Author Topic: Bad landlord on my block  (Read 4478 times)

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Bad landlord on my block
« on: February 19, 2015, 06:23:23 AM »
My neighborhood is a mix of rental properties and owner-occupied units. Most of the landlords are pretty good about keeping things up decently; one went vacant about a month ago and has already been cleaned up and re-rented to new tenants.

But next door to that is a property that's been vacant for months, and I wouldn't rent it either. Flashing is blowing in the wind, the gutters are falling off the side, and the front porch desperately needs reworked. I've seen the landlord show a contractor around and the contractor has come by once, but none of the obvious exterior issues have been fixed. The landlord bought it in 1989 for $74,000 and it probably isn't worth much more than that today given its condition - renovated it could sell for $180,000 or so.

Anybody have success encouraging a bad landlord to get it together? He doesn't even have the sidewalk shoveled.

Dimitri

  • Guest
Re: Bad landlord on my block
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 07:05:11 AM »
If the property isn't violating the municipal Property Maintenance Code (or whatever applies in your neck of the woods) I'm not so sure it is any concern of yours.  If it truly bothers you perhaps you might consider making the owner an offer.  Then you can fix it up to your liking.

theoverlook

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 235
Re: Bad landlord on my block
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 11:52:38 AM »
Flashing and gutters and porches being damaged are obvious code violations in any jurisdiction I know of.  Call them in to code enforcement.  It's completely complaint driven in most areas, so they won't stop by and check without your (or someone's) complaint.  They're negatively impacting your quality of life and breaking the law, don't feel guilty about calling it in.  If you know the guy, I would bring it to his attention first, but that's just excessive courtesy.  He knows he should fix it.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Bad landlord on my block
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 12:14:58 PM »
I'm philosophically not a huge fan of calling in the government for something less than violence or fraud. On top of that, the municipality came to inspect the rental next door to it today (the one that was recently occupied), and evidently didn't pay any attention to the house.

My BIL and I have been discussing rehabbing a house when he moves to town later this year. So making the guy an offer if that comes to pass might be my best option.

sammybiker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
    • Making 200k in equity in 6mo - Back down the rabbit hole, long distance RE
Re: Bad landlord on my block
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 03:38:58 PM »
What about reaching out to the owner for no other reason other than to connect, you're both owning in the same area?  Listen to his story and go from there.  It may be a good opportunity to understand or even approach him on getting his place cleaned up. 

Better yet, it may be a good opportunity for you to pick-up another rental at a great price and build some easy equity (75k+improvements=180k ARV??  Yes please!).

A lot of opportunities could be just around the corner from a phone call.

Maybe I'm a weirdo but I look up my neighboring landlords and try to connect whenever possible.  You never know.

I also wouldn't call the city, at least not yet.  But that lack of upkeep on an otherwise good street really stands out and DOES impact everyone, landlords, tenants, etc.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 03:43:04 PM by sammybiker »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28249
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Bad landlord on my block
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2015, 08:57:20 AM »
(75k+improvements=180k ARV??  Yes please!).

That was my first thought.  Flip it or pick it up as a rental, but what a great opportunity.  Many people drive around looking for distress like that, and it's literally sitting next door to you.  Pick up the phone (or send a letter)!  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Bad landlord on my block
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 04:00:28 AM »
Saw the owner coming out the front door to his car, so I walked across the street and asked if he's interested in selling. "Not yet. We might rent it."

Not ready to snap it up anyways, but now he knows I'm interested and he knows where I live.

sammybiker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
    • Making 200k in equity in 6mo - Back down the rabbit hole, long distance RE
Re: Bad landlord on my block
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 10:30:34 AM »
Good work!

That property only becomes more expensive the longer he holds it vacant and ultimately cheaper for you...the longer it remains vacant :)

Check in with him every now and again...once he's motivated, you'll be the first guy he calls.

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1820
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World
Re: Bad landlord on my block
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2015, 08:08:56 PM »
Good work!

That property only becomes more expensive the longer he holds it vacant and ultimately cheaper for you...the longer it remains vacant :)

Check in with him every now and again...once he's motivated, you'll be the first guy he calls.

+1.
You could join BiggerPockets in the meantime to sharpen your real estate skills.  Luck comes to the prepared.

accolay

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 983
Re: Bad landlord on my block
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2015, 11:22:57 AM »
I have a small apartment building on my block- probably 8-9units. Several times throughout the year, garbage blows out of their overflowing and open dumpster and into my and my neighbors' yards and down the alley. If it just happened once, that'd be one thing, but it's an on-going problem. It has gotten better due to neighbor calls.

I have no qualms about calling the city for them to inspect and take care of the problem. This is why:

1. This is an ongoing problem. It's the city's job to make sure these things are inspected and problems fixed. It's why I pay taxes.

2. It's the landlords job. This is their business. They need to know what's going on at their property. If they or their property manager doesn't inspect their property on a semi regular basis, take previous complaint calls into consideration or have a on-site property manager that is doing this job for them, then maybe they shouldn't be in the business.  It's nice to have great neighbors that will be your eyes and ears, but it's not my job. Otherwise, give me a paycheck and I'll do it for you. I already have to pick up the garbage that flies out of there.

Again, if it was a one-time or once-in-a-blue-moon problem, not a big deal. But for ongoing problems, sometimes a call is the only thing that will fix something. Some of the only things that encourage bad landlords to either sell or fix their property is code enforcement.

/Rant off.