Hoarder Alert!

I’m just soo glad I have a well-developed sense of humor.  In my job, I often need it.  Here’s a case in point.  My tenant Martha is buying a double from me through a land contract, i.e. rent-to-buy.  Land contracts are a nice addition to real estate investing plans.   Normally, this is a great way for people who have bad credit, or no credit, to purchase a home.  Now, I didn’t know Martha five years ago when a friend recommended her to me.  But boy, do I know her now.  And I’m afraid she has hoarder tendencies.

She’s good about paying me on time — no complaints.  But the inside of her  house is filled with “stuff” and the outside — well, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right?

I got a call from the Board of Health last week about her back yard.  (Uh-oh . . .)  I went down there immediately and took this picture:

Yikes!  That contraption is actually a “dog house” for her little dog, but she had filled it with bags of garbage.  (I didn’t bother to check to see if the trash can next to it was empty.)  It’s hard to tell from the picture, but there was also trash and junk to the right of it.  I was really unhappy about this — I’d be the one to get slapped with a hefty fine if the situation wasn’t remedied within about 10 days.  I had a “talk” with my tenant and she cleaned it up to this extent:

So I’ll be having a more detailed discussion with her tomorrow.  I don’t think the Board of Health will feel she’s in compliance at this point.  At least the garbage is gone.  She’s moving in the right direction.

But if she can’t do a better job of maintaining the property I’ll have to begin the foreclosure process.   (This is why landlords should always put clauses in their leases and contracts that allow them to evict if the property isn’t maintained to a certain standard.)  It’s more expensive and involved to remove a rent-to-buy tenant than a regular renter.  Even though she’s good about paying on time, that’s not enough . . . I don’t want to become best friends with the Board of Health folks because of her!

Onward and upward . . . More later . . .

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