My Worst Tenant: The Guy Who Tried To Fight Me

Recently MoneySmartsBlog ran a post about The Worst Tenant Ever. If you haven’t read it, I’d recommend you give it a read. There’s a stripper in it, just in case you needed any extra prodding to go check it out.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I rent out my basement. For the most part, I’ve had good tenants. My current tenant is moving out at the end of June, because she got pregnant and wants her own place for her and the baby. Since I’m pretty sure the baby was conceived in my basement, I like to crack the joke “at least someone is getting laid at my place”. Overall though, she’s been a great tenant.

The guy before her? Well, not so much.

First of all, he was Korean. Now before you go labeling me as a racist, there is a major disadvantage to renting to someone from another country. If there is a language barrier, (like there usually is when English is someone’s second language) trying to communicate difficult terms is difficult. Things can literally get lost in translation.

While he was there, he decided some days were too cold for him to go outside and smoke, so he just didn’t bother. This was written specifically in the lease and I make sure every tenant initials that clause, that way they can’t claim ignorance if I lay down the law.

There are two parts of the lease that I feel are important enough for their own initials. The second part is the part about no pets. Shortly after I got him to stop smoking, he decided to move in a puppy. And once again, I had to talk to him about that.

One night at 11:30, I was watching TV when I got a knock at the door. It was my tenant, announcing he was moving the next day. He wanted his security deposit back. I told him he wasn’t getting the deposit back unless he gave a month’s notice. He obviously thought a month’s notice was optional, because he kept insisting that I give it back. Finally at 12:45, we agreed to talk about it again the next day.

Fast forward to the next afternoon. To make a long story short, we’re at a standoff. To try to get the upper hand, he decided to try to physically intimidate me, threatening to “kick my ass”.  He was pretty tall guy; I’m 6’3 and he was only a couple inches shorter than I was.

Luckily for me, I had a buddy over. He came in from the living room, carrying the putter I keep there because sometimes I like to practice putting while watching TV. It’s amazing how a guy will calm down when he’s outnumbered and outgunned. He sped off into the sunset shortly after. I learned that shortly after he moved back to South Korea.

Readers, who was your worst tenant? What lessons did you learn from them? Or do you have a crappy landlord story you’d like to share?

Tell everyone, yo!

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