Podcast 286: Dealing with Nightmare Tenants

Lindsey is a patient landlord who was generous enough to share his story with us. He’s learning on the job and wanted to share his experience for all to learn from.

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Show Transcription:

Lindsey Dorris: (00:00)
Again, we’re coming up on the holiday season. It’s December. It’s never a good time for anybody to move in. It’s, it’s even just kind of difficult to get in there and transport and pull stuff out and just kind of do the work in the winter season.

Eric Worral: (00:12)
Yeah, absolutely. Well, at least you’ll be a little bit warmer where you are doing this work then if you’re doing it where I do have a little bit of snow coming down outside the winter, so the season, you know,

Voice Over: (00:28)
Welcome to the RentPrep for Landlords podcast and now your hosts, Steven White and Eric Worral.

Eric Worral: (00:34)
Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of RentPrep for Landlords. I’m your host Eric Worral and we have a special guest on the podcast today. His name is Lindsey Dorris. He hails from the Nashville area and I actually got a random email from Lindseyone day saying, Hey, you need to have my friend Steve Fox on your podcast. He would be a great guest. He’s got an interesting story. If you guys heard that episode, it’s a great listen. You might want to go back and check that one out if you missed it. But from talking with Lindsey over email, I thought it’d be a good idea to have him on the podcast as well. So welcome to the show, Lindsey. Nice to have you here. Nice to be talking to you. Yeah. So Lindsey just for our listeners, can you give us a little bit of background story because I know that from talking to you previously and you know, to let the listeners on, we were actually already recording, but I didn’t hit the record button, so that’s my bad. But a little bit about your background story, cause I know that you worked kind of a traditional corporate America job in tech, but then you kind of stumbled into real estate. Can you fill our listeners in on what that progression looked like for you?

Lindsey Dorris: (01:37)
Yeah, sure. I was in the tech industry for about 20 years. Everything from an HP reseller to working for a large software company up in New York in Long Island for five years. And then after I came back to Nashville, I got on board with another software and hardware company for about eight years. And then the company had layoffs. And so that put me to about 2013. And just prior to that layoff a friend of a friend asked me to see if I was interested in managing their property. That was just a few blocks from my house because the owner was in Los Angeles and he didn’t have anybody who was on-site who could act as eyes and ears for the property. So I was doing that at the same time when I had my corporate job, but then the layoffs occurred and I had this you know, this little gig on the side and I kind of a as a single father with two teenage kids, or actually one was 10, one was 12 years old. I continued to want to have the flexibility to be able to take care of them and just manage the day to day. And then so I started considering, you know, am I going to jump back into the corporate world? Do I want to, you know, try to expand on property management? And sometime in there, I met Steve Fox and his wife and they, as you say have a larger property portfolio. And I just started learning from them and listening to them and you know, she was handling more of the administrative, he was handling more the hands-on day to day, just making sure the properties were up and running, taking care of the places. And I was just asking them questions and I just kind of got more inspired to think about sort of expanding that in my life as well because several decades ago I was kinda thinking about what I would do when I was in my fifties and sixties. And I always thought that property management and having a couple of rentals was going to be a good idea. So it kind of went from there.

Eric Worral: (03:40)
Okay. And one of the things that kind of strikes me as interesting is if you listen to a lot of people in this space and one of the things that they’re constantly preaching is to get a mentor in the real estate space where for you, you weren’t necessarily even looking for one. But I think you had mentioned earlier when we were talking before we jumped on here that you were sharing rides to school for your kids, right? With Steve Fox and his wife. You guys were car sharing.

Lindsey Dorris: (04:04)
Exactly. Our two, our two sons were going to the same high school. I think it started in middle school and we were doing the whole carpool thing, dropping him off at school, picking them up after. And so we just got to know their family that way and our sons became good friends.

Eric Worral: (04:18)
That’s pretty cool cause you know, sometimes I think life kind of just puts things in front of you. And it sounds like that kind of happened in your situation where property management wasn’t necessarily something, it was something you thought about in the past, but you weren’t actively looking for it. And then randomly a friend reaches out and then randomly somebody that you’re carpool, your kids carpooled together is doing really well with real estate. And then you mentioned too before that you ended up getting a few other properties that you started managing. How did you acquire those properties?

Lindsey Dorris: (04:48)
Well, as far as the management of other people’s properties another couple of friends of mine found out that I was managing a couple of the houses over here on one property. And I had a friend who was in the military and she was stationed over in Hawaii. And she was looking for a local property manager because she went with a normal kind of nationally ranked property management organization and it wasn’t working out and she trusted me and we were good friends. And so she invited me to take care of that property. And so I did. And it’s been going well. And then another couple that I knew, they were leaving town and they had a, a condo or a townhouse actually, and they needed somebody to manage that. And so I kind of got that one as well. And then locally one day I saw a duplex in my community just about a mile from my house and it was definitely a fixer-upper, but I looked at the price and then I contacted my brother and he and I bought the house together and he’s out of state. So I managed it and I got some friends who were kind of a contract or family, got them on the case and got the place fixed up. And so locally then I had that duplex that me and my brother both owned, but then I managed these other properties for other people and also in there somewhere kind of word of mouth. Somebody had an Airbnb that they needed to be managed six months out of the year. So I was managing that one as well.

Eric Worral: (06:18)
Okay. I’m curious cause I know like a lot of people say you shouldn’t rent to friends, right. Like a cause that can create like a weird business dynamic. Do you have any kind of weird dynamics at all from being a property manager with people that you previously knew? Just on a friendly relationship level?

Lindsey Dorris: (06:34)
Yeah, there were absolutely no problems. In fact, it was kind of interesting one year, several years back, you know, I was taking a management fee with me and my brother and then one year he said, well, you know what, you make it like 7% or something like that. He says, we need to bump that up. And I said, okay, if you want to do that, that’s fine. And then this a friend from Wade hardball with you. What’s that? I said he really played hardball with them. Really all pitch. Yeah, definitely. No problem there. And then my friend from Hawaii, suddenly a really around the same time said, well, you know what? I want to bump up your management fee. And I said, well, okay, if you want to do that, happy to have that happen. And then when I was managing this Airbnb, it was not a percentage per month. It was just, actually, per hour. And so they wanted to bump me up a $10 per hour from what I was making before. Okay. And I said, okay, you want to do that? That’s fine. So yeah, there were no problems.

Eric Worral: (07:36)
Okay. so I’m sure some of our listeners are wondering because they’ve probably thought about getting into Airbnb with one of their properties as opposed to just kind of your standard, you know, 12 months lease rental property from your experience, at least on the management side how has that been with your Airbnb guests versus your, you know, standard rental property guests?

Lindsey Dorris: (07:59)
Well, it’s, it’s interesting. I don’t do that anymore. The owners of the property have since decided to go ahead and move back into the house as of about a year and a half ago. But yeah, it’s definitely interesting. You kind of never know what you’re going to have a week to week. And, you know, I would simply make sure the place was being taken care of as far as lawn care. I would show up and make sure that the cleaning service was adequate, which it was all that went fine. And you know, I’d walk through the house afterwards and give the tenants, the Airbnb tenants kind of a rating and I would let the owners know. But yeah, definitely, you never know what you’re going to get. You know, couples would come in for a couple of days or a week or whatever, and sometimes they would leave it spotless and it’d be like a five-star rating.

Lindsey Dorris: (08:51)
I think. I great. And you know, from a scale of one to 10 to the owner and other times, you know, it was a bit of a mess. And so when you own the house and this was your primary residence before and you’ve got plans to move back in, you’re always kind of wondering as an owner, Mmm. You know, how’s it really gonna how are things going to be left? Is it going to be okay? And I do recall one time, you know, in Nashville, Nashville is really known to be a wedding party city. We’ve got wedding parties that come in for, you know, brides, grooms, grooms, parties, they come in all the time and it’s really heavy flow. And so one time there was this groom’s party that came in and gosh, they were up, we got complaints from the neighbors. They were out on the front porch, you know, like 20 of them one, two in the morning plan, loud music causing a ruckus in the neighborhood and that did not go well.

Eric Worral: (09:47)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. As I’m sure sometimes it’s probably hard to spot those situations when they’re being set up in Airbnb. You don’t really know if it’s going to be a, you know, a couple or 20 dudes that show up. And you can have, you know, in a, in a six month period you can have 20 groups come through or 20 people, 20 couples, and out of the 20, there might be three bad ones. But you know, that can cause a bit of friction in the community, friction for neighbors. It can put some tension and a bit of conflict on the owners. So that’s my experience there.

Eric Worral: (10:19)
Okay. So you mentioned some people leave it a bit of a mess. I know that you had sent me an email kind of talking about some of your experiences from managing properties and in particular you had one situation that you’re working through with a tendency that’s not going too hot. So could you explain to our listeners what that is in me as well, how that situation got started and then, you know, how you’ve kind of arrived at where you are now?

Lindsey Dorris: (10:42)
Yeah, absolutely. So as I said before, Nashville has been booming as far as rentals and property management and people coming in and moving in and passing through. And as I got to the point where I wanted to invest in some more properties, the cost of houses the cost of property in Nashville was just over and above where I could afford. So I started looking around outside of Nashville and I was looking for smaller communities that were affordable to me, that were kind of close to the highway for transportation. And I came upon a town that was about to two hours and 15 minutes away that was close to the highway, you know, a bit in the country compared to Nashville, a little cute community that got this, you know, little main street downtown. And I could, I could see this place growing kind of kind of looking ahead.

Lindsey Dorris: (11:34)
And so I actually bought a, a very affordable two-bedroom. One bath had already had a tenant and that went very well that, you know, the tenant and I got along then and we still get along. She’s doing great now. She pays early every time and you need that. She has, I try to accommodate as quick as possible. So that was going really well. And then soon after that, I saw a larger property. It was a four-bedroom, two-bath, 2200 square feet ranch style house. And the interesting thing about it is I was actually with a real estate agent, just kind of drive it around. We had 15 minutes to kill and I came up upon this per sale sign and I thought, well, let’s go have a look. And so we just popped in and ironically, the style of this house really reminded me of my parents’ house where I grew up in high school.

Lindsey Dorris: (12:24)
It had the same look and feel. It had the same kind of, you know, 1960s kind of well-kept you know, house and it had the same smell and everything. So I was a bit sentimental [inaudible] his house and it was a really good shape, an emotional purchase a little bit, but you know what, it was a good house and the price was right. It was listed at a certain amount and I, I picked it up for about 10% less. And so, you know, everything was going great. But again this house did, did not already have a tenant and it’s completely empty. And I was still trying to understand the market two hours away and I did not have a property manager who was on site. I was just managing from afar and so I was a little bit nervous, kind of wondering how long it would take to get someone in there.

Lindsey Dorris: (13:12)
So I went ahead and posted it on Zillow and Craigslist and I got a bite like two days later. And the man who responded said, you know, Oh my gosh, this place looks perfect for us. We’re a blended family with, you know, six to nine people. And I’m thinking, well that’s kind of a lot of people. And he goes, but you know, this house has a, a handicap wheelchair access on the front. So it had a ramp. And I was actually kinda wondering how that ramp would go over. I thought some people would like that and some people wouldn’t. Am I going to have to tear it down and haul it off or whatever? But this guy says, you know what, my wife is a handicap. One of the things we love is that this has an access ramp. And I said, okay, that sounds great.

Lindsey Dorris: (13:58)
And turns out he is an HVAC project manager. Everything from install from beginning to end. And I thought, well, if you’ve ever, I have trouble with the HVAC, would you be willing to help out with that? He said, yeah, absolutely. And then it turns out his son is a contractor as well, who does carpentry, a little bit of electrical plumbing and whatnot. And I said, well, if you guys don’t mind supplying some of the repair needs and maintenance, maybe we could work something out. Okay. Then that’s kinda how that got started. And so they did, within four days we had signed a lease. That’s how that got started. And then through that tendency where things kind of went off the rails as far as the condition of the house. Yeah. Yeah. Well actually, you know, for several months everything went okay.

Lindsey Dorris: (14:49)
And so, but let me back up against all my better judgment. Yeah. There are definitely some things that I did not do, not do a background check. Okay. You know, I was just kind of counting on, you know, I had a customized lease in hand when I drove over and met the guy face to face before we signed off. But I had not met the family, which definitely a good protocol is to meet the family, see who’s going to be living there, get a nice vibe and feel, make sure everything seems okay. Yup. Do the background check, do the finance, you know, the background check, make sure everything’s looking okay as far as that history and for what it’s worth, I use rent prep for that and but I did not do that when I went ahead and signed and thought, you know, I’m far away.

Lindsey Dorris: (15:34)
These guys can take care of some repairs and maintenance from time to time and it seems like it’s going to work. And also it’s a lesser economic area. So I was going to rent the house originally for eight 50 per month, but since they have more people and I’m more wear and tear on the house, I said, well, you know what, I need to bump that up to a thousand. And they said, yeah, okay, no problem. So the first day they moved in with six people and then they moved in some additional blended family members. And so we bumped it up and they paid the difference of the monthly amount and also the down payment. And so everything seemed to be okay. Then a little while later the HVAC was really needing to be replaced, but the father said, Hey, I know where I can get one, the gas-electric unit. And so within 24 hours, he went and I paid remotely for him to buy a brand new unit. And within 24 hours he had it installed. Okay. And so that sounded very nice. And then there were some other repairs that they looked at and notified me about and I got those taken care of and paid them. So everything seemed to be going fine for six or seven months.

Eric Worral: (16:42)
Yeah. And so depending, it’s kind of one of those situations it sounds like where you’re, you’re kind of rationalizing a little bit as things are happening cause you’re like, well I guess they like the wheelchair ramp or maybe that could work out better because he can, you know, work on the HVAC system or whatever it may be and you’re kind of piecing it together. But while you’re going through it, you also might have just a lingering concern or two that maybe you’re kind of skipping some steps here and seeing how it’s going. But it’s going okay about six months in.

Lindsey Dorris: (17:12)
Exactly. And with my other properties that were local, you know, if anything happens, if there’s an emergency I can get to that property within an hour. Yeah. But in this case I kind of had to plan ahead. I kind of had it planned a couple of days out if I wanted to go pay a visit or do a walk through either of these properties, I kind of had to kind of think about that a week ahead and notify people and drive over. And it would pretty much take about half a day.

Eric Worral: (17:40)
Now do you think that if their property was local, cause I’m sure we have some people who maybe are considering the same thing, like they’re looking at a property that’s two, three hours. If it was local, would you have been less willing to kind of work out some deal where the person would have been working on the property? Do you think that farther away that appealed to you or was that just kind of something that just appealed to you because it sounded like it might make financial sense [inaudible]

Lindsey Dorris: (18:03)
Yeah, I think so. I think if it was local I would have been more cautious. I definitely would have gone ahead and done a background check because in the Nashville area it’s definitely a renter’s market and it’s an owner’s market. You can actually pick and choose. But in this market, it was a bit different. So that’s why I was kind of taking chances.

Eric Worral: (18:22)
Okay. Gotcha. All right. So a little bit because of the location, like, you know, you didn’t have the right to be as picky at the location as opposed to what you’ve been used to in Nashville.

Lindsey Dorris: (18:33)
And the first thing I should have done was to get a property manager who was local, but I did not do that.

Eric Worral: (18:39)
Yeah. And do you think you didn’t do that because of just time considerations, cost considerations? What was the rationale behind that?

Lindsey Dorris: (18:46)
Honestly, it was not time considerations. I was just sort of taking a gamble. I was taking a chance because, you know, I had a, an HVAC guy and a son who was a contractor and I thought, you know, this, this seems like it’s working okay for about six or seven months. And so I thought, well, things are going okay. But then soon after, as you know, things fell apart.

Eric Worral: (19:07)
Yup. Okay. And then before we get going in the next section. And the other thing I was gonna mention too, for our listeners, of course, you don’t want to discriminate based on familial status, but depending on the town and the ordinances there may be a point at which, you know, they’re past their maximum occupancy limits. So that’s something that you can consider if you’ve got somebody who’s going to move a ton of people in. And the other thing that you could probably consider too, if you’re looking back on this one, is running a background check on anybody over the age 18 cause it sounds like he has a son that was living with them that was probably, that met that criteria because you might meet the person you met, just the, the father but then, you know, the 25 year old son might have just been evicted from two properties with lots of damages and whatnot on his record or something like that that you might be able to uncover because that person’s going to be living in the property as well. So yeah, all things you kind of learn as you go along and figure out. Right,

Lindsey Dorris: (20:00)
Exactly. You’re absolutely right.

Eric Worral: (20:02)
So what was the first a warning sign that you got? Cause I mean, you’ve already sent me across the pitchers and the pitchers are just, you know, devastating to look at. It doesn’t matter if you’re a landlord or now you just look at that and you’re like, it’s just sad. Somebody who’s living in those conditions. What was the first red flag?

Lindsey Dorris: (20:17)
Well it was five days before the lease was beat was to be renewed. I get a call from the father and to my surprise, he says well, he goes, I’m moving out. And I think my, my daughter’s moving out with me and she was a young adult as well. And her husband, he says, I just can’t stay here anymore and I’m leaving and I just want you to know. He goes, I realize we’re going to lose our deposit, I’ve to leave. And I said, okay, well then I can’t just get in the car and drive over in 30 minutes. I’m thinking, okay, well what about the rest of your family? And he says, well, as far as I know, they’re going to stay. And I said, well, well, what happened if you don’t mind me asking? He said, well, we just got into some personal family matters that couldn’t be resolved and I’ve got to lead. And I was like, well, he’s like, I’m just letting you know. I was like, okay.

Eric Worral: (21:22)
Did you have any inclination at this point that the house might’ve been in a horrible state? Or did you, where you just kind of blank? I mean, I know if I was in that situation, my brain would probably start filling in some storylines. Like, do you remember what you were thinking at that point?

Lindsey Dorris: (21:35)
Yeah, absolutely. That was one of my biggest, well, you know, and the way things had gone so far, I thought, well, things seem to be working out okay. However, you know, there were just a lot of people living in this space. And so I thought, well, you know, there’s definitely gonna be some wear and tear. I get that after a year or so. We’ll see. How it’s going and then if, you know, things are good enough, they can continue or maybe I just need to, you know, find some new tenants. And so that’s kind of what I was thinking. But definitely, when this was going on I thought, okay, you know, what’s really the shape of this place today? So that’s kind of what I was thinking there.

Eric Worral: (22:11)
Okay. So I’m assuming at that point since you were that close to resigning the lease anyways, you’re scheduling the time to get out there. Right,

Lindsey Dorris: (22:17)
Exactly. So I’m, I’m thinking, okay, this is not working on, I’ve really, you know, I’m, I’m behind the eight ball. I should’ve done it sooner. I’ve really got to get a local property manager on board now. And so I did a little bit of research and I, I selected one, you know, who was definitely local, who had had some experience. And so I, I got her signed up and signed a contract with her right away. She went over and visited the house and since the lease was not renewed according to the lease, it then goes month to month after that. And so then, you know, she, she got on the scene and went out there a few times and then they actually, the remaining part of the family, they, they, they didn’t pay 1000 a month. They then bumped it down because there were fewer people.

Lindsey Dorris: (23:04)
They said, well, we’re only gonna pay eight 50. I was like, well, I’m not really happy about that. And I was talking to the property manager and they can go, let’s see how this goes for a few months. And so they, they paid the next couple of months. And then the property manager kind of got an idea that things were not looking very good on the inside of the house. And so then the tenants at that time, they stopped talking to the property manager and it had been several days and I was like, okay, this is too, this is too far a lesson learned. I got to get out there and hook up with the property manager and we got to do a walk through and just really see the state of things. And then you saw the pictures of that. Oh my gosh.

Eric Worral: (23:46)
Yeah, it’s heartbreaking. Yeah. I mean you showed me the four pictures as well. So this place was in really good shape. And then, I mean, you’ve got just, it looks kind of like quarters essentially, but also lots of damage between the carpets and walls and all the rooms, the backyard. I mean, I don’t even know if I really want to go there, but there was a deceased animal in the backyard, right?

Lindsey Dorris: (24:09)
Oh yeah. A dog. I was walking around through the house and then out around the back and I saw all the debris and stuff. You know, since they at one time had put up a small deck on the back porch, will be Sunday and decided to tear that down. So all the debris was out in the back. And did you want me to elaborate a bit on what the way things looked?

Eric Worral: (24:31)
Yeah, I’m good on the dog part of it just cause that one’s just too sad. It’s just going through the pictures, which people can’t see on the podcast. But I mean pretty much every room of the house has, you know, stop. There’s, I’m looking at a picture right now. It looks like they probably would put a poster board on the wall and then let a kid draw all over it and there’s just scratches all over the walls.

Lindsey Dorris: (24:51)
Yeah. I think calling it a poster board is a bit too much. I think that it was just a piece of wrapping paper or something taped up on the wall. I have no idea what that’s about. Letting kids draw on it in addition to just with crayons and markers and stickers all over the walls kind of throughout the house randomly. And you know, I had to communicate with the parents and just say look if your kid marks on the wall with a crayon or a marker or a sticker the first time that happens, you take that stuff away, you don’t keep giving it.

Eric Worral: (25:25)
Yeah. Talking like a parent, you just talked to my heartstrings just saying that. Cause I have had tenants in the past where I might, I feel like I’m parenting and not landlording right now and I don’t like that. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So there’s just trash, garbage everywhere. I mean, well I’ll definitely have at least one of the pictures and broken windows, like appliances, everything. So at this point, like, you know, I mean, what’s your thought? I don’t want to say, you know, like what was your thought process at this point after you’ve done the walkthrough and started seeing how, how bad I was definitely thinking two things. Well, three things [inaudible].

Lindsey Dorris: (26:01)
First of all, these folks, they’ve got to go, they’re not respecting the property. They’re, you know, their lives and the way they want to live is not what I need. At the same time, to be honest, I was having compassion on them because the mother who was left after the father left the mother, you know, she was pretty much an invalid. She had had home health care and some an assistant was coming several hours a day to help her out. And that’s, you know, that’s, that’s not something that the family can control. That’s just the situation. And so I was really, you know, I was sad for them about that. And then they’ve got a bunch of young kids and the husband at that time, he was working as many hours as he could to pay for things and to get things done. But you know, at the same time it just wasn’t working. And so I was having compassion on them as much as I could. Yeah. Same time, you know, I’ve got a house, I’m trying to take care of it. I’m trying to provide a good property for tenants and they were not respecting it.

Eric Worral: (27:06)
You gotta try to imagine like putting myself in your shoes because, the amount of tension you’d have to feel right. So like I think they say it’s like that cognitive dissonance when you have two things that are pulling you in separate directions and one of them being, you want to have a profitable rental property and you want to take care of in a well-maintained manner. But then there’s the human side of you that just wants to be compassionate to somebody who’s in an awful situation, but at the same time, they haven’t helped their situation. At least you know, the way they’re treating the property and they’ve, you know, contributed to what the problem is. So you’re kind of caught between these two things, stretching you in both directions and you’re like, how do I handle this? So what do you do at that particular moment? I mean, how do you, how do you go forward from there?

Lindsey Dorris: (27:50)
Well you know, I’m trying to be a, a little bit of a businessman and have a heart. At the same time, I’m trying to be a human and also a father and then understand family dynamics and stuff like that. I don’t want to just pump these folks at the curb, but at the same time, you know, I gave them a very nice house to start. And as far as I can tell, I was a very good property manager for them. You know, they needed a new refrigerator. Like I let them go pick out a fridge themselves. I’m to drive down to the local store, you pick it out, I’ll pay for it. You guys bring it home. We’re all good. You know, they needed an HVAC system. I got it paid for and done in 24 hours. So I was trying to be very responsive, so I felt like I had done my job.

Lindsey Dorris: (28:34)
So with the help of the property manager who is just more knowledgeable and experienced with the way things work locally and legally we, you know, I told them, I said, look, this is not working out. So I understand there’s some, you guys have some circumstances that are either, you know, within your control but also out of your control. But I just need different kinds of tenants. You know, the carpets all throughout are ruined. Yeah. I mean, the whole house, the whole house is going to have to be repainted. I said, you know what, with all the debris and stuff, and I said, it’s probably going to cost me $3,000 at least to get this home back in shape for, for renters. But, you know, I said, look if you guys can move out within a certain time, I might even cut you some slack and give you two weeks rental for free.

Eric Worral: (29:27)

Lindsey Dorris: (29:27)
So here I am trying to be a nice guy. I try to be reasonable. I don’t want to be a jerk and there’s kids involved. There’s a mother in a wheelchair involved. And so, you know, that’s tugging on my heartstrings a bit. Sure. I said, look, but you know, the thing is, is what you guys need and what I need or are far and apart. So let me just spell it out. You guys, you guys have got to go, I’m going to give you a month and a half if you can pay for what you owe. Cause at this time they were about six weeks behind in payment and I said, you know what, if you guys pay up what you owe, I’ll give you two more weeks for free just to get settled and to get to your next place.

Eric Worral: (30:04)
So you kind of did like cash for keys scenario, but instead of saying, Hey, if you can get out at this time, I’ll give you cash. You said, Hey, if you can get out this time you won’t owe me two weeks of the rent. Correct. Did you get any of this in writing or contract or was it kind of more of a verbal agreement? Yeah, with the help of the property management, she then went ahead and put a notice on the door with everything spelled out. Okay. That’s good. And then with the notice, you know, there was a, she also you know, took care of the legal matters with getting us scheduled for a court date as well. Okay. And then, I mean, I hate to presume, but I feel like, did they actually follow through on that six-week plan or, I mean to follow through and pay you everything owed and then just got the two free weeks or how’d that all pan out? Well, I kind of feel like they didn’t, based on the question.

Lindsey Dorris: (30:56)
Yeah, you’re right. You can smell that. Come and see, you know, the old walks like a duck talks like a duck, you know? Yeah. This one’s quacking very loudly. Yeah. So, yeah, absolutely. So I was trying to be reasonable and you know, I, I kind of laid it out for him, but I think in their minds they felt like they were doing their best [inaudible] what they had to work with, with their family and their lives and they felt like I was the bad guy. Yeah. And I was, you know, kicking them to the curb. Yeah. And so they said, well, if you’re kicking us out, we’re just not going to pay anything. Yeah. And that’s how it is. And that’s what we expect. We expect them fully not to pay anything until the court date and then hopefully things will take a turn and, you know, I’m going to lick my wounds and be better for it and learn some lessons and hopefully, they can learn some lessons on their side as well.

Eric Worral: (31:48)
Yeah. So where, what’s the state of the Reynold right now? Are you in the repair stage or where’s it at right now? They’re still there. Oh geez. Yeah, exactly. We’ve got a court date at the end of this month. Oh, I’m sorry, I missed that. Yeah, that’s okay. We’ve got a court date coming up November 30th. That was the earliest court date we can get. And I do have to get some follow up with my local property manager and, and I don’t, is this going to be your first eviction then? Yes, exactly. So this is my first time down this path I’ve heard. Yeah, I’ve heard of horror stories. I, I had one what I would call one personal bad tenant in the past, but yeah. Other than that, things have gone really well. So this is my first time and what a doozy it is. Would you say you know, just get back to the property manager discussion having a property manager through all of this part of it, is it, you know, been really beneficial for you or, I mean, how’s that?

Lindsey Dorris: (32:48)
Yes, absolutely. This property manager definitely has a good bit of experience. She also comes from a franchise background with being a franchise owner with a plumbing, a nationally ranked plumbing company. So she’s got some extra skills there as well. And she just knows how things work in that area. She knows the court system, the legal system, they know her, he’s very well engaged with that system on a regular basis. And so she’s been really great to have.

Eric Worral: (33:22)
Okay. Yeah, I would think a property manager definitely worth their weight in gold. If it’s your first time going through an eviction, especially out of town like that where he can just getting over there to serve a notice on the door, like that’s going to be a four hour process for you or, you know, so yeah. What are you doing? Like where’s your mindset at now knowing that you had this looming court date coming up pretty soon? I mean, what do you, what are your thoughts?

Lindsey Dorris: (33:48)
Well, I’m looking forward to it and also I’m kind of a little bit I’m a little bit anxious to get back in the house, number one, to see how they left it. And also number two, I’m guessing they’re probably going to leave a lot of cleanups.

Eric Worral: (34:03)
Yeah. So knowing what you know now, not even just because we have discussed this a little bit in this particular situation, you said that you probably would have handled background checks or done a background check and looked at some other factors, had a property manager of out of the Gates for this property. Yes. Would you say to that, you kind of, one of the common themes we hear is that people rush to get somebody in because you want to get cash flow started? Do you think that kind of played into the factors with this too?

Lindsey Dorris: (34:31)
Oh, absolutely. Not all of that. The lack of background check, you’re trying to get someone in there you know, trusting some things about these tenants on the front end that was really against my better judgment. All of that was emotional. Yup. Totally.

Eric Worral: (34:49)
Even the property itself you said was a kind of emotional

Lindsey Dorris: (34:53)
Exactly. Exactly. I told my brothers and sister, I looked at the place and I just told them right away. I said, wow, this place, it’s just a tiny bit of a smaller version of our parents’ place. And I showed him pictures and, you know, even some of the woodwork and the fireplace and the carpets, you know, all of that was just like a spinoff of my parents’ house. So yeah, totally emotional lesson learned and hopefully, you know, I’ll never do that again.

Eric Worral: (35:20)
Yeah. Do you think that you’ll still be looking for more properties in that town or what your future plans are you just trying to get through the end of the month?

Lindsey Dorris: (35:28)
Yeah, actually, definitely. I think it’s, you know, I think the area is a good investment. It’s gone through some economic hard times. But there’s a big company moving in. It’s going to hire about 1800 workers and, like I said, it is a small town, so that’s a significance. That’s a significant add. That’s gonna. They’ve already broken ground on the business. And so it’s looking really good. And I think the next tenants actually through the property manager because she’s so well connected in the area, she’s already got another family, parents and two teenage kids. So, four people, she’s already kinda got them sidelined to move in for this property. And so she’s already talking to them. So that’s already looking good already.

Eric Worral: (36:12)
Oh, that’s awesome. I mean, yeah, just something like that. Just being able to, you know to expedite the vacancy timeframe where, you know, maybe you only need a month to get the place fixed up and get somebody in. Hopefully, that’s the case. But.

Lindsey Dorris: (36:26)
Yeah, I think, I think a month, I mean, again, just kind of what I’m predicting from what’s happened so far a month would be a dream. Two months would be probably in the middle. Yeah. Three months I’m thinking might be likely and we’re coming up again. We’re coming up on the holiday season, it’s December. It’s never a good time for anybody to move in. It’s, it’s even just kind of difficult to get in there. And transport and pull stuff out and just kind of do the work in the winter season.

Eric Worral: (36:57)
Yeah, absolutely. Well, at least you’ll be a little bit warmer where you are doing this work than if you’re doing it where I do have a little bit of snow coming down outside the winter, first of the season, you know, up there in Buffalo. Yeah, yeah. That was a, you know, it looks pretty in November, December, maybe even January, but February not so much.

Lindsey Dorris: (37:21)
Yeah. Well, I am going to be grateful for that cause you’re right, it’s not going to be as cold down here.

Eric Worral: (37:25)
Yeah. Well, Lindsey, I think this is a really interesting story that you have because it’s really, you know, it’s real for a lot of people. It’s something that a lot of landlords you’ve either gone through or may have to go through at some point. And what I’ve come to realize with property management and dealing with people, it’s, it’s so much of, it’s a learning experience and then growing from that and get through it and where you are right now, to me at least, it sounds like you got your head in a really good place with I work where it’s at, cause it is a tough situation to go through, but you seem like you’re keeping pretty level headed and you don’t seem too bitter about it, which I feel like some people that might kind of just ruin the whole experience for them.

Lindsey Dorris: (38:05)
Yeah. I don’t wish bad things on this family at all. You know, I hope that they can move on and that, you know, they can find a place that’s best for them and have a good you know, property owner situation for them and that, you know, some of their personal struggles. Just like we all have personal family struggles. I hope that those things can get better. So I don’t have any ill will towards them at all. It’s just a, yeah. You know different, different kinds of folks. And you know, I’ll, I’ll be a little bit wiser going forward and I just hope that some of the mistakes that I’ve made can benefit some of your listeners.

Eric Worral: (38:38)
Ah, ah, that’s awesome. Well, Jay, I appreciate you opening up and sharing your experience, and I’m sure a lot of our listeners do too. And yeah, just thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.

Lindsey Dorris: (38:49)
Right on. It’s been good talking to you. Alright. Good luck. And take care of with the property and keep us posted. Yes, sir. We’ll do.

Eric Worral: (38:56)
All right.