Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

To Rent or NOT to Rent?

The photo in the post below is a picture of the house across the street from me. What you see is the final stage of EVICTION. The people who owned the house really made some mistakes and I want to tell you about it so you can be informed of what someone could do to you IF you rent to the wrong person. The man of the house was a builder and he put on a beautiful addition on the back of the property for his grandmother who was living with him, his wife and their three kids. They lived there for about 2 years and then he lost his job. (It seems there was a lack of call for mansions - his specialty - in the Toledo area). He got a job in Naples, Florida and they moved while this house here was still for sale. That was Spring 2005.

The house didn't sell. Somehow they got a call from a prospective renter. Although the man had bad credit, he offered them 2 months rent (2400 dollars) and explained all his credit problems away. He was very impressive, a religious man (JW) and they bought his pitch. They gave him the keys and he then moved in with his 4 teenage boys, his newer caucasian wife who breeds dogs and cats, his older daughter and her 5 children.

That 2400 dollars was the only rent money that the owners of this home ever received.

The man stopped paying the water bill sometime back in February and finally the water was shut off in June. The owners kept talking to him on the phone as he kept explaining away his financial lapse. They were so gullible. They really thought when the 6 month lease was up, he would leave. Finally, when it became clear that the man was snowing them and lying to gain another week, another month etc... they had to hire a lawyer to do a formal eviction. I put them in touch with a relative who is a realtor and she helped them with some of the details of the eviction.

The man moved out most of his stuff and stopped staying here about two weeks before the eviction process was complete ... but then he still wouldn't give the keys to the realtor, so the eviciton had to go to completion. When it was final and the sherrif came last Friday, we went in the house. It was ruined! The walls that the previous owner had painted were now colored all over with crayon and were as filthy as the bottom of a shoe. The light tan carpets reminded me of my garage floor. There was dog doo all over the basement where this woman was breeding animals. It also came with a crop of fleas that got on the legs of anyone that went down there. There was a bee hive in the master bedroom - live and dead bees all over the room and bathroom. (It seems if you knock a screen out of a window and the keep opening the window anyways, things like this can happen.) The worst of all was the buckets of human waste in the bathroom. Since the man had no water for the last three weeks that he stayed there, he couldn't flush the toilet, so he just used a bucket next to the toilet. It was disgusting!!! There is more, but I think you get the idea.

The thing that gets me about this situation is how the laws are written to protect people like this - dishonest, careless renters. He did not pay for this property, so in my view, he had no right to it. However, the owners had to hire a lawyer to remove him. Furthermore, renters like this can ruin someone's property and they are innocent until proven guilty - but you must find them. This guy apparently has a track record for this (the lawyer told the owners after they hired him) and his pattern is to dissapear so legal papers etc.. cannot be served. I guess they call him a "professional renter."

I know there are many fine renters out there, but I think there should be provisions for these types of abusers of property to be swiftly removed without all the red tape. If John and I ever find ourselves in a similar situation, wewill think thrice before renting a house out to someone!

Homeowners/would-be landlords BEWARE!


  • Hi Rose!

    I assume the poor owners are the owns stuck hauling the trash out to the curb in your previous post. I don't understand how anyone can live like that and be that disresectful to someone else's property. It looks like it was a very nice house.

    No water for three weeks...besides the disgustingness of the bucket that means they didn't shower for three weeks? Yuck the poor house must reek. I give you credit for being able to be in there pregnant. Smells always really got to me during my pregnancies.

    By Anonymous Mary, at 9/13/2006 10:46 AM  

  • I walked in for just a couple of minutes. It was very sad to me because the homeowner was an interior designer and she had made it a beautiful home inside. Now it is just like a flop house. I hope someone will see it as a fixer-upper and take it and make it nice again.

    Is this Mary H? ;~)
    Thanks for visiting!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/13/2006 11:38 AM  

  • Yep Rose it's me:) I can't remember my blogger password.

    We bought an ex-rental this spring. It came with a lot of garbage and mice but that is in part what made it affordable for us. The attached garage had so many mice living in it that it smelled like mice. Gross. We were really afraid we'd catch some disease cleaning it up. We praise God though that the renter had not ruined the new carpet or cabintry. They just left several dumpster loads of garbage, food (didn't help the mice situation any)and stole all of the appliances.

    By Anonymous Mary, at 9/13/2006 11:59 AM  

  • This guy stole a bunch of items from the home also, including a washer and dryer. The owners thought it would sell pretty fast and they would have to come back for a closing, so they would gather up their last few things.

    What really got my knickers in a twist was when I was watching him the last day that he moved anything - he walked over and took the hoses off the spickets, a real nice wire chair that had been in the landscaping ... and the wreath off the front door! The nerve.

    I am glad there are nice people like you that are willing to buy such places. I am hoping that some nice family will see what a good deal it is and not mind doing the work. I really wish for some friends for my children.

    Maybe the Lord will send a potential convert too, or someone who is already a brother/sister.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/13/2006 12:50 PM  

  • I think if I were to rent I would try to find people I knew to rent to or use some sort of agency that does credit checks at the very least. There are a lot of good renters out there, too! (Like me, for instance.) ;)

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at 9/13/2006 1:49 PM  

  • Professional "Renter"

    Interesting Story Rose. Say you don't think we can find an analogy for Professional "Christians" do you?

    That might have this type of idea about God's grace?

    Sounds like a true swine trampling on someones pearls really:-)

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/13/2006 3:36 PM  

  • I've been in a couple houses like this after water damage or a fire (I'm in insurance). The only word to describe such wanton disregard for other people's property is depravity.

    By Blogger BugBlaster, at 9/13/2006 4:03 PM  

  • They will always be on the run, what a terrible way to live...

    They will have to keep one step away from even the phantom of being caught...

    The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1 - ESV).

    By Blogger Even So..., at 9/13/2006 4:32 PM  

  • "I know there are many fine renters out there, but I think there should be provisions for these types of abusers of property to be swiftly removed without all the red tape."

    We have a lot of laws here in the UK to protect tenants. I am gald they are there.

    The other side is that there are some nasty landlords out there who will try to find a pretext to evict their tenants so they can sell the property.

    God Bless


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/13/2006 5:39 PM  

  • reminds me a little of that old movie from about 15 years ago. Pacific Heights.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/13/2006 9:08 PM  

  • Hi IBEX!
    It is good to see you back here. I, in no way, meant this to say that all renters were irresponsible. I think you are right - after thinking thrice, if I found myself in a situation that required I rent out a house, I would want it to be to someone I know - like someone from my church. Hey, I have been a renter before too!

    You lost me - I can't equate renting with God's grace. ;~)
    I think I will have to rent that movie.

    Bugblaster (Neil),
    Yes, it is depraved. It is almost as though this man thinks he has a right to do this. What kind of warped thinking is that?

    Yes, you are right. Always on the run ... it makes you feel sorry for his kids. That is the saddest part - he is teaching these boys to do this - to steal, to cheat, to lie.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/14/2006 10:27 AM  

  • Matthew,
    I confess, when I wrote this post, I wondered what you would say about it. I am slightly surprised at your thoughts.

    there are some nasty landlords out there who will try to ... evict their tenants so they can sell the property...

    Their property. Granted, if you sign a lease and agree to loan your property to someone for a certain period of time - and the tenant is holding up their end of the bargain, you should honor the lease. However, after the lease is up and you may be on a month to month basis, don't you think it is the right of the OWNER to sell his own property? I agree - to go about getting somone to move dishonestly would be wrong, but when you rent a home, you ought to know it is not a permanent thing.

    BTW, I know that abusive landlords are ther eason for all the red tape, but now it seems that it is skewed toward allowing abusive tenants.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/14/2006 10:32 AM  

  • I think "even so" expressed my thoughts well. I'm also hopeful the next family is in a position to be blessed in being your neighbor. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/14/2006 12:37 PM  

  • Rose~, maybe it is my Britishness coming out, siding with the underdog.

    The tenant is the person with no home. She is the more vulnerable party. If legislation favours her a little more than the landlord, that is not a bad thing.

    Let me know if you think I am getting sentimental.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/14/2006 2:03 PM  

  • I don't think I lost you Rose...I think you said it better than I could here> It is almost as though this man thinks he has a right to do this.<

    It was the logical conclusion you see that I was after.

    I hope I didn't mischaracterize myself:-)

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/14/2006 5:55 PM  

  • KC,
    I will look forward to being a blessing and I pray that the Lord will bring the right people to this little street.

    Are British known for siding with the underdog? I did not know this. Who was it that told you that it was buggy when you use the pronoun "she" instead of "he" in this kind of writing? I agree with them. It makes you sound so "pink". I cannot bear to think of you that way! ;~)

    The tenant should have rights as long as they don't offend the rights of others. I am all for keeping agreements.

    We could carry this equating out a little further. If the person owns a property, he has every right to do most anything to it. Renters, however, do not have a right to live in a home without paying for it - they don't have a right to deface the property - they don't have a right to steal anything on their way out, etc.

    There are no renters of God's grace! ;~)

    Then again,
    Most OWNERS do respect the home - because it is theirs.
    (not to say that renters do not buy and large respect their homes.)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/14/2006 9:23 PM  

  • Ah your getting close to that parable of the talents thingy...good insight.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/14/2006 10:12 PM  

  • Have you noticed yet where your insight is leading you?

    Grace is not grace if it is valued as rental property and garbage to be trampled on and underfoot of men...or perhaps a talent to be buried in the earth. It was of no value to that man.

    It is good that you see that grace cannot be compared to rental property. It is a question of possession. It always has been and always will be.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/14/2006 10:33 PM  

  • Horrifying story. It's such a beautiful house on the outside !


    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 9/15/2006 1:48 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    What a horror story, I read it to Nancy and we were both dismayed.

    As a part of my job, I deal with those who are behind in their bills (not my favorite part of the job, I assure you). My advise to anyone on either side of a rental agreement (or any other type of contract, especially involving payments) is to write out every term in plain English, and both parties sign and date it. Don't accept oral assurances; get it in writing because, later on, those memories may fade (whether innocently or conveniently) or worse yet, they may be remembered 'differently'.

    And if the person on the other side of the contract happens to be a friend -- all the more reason to spell things out in plain writing, if you want to keep them as a friend. In this case, it's best to take an attitude that business is business. The friendship will not be strained at some future point if you have a guiding document to settle your affairs.

    Needless to say, this document should also spell out remedies or penalties if one side or the other fails to live up to their agreement.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 9/16/2006 9:33 AM  

  • Hi Jodie,
    Yes, it was the nicest house on the street (there are 4 houses on the street). It will be again - someday. The outside still looks great! Do you want to move to Ohio? ;~)

    Hi Cleopas,
    That is all very good advice! I guess the trouble would be when you rent to someone you don't know. You don't know whether they take documents they have signed seriously or not. Thanks for popping in!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/17/2006 5:42 PM  

  • I bet it's a great place to live, Rose, is it suburban or rural?...


    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 9/18/2006 1:21 PM  

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