Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Tragic Play, In Three Parts

(Or, how I spent the past six months)

Act I:
One of our tenants buys their own house and gives us 30 days notice that they are moving out of our rental duplex. Yay for them! They managed to secure a mortgage even in these tough economic times! Am genuinely happy for them.

Spend much money, time, and woe readying their apartment for re-rental. Finally put an ad in the paper, interview many potential tenants over the phone while my children screech in the background. After each call, scratch the interviewee's name off the list and write "over my dead body" in the "notes" column.

Finally get a call from a promising tenant. She has a glowing letter of recommendation from a previous landlord! She is from the area and has a seeming stable rental history! She has a boyfriend who has a good job and between them they easily make enough money to pay the rent!

Call the landlord listed on the letter of recommendation. Reach the business office of a local trailer park. Ignore my initial reaction to this news. After all, not everyone who lives in or has lived in a trailer park is so-called "trailer trash". Not fair to stereotype.

Money exchanges hands. Sign rental agreement with new tenants. Breathe sigh of relief that our ordeal is almost at an end and we will soon have enough incoming money to pay our bills again.

Receive call from boyfriend, five days after lease begins. He explains that he never moved in to the duplex because they had a "little fight" and he "had to be taken away by the cops" and now he can "no longer talk to her". He requests his money back. As all of the money we received for first+last month's rent came from him, I respectfully decline his request.

One week later: Our telephone rings at 9:30 p.m. Caller ID reads, "[redacted] Police Department". Ron had just returned home from work, so I mercifully avoid having a stroke at the thought that he was in a car accident. Police tell us new tenant is not answering her door and they need a key to get in.

Ron goes over to the duplex, speaks to the police who inform him there have been repeated calls to this residence in the past couple of weeks, and due to a new city ordinance we will soon be receiving bills from the police department.

Variations on the above scene continue ad nauseum.

Fast-forward to today. We still have not received any rent from the tenant since November. (No longer tenants (plural) as the judge wouldn't lift the restraining order against her boyfriend even after she begged for it to be once she realized "he really does love her" and "he doesn't mean to do it" and "it's really her fault for making him so angry".)

She was given notice to vacate by February 25th, and she claims she will be out at that point. We will see. I really would like to avoid the time and cost of a court-driven eviction, but it may still come to that.

So, there you have it. That has been the main issue these past six months, and it is amazing how this situation has affected every area of my life. The one good thing I can take from this whole mess, is that I have discovered just how little money we can actually live on. And I now know enough about rental law to pursue a new career, if need be.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a nightmare! I hope it all clears up soon and you can have a decent tenant there soon!

    so *HAPPY* you are back in the blogging world!