story. First, it will take much longer because you’ll have to give the tenant a 30 day notice before you can even begin the eviction process. By the time everything is said and done, you’ll be in your 3rd month and then I’m not sure you’ll win.

I ALWAYS try to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent. One technique that I use OFTEN is to wait until the rent is due and then give the tenant a lot of grief about the situation and then IMMEDIATELY DEMAND THE RENT! They’ll be angry and will refuse to pay the rent and YOU’VE GOT THEM!!! Of course, you’ve got to be careful and be aware of your surroundings.

Another KEY POINT that your incident illustrates is that you should NEVER give a low income tenant more than a one-month lease. If you had a month-to-month lease in this case, you could simply give them a 30 day notice that their lease was not being renewed. Then, if the tenant still didn’t leave, you could evict and you would certainly win.

You might want to consider a surveillance system. If you have a problem with a building, a surveillance system serve as a deterrant and can provide evidence for the police and during court proceedings (including evictions).

I am currently in the process of installing video surveillance systems at our apartment buildings. These systems include surveillance cameras; a multi-chanel DVR to record all the cameras; a DVD Burner to make DVD’s of any segments that I want to use as evidence; and software to allow me to view and control things from home. I think that this will significantly improve tenant behavior and may even weed out sleepers (applicants who are not what they appear) as they know everything they do (outside the building) and everyone that comes and goes will be on video.


Mike - not sure I understand your comment? What do you mean by be aware of your surroundings. Are you saying that you shouldn’t do it in front of a witness? Or in front of the person’s gang?

In respect to the surveillance system, I hope you are taking measures to prevent someone from stealing it from you. You may want to install the cameras inside a cage and as high as practical. The other thing is the place where you are going to install the DVR and DVD burner. Do you have a space in your buildings where you can lock them?

And I would suggest you go with the wireless system - otherwise you would need to pass the wires, which could be cut by people that don’t want you seeing their activities.

And one last question - have you considered the legal implications? Some of your tenants may feel you are spying on them. I guess you could justify it by saying that you are providing security for them. However if you didn’t have any security problems in the property, not sure if you could use this…

Just my thoughts… Have a great day!

The 30 day was issued for breaking the window, not letting the property manager in to fix it, and having an unauthorized cohabitant. The 30 day letter was issued prior to rent being due, and I hope is has the effect of upsetting her enough that she won’t pay rent. We’ll find out this week. I know that would be an easier case to prove. I just got a letter from the power company saying she’s scheduled for a disconnect so obviously money is tight for her.

As for the surveillance idea, I have to say that I don’t care if they think they’re being spied on. There is no expectation of privacy in a common area like the hallways and front lawn.

And one last question - have you considered the legal implications? Some of your tenants may feel you are spying on them.

I want them to think that they’re being watched!!! Maybe that will help them behave like human beings.

I appreciate your thoughts on the DVR. Part of this building is an old storefront. I’ll be using that area to store the DVR. I’ve installed a shelf; an outlet; and the DSL line about 10 feet up the wall. I’ve also installed a burglar alarm in the storefront and I’ll put a camera in there also.


Get the unruly tenant out now! Call the police and get them there next time she “commits waste, damage or nuisance to the property or other residents” you can then forcibly evict. I dont ever let that type of person stay and keep on causing trouble. You set them straight or get them out fast. You dont want to stay vacant so give them the boot and run a month free rent ad on craigslist or a sign out front. Rental incentives help considerably. good luck.