Monday, March 2, 2009

I Heart Landlording

In my landlording "career" I've had many firsts. First time taking someone to small claims court. First time evicting someone. First time confronting recently evicted tenant and letting them know that, no matter how much I like them, they have to get out and get out now because I can no longer foot the bill for their existence. First time having serious destruction (seven broken windows, broken doors, broken yard, broken cashflow, broken heart) of my property by my tenant, who later became eviction #2 for me. First time getting a call... "My fridge/stove/dishwasher/dryer/furnace/brain is broken, can you come fix it?" First time getting a phsycotic text message from my tenant full of curses and threats and general awfulness.

The list could go on for MUCH longer, but I shall stop there. I would like to focus on my most recent first.

Today, my very nice tenant, who's rent was due yesterday which puts them in default today, came over with her son and a kind request. Her twelve-year old son serves as the (semi-lousy) interpreter because he is the only one who speaks English aside from the six and three year old daughters.

They first assured me that rent would be paid either tomorrow or Friday and the request went as follows:

"We need a letter from you." says twelve year old.

"OK, what kind of letter?" I say.

(turns and asks his mother, in Spanish, and turns back to me.) "A letter that says we need to pay."

My eyebrows knit in confusion. "OK, I guess I don't understand."

(more babbling in Spanish) "You know, like a letter saying we need to pay and how much we need to pay."

"Ummm, well, I can just tell you that you need to pay $SUCHandSUCH amount, and there will be $THISMUCH in late fees if you pay after tomorrow and $THISMUCH if you pay on Friday."

(more Spanish, and then a flourish of a piece of paper) "This is what we need."

I look over the piece of paper that he hands me and, aside from seeing that it's a form for some sort of one-time rent assistance, I can't really tell what it is except that it has a bulleted list of required items such as:
  • -Copy of rental agreement or contract
  • -Landlord name, address and phone number
  • -Eviction notice
  • -W-9 form filled out by landlord
  • -Three month plan and budget
I can't recall any more of the 7 or 8 bulleted items, but after reading it several times I point to one of the items and ask the twelve year old, "You need me to give you an eviction notice?" He looks at me, confused, like he hasn't a clue what an eviction notice is. I rephrase, "You want me to give you a paper saying if you don't pay me in three days, then you get kicked out?"

"Yes!" he nods emphatically and babbles something to his mother. She nods too.

"You want me to give you a 3-Day Eviction Notice?" Flabbergasted would be a good way to describe my expression, voice, body language, aura, cosmic field, and energy frequencies...

"Yeah" says the twelve year old.


More nodding and smiling.

"Oooookaaay... I'll just go print it up for you...."

And so I did.

They gave me a "Gracias" and a "Buenas noches, " and they were on their way with their eviction notice in-hand and a few more "Gracias's" for good measure.



Chatty Natty said...

It sounds to me like they're preparing to file bankruptcy...lucky you!

Erik, Chelsi and Preston said...

They will most likely take it to the salvation army. We had a tenant who wanted us to do this each month so that she could take her eviction notice to them and they will pay a good portion of their rent with an eviction notice. Some people like to abuse it though.

Kaci-Ellyphant said...

Oh man!!

The Beckstroms said...

I loved reading your "landlord" stories! Adam and I do that too for a home in Sugarhouse. Luckily right now all is mellow...knock on wood! The pic of you on the right side of your blog is gorgeous! Cute hair!

Polly said...

I tried to comment earlier, but blogger was having issues I guess...let's try this again...

What I was saying is...

This post made me cry. If I were standing there reading that, I would have cried. The fact that they need eviction notice to get the help that they need...

Anyway, I'm sure I'd learn to deal with things differently if I were a landlord, but I'd still cry.

Glad to hear that they will be paying you this week!

Clancy Pants said...

Polly... I don't cry very much anymore. I've turned into a cast-iron %#!@$! You should've heard the conversation I had with my other tenants the day before. I have learned a certain degree of cold-heartedness to protect myself and my family from being taken advantage of. I could almost buy my van all over again with the money I've lost in being "nice". I'm done with it. I set up the rules and tell them about them and if they can't comply then I enforce the rules we agreed on. It's a little like parenthood...

Ginny said...

thank you for reminding me in no uncertain way why it is i am so glad we are no longer in the landlording business...and we didn't even get to many of your firsts!!! whew!

good luck! (to you and your tenants)

Steve and Katie said...

Good Grief! Love the new nickname by the way :) You're awesome!

Emily and Dustin said...

I'll comment on your blog, Clancy, if you comment on mine! :) Interesting landlord story. Sad for sure!

Kristin said...

Wow! Interesting post and interesting comments. I'm not sure how I'd feel. It sound like she's a nice lady and probably not over-using the system, but at the same time she didn't technically have the requirements met because you really wouldn't have evicted her that soon. Not sure how I feel about that... good thing it doesn't matter how I feel. :)

Travis said...