Podcast 233: Abandoned Alligator!

Imagine going through a vacant rental and finding a 6 foot alligator… it happened in Kansas City Missouri. We discuss this and other recent new stories.

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Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Calgary landlord refuses to pay locksmith after price nearly triples, no invoice provided

Landlord Tries To Evict Tenant And Finds Someone Waiting In The Bathtub

Tenant to give landlord Airbnb profits after running secret Taupo guesthouse

Show Transcription:

Eric Worral: 00:00 Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of RentPrep for landlords. I’m your co-host, Eric Worral here in the RentPrep offices and this is episode 233. Steve White, my other cohost, he is off today. He’s actually in the room next to me in the office over a doing some work, catching up on some things, so you got just me today and we’re going to be talking about new stories, things happening in the news that affect landlords, real estate investors, people in this space. And you know what? The first one you maybe you clicked on this because you saw the title and you’re curious about it. So one of they give you a little teaser and this is coming from a WJX 14. I’m hope I’m saying that right. I’m reading this off their twitter feed, but this is coming from a local news affiliate Missouri. So why don’t we take a listen?

News: 00:45 Braley says he found cat fish in a pool inside the house. The water that was at 18 inches deep, but he could get up and go out and cruise through the house. He had a ramp.

News: 00:57 Casey says catfishes diet of chicken nuggets, stake deer, fish and rats got him to his current weight of more than 200 pounds.

Eric Worral: 01:07 Oh, that’s fantastic. And we’re going to be talking more about catfish, the giant alligator right after this

Music: 01:13 1,2,3,4 ya ya ya…. Welcome to the RentPrep for landlords podcast. And now your host, Steve White and Eric Worral.

Eric Worral: 01:22 So our first story here, this comes from a Christian Warfield. They found this on the dodo.com, and she’s talking about a landlord who is going through, after evicting a tenant that, uh, they had the bigger department and they go in and Kansas City, Missouri, and they found a surprise inside and it was a six foot long and according to this 150 pound alligator, although the owner said it was over 200 pounds and the alligators name was catfish. So the tenant had been keeping the alligator illegally as a pet. Of course, you know, I’m sure the lease said no pets, sir. No alligators on it. And, uh, when the landlord went through to check it out, not only found this, an alligator with living essentially in a, a hot tub inside of the property, they also found two Boa constrictors and some rabbits in the apartments they were all transferred to local rescues. So the tenant, Shawn Casey told the Kansas City Star that he had catfish for years and the gator was a big and cuddly lizard. He smiled all the time. Wow.

Eric Worral: 02:26 No, I know animals and pets, they have personalities. But um, I’m pretty sure that, you know, alligators don’t really have a smiling face or frowning face. It’s usually just, you know, the alligator phase. But maybe that’s my uninformed opinion, but I can only imagine how terrifying that was for that landlord when he flipped over the hot tub lid. And I’m assuming, you know, he’s got one of those lids on it and all of a sudden you see a six foot, nearly 200 pounds alligator hanging out inside of your rental property. My favorite part too is there was a ramp and they’re feeding them chicken nuggets and deer and steak. Oh man, this is just, it’s horrible. You feel bad for the animal to because it wasn’t supposed to live its life like this being a new story for people to laugh at and think, oh man, Kansas City, Missouri is nuts.

Eric Worral: 03:14 But luckily catfish has been returned to a nearby sanctuary where it’ll live comfortably in a more species-appropriate environment. Like how that’s phrased. So after the eviction turned rescue mission, it’s pretty likely this landlord will be extra careful about his pet policy from now on. I agree with you on that one. Chris, and I liked the way you finished out that article. Uh, you can check out this article. I’ll link to it in the show notes of today’s episode as always. But, uh, I just thought there was a 41 to kind of get things started off this week. Uh, it will be kind of a brief episode. We’ve got a couple other news stories that I wanted to point out for ya. And uh, why don’t we move to the next one right here.

Eric Worral: 03:50 So this one comes from CBC. So our friendly neighbors to the north in Canada. Uh, this one is in Calgary, the story, and I thought this was worth highlighting because there’s a good lesson to be a good takeaway for landlords, US landlords, to kind of remember as a, as you’re, uh, doing a dealings with different vendors and you’re, you know, you’re hiring people out. I’m actually in the process of this right now, hiring out snow removal from my rental property, so it’s good to make sure you’re paying attention and doing things the right way. So Lucie from CBC news says that a Calgary landlord refuses to pay the locksmith after prices nearly tripled, no invoice provided. So that’s pretty much the gist of it. But a Maria who is a, um, a landlord in Calgary, she said that her tenant requested to have new locks installed on the property, so they had a, um, a, a local locksmith come out and said nothing fancy or anything like that. So what ended up happening was the locksmith’s a called from the tenant’s phone and said that this is going to cost you. He said something like $280 plus tax and you said, okay. Um, so about $300 bucks and he said yes. So the tenants kind of facilitating everything. They’re the one that got the locksmith there and then just kind of gave the phone to the landlord just to confirm which is good at it. Did that. But when she got the bill, the bill nearly tripled to $773.85 and he refused to send her an itemized invoice until it was paid. So pretty weird that they would do this. I’m almost like $800 just to have, you know, a locksmith change out some blocks. I’m not, not a lot to really dig into this, but the main takeaway is if you’re working with a vendor, you know, get a quote, get something in writing, you know, even if it’s just them emailing you. So in this particular case, if the landlord who you’re talking to, that person on the phone said, okay, could you please email me that as well? Granted, it’s not, you know, a contract by any means. You didn’t sign that, but you’d at least have some sort of documented communication that are a locksmith emailed you and said this is going to be this price and here is the, um, you know, the estimate and then when they come in a triple that you might have something to go against. But in this particular case, it’s really just he said, she said, so if you’re dealing with vendors, if you’re dealing with somebody and I’m planning on doing this as I’m hiring out for snow removal of my property, I want it in writing. I’m going to sign something. I’m going to be tracking everything and making sure it’s all set. Of course, making sure the person is insured as well, but make sure you’re taking those steps. Don’t just do a verbal, a verbal communication when it comes to working with people that are gonna be working on your property like this. So, um, yeah, that’s the quick takeaway from there. Thank you to Lucie from the CBC for writing that article. Appreciate it.

Eric Worral: 06:45 We also have another article here. This one comes from stuff backhoe, that NZ, which I thinks dancer in New Zealand. So I thought this one was, um, was interesting even though it’s in New Zealand, I don’t know how many listeners we have in the New Zealand market, but what this story is highlighting was the tenant has to give the landlord airbnb profits after running a secret guest house. So this one I think could really happen to any of us, right? I mean, how often you really going to your properties and checking them out and uh, you know, being in touch with some landlords, do you know, every six months they’ll kind of do an inspection and a check. But what happened in this particular case was a tenant who made $27,000 secretly hosting Airbnb guests at the house, uh, she didn’t live in, has been ordered to give her a landlords than net profit. So for 14 months, Michelle Hawthorne brand the guesthouse against the conditions of release and she didn’t even live at the property. She paid $380 per week in rent but offered it for 100, $5 a night online. And had led it or I had a rented it out for 261 days over 14 months in March 2018. So the, uh, that’s kind of interesting in itself, right? Fourteen months. Um, I don’t know what the rental prices are at this place, but 380 a week are pretty much saying it’s about like a $1,500 a month, a rental. And this person got 261 days that she rented out over 14 months. So she’s keeping it occupied. About two-thirds of the year. What would it cost her? Probably, uh, let me see if my maths, right. Fourteen months at 1500 bucks you’d be looking at it. And this six, about $21,000. So she took what cost her $21,000 and turned it in $27,000. I’m kind of interesting. Uh, I don’t know if that landlord is going to want to actually pursue this on their own after this. Um, it’s a lot of work if you are trying to do Airbnb. I have a friend who does that rents out a, a room in his house. Um, and uh, he does well with it, but um, you know, it’s, it’s definitely a lot of work. But the thing that I thought about for our audience, we’re hearing this was you might want to check on Airbnb once in a while and just see what pops up, put it in a few different dates, put, you know, zoom in on where your property would be. They don’t let you look at specific addresses. But take a look. I mean, if you’re concerned, check it out and make sure that your property is not showing up there. You’re going to know right away if it is right. So that’s why you might want to look at a few different dates, maybe some odd days out in the future, pretty far less chance that it’s booked up. So that’ll show up. But it might be worth just to take five minutes and kind of look through your different properties and make sure that there’s no funny business going on because times are tough for some runners. And you know, in this particular case this person was more so looking at this as a, a profit generator. It doesn’t sound like they were running out of room as they were living there. They were just running out the entire apartment after running it. Um, so yeah, check that out. Make sure you’re keeping up on your properties and I may actually do that after this episode after I get off here.

Eric Worral: 09:49 But uh, yeah, I thought was pretty interesting and I’m kind of cool though that the course did side with them to pay them the uh, the net profits of it. So yeah, that concludes episode 233. I think I told you earlier, maybe I didn’t, but it’s going to be a quick one. Yeah. Can they get right to the point? But uh, next week hopefully Steve will be in the office in the recording room here with me and we will go over some new topics and if you guys have any suggestions for the podcast things you want to hear, more of, things you want to hear, less of, feel free to email me, eric@rent-prep. And of course there’s always, if you need us for tenant screening, you need a solid solid background check on your renter, a one that you can rely on where people are actually hand compiling and taking the time to look through and making sure that there’s no bad information that’s making its way to you. Check us out rent-prep. So we look forward to hearing from you guys and uh, we will be in touch next week. All right. Take care.