This Landlord’s Property was Picked Clean from Tenants with Bold and Sticky Fingers

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This Landlord’s Property was Picked Clean from Tenants with Bold and Sticky Fingers

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Stolen property isn’t the strangest thing to hear about in the rental housing industry. Tenants start to pack up their things on moving day, and their hands graze just a bit too far. Maybe they are stealing lightbulbs or a dresser you put out as part of the furnishing. Sticky fingers are a frustrating part of renting, but usually, it’s not too destructive. Unfortunately, one landlord is dealing with an entirely new level of theft on his property in a now-viral video on TikTok.

Stolen property isn’t the strangest thing to hear about in the rental housing industry. Tenants start to pack up their things on moving day, and their hands graze just a bit too far. Maybe they are stealing lightbulbs or a dresser you put out as part of the furnishing. Sticky fingers are a frustrating part of renting, but usually, it’s not too destructive. Unfortunately, one landlord is dealing with an entirely new level of theft on his property in a now-viral video on TikTok.

Picked Clean

Picked Clean

It starts simply, as the narrator behind the viral video points out he’s there for an “occupancy check” and you can see they left the dressers in one of the bedrooms. That’s interesting, but not the problem. While a lovely chandelier still hangs from the ceiling, everything in the kitchen that wasn’t nailed down is gone. The stove and the fridge are noticeably gone and the man states that all the kitchen appliances were taken. That’s not all. He continues the tour to show all kinds of appliances that were ripped out of the walls. The water heater, the furnace, and the air conditioning unit are all missing from their pedestals.

“Renters like this ruin it for the rest of us. 😣” Says Ingrid, the very top comment with almost eleven thousand people agreeing with her.

It starts simply, as the narrator behind the viral video points out he’s there for an “occupancy check” and you can see they left the dressers in one of the bedrooms. That’s interesting, but not the problem. While a lovely chandelier still hangs from the ceiling, everything in the kitchen that wasn’t nailed down is gone. The stove and the fridge are noticeably gone and the man states that all the kitchen appliances were taken. That’s not all. He continues the tour to show all kinds of appliances that were ripped out of the walls. The water heater, the furnace, and the air conditioning unit are all missing from their pedestals.

What Can You Do?

Unfortunately, it is more than likely that the landlord will not get their appliances back as many might consider the theft as civil damages. The renters have a key, and therefore it wouldn’t be considered ‘breaking and entering.’ The police come and won’t be able to prove someone picked the lock or busted the door frame, though that wouldn’t mean it entirely unprotectable.

“It’s prosecutable in two ways,” Says Gary Bergman, a state prosecutor in Georgia and he noted at least five other prosecutors would investigate it as theft.  “First Theft by Taking and then Theft by Conversion.”

“Renters like this ruin it for the rest of us. 😣” Says Ingrid, the very top comment with almost eleven thousand people agreeing with her.

What Can You Do?

Unfortunately, it is more than likely that the landlord will not get their appliances back as many might consider the theft as civil damages. The renters have a key, and therefore it wouldn’t be considered ‘breaking and entering.’ The police come and won’t be able to prove someone picked the lock or busted the door frame, though that wouldn’t mean it entirely unprotectable.

“It’s prosecutable in two ways,” Says Gary Bergman, a state prosecutor in Georgia and he noted at least five other prosecutors would investigate it as theft.  “First Theft by Taking and then Theft by Conversion.”

Theft by taking is in the name, someone saw something and then stole it. Theft by conversion is more in line with renting. Bergman described it with the metaphor of lending someone your bike, which they went and sold and kept the money for themselves. As a landlord, you allow someone on your property, but the property is still yours. Like the bike, they are borrowing, but to take what is there is theft, either through ‘converting’ or changing it to be their own, or straight theft.

With a theft this bold, there’s a good chance something should have come up on a criminal screening report. If they are willing to rip out an entire furnace, they’ve probably done something else. With a proper tenant screening service, it’s more likely a landlord could have seen something coming and in the future, perhaps pick a stronger candidate for tenant screening.

Theft by taking is in the name, someone saw something and then stole it. Theft by conversion is more in line with renting. Bergman described it with the metaphor of lending someone your bike, which they went and sold and kept the money for themselves. As a landlord, you allow someone on your property, but the property is still yours. Like the bike, they are borrowing, but to take what is there is theft, either through ‘converting’ or changing it to be their own, or straight theft.

With a theft this bold, there’s a good chance something should have come up on a criminal screening report. If they are willing to rip out an entire furnace, they’ve probably done something else. With a proper tenant screening service, it’s more likely a landlord could have seen something coming and in the future, perhaps pick a stronger candidate for tenant screening.

The fallout is a little more complicated. After the theft has been reported, one can hope police will do some digging with a good guess as to who is responsible, after all. Half the work has already been done for them, and a lien may be placed on the former residents’ credit. It’s never a fantastic idea to depend on the police, so the next best thing is to depend on the people you actually pay to be dependable.

Insurance was designed for situations just like this. A good rental property insurance should have a policy regarding stolen furniture and appliances. If you do not already have a rental property insurance, now is the time to start your research. Find an insurance company with good coverage and a deductible you can afford along with the things you find most important to you, be it how quickly do they respond or the discounts that they may offer. It’s good to know that many of the major home insurance companies already have rental property insurance, so you may be able to ‘bundle’ or at least combine your bills with your personal home insurance.

The fallout is a little more complicated. After the theft has been reported, one can hope police will do some digging with a good guess as to who is responsible, after all. Half the work has already been done for them, and a lien may be placed on the former residents’ credit. It’s never a fantastic idea to depend on the police, so the next best thing is to depend on the people you actually pay to be dependable.

Insurance was designed for situations just like this. A good rental property insurance should have a policy regarding stolen furniture and appliances. If you do not already have a rental property insurance, now is the time to start your research. Find an insurance company with good coverage and a deductible you can afford along with the things you find most important to you, be it how quickly do they respond or the discounts that they may offer. It’s good to know that many of the major home insurance companies already have rental property insurance, so you may be able to ‘bundle’ or at least combine your bills with your personal home insurance.

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The nation’s most trusted tenant screening for real estate agents, landlords, and property managers. No cost background checks available 24/7.

©2018 ApplyConnect. All rights reserved

ApplyConnect marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of applyconnect.com. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.