Chance, how I can identify with what you say.
The only time we were reluctant landlords was back in late 1980s early 1990s. Then, as now, there was a financial crisis and we had a maisonette that we couldn't sell so we decided to let it. The tenant was a university lecturer and we even knew his family.
Fair enough, he'd bring the rent in to my office every month, no fail. We never had reason to call on him because, hey, we knew the guy and his family, right?
At the end of 5 years, when the market improved, we gave him notice as we wanted to sell the flat and buy a nicer house for ourselves. The mess and dirt were indescribable. I paid for it to be professionally cleaned but, even after that, I could see that everything was just too "destroyed".
It was our own flat so all the furniture was our own (not cheapo stuff especially bought for tenants), the curtains, carpets, etc etc. We had to have the whole place gutted, all the white goods taken to an amenity site, I gave him all the beds, dining table, armchairs, curtains, etc. Had builders in to replace kitchen, bathroom, furnishers in to put in new carpets and other soft-furnishings. In those days and with workmen doing stuff for minimum wages (OH's work contacts), it cost about 5 grand.
So now, we have the house in the Charente on the market and I have been approached by both French and Brits wanting to rent it. But I think I'd rather sell it at a loss (and we will be about 40 grand down) than to ever have tenants again. I don't think that, at my age, I could cope with seeing such destruction and defilement of any house that I have owned and loved.
Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux