As shit storms go, no one died, but I’m feeling a bit beaten up and frustrated. More landlord grief. Renting out two apartments has been not only exasperating but almost unbelievable at what people try to pull. There are not many rental units in Mahone Bay, people are changing to AirBandB’s so we get a lot of interest when we advertise, do a lot of interviews and deal with a lot of emails.
It’s frustrating in that no one seems to read the ad’s content and asks questions that are already answered, which for me is a waste of time. When I’m home I’m there to relax not play ping pong email, back and forth dealing with questions for things already stated in the ad. Quite frankly, some were so poorly written English, I never even responded to them.
Here are a few examples of most frequently asked questions. Listed ad title…. 2ND FLOOR APARTMENT FOR RENT. Questions…Is the apartment on the first or second floor?
Listed in the ad, UTILITIES EXTRA…questions….are the utilities included in the rent?
Listed, TWO BEDROOMS....questions, how many bedrooms?
And on and on, wasting my time having to reply while doing it without being condescending or hurting their feelings when I want to scream, read the #$%*&$@ ad!
I counted the annoying emails, 15 of them, that went back and forth answering questions that were unnecessary. And do you think I want to rent to people that can’t read or pay attention? Does that inspire confidence for me to let you rent our beautiful space? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to rent an apartment but you need to know and understand the basics of how to turn off the water on an overflowing toilet, how to change a light bulb, and most important, how to use a fire extinguisher.
Then there are the emails contrived of words I don't understand. I don’t know Text speak. Use proper English pah-lease! I’m over fifty; not technical or savvy with these newfangled devices, I don’t know what the hell you’re saying when abbreviating words or parts of words, or using single letters in place of words...I don’t know what the hell you’re saying and quite frankly not interested is asking for clarification.
Then others only want to rent the apartment for one month. This isn’t AirBandB. They want to rent until they find the place of their dreams, or buy a house. We aren’t putting revolving doors on the place so you can come and go. I don’t have enough time to paint and clean after you leave! Give us 6 months at least pah-lease!
Then others expect you to hold it until they can move out of their current place! Are people so spoiled now that they think the entire world revolves around them? In what universe would I care about your circumstance? I’ve advertised the unit is available now, not a month from now or perhaps two, October you say? I’m not clairvoyant so who knows what will happen in the future but I sure as heck won’t be throwing out a tenant to accommodate you. I have a mortgage to pay the first of the month. I don’t know you from Adam, but you expect me to bend so far backwards I’ll wait for you and then work a deal to pay your heat and lights even through it clearly states, utilities extra!
Maybe I need to make the ads so a child can read them. We no pay lights and electrical! You pay rent, you pay electrical, you pay water. Others want a discount on the rent. Could we knock a bit off for them? I don’t even have an answer for that.
One of the things I find really odd. You have no problem paying a couple of hundred for a package of phone, cable and internet and then money for your phone probably $75.00 plus every month depending on your package, useless things that are not subject to survival, but you begrudge paying for heat and lights, necessary for comfortable living. You want us to keep your arse warm so you can afford to watch TV, play games and cruise the internet?
One tenant that moved out was a piece of work and probably the real reason behind this rant. She was nothing but trouble from day one and quite frankly we were happy to see her go. She was screaming at hubby over the phone demanding her security deposit be sent via an email transfer the day she moved out. We have ten days to assess the apartment and return the deposit, not that we wait that long, but she wouldn’t allow hubby to speak so we could get the point across. Demanding her money; threatening us. Screaming how she left the place cleaner than when she took it on. Well that was a joke in itself. The previous tenants were so clean we didn’t have to do a thing in preparation for a new tenant when she moved in. You could have eaten off the floor! As it stands now, you could eat off the floor from all the crumbs, hair and dirt.
She left a pig sty. Nothing was dusted or vacuumed for some time as the ledges and baseboards were thick with grey settlings. The floors are filthy. They must have gotten a dog without telling us as the fur was everywhere, stuck to walls, baseboards and door frames. Blowing in tuffs, like dust devils, from the moving air of our walking. A coffee or tea was spilled and it covered ten feet of area as it fanned out on the woodwork and walls, very visible and a prime example of the lack of care. The sink is gross and will take comet and an SOS pad to scour it out. The blinds were thick with buildup, two were missing and presumed broken or else they were taken to her next stop. We’ve had tenants steal all the light bulbs in the past, leaving only the burnt ones behind so theft happens.
Cobwebs hung from the walls and the chandeliers. I’m not sure what clean means today to those that have no attention span and fingers that only know how to flick through internet pages. Perhaps healthy eating and cleaning should be taught in schools so the kids grow up to have a sense of what it means to hear “you are what you eat” and the merits of a clean home. They can do marvelous things on computers and phones but how to plug in an appliance, vacuum or do laundry eludes them.
This tenant screamed how she painted two rooms. That was a disaster. People who don’t know how to paint shouldn’t. Each sweep of the roller came down over the baseboards. How hard is it to wipe the wet paint off as you go? So I’ve been painting Sunday afternoon covering up her mess. We've lived in our house for twenty years and the door frames and doors don't have any nicks or bare wood exposed. Within only a couple of months the door frames of the apartment look like they've been wrestling with a wood chipper, from not a care in the world moving furniture in and out.
The living room and the dining room already had fresh coats of paint in a neutral light cream before she moved in. She covered the dining room in white and the living room in an icy blue white. It could have been worse, deep purples or reds; we aren't upset about the colour choice, just the poor application.
She had been living on the second floor. When the first floor opened up we advertised it and I was in the process of interviewing a potential tenant when she comes downstairs and barges through the door demanded if I don’t rent it to her she’ll move out, right in front of the woman viewing it. That put me in a very awkward position especially since the person viewing the unit loved it and wanted to move in. In retrospect I should have told the tenant to move out but quite frankly she took me so by surprised I turned to jelly in my boots. I really don’t have the right stuff to be a landlord; I can’t effectively lord over my land. I really wanted to tell her to leave but talked to hubby and we figured we could rent out the second floor quickly but that didn’t happen for one reason or another so we lost a month’s rent. No sympathy there for us as long as she got what she wanted. Most people have to give notice for an apartment to give the landlord time to find a replacement. She moved downstairs in the middle of the month expecting the favour, no notice given or time to find someone first. She was loud and bullying, hubby was away and I was left to deal with her and let her have her way. My fault, I know, but why do I have to be put in a situation where some loud mouth walks all over me.
We are good landlords; we fix what’s broken and try to look after the place. I’ve lived in slums in my earlier life so I’m well aware how the poorer side lives. I could tell you stories that would curl your toes being treated like dirt under a slum landlord’s fingers. Living in shabby, cold, drafty and unkempt quarters that even rats snub their noses at, freezing like maggots in the winter and dying of heat in the summer months. I know 'bad' and we are far from it. We are not slum landlords! I would live in any of our units and be proud of my home and that says it all!
After the phone conversation the disgruntled tenant sits down and writes a long email continuing to slam us into the ground which I think was done thinking she would sue us if we didn’t cough up her security deposit and she’d have a copy of her grievances to back up her view of things. It was all histrionics and bullshit and not worth replying too. He who yells loudest is not right and big fonts don’t mean your side is true. If we were having a screeching contest she would win but she didn’t have any facts, only her own assumptions and they were far from balanced.
Some people are cagey and self-serving. Gone are the days when anything is appreciated. Everyone has a sense of entitlement and backs it up with a rudeness that almost knocks the breath out of me. Sometimes it gets so bad I wish I could stay home with the blinds pulled and only venture out for provisions. People exhaust me when they are less than kind. The saying, “The more I get to know people, the more I like my dogs” has a ring of truth to it! Maybe that’s why I have four pups!
Yes, I’ve heard it’s not about me, it’s about them, blah, blah, blah. I know all the things I need to do to deflect or ignore. I'm well versed in being the better person but let me tell you it can knock the stuffing out of me as I can’t stand being addressed in that manner. Respect me as a person and we can talk! I’ve had a lot of crap in my life and water doesn’t run off my back like it might if I hadn't been knocked around so much. They say grow a thick skin, but why do I have too? Despite a few moles and skin tags, my dermis is just fine thank-you. I’m a good person, why do I have to be the one to change? Why do I have to duck when you throw crap, why can't you be the one to stop throwing it? Instead of me toughening up, why can't you lighten up? Why do the jerks get to go around pushing all our buttons while the nice guys have to shut up and set a good example?
I hate that I can’t defend myself when there’s a confrontation. I don’t do fighting well, never have. Sure I think about it later and come up with a million clever retorts but in the moment I’m a clam without a working hinge. I shut down and stand there like a dork, a blank wall, a pussy! Before I die I want to tell someone off, let them have it with both barrels, with all the force of 50, 60, 70 or 80 years of suppression, depending on the length of my life. It’s on my bucket list. I want to give it back as good, if not better, than how someone gives it to me. I’m sorry, but I’ve eaten enough crap to fill a dumpster and I no longer want to take that higher road, it’s reached a dead end for me.
One of these days I’m going to blow like a volcano and spew molten lava all over some ass that tries to ruin my day or treats me unfairly! Will I feel better? I won’t know until I’ve done it, but I look forward to finding out….