Landlording Math: Tenants + Pitbulls = Eviction
I advise landlords to regularly inspect their rental properties – both inside and out. This will help keep little problems from becoming big problems. Another good piece of advice is to know the neighbors around your rentals and make sure those neighbors have your phone number.
A few weeks back, I inspected a property we manage in Canton, Georgia. The tenants had lived there for about five months. They kept the home spotless, paid on time and were comfortable to work with.
While we allow pets, these folks didn’t have any…or so they told me. As I did a walk-around inspection, I opened the gate to the backyard and suddenly realized three very important things: First, the tenants had acquired a momma Pitbull and her six pups. Second, momma Pitbulls are VERY protective of their babies. Third, I didn’t have a change of underwear – something I suddenly needed DESPERATELY!
Later that evening – after the doctor got me to quit stammering “dddoooggg!!!” – I spoke with the tenants. Seems the husband had gone into the business of selling Pitbull puppies. After explaining that the landlord’s insurance company didn’t allow dogs like Pitbulls on the property, the tenants decided to move.
While it was terrible losing such great tenants, there are certain rules that just can’t be broken. One of which is me being eaten by the family pet!
We were able to come to the following win-win agreement with the tenants. First, the tenants agreed to move from the property within seven days and leave the home in a clean, like-they-found-it condition. Second, the landlord agreed not to charge any fees. Third, the tenants agreed to forfeit half of their Security Deposit. Fourth – and this was the most important part of all – they agreed to take their man-eating devil dogs from Hades with them!
Five days later, they called to say their stuff was out. They wanted to know when they could get their partial security deposit back. After meeting them at the property and doing a Move-out Inspection Report, they got their check.
Did you notice that I didn’t threaten to do an eviction? By working with tenants, you’ll find an agreeable solution to most problems. Fact is, after managing rental properties for more than 16 years, we’ve only taken four tenants to court. That’s a pretty amazing record.
OK, guess I have to spill the beans and tell the truth about how I actually found out about the Pitbulls. The neighbor called and said the tenants had gotten the dogs a few days before. At first, the neighbor thought the dogs were just visiting. After realizing that they were part of a dog-breeding business, he called me.
Neighbors can be an important part of your property management team. Be sure to introduce yourself and give them your business card – you want to be easily reachable if a problem arises.
Bill and Kim’s North Georgia Real Estate Investors Association meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn off Main Street in Cartersville, Georgia. For more info, go to NorthGeorgiaREIA.com.