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12 Sep 2011

Evicting my Tenant

the most popular of my rental properties
When I started investing in real estate, I hired a property manager. The whole rent and property management was too overwhelming. I had a full time job and thought its impossible to juggle my job, a small family and a real estate business. Besides, my property manager did get me my first rental apartment, then got me the one I was then renting out. He was and still is pretty easy to work with.

But what made me think he was the best manager I could get? I have no idea. It could be the instant client-service provider chemistry. Or the fact that I was young and naive and my apartment is low maintenance. I later learned that I have to do a bit of managing him, which I never found strange. I followed the trends in the market and informed him when there needed to be changes in my property. Even when the tenant sublet the property, I knew first and he didn't. I came with the solution to it, worked it with the new tenant and informed him to draw contracts. But still, I didn't feel like he is not doing a proper job. We flipped the second property we got and I bought my first 3 bedroom duplex.

Naturally, I gave my property manager a call. He worked on it, got tenants, etc. I got to know the tenants because they came in whilst we were doing finishing touches. They were two local, young professionals and an international student, sharing. These youngsters were great, and they kept in touch. Their relationship went sour and they left the duplex in great shape and my property manager got a new tenant. This tenant never complained at all, not about the place, breaking stuff, parking problems, nothing. It was such a breeze having her. I thought "having a property manager is the best investment of all", because obviously, he was handling everything with the tenant.

Evicting my Tenant
Whilst doing a routine property view for maintenance purposes, I visited the property by an appointment with the manager. The message never reached the tenant, and I was there with the maintenance company. The living area looked great I was so impressed. We then moved to the kitchen, which was in a bad state, the sink area was totally unhygienic, the bedroom carpets were worn out and so was the TV room, the bathrooms were a health hazard, the staircase was full of DIY awkward nails, the study room was turned fourth bedroom and I saw seven of them. The main tenant was still at work. We walked into the garden, it was so bad, never maintained, overgrown, the front porch looked bad. I couldn't wait to call the property manager. I wrote him to immediately evict his tenants as the place is "not suitable for occupancy". I gave them 1 month to be out of the place. That was it.

Remodeling the Property
Seeing that the property was vandalized by tenants, I had to remodel it immediately. I got a company to work on it and that was my worst nightmare. My contractors were worse than my tenants and I had to fire them with some of my money. I soon forgot about the tenant nightmare. Its now a year later, the place is looking better, and we kept it vacant as a holiday home for our family and our siblings. We do spoil our siblings. But we won't keep it vacant forever. But it suits us having it open for our personal use at the moment.

I learned a lot about property managers, contractors and myself in this process. And NO, I didn't fire my property manager because I left the city and didn't want to work with a new person. He manages 2 of my properties. Could this be separation anxiety? I really take better care of my units now whether I have a property manager or not. 

Did you ever have to evict your tenant? How did you do it? How easy was it?

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