House Update

I recently was invited to do an interview on Dan Lane’s Rental Income Podcast. Dan had read my saga with the Coopers after they squatted in my house and subsequently destroyed it, and he invited me on his show to tell my story.

Every landlord’s nightmare. That’s what it’s called.You can listen to it here.

My basic message to anyone considering renting their property is this: treat it as a business. Do not be nice. Do not allow your tenants to consistently pay you late without imposing penalties, because you’re a nice person and you feel sorry for them. Do not allow them leeway. Your house is your business, and you are a landlord, not their pal and not their mommy. Treat it as such.

In retrospect, I should have charged them penalties for being consistently late with the rent.

In retrospect, I should have demanded they get rid of their animal menagerie, which they kept in my house in violation of the lease.

In retrospect, I should have treated them as the cockroaches they are.

But my story is a cautionary tale, so feel free to listen to the podcast.

In the meantime my house is back on the market. The repairs from the thieving squatters David and Pamela Cooper are now finished, and the house looks great!

101 Maryland Dr, Stephens City, VA 22655

It’s clean, it’s freshly painted, all the Coopers’ crap has been taken to the dump. The carpets in the room they allowed their animals to use as a bathroom have been replaced along with the padding, and the sub floor has been fixed. Not a trace of these destructive vermin has been left!

There are more photos in the actual listing. Thirty of them, in fact, so check it out, and please spread the word to anyone thinking about moving to Northern Virginia!

24 responses

  1. Nicki: been following this story since you first posted it. That is good advice for anyone considering renting out. It’s unfortunate that walking trash is out there. The renovation looks great and the home looks outstanding! Hope you get a fast sale for your price.

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    1. Thanks so much for the good wishes! I hope it goes quickly. I have allowed these vermin to destroy my finances. No more!

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  2. Glad it’s working out. House looks good now.

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    1. Yeah… After thousands of dollars in repairs… Let’s keep all extremities crossed, eh?

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  3. The house looks great! I want to redo my own kitchen, and that folding door corner cabinet will take care of an awkward corner next to the stove. And I love the hardwood floors and the fireplace. I hope that house gets sold quickly.
    Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sara. Keeping fingers crossed.

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  4. A Proud Infidel®™

    Glad to hear you got rid of those “Plastic Christians” as I like to call their breed, they’re about as genuine as a polyester Persian Rug!

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    1. They’re not even human beings! Just lousy, thieving, child screwing scum.

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  5. Glad to hear they’re gone and the house is in good shape!

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    1. Thanks, Tom! Finally, eh? The house looks great, and I’m really thrilled to have it back from these thieving pieces of shit.

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  6. Nicki, glad to see things are going better for you 🙂

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    1. Certainly trying.🙂

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  7. Good that you can now see your way past that big setback. My brother got into something similar (though not quite as extreme) because he accommodated the entreaties of a friend of the tenant. If someone cannot afford their housing (with or without help from wherever), then they shouldn’t be in the house.

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  8. Nikki,

    Sorry to hear about this bad experience, but it sounds like you persevered and are on the other side. As that saying goes, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

    Your story is sadly not that uncommon. My father in law rented his house to three seemingly well intentioned people who paid him a couple months rent upfront. The good news was that upfront money paid for new windows for the home. The bad news is they never paid another cent of rent after that and proceeded to trash the house (they even took the ceiling fans apart so they could sell the scrap metal).

    Hearing these stories makes me leery of having any property where I would be put in the position of homeowner. My husband keeps trying to talk me into buying a property and renting it if we move, but I suspect it’s not as easy as he thinks. If you have the rent not paid for even one month, that’s two mortgages you’d basically be responsible for.

    I went through my own nightmare recently and emerged from it this last month. It had to do with someone living with us who would not get a job, pay any money, or willingly leave. I learned upon speaking to law enforcement that they have “squatters rights”, so this is a very real burden responsible people sometimes face, and it’s sad because often the people you do the most for end up hating you the most.

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    1. You are SO right! And the courts just don’t care. Oh, you have a house you rent? You must be a rich slumlord! This has essentially accomplished one thing: it has made me decide never to own another piece of property again. Ever. If any court can just screw you, while child fucking, thieving scum infests your property and destroys it, being a homeowner is just not worth it. Don’t rent your property unless you want to put up with shit you never even imagined!

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      1. I see that. I’d put my own spin on it by saying, if you don’t want someone to squat/live WITH you permanently, don’t let them in. Just don’t. Even temporarily, no matter what sob story of hard times is presented to you or what promises are made. I recently, just barely, got my adult stepdipshit to move out a full 18 or so months after they moved in with us of promises of getting a job and being a productive citizen. The intentions start out good, but just like you described the responsibility (such as trying to find a job or pay their own way) taper off over time until it’s non existent and you regret the day you ever said yes. What did this whole debacle end up costing me? Years of extra food expenses, rent and utility expenses, a whole relationship (since everything had soured by the end), insurance payments, and a car; yes, we gave her a whole car with the first years registration paid just to get her out. Again, squatters “rights”, it turn out, exist even when they are NOT on a lease.

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        1. Geeze. I hate people. Seriously. How do good people even bother when evil always seems to triumph?

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  9. Oh, and to add to your comment about “rich slumlord”….it’s especially cute what some people consider “rich”. Responsible in their mind must equate to “rich”. I have people (such as the stepdipshit) turning to me to pay their travel expenses, medical expenses, insurance expenses, cell phone, whatever they think they can get away with……..and until very recently, I was on Medicaid and food stamps. Yeah, I’m really “rich”. These people can just eff off from now on in my opinion and quite trying to ride my (clearly sinking) coattails.

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    1. Exactly! But you know… They consider anyone who has more than they do “rich.”

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  10. “Geeze. I hate people. Seriously. How do good people even bother when evil always seems to triumph?”

    I hate people sometimes too. I guess I would say evil only triumphs when we let it. Keep the gates and boundaries firmly up, and if someone has a problem with that, they can go pound sand. If we have a philanthropic streak running through us, volunteer at a church or a Salvation Army; don’t waste it on whoever is looking for a free ride at the moment. To do so would not only throw good money after a bad cause, but serve to embitter us and kill one of our most decent traits as human beings (well, that got philosophical quick🙂

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    1. Well if you listened to the podcast, the one thing I said that was my biggest lesson was that I was nice to them and treated them like nice people who ran into hard times instead of child molesting, thieving scum. I should have told my property manager to evict them the second time they were late or start charging them penalties. I needed to treat this house as a business. Not as a bloody charity.

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  11. Yep. It was a mistake in extending any kindness. I guess I’ve seen some cases where extending kindness was rewarded/reciprocated, but all too often it isn’t. If one wants to run it strictly as a business, I don’t blame them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d rather not get involved in this shit ever again.

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  12. […] had to think about this one a bit. I used to commute 90 miles each way to work when I lived in my beautiful house in Stephens City, but that commute took an hour and a half on a good day, and 2-3 hours on most other days, so […]

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