Thursday, September 19, 2013

Landlord Hell, chapter 2

When last we left this poor, feeling pretty abused landlord, the judge has ruled that the squatter and his pals are to leave my home.  But, for that to actually happen, there are more fees to pay to get the sheriff to actually show up to remove the bums.  (Of COURSE there are….!)

To be honest, at this point, the Squatter has promised to be out of the house Saturday, December 1.  There does seem to be activity being made towards that end, but he tells me he is spending that night in my house again.  Seems he painted his new digs and doesn't want to sleep with the fumes.  I'm thinking to myself "I don't know if my tenant hit you - but I'm ready to give you a good wallop!"

But, the next day he does, eventually, clear all his stuff out and is gone, taking his buddies with him.  BUT, that is not the end of my drama.  Tenant still has stuff in the house, he owes me nearly $5,000 in back rent and legal fees and because the place is such a mess, there is no way I can re-rent it.  I did, however, have a couple come to me that was interested in renting my personal space in the basement.  So, with everything else going on, I painted, gave away 95% of everything I owned, put in a new oven and when I could no longer walk or function, hired someone to finish cleaning as I had to return to Kansas.

Though, we now have a new kink!  Seems the tenant, who legally hasn't been released to come back to the house and has said he isn't returning, decided to do just that.  The couple renting my space in the basement heard him upstairs, went to investigate and were met with an hour of exaggerated stories about the Squatter - saying he is going to return, he's a felon, he's got keys to every door in the place…  

Now, I fully explained the situation before they signed the lease, but the tenant has them needlessly terrified.  They leave in tears and refuse to move in.  Now I'm glad I'm in Kansas and not there because I'm ready to punch the tenant's lights out!

And, the saga continues………  As I scrounge through my meager bank accounts trying to pay the mounting bills associated with this rental mess,  I know it actually could be worse.  So far, no great damage has been done to the actual house, no one has been killed, no blood flowed.  But, I'm not calling it over until it is, indeed, over - and it is not.

The frustrating thing to learn through all this is how the law leans - crushing the homeowner at every turn.  So many times during this ordeal I heard "call the police!  It should be that simple and that is what they are there for."  But, it isn't so.

For a bit of comic relief I watch Pacific Heights - the movie where an evil Michael Keaton moves into an apartment, refuses to pay or leave and proceeds to make life hell for his landlords.  I've read the comments: "the law isn't really like that.  The police would remove him" some naive people have said……….  Wrong!  It happens every day.  I just hope that years from now I can look back and laugh at this…  but I'm not holding my breath.

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