Drama Queens – A Tale of Woe


Gabriela Camerotti / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

When the partner was out here to do the rehab on our Arlene property she met a potential tenant for our Zavala property.  Great right?  Well it wouldn’t have made a very good blog post if it was as simple as that would it?

Sure we sort of talked about letting her into the property.  I was rather noncommittal in my stance shrugging my shoulders and saying meh.  This is not the stuff I wanted to get involved in.  I have no interest in being a property manager, I don’t want to decide who gets the unit, I don’t want to show units, I don’t want to have to deal with problems other than saying, go out and fix it.  That’s why we have a property manager.  Of course this occurred while we were in transition of finding a new manager for our other properties.


So, what are some of the signs of a Drama Queen (or someone who always has an excuse about not having money today):

  1. Needs to move immediately
  2. Offers to pay more
  3. Feels the need to tell their story

I am an avid reader, and love a great story. I love stories about courage and overcoming opposition.  I definitely prefer reading those stories than hearing them told to me. My eyes roll around ceaselessly and I simply cannot hide my disinterest.

My husband was injured when someone broke into our apartment. He hasn’t been able to work for the last couple of weeks and needs to go back to México.  Our complex is voiding our lease because  the are afraid of the liability of us still being there.  I’d be willing to pay an extra $100 to move in early.

Whoo-boy!  So, one day when returning from work while the partner was in town, I arrived at the property with them already signing a lease.  Fortunately years of management kept my head cool and I was able to unravel the situation and start a second lease.  With the forethought of having the lease be a simple two month lease.  So that when we had a property manager they could take over the process and remove me from it! Here’s the thing though, now the tenant is my next door neighbor and knows where I love.  Awesome.  No really, its super awesome.

Which brings me to yesterday.  A knock on my door at 6am! It was the first of a couple of door knockings that I received yesterday. Of course many people would be upset with such an early knock.  I had already been up for an hour or so, had a shower and a cup of coffee.  5-8am is real estate business time.

Did your partner tell you, I am going to pay you tonight?  I’ve got to cash this check.

3pm knock on the door:  The bank has a 72 hour hold on the check because of the size of the check. Can I pay on the 10th?  Bells really started going off then.  The 10th?  It was the 4th! How do we get from the 4th to the 10th with a 72hr hold?

7pm knock on the door: She is carrying food on a paper plate.  One thing that my friends have discovered is that bringing me things just gets under my skin.  I don’t like gifts, I don’t like people being nice for this or that.  I want to earn the things I get. So my annoyance level rose another level after having had my door knocked on twice already today. Did you talk to your partner about me paying late?  I’m willing to pay more. Of course you are going to pay more you already have $50 late fee, and then $10/day after the 5th. Questions swirl around my head, last month she had to wait for the disability check to clear, this month it was the tax refund check (see if I believe that one too!) what manna from the sky is next months rent come from?  Fortunately I won’t have to worry about that. The lease runs out at the end of February and the new property manager will deal with it.  Here’s the thing, I’m sure based on the background check, she will be rejected.í

Lessons Learned:

  1. Background checks: – Eviction records being the most important.  Credit scores the least, and Previous Landlord references almost meaningless. I’d be willing to say nice things to get rid of a trouble tenant.
  2. Financial Penalties: – It must be meaningful, but not excessive.  Obviously we are not there yet. A friend of mine was trying to make rent this month, and was explaining she had till the 3rd to make rent, afterwards it is $200 late fee and $50/day.  That is encouragement! On the other side the property manager has told us that if the fees are excessive during an eviction the judge is likely to just toss out the late fees.
  3. Tenants and Owners need separation.  Which is why I always encourage people looking at owning a plex, and living in a unit, is to not admit that you are the owner.  You can see why.

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