I am having a bloody mary on a Thursday morning and I don’t care who knows.

My Guy and I have been rehabbing a house. Not our house. Our rental house. The house he lived in before we got married, the house we couldn’t sell during the recession and so have been renting for lo these long six years. The house we very much want to sell now.

The tenants left the house … asunder? That’s too Rodgers-and-Hammerstein-musical kind. Trashed? That sounds a bit too punk rock. Lemme put it this way: In the midst of arguing with my husband about why she should get the entirety of her deposit back, the tenant mentioned off-hand, as you do, that her 4-year-old had been using the carpet in one of the bedrooms as a toilet.

She wants her deposit back. Every last cent.

Holes in walls. A youngster who is now evidently quite adept at signing his name, seeing as how he practiced – in marker – on most of the walls in the house. Trash, trash everywhere.

Nothing to see here. Just a wall. Like all the other walls.

We are doing most of the work ourselves. Everything takes longer than we think it will. And the work we are contracting out costs more than originally anticipated. Like, say, the floors. Why, just this morning, the flooring crew showed up and informed us that instead of taking one day, the job would take three. And they’ll need to remove the kitchen cabinets, even though the new countertop was just installed. (You know, the countertop we had to replace because the tenant didn’t think the leaky kitchen faucet was worth mentioning, but the entire counter ended up rotten and moldy? That countertop?) Oh, and this whole deal will move the carpet install back anywhere from three days to a week. And this whole thing will cost us 1500 more American dollars.

I broke. I’m day drinking.

I’m trying to view this as some sort of lesson. Mostly, the lesson seems to be, “Don’t anyone make fun of me when I randomly clean because that is the only thing that separates us from savages. The lack of deep grime is what differentiates women from beasts.”

I’ve been trying to look kindly upon our tenants. If you don’t come from a clean home, I guess you don’t know how to keep a clean home. Surely they have many other redeeming qualities.

Right now, the only redeeming qualities I have come up with are:

  • Don’t have cats.
  • Didn’t leave a sex dungeon for us to clean up.

I’m hoping this list will grow, but right now? It’s what I’ve got.

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  • Reply Jenny Hart Boren June 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    It reminds me that when I inherit my mother's house NOT TO RENT IT. It never ends well. I understand needing to wait until the market improved, but I hope the increased value will help soothe the disgust of cleaning other people's filth. Good luck!

  • Reply Becky Brown June 29, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Jenny. No! Please, don't rent it out unless you know the tenants. If you start to waver, call me and I'll remind you that being a landlord is The Worst!

  • Reply Becky June 29, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Ugh. This completely and totally sucks. I'm glad you can see something positive- I'd probably have torched the place when I learned about the peeing toddler. What is wrong with people?!?! My dog has better manners and as a beagle, she really doesn't always have manners. Day drinking is the best way to deal.

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin June 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Oh golly. That SUCKS. People can be such jerks. Bloody Marys are definitely in order. I wish I could send you a jar of pickled mushrooms and some vodka.

    Imagine her expecting the deposit back!

  • Reply Becky Brown June 29, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Becky, I totally agree – it would be so much different if it were a dog. Better, because dogs are cute and humans should know better!

  • Reply Cinny June 29, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Seriously? And she wanted her total deposit back? Except for the fact that you had trouble just collecting rent, she should be charged for the cleaning and repairs plus a PIA fee. Ah well, Bloody Marys are a good move. Hang in there.

  • Reply BentNotBroken June 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I'd rate the chances of her getting back her entire deposit at approximately -100%. I don't know the house/area/amount of the security deposit, but I'm pretty sure that replacing the counter (which was damaged due to renter negligence), repairing the walls (I mean seriously, how are there legit holes in the wall?), repainting the walls (due to the renter not supervising her child), replacing the carpet (due to it being used as a restroom facility), and cleaning above and beyond what would be expected after a tenant leaves far exceeds the amount of the security. At this point I'd tell the person in no uncertain terms that she's damn lucky that you're not taking her to small claims court to recoup costs for all of the damage incurred. One of those voodoo dolls that you stab needles into may be appropriate too.

    As someone who decided it was a great idea to paint the exterior of our house on our own, I can relate to everything taking longer and costing more than anticipated. Also, being more of a pain in the ass than anticipated. It looks nice. But Jesus. Also, in the midst of the aforementioned painting project, the almost nine year-old dog figured out how to let himself out of the back door. We found this out after he apparently wandered around the neighborhood for a bit and then came to find us (busy painting the front of the mouth) with a dead rodent in his mouth. He was very pleased with himself. I was not pleased.

    But yes, I am in favor of day drinking. It's approximately two degrees cooler than the surface of the sun right now though, so I make myself drink two glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage. Now if that's not responsible adulting, I don't know what is.

  • Reply Kari Wagner June 30, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Um you need to tell those renters to go fuck themselves.

  • Reply Ernie June 30, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    What a nightmare! My husband is a do-it-yourselfer and I know all too well what it means to have projects drag on. He did our basement. It took 2 and a half years. Meahwhile our kids had outgrown most of the toys that we had stored. Not to mention that I almost lost my mind since my kids couldn't go down in the basement for 2.5 YEARS! Sorry for your trouble. I support day drinking and I wouldn't give those people, and I use the term loosely, any of their deposit back. I'd love to know how the 4 year old toilet on the carpet conversation just happened off the cuff. People are crazy!!!!

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