It has been a little while since I’ve visited what is technically my third job, being a landlord. Being a landlord and owning even a little bit of property isn’t easy. The process is just like any other business and you make mistakes. You take a chance on someone and your safeguards fail. I won’t get into all the details, but my last tenants didn’t work out. Between a lack of communication and caring on their end, I was left with an unoccupied apartment filled with their possessions. Thanks to a state law, I had to go to court to get rid of said possessions and change the locks for the unit. However, I could not recover lost money because I wasn’t diligent enough in my research and was missing a certificate and a handbook I was supposed to give them while they were tenants.  I got to keep the security deposit. Live and learn.

The bright side was being able to legally remove their possessions from my property after getting a private agreement in court, and beginning the process of cleaning the unit up. The goal was to get it ready to rent out again. My confidence as a landlord was somewhat damaged, but I was heartened by interest in my unit as neighbors noticed me cleaning it out. I received two unsolicited offers from people looking to rent. In the end, I made a deal with a family member who was in need of a place to stay, willing to pay me, and willing to work with me as repairs were made to the unit. The deadline to get the apartment ready to move into was March 1st and the process was involved. Thankfully, a full renovation wasn’t needed—unlike two years ago. This time I simply needed to remove the trash left behind, clean, and treat for pests.

While slightly more work still needs to be done, my new tenants are satisfied. This time I made sure I had all of my certificates, notices, and handbooks ready to go at the lease signing. I also found good sources of information to keep on top of Philadelphia’s changing landlord-tenant laws. Starting over wasn’t easy, but I’m grateful for a second chance after a failed venture.

 

Have you ever had a project or venture fail? Did you give up or start over?

Paperwork 2 by Isaac Bowen of Flickr

Paperwork 2 by Isaac Bowen of Flickr

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