Keep an eye on your renters

By Audrey Dyer | Published Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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I have a house in Decatur. It was rented to a man and his family in 2009. A year after they moved in, the wife moved out.

One of the bedrooms did not have a closet. I left an armoire in the house for the young boy to use as a closet. I had bought it at a garage sale and paid $325.

The first of April, I told the renter the income tax man told us we needed to sell this house. He told me he would try to buy it.

One day he called and said he needed a reference from me to give to the mortgage company. The next day he said he needed it now. He asked if it was all right if he wrote one on himself. I told him OK.

Needless to say, he was not trying to buy the house, but to rent another.

As a down payment, he was having to paint the inside of this house, and he used that as an excuse for not being able to get his things out of my property.

I trusted the man because he looked and acted like someone I could trust. Before he got completely out, I made an inspection on the house because we signed up with a real estate agent to sell the property.

Going through the house, there were curtains missing in three rooms. I asked where the curtains were, and his response was that they were wearing out and falling off the rods, so he threw them away.

Next, nearly every closet door in the bedrooms was off the runners. He didn’t know what had happened to them. Three glass panes from two windows were broken, and screens were off the windows. I asked him about that, and he said they tore up.

I asked him how, but he said he didn’t know. Of course, he had several big dogs on that side of the house.

The armoire that I left for his son to use was not in the room but had been replaced by another that could be used to put a television in and was in poor condition. When asked about it, he denied using it and said it was our word against his that he had it.

He also asked about getting his deposit back!

So when you rent a house to someone, you better keep a good check on it.

Audrey Dyer

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