The Owner Came Tumbling After


This is an actual response to an owner who fears tenant destruction of his home, is questioning Efurd Properties’ ability, and wonders if he needs to be a landlord. It was incited by the Jack and Jill story and is ongoing.

Dear Mr. Water,

It is not atypical that this happens when tenants don’t get their way. These people are going to be fine. They will think about it and settle down and settle back in. If they do anything to your house, they could face criminal charges, it could end up on their record, and a lien may be placed on their name. If this happens they would have to pay you damages plus interest, if they ever wanted to buy a house or other real estate. If they act maliciously, they could even go to jail. I don’t see it happening. The man is a licensed professional. His livelihood could be in jeopardy.

No property management company will walk through this with you better than we will. Many would not know what to do. They’d just throw up their hands and not even talk about it with tenant or owner. I tried 3 times telling them no. I think the tone of my email to her was apropos for the conversation and ongoings I have had with them.

I am giving you my best. A number of property managers call me for advice in handling situations like this. I have been on property manager boards and go to meetings all the time. We talk about this kind of stuff. This happening is not unique to me, you and your house.

We also talk about the importance of discouraging owner/tenant communication. When tenants and owners get to know one other, it tends to weaken the property manager’s necessary position with the tenant.

If they don’t sign the lease or if they tear up the house, it won’t be because of anything we did or because of anything you did or didn’t do. It would be the character of the people and done by choices they make. I don’t think they will do anything. I think they’ll sign, if you still want them to.

It crosses my mind whether Jack and Jill should be allowed to stay, but I think the vindictiveness they have displayed will die out when they get through being mad.

If you don’t want me as your property manager, I’d really hate to lose you over something like this, doing my best to protect your best interest and carry out your requests. There are many considerations in deciding on continuing with this as an income property for you. My best thought for this, is if this sort of situation is too much worry for you and interrupts your life, then you should get rid of the house.

This is going to be okay. They are not going to damage the house. They have $2,000+ in security deposit at risk, plus all the other I have mentioned above.

You may take the offer off the table in giving them any money from their security deposit early, for their vacation. You may ask them to vacate. You can do all sorts of things. We can’t run afraid of the tenants’ bluff. Even if they aren’t bluffing and decide to move, you still have your house and this problem will be solved. They have more at risk than a Christmas vacation.

Being nice people we don’t like to think about using leverage. Call it leverage, but it no less reality. They will have to find a house they like better than yours (we all know they LOVE your house). They will have to come up with a security deposit (possibly another double security deposit, plus a pet deposit), they will need good rental history (they could get good rental history from us, depending on how they leave us, if they do in fact leave us), and they will incur moving costs. They ball is in their court. You have been fair.

You and your wife are nice people. Now it seems you don’t think I sound so nice and may end up believing I have thwarted your quest to retain a tenant. We have been holding our ground, that’s all.

I am not a saint by any means. I am not a preacher or a judge, but I sense you to be Christians by your character. Simply for encouragement as you make your decisions, I offer Isaiah 41:10. S o do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you by my righteous hand.

What is best for you is best for me.

Until next time,


Comments are closed.