Landlords are douchbags. Every last one of 'em. They are all shits. They all take advantage of the poor tenants.
One of the reasons I rarely post anything here anymore is that I got tired of hearing about how ALL people who own property and rent it out as living space are "douchebags".
I have a house that I must sell or lose because the TENANTS drained me dry financially with their breaking things and clogging toilets and smashing doors and stealing metal and running up the water bill doing god-knows-what--I think they just let the water run to be spiteful--and moving in unauthorized roommates, then disappearing, leaving ME with the job of figuring out who these goddamn crackheads are so that in my douchbagginess, I can pay to evict them. This takes at LEAST $275 cash PER SQUATTER and at least 3 workdays lost for time in court. Let's not forget the travel time and gas money involved in showing up for court.
The bank that holds my mortgages does NOT care if the tenants refuse to pay. They still want their money, and rightly so. Every time I miss a mortgage payment, my credit rating goes lower. One by one every credit card I had, even the ones that I was keeping up to date with minimum payments, was closed without warning. The card companies sent me letters that said "account closed due to credit file review". Mortgage default is a serious offense in the credit world. Thanks to my tenants, some of whom I never even rented to, I no longer have a credit card to bail me out if I have an unexpected car repair or need to fill a prescription.
Since laws protect tenants, I would be arrested if I were to just go over to the house with a Louisville Slugger and tell the squatting bastards to get their asses off my property. They are tenants. They have rights. They have the right to put me into bankruptcy. The banks lately do not actually foreclose and get it over with, they drag the process on for literally years, completely destroying my credit rating and periodically slapping me with bank executions that have more than once left me without enough money to buy food or gasoline. Douchebag that I am, I guess I must deserve it.
As a landlord, I was often forced to choose between paying my own family's expenses and paying for what the tenants, who were 2 months behind on rent, destroyed. One of them flooded the basement while doing laundry and ruined the boiler. $2800 for a used boiler...I was borrowing all over town while the law demanded that I pay for a hotel room for my late-on-the-rent tenant. My family was cold that month because we couldn't pay our own bills, but the tenants...warm as toast. Since I bought that house, I have not been able to travel, buy a new car or send my kids on any excursions. We don't buy new clothes. We don't have gel nails or Baby Phat jeans, but you can bet our tenants do.
I have been told that I was "ridiculous" to expect rent to be paid in January because the tenants had just bought their kids Christmas presents. I was told that the rent couldn't be paid because they had taken the dog to the vet. I asked what the hell a dog was doing in my house on their no-pets lease and was told "oh, it's my mother's".
The last nonpaying bastard split without notice, and to make sure I'd lose even more money, he called the building inspector and said that he was leaving without paying his last month's rent because of unaddressed repairs...he'd pulled out ceiling tiles, knocked holes in the wall, and removed all window locks, then claimed I rented to him in that condition (my question to the inspector...why would he have rented a place in that condition??). No matter how it got that way, I am now stuck with fixing the mess. I can't just let it sit and fall apart, there are other people who own property on that street who do not deserve to have their property values brought down because of abandoned buildings in the neighborhood.
Let's not forget that while this ongoing nightmare is in progress, the squatters get to live in my house for free for at least 90 days...more, because they get 90 days from the day I file for eviction, and I can't afford to do that right now. Since they're outraged that I dare to evict them for their unauthorized use of my property, they WRECK the place, destroying walls and doors, selling off MY appliances, ruining plumbing fixtures, pissing down the heating vents.
A friend offered to start collecting rents for me, thinking that the tenants might be less difficult to a big, strong man than to a woman. They assume that he is my employee, and are candid with him, making comments like "That bitch can kiss my ass. She drives around in a Mercedes, and we're POOR!" "I can't pay this month..her little private school babies are just going to have to do without their new iPods this month--ha ha." "My daughter had to get her prom dress and hair and nails...that bitch can wait til next month." Sometimes they catch it up the next month. Sometimes they don't. Either way, it's going to cost me.
I don't have a Mercedes, I drive a seven-year-old Saturn with ninety-eight thousand miles on it, and still requires a $278 monthly payment if I plan to keep driving it. My kids attend public school just like theirs do. My daughter's prom dress will be a gift from her older sister, hair and nails will be done at home, and she will dance in borrowed shoes. Not one of us has an iPad. I'm in bankruptcy. And when the goddam tenants' hooligan kids clog the toilet by flushing Buzz Lightyear, it's me, in my old Saturn, calling from a hard-to-find pay phone (because I can't afford unlimited minutes on the cell phone, unlike my tenants) to tell my kid I can't pick her up from school because I have to go unclog a toilet. A toilet full of somebody else's bullshit. Again.
I'll admit, becoming a landlord was one of the worst mistakes I've ever made.
It does not make me a douchbag.
If it makes you feel good to dump bigotry and hostility onto ALL landlords even though everybody here knows that there are several landlords among this group, fine. Knock yourselves out.
Landlord Haters, fuck you. Douchebags.
I've had it with belonging to a group that accepts this kind of crap.