Beware the Bully Tenant!


In our San Diego real estate practice, we tend to deal with ethical and civil clients. Recently, though, we’ve had to deal with someone we’ll call a “bully tenant.”

Bully TenantThough we don’t manage this San Marcos property in San Elijo Hills, we do feel horrible because we brought the tenant to our ethical, civil client and owner.  The prospective tenant presented well, had a decent FICO score and offered a ledger showing rental payments made on her prior residence in downtown San Diego.

Ever watched the film Pacific Heights? This is not quite so horrific, but seller is feeling similarly harassed.

In a mere two weeks, carpeting has been cleaned twice. Ditto for full cleaning. And then came complaints about a garage door opener being difficult, there was a hairball in the sink trap and the townhome needs new paint. Seller, in desperation, is paying for new carpeting to be installed Monday along with services of a painter. The tenant, meanwhile, claims to need two weeks of free rent in exchange for her inconvenience–or about a thousand tax free dollars into her account.

Were any of these issues noted in her required MOVE-IN report (a required document prior to occupancy)–which any  semi-knowledgeable real estate transaction coordinator would know to provide?


Now, owner is offering this tenant the right to terminate lease and owe only pro-rated days of use. And barring any damage, a full refund of deposit. The owner just wants a happy tenant and to date, has met every demand–and is ready to take her losses and move on to another more reasonable tenant.

How I wish there were a website where landlords could publish names of  problem tenants–and it could be resource that barred abuse. In the meantime, we San Diego real estate professionals can only whisper among ourselves–and wish a pox on bully tenants that no property owner deserves. — Roberta Murphy