Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Our house was on TV

One Relaxing Christmas Day....

Christmas Day 2014.
We are in the US.
At my sister's.
Kids are playing and running around.
Good times.
Peaceful relaxed joyful afternoon.

Text from the previous owner of one of our rentals: "Hey, the house is on TV." She adds a link to a local news youtube channel.

Holiday Disaster 

I follow the link:

Yellow tapes
Shocked neighbours explaining that this is typically a good quiet street
Our tenant is being seated into a police car

It took a couple of minutes for the info to sink in. Luckily, no one got hurt and the house was now vacant. It turned out that our young adventurous tenants had an extra wild Christmas party and put a few bullets through the walls of the house. A bullet zoomed through the backyard wall, across the hallway, and out through the front wall...

How did this happen?

When we got the house, it came with tenants. Tenants soon had to move out and relocate to a different town closer to their parents. Their son was staying behind and wanted to rent the house for himself and his girlfriend.

It is the responsibility of a landlord to screen and carefully select all tenants. We missed these steps and accepted a new tenant without proper verification and multiple check points, which led to the Holiday disaster.

Should've Would've...

Our current application process includes:

- Application form
- Job verification
- College/university enrollment verification
- Income verification
- Banking references
- Character references
- Emergency contacts
- Closest friend in the area
- Guarantor.

On top of this, we give our phone number to several neighbours and ask them to keep an eye on the place and stay in touch with us, if needed.

No matter how a tenant was referred to us, we follow every step of the application process precisely and without exceptions. This saves us lots of trouble and keeps communities happy and safe.

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