Something fishy going on.

Looking out the front door.

Less than two years ago we bought a rental home that came with a tenant. He had lived there for years and was a solid guy. He worked in construction. But then he had a heart attack and his wife left him the same month.

He told us he could no longer afford rent on disability and without his wife’s income, too. He inherited a house in Puerto Penasco, Mexico and decided to move there.

After he left, we put a lot of work into the home. It needed carpets ripped out, new flooring, paint, yard work, you name it.

Our realtor found us a new tenant who checked out great on paper. A woman with a credit score in the high 700s. My husband called and texted her, wanting us to meet our new tenant in person. She never replied. We drove down three separate times to meet her. It’s a 45-minute drive each way. She was never home or at least wouldn’t answer the door.

That was the first sign something was off.

We decided to let our realtor collect the rent and Venmo it to us. She was communicating with him. She lived there for five months and then May came. She didn’t pay rent. When she didn’t return our realtor’s calls and texts, he went to the city and filed for eviction.

Thankfully in Arizona, it takes five days to get someone out. I can’t imagine how long it takes in California. My husband and realtor met the Constable, who handles evictions, at the house. The Constable was 6’5″ tall and armed.

The tenant left before eviction day.

Not only did she leave — if she ever lived there — but the place was a mess. And strangely there were mattresses all over the floors in every room. There was also a peephole drilled into the garage door fitted with a fisheye scope. Because the front door is recessed (photo above) they couldn’t see who was outside — so they rigged the garage to keep an eye on the exterior and street.

What do you think the was going on at this house?

61 thoughts on “Something fishy going on.

  1. I believe we know what was happening here. That is so frustrating for people such as yourself to be duped like that. I am assuming there was no “woman” with this wonderful credit score 😕

    • I believe the realtor only communicated with the “woman” by text. It was another realtor who showed the tenant the property initially. I’m pretty sure she only exists on paper.

  2. I don’t think I want to guess what might have been going on- there are soooo many possibilities and none are great to think about! Glad she/they/whoever is out. What’s going to happen now with the rental?

      • It feels like we were violated. Absolutely something illegal was going on. My bet it was a place where coyotes stashed people coming across the border. That’s the best scenario.

      • It’s so creepy to think what was going on there. They wouldn’t let anyone into the yard and they didn’t maintain it. After all the work we put into refurbishing the house, it’s very depressing.

      • I can only imagine. I’m not sure I’d have the ability to be a landlord…I’d drive myself crazy worrying about too many things! 😘

      • To be honest, I’m not a fan of being a landlord either! I find it so stressful. A friend of ours got my husband interested in being a landlord. I guess it will give him something to do when he retires.

      • I’m with you. I know if you’ve got the time to tend to everything (maybe like your friend) it’s a great business venture but I know I would struggle – especially with folks in tough situations financially, personally. 🥰 And then I’d turn my attention to worrying about the investment itself and damage, depreciation…oh my.

      • Our friend had a big business with rentals and that’s all he did seven days a week. I’m with you on all the worries. 😢

      • Maybe that makes it all easier — less of a ‘dabbling’ and more ‘all in’ committed to the business? I bet so. Not that it hardens anyone, but it makes it a job, know what I mean? 😊

    • After two weeks of hauling out trash, cleaning the yard and house up, the realtor said he has a tenant for us. We’re also considering selling. If we rent, my husband said he’s going every month to check on the house. Our daughter rents in Berkeley and her landlord comes inside for inspections several times a year.

      • I think that’s smart, or at least set something up with a management company who will go in on a regular basis just to see what’s up. You just never know what could happen being a landlord!

      • It was such a surprise! Our realtor does property management. But we didn’t take him up on the offer. My husband wants to handle it himself, but obviously we needed help with this situation.

  3. Ooh, that’s so strange and disturbing… yikes! So sorry you’re going through this. Since AZ borders Mexico, there is a LOT of human trafficking. I don’t watch the news anymore, but a decade ago there were several busts per month, where there were anywhere between 30 and 120 folks crammed into a small home.

    • I’ve heard the Phoenix area is a hub of human trafficking for our nation. We’re close to Mexico and the freeways can take people east, west and north. It’s so disturbing thinking we had a part in it!

      • I really hope that wasn’t the case, but it sure seems like a possibility…it gives me the chills to think about! Phoenix really is bad when it comes to human trafficking. I’ve been victim to two attempted kidnappings–one at age 11 in my Gilbert neighborhood, and then at age 22 walking home from a bar in Tucson. I hadn’t thought about those in years… but in addition to coyotes bringing people into the states, they also kidnap and take girls and young women south of the border. Scary stuff!!

      • I’m so sorry that you experienced two attempted kidnappings! How scary. One of my neighbors got me involved with a group of women who help The Dream Center of Phoenix. It’s a residential facility for rescued women who have been trafficked. It really opened my eyes to a problem I didn’t previously know existed.

      • Thankfully, things turned out fine, but it breaks my heart knowing that others haven’t been so lucky. I’m so glad that a facility like that exists to help women, it’s it’s great that you’ve gotten involved.

  4. Wow, that is really weird. I read the comments and agree with them. I would not want to be a landlord in Florida. For example: the adult son who moved in and whose backyard I can see, something is up with him and his sniffing near the ac and not working all day. They are renters and will look for a new place but we were all fine until the adult son returned and now, no idea what is going on but something is not kosher, as they say. Lots of stories here about house squatters. I am glad in Arizona it worked out for you! Having strong neighbors as an ally is an advantage as they can keep an eye on the place. And as for the house I see, we hear they might get a new renter and we can only hope for the best.

    • That would be hard living next door to that strange son. I’m glad you are getting new neighbors soon. Fingers crossed they are better than what you have now.

      • Yes, the parents were great, at least the step father-a retired Marine! I hope we do get better as the son has been there since Feb. Maybe it is a Tic Tock Trend sniffing the ground in front of the AC. Anyway, he has stopped for now. I am glad things worked out for you.

    • It has to be. I don’t know if it’s for sex or for coyotes to safe house someone that paid to cross the border, but it’s all illegal and scary. We feel abused.

      • Our realtor hired a crew to clean up the place and yard. He has a one-year guarantee because it was a one-year lease. This tenant didn’t last six months. The realtor found other people to rent. It’s been two weeks of stress and clean up. Most of it was done by the realtors crew, but we’re still involved of course. We’re also thinking about selling, but will give it another try. I’m grateful we’re in Arizona. We’d probably be in big trouble in CA with their laws who don’t evict in five days.

  5. Oh wow, that’s crazy. I always think about buying a rental property but I always worry about things like this. It’s so sad. I’m glad you were able to clean it up and possibly ready for a new tenant. Better luck this time!

    • It’s scary to think what was going on in our house! Yes, we definitely need better luck this time. Someone honest who isn’t doing anything illegal would be nice.

      • It might have been illegal immigrants. It’s hard to know, so don’t fixate your mind on the trafficking. Maybe this just alerted your mind, because of that organization you were helping, that there is a lot we need to do to help others.

  6. That is so scary and frustrating. I assume it was human trafficking and that makes the entire situations so much more untenable. I’m so glad you were able to get them out and at least disrupt their operation for a while. In California, it’s almost impossible to remove renters that hoard, sell drugs, and don’t pay rent. It’s a frustrating situation for owners that still have to pay a mortgage. Thanks for sharing your experience. Next time a face to face meeting before you take a deposit. Hugs, C

    • I felt violated by knowing the house we had put so much work into was used for evil and illegal activities. I’m sure it was housing illegals that the coyotes smuggled across the border. We have tenants moving in this week that our realtor personally knows. They are a family with a yellow lab! Our realtor is Mormon to I’m pretty sure this family is too. Whew!

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