Why I’ve Decided to Stop Leasing My Condo

I officially moved out of my condo and into my parents’ house in May 2020. Instead of listing my unit on the market for sale, I decided to follow my parents’ advice and rent it out to a tenant. Due to Covid, it took me a couple of months to find a tenant (usually, it’d happen pretty quickly because units in my building are in high demand), but when I finally did, things quickly fell into place and he ended up moving in on July 1st.

Two months later and it’s been nothing but an unmitigated disaster. Long story short, my (ex)tenant broke the year-long lease and moved out at the end of August. I’m a fairly laid back and easy-going person, you guys know this about me but I very nearly lost my cool with this guy. He did nothing but complain since the day he moved in there and it finally got to the point where we decided to dissolve the lease and part ways.

The building’s Management confirmed that they’d had nothing but problems and complaints about my tenant too from other residents and that made me feel absolutely mortified because I’ve always had a very pleasant relationship with the Management office and I know that this whole situation reflected poorly on me. All I could do was apologize profusely (and I did, more than once).

Grateful to finally be rid of him, I thought the worst was over once he had moved out of my condo at the end of August. Guys. I was so wrong. Once my real estate agent collected the keys from my ex-tenant and did a final walk-through of the unit, I went by there to make sure everything was okay.

Everything was not okay. To put it succinctly, my condo was trashed.

Walking in there and seeing the place in absolute shambles tore at my heart because I had lived there for nearly 3 years and kept it in absolute pristine condition, cleaning it from top to bottom every single week without fail and keeping up with all the general maintenance tasks myself. I took such great pride in my very first home and to see it trashed gave me a full-blown panic attack.

Standing in the middle of my condo with my mouth hanging open looking at the destruction in abject disbelief, I quickly called my Mom and burst into tears almost as soon as I heard her voice.

The condo was absolutely filthy and literally every single inch of the walls and baseboards were covered in large black stains, marks and scuffs. To me, it looked as if someone had thrown themselves against the walls repeatedly, leaving black marks everywhere. That’s the only way I can describe it. And these stains and marks nearly go all the way up to the ceiling (which is a 9-foot height).

Don’t even ask me about the kitchen and bathroom. Guys, I don’t even want to think about it. Let’s just say that neither room had ever been cleaned by the tenant – not even once – and the state of my kitchen appliances was abysmal.

Seeing all of this and taking it all in at once was a horrible, overwhelming experience and I was hysterical. In fact, I’m pretty damn sure my neighbours heard me crying and sobbing through the walls. I just kept wailing over and over again “Why would someone do this to me??” My Mom yelled at me to turn around, lock the door behind me and come home over and over again until her words finally got through, sunk in and I left. Shaking and crying, I made my way to my car where I tried to calm down as best I could before starting the car and heading home.

Finding another tenant and renting the condo out a second time is absolutely out of the question and I won’t even consider it. On the day I’m writing this (Sept 1st), a team of cleaners will be going into the condo and giving it a deep clean from top to bottom. Once they’re done, I’ll have to have the unit painted to get rid of all the cosmetic damage my ex-tenant inflicted on the walls.

My Options

1) I can list the condo for sale immediately, or

2) I can move back into the condo and stay there until the time is right (and ideal) to sell it at a higher price.

At this point I’m honestly not sure which option I’ll choose. My original plan was to rent it out for 2-3 years and then sell once I’ve had a chance to pay off more of the mortgage, but obviously considering what’s happened, I’m not even going to consider renting it out again.

If any of you have experienced something like this before, I’d love to hear your suggestions and recommendations. If you can think of any other options, I’d appreciate that too, because maybe there’s something I’ve missed and/or just haven’t considered. Help! Leave me a comment.

8 thoughts on “Why I’ve Decided to Stop Leasing My Condo

  1. Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry to hear about this. What a rotten person that guy is. I don’t have the stomach for renting. My soon-to-be-ex wanted to rent out our NS cottage. What a hassle (and we were very lucky with renters!) The market is robust so you should get a good price now. I sold the cottage to my ex and have never been happier to not have an income property! I just dreaded the phone ringing since it was always some kind of problem. I hope it all turns out well for you. What a year 2020 has been, eh?

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    1. As of last week, the condo has been listed for sale. There’s (thankfully) been a lot of interest, so I’m hoping to have it sold soon. Maybe within the next week? Renting is definitely NOT for me – I feel the same way you do about it. No thank you!

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  2. I had a friend at work who went through a similar experience, but with 2 consecutive tenants. He finally decided to hire a property management company and said they were worth every penny of the commission! One of the big advantages is they do background checks on all applicants and he had a completely hands off experience. All he’s done since is cash the checks!
    Just a thought.
    All the best!

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  3. Hello there, first time commenter here. I’m so sorry that you’re going through this awful experience. However, I wouldn’t be so quick to accept a lower offer. I don’t know about the condo market, but where I am (in a little town east of Ottawa) homes have been selling quite well over the last few months. Our next door neighbour just sold their home after one week on the market, and got $1000 under the asking price. I hope you have a good realtor!
    I do agree with Erica that you should take your time though. All the best!

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      1. Hi Patricia! Thanks so much for reading and commenting πŸ™‚ I spoke to my realtor this afternoon and she assures me that the market is doing quite well at the moment (thank goodness). I’ve decided to list the condo for sale as soon as it’s been re-painted which will hopefully be by sometime next week. I just want this whole ordeal to be over, y’know? It’s exhausting.

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  4. What a nightmare, Veebs. I’m so sorry to hear that this has happened to you. I know that you are also a very good judge of character do this guy’s deceit is further proof of what a nutjob he is.
    My first thought was to filing a complaint against him for destruction of private property. I wouldn’t have terminated the lease agreement without evaluating the premises but, then again, I don’t know the common procedure in Canada. From what you’ve said, I’d say that a part of that damage arose from retaliation, especially since he was there for a short period of time. This whole situation just smells. How awful for you, my friend. 😞
    If I were you, I’d stay on right where you – at your parents’ home – and just take a month or two to figure things out. Is there anyone in your family or any good friends who would be willing to move into the locale? If not, then I would suggest selling. You might want to consider taking a lower asking price since the market will take a fair amount of time to rebound.
    Stay strong and feel free to vent all you want! πŸ₯°

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    1. Tell me about it, Erica. It HAS been an absolute nightmare … from Day 1 with this guy! I’ve thought about filing a complaint against him but honestly I just want to be rid of him and not have to deal with him anymore. I just feel absolutely defeated and want to forget any of this ever happened. The cleaners have been ’round earlier this afternoon so in a couple days’ time, I’m going to go take another look at the condo again and assess the damage to the walls. If the cleaners managed to get most of the marks/scuffs/stains off, maybe I won’t have to have the unit painted. If not, I’ll re-paint the condo and then list it for sale.

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