How did we get here? Why did you create a website for reviewing tenants? What use will this website be to anyone? Those are all great questions. If you stick around for a few minutes, I'll share my story and you'll have all the answers you need.
Having both grown up in the country but moved to the city, my fiance and I always wanted to move back to the countryside "one day". Then, in 2016, one day became today. We purchased a house in an area we really liked and eventually moved in. So far so good. Sharing an interest in finance and investing we decided to renovate our city house and rent it out instead of selling it. Despite that fact that Melissa was pregnant (she was doing bathroom demolition at 40 weeks pregnant), we spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars renovating the house, doing all the things we wish we could have done while we were living there. When the house was finished, it looked amazing. All of the prospective tenants that viewed the house gave great feedback and almost all of them lodged applications. Having owned and managed two other properties ourselves we decided to do the same with this home. We chose a young family who had recently sold their own home, and used some of their profits from the sale of that home to pay 6 months rent in advance. Great.
We performed our usual quarterly inspections and everything seemed great until the 6 month inspection when we noticed a few things that needed cleaning and repairing. We lodged the official paperwork as required and arranged for a follow up inspection for two weeks later. On the day of the follow up inspection the tenant called and told us that she had been in hospital all night with her father who'd had a brain anurism. Given the circumstances, we gave her an additional 2 weeks extension. By the time we actually did the follow up inspection, she was 2 weeks late with rent, and we had received a $3,000 electricity bill and a few other bills that would need to be paid within 2 weeks. Again, we issued the required paperwork for late payment, which warns the tenant of an eviction if the money isn't paid within 2 weeks. We book another follow up meeting on the payment deadline at the property for 2pm. At 1pm we receive a text message from the tenant attempting to cancel our 2pm appointment because of another family catastrophe. We politely decline, and tell her that we will be there at 2pm as scheduled.
At 1:45pm we arrive at the house and decide to park up the street, out of view of the tenants. We immediately realize the house has been ABANDONED! There is trash EVERYWHERE! Car parts, motors, containers of motor oil, bits of wood,garbage bags everywhere. I walked inside the house and my heart sank. Her children had drawn all over the walls in permanent markers, furniture had been dragged across the floor leaving deep scrape marks all over the laminate flooring, windows were broken, the kitchen had been smashed to pieces with a solid metal bar that was sitting on the floor, the carpets in the bedrooms were burned with a lighter and covered in chainsaw oil from an empty bottle that was left in the master bedroom. Tens of thousands of dollars of damage had been done. We called the police, they said "i'm sorry but there's nothing we can do".
Skip forward to the insurance company (I bet you already know where this is going). The insurance assessor claimed that the majority of the damage was general wear and tear, not covered because it was children, or not covered because of some other bullshit reason. Further testing revealed toxic levels of methamphetamine were present on the walls, ceilings, air conditioning system (ducted reverse cycle system), floors, at which point we learned that the tenants had been cooking meth in our house. We would have to have the whole house decontaminated ($12,000), replace the ac system ($8,000), repaint the entire house, replace all of the flooring, replace the kitchen, etc. Total damage bill came to around $50,000 and that's with me doing the majority of the work myself. The insurance company paid out a total of $19,900.
Throughout the cleanup and repair process I have spent a lot of time thinking about how we could have prevented this from happening. We did all the right checks, all the right paperwork, we got insurance through an experienced broker. How did things go so horribly wrong? How can I make sure this doesn't happen to us ever again. And that's when it hit me. There must be thousands of landlords who go through this every year. Probably tens of thousands each year. How can I stop this from happening to all of us? That's when The Tenant Review was born. I've spent hundreds of hours researching, planning, and then building this website so that in time, we will have a list of both the best and worst tenants across the globe. If we all stick together and share our tenant experiences, we can prevent many of these major losses, and achieve the results we're all looking for. The best payback you can give a dodgy tenant, is an honest review on The Tenant Review.
The more reviews we have, the better the results will be for everybody. So please, share your tenant experiences, review your tenants, and share this website with everyone you know who owns or manages rental properties.
Thank you for your support, and best wishes for the future.