Your worst cleanups
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Your worst cleanups (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 5, 2018 12:03 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Mar 5, 2018 12:22 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Mar 5, 2018 12:29 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by NE [PA]) Mar 5, 2018 12:37 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Amy [MO]) Mar 5, 2018 12:42 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Lana [IN]) Mar 5, 2018 12:51 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by S i d [MO]) Mar 5, 2018 12:52 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Ken [NY]) Mar 5, 2018 1:00 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by TonyT [PA]) Mar 5, 2018 1:05 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by AllyM [NJ]) Mar 5, 2018 1:58 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Jerry [MA]) Mar 5, 2018 2:22 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Jerry [MA]) Mar 5, 2018 2:23 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by AL [NC]) Mar 5, 2018 2:24 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by J [FL]) Mar 5, 2018 2:54 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by NC INVESTOR [NC]) Mar 5, 2018 3:09 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Peter [NH]) Mar 5, 2018 3:14 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Barb [MO]) Mar 5, 2018 3:21 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by WMH [NC]) Mar 5, 2018 3:22 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Robert J [CA]) Mar 5, 2018 11:04 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by gevans [SC]) Mar 6, 2018 4:09 AM
       Your worst cleanups (by GKARL [PA]) Mar 6, 2018 5:03 AM
       Your worst cleanups (by razorback_tim [AR]) Mar 6, 2018 5:09 AM
       Your worst cleanups (by Vee [OH]) Mar 6, 2018 5:30 AM
       Your worst cleanups (by RB [MI]) Mar 6, 2018 5:40 AM
       Your worst cleanups (by J [FL]) Mar 6, 2018 8:07 AM
       Your worst cleanups (by Annie [IN]) Mar 6, 2018 8:57 AM
       Your worst cleanups (by Wilma [PA]) Mar 6, 2018 2:07 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by RB [MI]) Mar 6, 2018 2:50 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by J [FL]) Mar 6, 2018 4:04 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Lynda [TX]) Mar 6, 2018 7:00 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Gail K [GA]) Mar 6, 2018 7:08 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Kyle [IN]) Mar 6, 2018 7:43 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by RentsDue [MA]) Mar 7, 2018 10:10 AM
       Your worst cleanups (by Mickie [OH]) Mar 8, 2018 5:55 AM
       Your worst cleanups (by John2 [MI]) Mar 8, 2018 12:28 PM
       Your worst cleanups (by Tsardin [IL]) Mar 9, 2018 4:36 PM

Your worst cleanups (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 12:03 PM

How much did your worst cleanups cost? Please count your own time at $25-100 per hour.


Your worst cleanups (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 12:22 PM

I had one about $12,000 and another that was close to $15,000.

The $12,000 one was due to a nasty divorce and I was out of the country and had a management company that didn't control the tenants well. Previously good tenants that turned bad and damage included a lot of theft of my property and equipment. Tenant then declared bankruptcy so I never got reimbursed.

The $15,000 one was a new purchase, getting existing tenants out. They were tenants I never ever would have let in in the first place. All of that was destructive damage. It came off the purchase price, plus some. Got a really good deal on that one but it was a lot of work to get it cleaned up. --174.216.xx.xx

Your worst cleanups (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 12:29 PM

My clean ups include professional carpet cleaning and the tenants very rarely get billed for more than $200 out of their deposit.

If the house is move-out clean, I will do up to 2 hours of cleaning to get the house move-in ready and not bill for it as long as it doesn't take me over 2 hours. I might have had 2 tenants in my entire career leave a house move-in ready. If they have made a solid effort, I will call it good.

The possibility of another tenant doing $15,000 of damage makes me screen really tough. I'd rather have a unit vacant than to make a mistake and put a bad tenant into one of my houses. --174.216.xx.xx

Your worst cleanups (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 12:37 PM

My worst so far was about three years ago with a heroin addict. It's about $3600 including back rent.

One dollar for anyone of us is too much and the reason that I say that is because anyone of us here can walk in to Walmart and steal a $.35 pack of bubblegum and go to jail, but tenants can do this kind of damage to landlords and nothing happens to them. That is just wrong wrong wrong.

Your worst cleanups (by Amy [MO]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 12:42 PM

$3500 to 5k.

One was our first rental and tenant ever. Left after about 3 months. A disaster.

Next worse was last year. The cucaracha song will never sound the same after the horrors of that house.

I'd give the details of each but it'd take a loooooong time to tell you all the sins they committed, and who am I to judge, haha..

Your worst cleanups (by Lana [IN]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 12:51 PM

In 2011 when my hubby died, I had 6 trashed apartments. Trashed! The best cost about $1500 and the worst was a classic hoarder. She cost me $7600 and I sent her a booby prize for the worst damage ever. I had 2 20 foot dumpsters in the back yard and we took the unit down to the studs due to her. Then I got my certified mail from the IRS notifying me of an audit for 2009 and 2010 the very same month.

Your worst cleanups (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 12:52 PM

I would say between $3000 - $5000 if you count lost rent and upgrades. But if just replace X with the same X and re-rent...less than $1500 is typical for an eviction. I imagine cost is heavily influenced by the type of rental as well (C vs. A). This includes about 3-4 hours of my time calling in repairs, verifying, paying people for work, etc. --173.17.xx.xx

Your worst cleanups (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 1:00 PM

I bought a hoarder house in a very nice neighborhood at a tax auction,had no idea how bad it was since we couldn't get in,we had planned on a total guy job which we did but had not expected 7 30 yard dumpsters of stuff,we estimate it was $10000 just to clean out all the stuff between dumpsters and labor

Your worst cleanups (by TonyT [PA]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 1:05 PM

I've been renting 18 units out for about 20 years and never had anything worse than having to steam clean the carpets or leaving the tub dirty.

I have a cleaning checklist and I tell the tenants how they'll get their entire deposit back if they follow it and I'll get it to them within 2 days after they vacate. I also only accept people with 700 credit scores, so they are good people in the 1st place.

Your worst cleanups (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 1:58 PM

Aside from all 20 units being run down since dad broke his hip and had diabetes prior to his passing, I guess the worst singular clean up was the one where the overweight tenant hurt herself at work and was unable to bend over to lean the cat litter box. The cat went on the carpet. The hallway started to smell. When I went in to look there was litter all over the carpet, cat food all over the carpet, coins and garbage all over the carpet. The kitchen was full of stale food all over the counters. The bathroom had hair dye stains everywhere including the new good vinyl tile I had installed myself. The bedroom was dirty and the walls had tiny red spots all over like bug poop.

I told the tenant that the building was about to have a five year inspection. State of NJ inspected every building above two units that were not owner occupied. This unit was in a fourplex. I told her that she would have to move or the inspectors would see that she was evicted. I actually don't know what the inspectors would have done with a sight like that. Probably yell at me. Some of them were seemingly someone's crazy relative that was given a job because no one would hire them elsewhere. So I offered her money and to return her security which should never have come back to her. So she moved. OK the carpet was totaled and the floor had to be washed several times painted with Kilz, then I nailed down luan and put self stick tile over that and only then was the smell gone and I could recarpet. I got a company called Rebath to put a new tub and surround over the old one and I redid the tile and had a new upscale sink and medicine cabinet and lighting installed. Kitchen got new cabinets and appliances. Bedroom only needed repaint and carpet removed. while I suspected bed bugs in there I only saw one and none were reported anywhere else in the building. Tenant put her mattress on the curb.

As to the cost, I figured ten K on the bathroom, cabinets and carpeting. I have no idea how much labor I put into it. I painted back in those days too. Yeah, no I am not going to try to calculate my labor costs for something that happened back then.

Really though every building needed new heaters, oil tanks removed, new cabinets, new carpeting, bathroom upgrades. It took me 20 years from 1993 on to get these units and buildings to what I would consider great condition.

Your worst cleanups (by Jerry [MA]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 2:22 PM

Just under $9000. Someone (never found out who) tipped over a five gallon can of pain at the top of the stairs of a building where I was renovating one of the units. The paint ran down intricate wooden staircase, going everywhere and messing up the woodwork, carpeting, even getting into the electrical and duct work. A real mess. Took several weeks to get it cleaned and back to normal.

I assumed it was an unhappy tenant, and I had a couple of those, but I was never able to make a case.

Your worst cleanups (by Jerry [MA]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 2:23 PM

Can of "paint," although can of "pain" is also appropriate.

Your worst cleanups (by AL [NC]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 2:24 PM

Please send hugs my way! I am dealing with this now. The tenant had roaches, rats, mold, filth etc. He left in Feb and seemingly thought he was due his deposit for taking out the stuff he wanted. He left me stinking mattresses and stuff rolled up in a rug. Today, I asked him to come and get it. He tells me I can take it out of his deposit. I called him and explained the house wasn't clean, roaches, mold, etc. - not there when he moved in. In a nutshell, he tells me that he was doing me a favor by fixing the plumbing and AC and didn't want to bother me with the rest b/c I seemed overwhelmed. Besides, the place came with roaches/rats. So, thanks to his "consideration", I will be out about 15K. I asked him why would he live like that. He liked me enough to not put me out while his family lived in this filth. For the most part, he paid his rent on time. Go figure. I guess this is what happens when you are in a hot market. I don't understand it. UGH!

Your worst cleanups (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 2:54 PM

Mine was not from a tenant. It was cleaning up a short sale that I bought. Tons of trash and junk left behind--I had to rent a dumpster. An unapproved "room" in the garage that I had to demo. House painted weird dark colors. Melted candy bars in left half open wrappers.

Your worst cleanups (by NC INVESTOR [NC]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 3:09 PM

Worst in terms of cost was after 4 roommates at Johnson and Wales caused about $12,000 in damages. Fortunately the parents were all co-signers and after sending them pictures of the property one father told the other parents to get out their checkbooks. I added on the cost of lost rent for the time it took to redo so in the end it was a wash. Actually since the parents paid for the new appliances I guess I came out ahead.

The hardest one for me personally was when the tenant abandoned his dog in the house to die of dehydration and starvation. The place was totally trashed but I can deal with. It was finding the dog that really bothered me. --71.75.xx.xx

Your worst cleanups (by Peter [NH]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 3:14 PM

Once I was cleaning up some floors and I got some whiffs of baby feces mixed with curdled milk that had been spilled all over the place. I was immediately feeling really sick and ran outside to the porch railing to be sick and when I put my hand over the railing I bumped into a bees nest and started to be bitten. Man I was in a bad place. Its kind of funny now :)

Your worst cleanups (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 3:21 PM

Over $15K. Probably 15 years or more ago.

The tenants on the lease moved a "friend" in, and two of the tenants on the lease left. I didn't find out about the friend until late November. Apparently he had moved in a couple of months prior.

Then, the ones remaining graduated in December. Their "friend" wanted to rent the home after they moved out, but complained it was dirty and old, and was only worth 1/3 of what they were paying. I said, NO, and everyone needs to be out at the end of the semester.

The two graduating went away for a few days after graduating, but before removing all their stuff. The one who I said NO to held a "destroy the house" party. He poured concrete in the toilets and the sewer line in the basement (which caused the basement to flood), shot out every window in the house with a BB gun plus shot a bunch of holes in the plaster walls, knocked holes in every wall in the renovated basement (which was already damaged by the flooding). Then, he took out everything food item in the house that would make a mess and threw the food on the walls and smeared it into the carpet.

Of course, no way to prove who had made the mess. One of the kids on lease had enlisted and was gone with the Navy. So, when I spoke with a lawyer about going after the pile of them, he let me know that it was a loosing battle since the Navy had one of my defendants and the judge would not set a date unless that defendant was available.

So I simply sent them all a bill and said they were all jointly and separately liable, and to start making payments. None did.

Two of them later needed a reference for a job with security clearance. When I let the investigator know the status of the unpaid bill, and the poor choice in friends. I'm pretty sure, based on the look on that investigator's face, that a couple of them didn't get the clearance they needed. --131.151.xx.xx

Your worst cleanups (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 3:22 PM

FLEAS, man. FLEAS. Took WEEKS to eradicate the infestation.

In fact the two worst places ever both involved fleas. However one was "just" fleas and the other included a huge dumpster, roaches, angry sons roped in with all their friends to help us empty the house, and Ferret Juice smell on that one. Gag.

Not so bad money-wise, but time-wise and irritation-wise, top of the charts.

Your worst cleanups (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Mar 5, 2018 11:04 PM

My worst clean-up after a long term tenant moves out -- evicted or worse. The cost to put the home in livable condition, no one I know would be caught dead in the place, $30,000. By time I remodeled the home, roof, paint, carpet, ceiling re-texture, windows, window coverings, flooring, kitchen, bathroom, doors, light, outlets, switches, stucco, appliances and more, $65,000 - $80,000.

The house afterwards appraised for over half a million dollars. --47.156.xx.xx

Your worst cleanups (by gevans [SC]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 4:09 AM

I've told this story before, but it was my "bullet house".

Happened last year, on my way home from the Mr. LL convention!

Tenant of 18 months got into drugs. He "saw" intruders at 2 AM. Filled them full of lead. Fired 40 rounds from an AR and 9 rounds from a 9mm pistol, from INSIDE THE HOUSE. His own words, "then I lay down and went to sleep".

He shot a hole in a 3/4" water line and did not turn off the water. House was crawlspace and had MDF trim and particle board subflooring. 2 months and $40k later, I had the place remodeled and rerented.

I paid $52k for this house in 2011. It's worth maybe $90k.

I learned many lessons on this house, including to never listen to the insurance company. They hired extremely expensive services (Such as ServePro) to dry out the house and remove the trim/suflooring. I could have done it for 1/3 their price and done it faster.


Your worst cleanups (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 5:03 AM

I thought I had some bad ones, but nothing to compared to most of these stories. This is one reason I like to stay with multis; the scope of the damage can be limited and there's always the possibility of another tenant ratting out a bad actor. That's not to suggest that someone can't do some serious damage though but I find the having to redo an entire house because of some idiot daunting. I guess that depends on how big the house is. This certainly points out the need to screen, monitor and where appropriate, have guarantors.

Your worst cleanups (by razorback_tim [AR]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 5:09 AM

I would write about mine but if I re-live it in my mind I will probably have to get an ESA to help me deal with the distress. --70.182.xx.xx

Your worst cleanups (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 5:30 AM

I am in one now but I am holding the hand of a fellow landlord, kind of paying it forward - something Brad did with me several years back. I had the $8900 place where the hubby mispelled his name to conceal his felonies - did it with the housing helper HUD too, after winning this case I took the judgement to HUD and learned they just moved out of state to of all places Texas - unable to garnish anything there. I am going back to help the friend today carry out more leftovers, so far we have a 2car garage filled up 6ft and had to push it in gently with a snow plow to close the door, todays stuff is going in the rear yard. I have learned a lot here over the years, most important is to help others when things like this happen.

Your worst cleanups (by RB [MI]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 5:40 AM

Years ago,

Repairs after (forcible entry) the City Swat Team

surrounded a SFH

and dragged out the druggy Boyfriend, (Trespasser)

of a Section 8 Tenant.

"Stuff Happens", behind closed doors and after Hours.

Being In Charge is one thing.

Having Possession is another.

My Screen x3 (Effort) was Born, with a program influenced

by Swat, City Police, MI. RPOA, and Fellow Landlords.


Your worst cleanups (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 8:07 AM


Is "Screen x3" a specific screening system you created, or does it just mean screen harder? thanks

Your worst cleanups (by Annie [IN]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 8:57 AM

We bought a 16 unit apartment complex a few years ago -- it was a foreclosure, and had been run by a management company.

There was one couple when we went to do the due dilgence inspection that was really trashy. They were behind on their rent, and we hinged our offer on the management company getting them out. The entire apartment reeked and some of the others in the group could not even walk in the door, it smelled so bad.

It took the management company about $4,500 in concessions. The whole 6 unit building was infested with cockroaches, the worst infestation being in their apartment. It took the extermination people 3 treatments to rid the building of the roaches. We had to trash the appliances and buy new - full of dead bugs -- including the refrigerator. Pull out all the flooring and replace. Repainted the entire unit. Had to replace the white toilet -- it was BLACK since it had not been cleaned since they moved in. On the other hand, the tub/shower was immaculate (I don't think they bathed at all!).

That was probably the worst, but we have had a few since then that we almost as bad.

It amazes us how someone could literally not clean the entire time they live in a place -- we have had to scrape stuff off of the kitchen counters with a putty knife.

Disgusting! --104.152.xx.xx

Your worst cleanups (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 2:07 PM

That was an interesting question. I just figured that my worst cost $300 in unreimbursed damages, $16,800 in "wages" for myself and my hubby, and $4500 in lost rent. = $21,600.

That was the tenant who drove us to this site - so hopefully, never again.!

Your worst cleanups (by RB [MI]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 2:50 PM

J, [FL] Both.

Screen x3. (effort) Most Important Step in the Process.

Put'em through the (legal) Wringer.


Your worst cleanups (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 4:04 PM

OK thanks RB.

Your worst cleanups (by Lynda [TX]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 7:00 PM

MY 'Yuppie' house (3/2/2, cathedral ceiling,loft overlook) was occupied by a fam of 2 parents/4 kids (on the application). Turns out 12 lived there, parents and 10 kids ages 1-18! Mattresses everywhere. When they left (in the night during Christmas holidays)they stole all my appliances, ceiling fans, window blinds and draperies made specialty for the LR and Mast BR. Upstairs they left crispy triangular iron marks in the carpeting where they ironed on the floor. And broken drawers in the kitchen. Had to replace everything. Not to mention all the garbage left to clean up.

Your worst cleanups (by Gail K [GA]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 7:08 PM

Our current one (because we're old and getting tired of cleaning up after tenants).

Know how easy it is to replace a leaking toilet tank bolt? What? Maybe a 20 minute job if the nut is really rusty and you have to swear a lot to get it unscrewed?

Know what NOT replacing a leaking toilet tank bolt over two years (and not catching the water dripping day and night) can do to a floor? Which is why we now have had to pull the clawfoot tub, toilet, sink, remove all the ceramic tile, the two layers of plywood we put down and are drying out the joists before we start rebuilding/sistering into them.

Gail --71.203.xx.xx

Your worst cleanups (by Kyle [IN]) Posted on: Mar 6, 2018 7:43 PM

I think the highest damages were about $12k. They had a "going away" party before the possession date ordered by the court and managed to break every kitchen cabinet except one, also broke 2 windows, left a bunch of trash, and much more. The unauthorized boyfriend that moved in ended up as a homicide suspect and had my property as his last known address, so SWAT raided it a few months later and scared my new tenants into moving.

Another house had their dogs seized by animal control. They had a warrant to seize the dogs for improper treatment and broke down the front door to take them. The tenants had kept the dogs in one of the bedrooms and put tarps down on the floor. The tarps did not prevent the mess from getting onto the floor, the baseboards, the walls, etc.

The biggest mess I have ever had a tenant leave behind was a foreclosure property. The tenants would not have passed my screening, but were already there, so I let them continue renting. They stopped paying and got evicted, but they had moved their friends in with them and the friends paid off the whole back rent balance so they could stay. The first tenants were upset about being evicted and mad at the new tenants, so they dumped tree branches in the yard. The whole yard. 6-8ft high, 50ft back and 20ft across. The city decided it wasn't illegal dumping because they had been tenants, so we had to clean it up or start being fined $2,500/day. We got to know the staff at the local mulching place very well over the next few days as we made 30+ trips to get rid of all the branches. That was in addition to having several people pick up free firewood and hiring 2 contractors to help with the work.

Your worst cleanups (by RentsDue [MA]) Posted on: Mar 7, 2018 10:10 AM

The one I'm looking at right now. Just going to tear it down and won't be the first time.

Your worst cleanups (by Mickie [OH]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 5:55 AM

4000 from a doctor of all people. I refer to her now as dog woman the doctor. Did I get payment. You betcha I did.

Your worst cleanups (by John2 [MI]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 12:28 PM

My first was a shoot out between tenants girlfriend and roofing contractors.... long story short she barricaded herself in the house SWAT team got her out with 3 cans of tear gas... $5,000.00 damage

Second, was last week... long term tenant of 4 years... was just in unit 6 months ago and it was fine.... had to evict... they trashed the place plus had cat locked in house! 3 doors ripped off hinges, cigarette burns in all the carpets, cat urine everywhere, garbage and the worst part the chimney leaked (they never told me) all the plaster has to be removed etc....

Your worst cleanups (by Tsardin [IL]) Posted on: Mar 9, 2018 4:36 PM

I rented a 3 bedroom apartment to a tent with two adult daughters and 2 children, toddler and new born. Tenant moved other family members into unit son, extra daughter with children. Unit was filled like a storage container. At the end of lease she moved out one month before end of lease Did not pay rent.

Tenant left the unit filthy. The walls were dirty in every room including baseboard white walls. Children marked on wall, food and other things on carpet. The walls and floors were just filthy, stove refrigerator. The kitchen tile looked as if the floor was never mopped.

The front Windows had some kind of water leak never reported so there was buildup of calcium and mold. The window ceil is all cracked up.

Also there were rodents, mice holes in unit.

Tenant never called in work orders.

A contractor is required.

Now, I want to cost it out and put it on her credit report.

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