Real estate investors who have been involved with multiple rental properties over the years can certainly provide you with a few stories that might give some curious investor pause. Stories of buying a property infested with termites or bought at an auction but the property had a gas pipeline underneathsublettting renters or some such horror story. Of course, either of those scenarios as well as others can be avoided with a good dose of due diligence.

Not asking enough questions hoping there won’t be any problems isn’t a recipe for success. In fact, at some point it’s certain disaster. But have you heard about the one where the original tenant vanished and provided a replacement tenant without the landlord ever knowing?

This can happen and maybe it’s never a big deal as long as the rent is paid on time. Some landlords like to have sublet clauses in the lease agreement to make the property more attractive to more renters. Other landlords forbid them for the opposite reason, they vet the original tenant properly and don’t want to have that vetting thrown out the window with a substitute tenant.

In this story, the original tenant signed a one year lease. The contract did not have a sublet clause. The tenant then had to move for the summer to take on a job but couldn’t afford to house payments at once. Instead, he found a friend to rent the place while he was gone and to pay the landlord directly. But the new person decided not to pay the rent directly. In fact, the new tenant didn’t pay the rent at all. Once the rent became 60 days past due, the landlord paid a visit and to his surprise, there was someone in the property he had no idea who he was.

The tenant said he had permission from the original tenant to stay there. The landlord said otherwise but spent the remainder of the summer tying to evict the original tenant who was three states away. The original tenant and the landlord finally connected and the past due payments were made, but it appears the landlord was a bit too out of touch with his tenant.