Blog Entries, Essay, Uncategorized, Writing

Anger Management and STRONG Advice to Landlords

This post is not about crocheting or writing. This one is about anger, as the title suggests. So much to deal with, these days. But, let me start at the beginning.

Anyone who follows this blog knows my brother died last June. In order to keep my finances in order without having to sell most of what I own, I decided to get a roommate who could pay me a small amount of rent monthly. I made a very bad mistake when I didn’t charge a deposit. I thought I was being nice. I thought I was doing my future tenant a favor. I tried to be a fair and reasonable landlady. What a mistake!

I found a woman in her fifties who needed a place to rent, so we agreed on a sum I gave the the grand tour of the house and she said she liked it. She signed the lease, agreeing to pay me month to month. Then, she moved in. Within a week, this woman started complaining about the temperature in the house. My house is 126 years old which means it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, even with HVAC installed. She complained about several things she thought was wrong with my house: No insulation, builder’s grade carpet in the bedroom, only two electrical outlets (she forgot to count the one in the bathroom) and the water from the water heater was too cold, the internet was slow, she had to park on the street, and on and on ad nauseum.

I replaced the water heater because it was old and a ticking timebomb, anyway. I patiently explained the cost of insulating a old home and the cost of re-wiring and old home. She demanded lower rent. So, we renegotiated and I lowered the rent by $100 a month. In retrospect, I should have told her to get lost right then.

Accusation

Then, she began accusing me of going into her room when she wasn’t home. Every. Day. I told her I did not go into her room because I had no reason to go into her room. She installed a security camera and pointed it toward the door to the bedroom. This was apparently done the day she moved in, however, I didn’t know there was a camera in her room for a couple of months. She was bragging on a rug she bought for the floor and I spotted the camera when I went into her room (with her present) to admire it. I thought my head would explode, but I held my peace. Another big error on my part.

She began accusing me of going into her room when she wasn’t home. Every. Day.

The next time she accused me of going into her room, I suggested she look at her camera footage and she would know I didn’t go in there. That became my new mantra. “Look at your camera footage before you accuse me.”

Escalation

By this time, winter was approaching and she began to complain about the room being too cold, the water being too cold, me going into her room and me listening to her phone conversations. As for the last complaint, I went into my bedroom, which is upstairs and right over her bedroom, to change my clothes after dropping food down the front of my shirt. She came up the stairs and demanded I stop listening to her phone conversations. “What are you talking about?” I asked.

She demanded I stop listening to her phone conversations.

“I was on the phone and you went into your room to just hung out and listen to me,” she explained in her whining, complaining voice. What an incredible ego she had. Really? There couldn’t have possibly been another reason I went into my bedroom? She is too old to be an entitled millennial, but that is what she acted like.

I asked her through clenched teeth, “Is your TV on right now?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“Stand in my bedroom and tell me what you hear.” I could not hear her TV in my room, nor could I hear her when she was talking on her phone in her room. She didn’t respond. She gave me a bitch-I-wish-you-would-drop-dead look and left. While she was heading down the stairs, I told her that I refused to sit in a closet and never come out just because she moved in.

She had her mail changed to a post office box because she thought I was reading her mail. She continually complained about me going into her room. She still complained about me listening to her phone conversations. She complained that it was my fault that HER Firestick stopped working because of my wonky internet. (I have no problem with it, whatsoever.)

As a side note, I didn’t promise 5-star accommodations. I distinctly remember promising a bed and a bathroom, kitchen and laundry privileges.

She nearly ruined my washer with using too much fabric softener and when I asked her to not use it again, she did anyway. It took me two days to clean out my washer after she left because the inside of it was covered in a sticky blue sludge that smelled just like her fabric softener. And I was allergic to it. when I did my laundry, inevitably, it coated my clothes. I had places that itched that I really didn’t want to scratch in public. I told her this. She didn’t care.

And then, the day before she left, she once again accused me of going into her room. My patience snapped and I suggested (loudly) that she check her camera footage. I suggested she stop making the accusation because if she asked me five months from now, I would tell her the same thing. “I did not go into her room!” I told her that if I HAD to do into her room for some reason, like the house was on fire, I would text her to let her know. I told her I never wanted to hear that accusation, again. She said, “All I want is peace.” I replied, “Then, stop your paranoid accusations and figure out, once and for all time, that I don’t care what is in your room and I have no burning desire to hang out in there when you are not home. I have a life and none of it includes looking around your bedroom.” My tirade was skillfully sprinkled with a few foul words and much longer than I included in this post.

She moved out the next day.

And after she left, I knew why she didn’t want me in her room and was so freaking paranoid about it. She robbed me blind. She must have had a pile of my things in a corner and she was afraid I would see them. The list of things she stole from me is as follows and in no way complete: sheets for the bed she slept on, 2 brand new pillows, the pulls from the ceiling fan, the light bulbs out of the ceiling fan, the bathroom set of cup, toothbrush holder and soap dish, a walking cane, a blanket I crocheted for her that she was supposed to pay for, another blanket I let her borrow, a 25 gallon plastic tote I let her borrow, a hammer, several screwdrivers, a cordless drill, kitchen utensils, an umbrella, and the key to the front door.

She robbed me blind.

Then she told one of my neighbors, who asked her why she was moving, that I kept going into her room when she wasn’t home and she had camera footage to prove it. That statement made her a liar as well as a thief, because there is no camera footage of me going into her bedroom because I never did.

And I don’t want to even discuss how nasty the bedroom and bathroom was right after she moved.

The Lessons I Learned

  • I will not invite someone I don’t know to live in my house, again.
  • And if I ever decide that someone can move into my spare room, they will give me a hefty deposit that I will NOT return until about 30 days after they have left and I have had time to assess anything stolen from me.
  • I will immediately evict anyone who starts to complain about my house.
  • I will not renegotiate the rent once it is agreed upon.
  • I will add $150 non-refundable key deposit and change the lock the same day a new tenant moves out.
  • I will not try to be a “nice” landlady, again.

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