The Prospective Tenant

A few months ago I shared with you images of an apartment we’ve been renovating.  The last of the tradesmen has finally left the premises and so we’ve been advertising for a tenant.

All ready for new tenants

The ‘Chap’ said underneath the verandah needed to be cleaned.

The property has been advertised through a real estate office but I have been doing the open for inspections.  On Monday a chap phoned me (who assumed I was the agent and not the owner), and said he didn’t get to Saturday’s inspection so could I show it to him in a couple of hours.  Well I did have a few other things planned but switched them around so I could beetle to the property which is nearly an hour from where we live.

Fortunately the trip was worthwhile because the chap just loved the apartment.  He said all his furniture would fit into the lounge room, said the kitchen was very spacious, loved the quality fixtures in the bathroom and could see himself relaxing on the deck with a beer in hand right after coming home from work.

The deck

Too hot on the deck for him

I told him there were other interested parties in the property so if he wanted it, he’d need to move quickly.  He emailed his application that night and even though his reference checks didn’t quite match with what was stated on his application, I benevolently phoned him by lunchtime the next day to let him know his application had been approved.

He was very pleased and seemed excited but then said, ‘Do you mind if I show my wife?’  What wife?  He’d never mentioned a wife.  If there was a wife, why didn’t they view the property together?  But bending over backwards I said, ‘Sure’.  So I reshuffled my afternoon and beetled back up the coast to show the wife.

The kitchen

The kitchen

The chap is 62.  He introduced me to his Filipino bride who looked around half his age.  He gave the apartment a good going-over by opening every cupboard, pulling out every drawer, flicking every light switch several times, opening and closing every door, pulling the blinds up and down, fiddling with the curtains, pulling out the trays inside the dishwasher and opening and closing all the windows.  I confused him for a moment for a pest and building inspector.  Meanwhile the bride had nothing to say.  She didn’t look pleased and asked him why there wasn’t a washing machine.  ‘Dear, it’s quite common to have to buy your own washing machine’, he told her.

They left the apartment telling me they still wanted it and that they’d like to move in on the Saturday – in five days.  I told them I would rush back to the office and prepare the lease documents.

The bedroom where the chap would like a bigger bedroom

The bedroom where the chap would like a bigger BIR

After organising the lease documents and when I was picking up Alfie from swimming lessons I checked my phone and the chap had left me a voice mail.  It was so long and so inappropriate I just had to share it with you.  This is exactly what you ought not to do if wanting to come across like you’re going to be a low-maintenance tenant.  (And BTW, the apartment has always been leased to couples, there’s been no complaints about the size of the wardrobe or the heat on the deck and the laundry was a mess because someone had left the external door open and leaves had blown in).

“Oh hi, uhm, just wanted to run this by you.  With the bedroom, there’s not much wardrobe space there.  Just wondering if the owner would be prepared to put another built-in wardrobe in there and also an awning over that thing.  Ask them if they would be interested in doing that and if not I’d have to get my own wardrobe in there.  Also, there’s not much storage space for my wife; if the apartment was for one person then fair enough but for two of us, we can’t fit our clothes in that cupboard.  There’s just not enough room.  I suppose we could get a wardrobe but it would be more beneficial for the owner to get another built-in long term anyway.  If there was a bigger built-in wardrobe they’d probably get more rent for it.  And an awning as well.  It’s just so hot out there and sunny; it’s almost…well in the day you just couldn’t sit out there, it would be way too hot; I mean I was standing there today and I just couldn’t imagine what it would be like if it was really hot.  I just wanted to run that by you.  If you could call me back as soon as possible and let me know cause I just don’t know what to do uhm, now, and the laundry’s a mess and all that sort of thing.  There’s a lot of mess down there and it’s really dirty but uhm, I’m not sure if they’re prepared to clean it up a bit and under the verandah a bit as well but anyway, give me a call and let me know uh, if worse comes to worst, maybe we could use the application for another property.  Maybe you can get me something more suitable, I mean, I don’t mind paying more money but ah, we just want somewhere really nice to live.  I mean I really like the outlook and everything there, it’s great but it’s got to be practical as well like decent living areas and storage and so on so anyway, let me know what you think and call me as soon as you can.”

New bathroom

New bathroom

And then he phoned me.  And he went on and on and on.  Now he was complaining about the fact there wasn’t a dining room.  He said, “And I know we can put a table out on the deck so we can eat out there but what are we going to do if it rains?  Where are we going to eat?”

Hmmm.  I thought his new bride was pretty underwhelmed.  His list of issues with the property was so extensive I just didn’t want him as a tenant as there would no doubt be no end of whinging.

The next day I showed the property to a young Korean couple who are moving in next Saturday.  They love the apartment so much and are so excited to have had their application accepted.  When Josh came into the office to sign the lease he greeted me with a bear hug.  And then as he was leaving I was not only given a hug but also a kiss on the cheek.

The living room

The living room

Then the chap phoned to ask if the property was still available.  His wife had reconsidered.

The train had pulled out of the station and left him (and his bride), on the platform.


  1. Sounds like you dodged, not a bullet, but an ICBM missile with the first couple. No one needs to deal with that kind of nit-picking, demanding tenant.

  2. Wow!! Very close call. The apartment looks lovely and even if you’re renting, the tenant can sort out issues themselves, umbrella, wardrobe etc. sound like very undesirable tenants.

  3. Oh wow Charlie. Thank goodness you got rid of them. What horrible people:(

  4. You definitely dodged a bullet Charlie they would have been the tenants from hell. The apartment is gorgeous and it sounds like you’ve found the perfect tenants now.

  5. My goodness. I hope the experience has showed the first chap what not to do if you want to find somewhere nice to live! Your renovated apartment looks fabulous and having had a rental property ourselves (the London flat we’re now living in), I’ve learnt that low maintenance, nice tenants are worth their weight in gold – and even a slightly lower rental rate. The first man couldn’t have paid you enough to make up for his unreasonable demands! I’m so glad you have found a nice couple for it now.

  6. That just sounds absurd! In Toronto, the high demand rentals have moved into bidding wars where the owner will state the rent at “minimum” value and if you want the place, you bid a higher monthly late. My nephew was looking at a place right down town and the rent was $1,700 a month, so not knowing about the bidding, he offered $1,700 and was immediately declined! It’s really mind boggling because we have A LOT of rentals in Toronto. I guess a lot of people want to live down town.

  7. We once owned a rental property, and the headaches from tenants was just not worth it to us, so I can sympathize with your experience! Glad that you found a great new tenant and I can’t imagine not enjoying that beautiful apartment!

  8. The apartment is beautiful! I’d move in no problem! But, it’s good you got to know these people before they moved in. That would’ve been a nightmare. Some people…
    Hope you’re well Charlie!


  9. Ah, Charlie, you do make me laugh. Glad you got out of what would no doubt have been an uncomfortable arrangement.

  10. Hen pecked or what???? Glad it worked out. As you indicated you are better off without that lot.

    The apartment looks great BTW.

  11. Oh, my. I think you dodged a bullet!!! Whew.

  12. Oh, wow, lots of red flags popping up w/ this guy and his complaints and him having a really young “wife.” Good thing no papers were signed.

    And for the record, what a beautiful place.

  13. Charlie,
    what a jeeeeeeerk!
    On the other hand, that apartment is GORGEOUS. OMGosh, those floors thrill me!
    Is rent expensive in Australia? WOW. I love this place. xxx

  14. Yes, lucky escape Charlie! I worked in property management for a brief time and some of the situations/people we had to deal with were pretty interesting!

  15. Sounds to me as if you’ve had a lucky escape. The apartment looks beautiful.

  16. Hi Charlie, That would of been a disaster, thank goodness for the second couple, you escaped a major mine field.

  17. Dodged one heck of bullet there Charlie. I just dont understand folk that complain about everything, their lives must be incredibly boring and negative to look at the world that way. Love the apartment, it’s gorgeous, especially the wood floors. Hope you had a wicked weekend, how good is the Summer?! 🙂

  18. G’day! The life of home ownership and in having to deal with all sorts of tenants…mmmmmm I always would like to believe the right ones eventually come along and glad you got it rented Charlie!
    Cheers! Joanne

  19. That guy would be nothing but trouble from day one. I don’t trust men over 60 who get a foreign bride half their age. I’ve never met one that wasn’t a bully. (I haven’t met that many, either, so two is probably a poor data set.)

    I’m glad Josh is moving in. I’d bring him a plate of cookies if I were closer.

  20. Eep. That’s a gorgeous apartment though. Love the floorboards!

  21. coming from a long time renter….oh my gosh! “Chap” what were you thinking?? Seriously.
    Hope your new tenants are lovely long term ones who adore sitting out on your back deck. I know I would!

  22. Oh my word. What a pain in the tuckus. SO glad you found better tenants who sound so lovely and grateful and kind. 🙂

  23. I’m also looking for some new tenants to rent a lovely little cottage that we have renovated, so hopefully we’ll avoid the nitpickers!!! Glad you got a couple who sound like they are delighted to live there.

  24. What an amazing job has been done on the renovation Charlie. So glad that idiot didnt get it. Things sometimes just work out the way they do. Toot toot!

  25. I think you may do better using an agent: you are then protected from such nonsense.

  26. Thank goodness you handled the guy instead of the real estate office! Sometimes they can be a bit quick off the mark just to sign someone up- then you would have been in deep trouble. Our friends have a tenant who constantly complains that the water running down the down pipes is too noisy when it rains. They don’t seem to believe that some things are beyond the landlords control- or care factor! Xox

  27. You have a beautiful apartment and if something like this was on the market in HK it would be gone in a flash.

  28. Although that was annoying, I’d say you did quite well leaving him behind!

  29. sometimes you want to shoot people no? We are giving our commercial space for rent so I know how people can be. People from the cities here can be the biggest a**, and we have gone through a few horrible stories.
    Why do people have to waste our time?
    Happy to hear Charlie that everything worked out for you at the end. =)

  30. Funny how the “chap” isn’t a home owner…
    So pleased you have a nice couple moving in. Your apartment is gorgeous!
    We have had our fair share of horrific tenants so completely appreciate how you feel.
    Have a wonderful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  31. So glad you ditched those crazy people!!! They would have been AWFUL. How do you always encounter such characters? 😛

  32. You were truly blessed to not have those tenants! Surely they would have continued to bother you for every little thing! A landord’s nightmare! Pretty funny though! Glad someone who truly appreciates your beautiful apartment moved in.

  33. Charlie – that was one crazy message he left on your VOICEMAIL!!! GAH!!! You are one smart cookie for going with that second couple – this chap and his young bride would have been T.R.O.U.B.L.E!!!

  34. Oh my goodness but this guy sounds like someone under a lot of pressure from this clueless young wife. He saw the place with efficiencies, and she only saw a desire for more. Good luck to them in the future, and you dodged the proverbial bullet. Great place for the new couple. I would love it! I’m at a stage in my life where I’d enjoy a whole lot less than what we’ve built and accumulated over time. 🙂

  35. So glad you were able to get it rented – and to a much more suitable couple no doubt. I can’t believe that voicemail. That takes some serious audacity.

  36. Read this with interest, as I was a Property Manager for seven years in a former lifetime, and also owned my own rental property… glad that is behind me!

  37. As a fellow landlord, Charlie, all I can say is that you dodged a bullet with that chap and his bride. I never want to rent to someone that I feel is settling for less than the home that they want. They’ll never be happy and when they’re not happy, I’m not happy. Lucky for you that the Korean couple love the place as much as they do. Perhaps they’ll be with you for a number of years. Good luck!

  38. Looks like you dodged a bullet with the older gentleman and his young bride. Having been a landlord before, those tenants could have been a nightmare.
    Your apartment is lovely!! I can see why people loved it at first sight and that it went so quickly. Good luck being a landlord!

  39. Wow good choice choosing the second couple! That first one sounds absolutely like a… well I want to keep it mild here! It is a beautiful apartment complex 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  40. This is just before he rented out. There will be more complaints coming and we know it! Good that you didn’t rent it out to him. I’d just tell him he can go find other place that fits his expectation as the room is already very nice!!! Glad you found a wonderful couple as a tenant!

  41. I think things definitely worked out in your favour in the end, Charlie … if his list of complaints were that long before he moved in, just imagine how he might have complained afterwards!

  42. Looks like you dodged a bullet there Charlie!!! Liz x

  43. LOL the world is full of all kinds, a lucky escape I think you had with him 🙂

  44. In spite of the fact that this guy wasted a lot of your time and was so exasperating, I’m glad he showed his true colors BEFORE the lease was signed. So glad you have a reasonable and happy couple to live there now.

  45. Definitely not someone you would want as a tenant. It would never end. I am so pleased you were able to tell him no, when he rang back wanting to take it. Did he ever find out you were the actual owner?

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