Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Well, today at noon I met the Court Officer at my property to finally evict my tenants. When I arrived, he had already placed a note on the door reading:

NOTICE By order of: The ****** County Special Civil Part, Tenants of these premises have been evicted and the plaintiff placed in full possession thereof. NO TRESPASSING.

He knocked on the door several times, there was no response and no sign of the dogs. I unlocked the door and we went upstairs...

The place was a mess. The first thing that I noticed was that they pulled up the rugs in the hall and the master bedroom, the rugs that I had paid them to put in about 10 months ago (at a good price including time and materials, and when I inspected soon after installation looked good).

They left most of the large furniture including queen size mattresses, several dressers, and cabinets. Besides that, they left an old television, an old microwave, piles of books, a huge bag of garbage, and tons of other items scattered all over the place. According to the neighbor, they moved yesterday by carrying the things that they wanted out in pillow cases.

Other than the junk, there were a few problems, but thankfully nothing permanent. Problems like three broken windows, lights, and door knobs.

Obviously, this is going to be an ordeal to fix, but I'm happy they're out. First I need to talk to my lawyer to figure out 1) Do I have to store the remaining stuff, or can I assume that they do not want it? 2) Should we pursue any criminal charges? 3) How should we approach small claims?

I am definitely going to take them to court to get a judgment, then work to get reimbursed.

As far as the apartment, one of my other tenants has a business that does jobs like cleaning apartments after tenants move out, painting, and sanding/staining floors (There are hard wood floors underneath the carpets, which I'm thinking about just fixing and leaving. What are the advantages to hard wood vs. carpets in rentals?)

The next few weeks will still be interesting, but at least I know where things stand and I don't have to worry about being liable for those vicious dogs. Unfortunately, I do not think that the apartment will be ready for September 1st, but hopefully by the 15th.

The line of the day goes to my friend's girlfriend, when she came up with today's theme song:

Who kicked the dogs out?

Rick, Rick, Rick Rick.


Anesia said...

Congratulations Rick, Rick, Rick Rick!

Thanks for detailing the whole process so well. I look forward to hearing how you come out with the cleaning, repairs, etc. It just wouldn't be right if they didn't stick it to you in some way as they left.

Phillip said...

Reading all of this was a good fun.

To me this reinforced the fact having people who are specialized in a field (lawyer) do the work that you are not a personal specialty will save time and money. No doubt doing this by oneself would have taken longer and given tenets a longer period of time to destroy the investment.

Rick said...

Anesia: Thanks a lot for the feedback. I hate to say it, but I agree that at some level they were.

Phillip: I am just now learning to appreciate this. Already it has helped me out, like with my lawyer in this situation. I see a lot of people who would benefit by internalizing this thought, like entrepreneurs who waste time doing things that the could easily pay others to do better (like payroll, or accounting [although I just recently was massively overcharged by one]).

Lord of the Land said...

I found your blog through the carnival and I have to say that I love it. As a fellow landlord I find all of this extremely interesting, especially since my partner and I have been extremely lucky so far in our tenants. I look forward to hearing more.

Anonymous said...

Wood vs. carpet depends on the product and the general tenant profile. If you decide to remove the carpets, you should require that 70-80% of the floor area remains covered by rugs. In a multi-family structure carpets and rugs reduce noise transfer. In a SFH or TH, it keeps the wood floor from taking the abuse from furniture moving, high heels, pets, and so forth. Permanent damage is always easier to repair in a carpet than a wood floor. Patch or replace carpet, but floors have to be refinished and resealed. If you're on a weekend turnover schedule, it takes too long.

I haven't read this series, but I'm generally hesitant to bother taking people to court. Its an expensive hassle and you rarely leave satisfied. I just move on and add another item to my list of things to check on tenant profiles.

You should be able to dispose of the items however you'd like since the tenants have surrendered possession. If you donate them, you can probably get a tax deduction of some sort.