If you’re looking to enter the real estate market and possess your own rental property, you couldn’t have picked a better time. Homeownership is at a 50-year low — this shows that renting isn’t only for those making a transition, and is, in fact, becoming a viable option for long-term living situations. Income doesn’t seem to be rising fast enough to match the costs of homes today, so people are turning to more affordable alternatives. You, as a landlord and rental property owner, can capitalize on this opportunity and make some decent money. That is, unless you end up with every landlord’s worst case scenario: nightmare tenants.
Any venture that promises great rewards always has its risks. Finding responsible and reliable tenants shouldn’t be too difficult given the fact that more than 50% of those interested in renting cited cost and lack of stress as their reasoning — they want a smooth, easy rental experience as much as you do. Unfortunately, nightmare tenants do exist, and they can wreak an unbelievable amount of havoc, both on your property and on your life.
Such was undoubtedly the experience of this Kentucky man’s landlord. After discovering bed bugs in his apartment, Jackie Abbott, 59, promptly set it on fire. He admitted to understanding the risks, which included injuring or killing his four adjacent neighbors, without any hesitation. And this wasn’t his first attempt.
Back in May, he called 911 after feeling shortness of breath. He hung up before responders could get any more information out of him, so EMTs naturally rushed in to help when they arrived on the scene. Only, they didn’t find Jackie in his apartment because he’d already fled outside. The EMTs then began to feel nauseous and lightheaded — turns out, Abbott had set off three bug bombs to rid his apartment of the persistent pests, and the resulting toxic fumes had forced him to dial 911. Unfortunately, since the four EMTs weren’t aware of this, they all inhaled the fumes and became violently ill.
“They got outside. They started vomiting and so forth so we had to send extra crews to take care of them also,” reported Wayne County Emergency Management Director Sherwin Corder.
Abbott has since been arrested for arson due to his latest, fiery attempt to rid his mattress of the pests. Bed bugs are nasty creatures who feed on the blood of humans, usually where they spend most of their time (such as mattresses and couches). Although they do not spread disease, their itchy bite marks can be incessantly irritating and may become infected. The mental impact of knowing that there are hundreds of tiny parasites living in your bed with you may be enough to drive a man bonkers — perhaps that’s what happened with Jackie Abbott.
Learn a lesson from Jackie: make sure your apartments are pest-free, and that you have intelligent tenants that won’t simply light the place on fire at the first sign of a problem!