SuperBad Tenants: a landlord nightmare

Jun 23, 2008 - 2:02 pm | By

Channel 34 news in binghamton New YOrk has a great story about a super bad tenant that wil make your head shake and your wallet cringe.  There’s a stereotype in our culture about bad landlords but not one about problem tenants.  There could be after reading this.  According to the article, it’s common for tenants to trash apartments, and leave behind garbage once they have moved out.  But the landlord said that this super bad tenant:

It was feces all over the place. There was literally millions, not thousand, but millions of roaches. Where I had totally barfed because there’s so much stuff that was going on. Three days ago this sidewalk, from that pole to that tree, was lined with garbage – furniture saturated with urine and infested with roaches, and garbage as high as I am tall.” 

 The final price tag for the clean up was $10,000.  Apparently the tenant paid their rent on time and never called about any problems.  Maybe they should have.

Would a background check help? 
It’s worth wondering whether a tenant background check would have alerted the landlord to the potential problem with this tenant.  As stated in the article, the tenant paid their rent on time and didn’t cause a problem.  It’s possible this tenant would have decent credit and no criminal record.  This is why it’s worth it to check for possible previous evictions.  Evictions occur according to the local, state and federal laws applicable in the area, adn are usually along financial lines, but sometimes the tenant can be evicted for other reasons, such as trashing the apartment.  If this happened before, it good to check again. 

Another thing to consider is make sure someone is doing walkthrough on your building.  If you don’t have a full time maintenance personnel, make sure someone is aware of the problems in the building and communicate with your tenants from time to time to be aware of any problems.  The complaints about the smells would have been a first warning. 

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