Landlords Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry
As part of our “Let’s Improve the Alberta Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Alberta Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Alberta rental industry. Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There Are Too Many Renters Who View Midnight Move-Outs As An Option To Break A Lease
As landlords for over 30 years we want the “powers that be” to be aware of something we didn’t really see before so much. Over the past year and a half we have had two renters pull what is called a “midnight move out” or a “midnight run” on us.
They still had months left on the lease and we made it crystal clear from day one we expected them to fulfill the full terms of what they agreed to sign on for. We didn’t hide anything from them. We put the lease in front of them, explained the terms, and they signed the contract.
Fair and square, right?
The way consenting adults interact with each other.
No games played.
And what makes it even worse is they were unethical and broke the contract and didn’t even try to contact us to try to work something out!
We never had this type of calculated behaviour by our renters before. Sure over the years there were a issues we had to deal with. Sometimes renters brought in some pets. Another situation was a the boyfriend was charged with assaulting the girlfriend.
A couple times we had to explain that cat pee on the carpet wasn’t wear and tear and they had to pay for the cleaning or replacement of the carpets. We had some people suffer job losses and we worked with them to break the lease in a way that both sides agreed to was fair.
Just about all of the challenges we’ve had were not really calculated to rip us off, but because the renters were having their own problems or were just careless.
In all the years we never had someone lie to our faces before so matter of fact. Lie to our faces that everything was good and then the rent check bounces and we go and see the place has been abandoned.
Going inside in both cases showed how disrespectful some renters are these days. The fridge wasn’t clean and the oven was full of grease. The bathrooms were not in good shape and there was some broken drywall. In one place they left a lot of garbage around that costs us money to clean up and dump. At least have the courtesy to dump your garbage.
Give me a break!
WE ARE NOT HAPPY AND THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED BEFORE IT GETS WORSE
The bad news is we hear from other Alberta landlords midnight move outs are becoming more common these days. A lot of hard working landlords are losing a lot of money. You just don’t lose it in lost rent, you lose it because it costs so much time and money to fix a place up to get it rent ready again.
Right off the bat don’t expect any “legalese” from me because I’m not a lawyer or anything. I’m a small hard-working landlord with a few rentals thanks to the hard work of my Hubby and me.So we don’t have the answer to how to fix this.
Just something needs to be done because nowadays we even see in the news how shocking it is Alberta renters see a ‘Midnight run as an easy way to break the lease and screw the landlord!”
Renters Need To Understand What Landlords Go Through To Market Our Rentals
I emailed in because I want to help other landlords and educate them.
What We Learned and Maybe This Can Help Others Out There
With all the people trying to rent out their units these days we made some mistakes that we don’t usually do. Hubby and me want to share what happened to us and what we did wrong.
1. We Didn’t Do a Credit Check
This was a big mistake as we thought past bad credit experiences was important but we needed to rent out our properties and not leave them empty. But now it does like never before. DON’T RENT TO PEOPLE WITH BAD CREDIT BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE! It’s not only the credit score, but you can see if they went bankrupt or if other people are chasing them for bad debts.
2. We Believed Their Nice Story
The people who ran from us had the best stories. It’s almost like they prepare to screw good landlords.
In our last case they had a really long 15 minute speech how they were hardworking people but their last landlords was a total bad guy who never fixed anything and they had to leave because they worried about mold. Oh, they were looking to stay for at least a couple years and probably more as the “put in roots in the community” and “when up the corporate ladder at their jobs.” LOL.
3. We Didn’t Take A Damage Deposit
Because so many landlords are urgently looking to end vacancies and fill their units we are not even demanding a security deposit. We did the same. This was stupid on our part! With no Alberta damage deposit we get no protection. Hindsight is 20/20 but we would have saved a lot of money waiting and not going against our usual tenant screening system.
The System Does Not Protect Alberta Landlords And It’s Getting Worse
The real problem is landlords not protected by the Alberta system these days.
It’s too easy for renters to use the system to rip us off and end up costing us some real financial losses. After many years in the industry we had two midnight move outs in a short period of time. It cost us a big chunk of our savings just to keep afloat and keep our rentals on the market for the next renters.
When the vacancy rate was really low a few years back and a few landlords were being a bit unfair the media and the politicians were all over it. Where are they now that small landlords keep getting shafted?
The powers that be must find a way to stop this because it really us good people renting out good properties. If it’s so easy to rip of a landlord now who will invest in rentals in Alberta?
Word spreads fast and people won’t just invest to commit financial suicide! Landlords are hard working people and we need to be protected from the bad people out there who can’t afford to be ripped off. The real problem is landlords are not protected by the Alberta system these days.
You won’t hear this from real estate agents or people trying to sell you “how to make big money being a landlord in Alberta” but the reality is it’s too easy for renters to use the system to rip off landlords and end up ruining us financially!