Thursday, February 9, 2012

Neighbors and Renters from Hell

Got to thinking about this with a post from Claire's blog - she's having trouble with a noisy neighbor who's going to wake up with a karaoke machine's head in his bed, one morning real soon.

Then over to Sippican Cottage, in which a landlord learns the joy and fulfillment of renting to a crazy hoarder.

Back when I owned property, my wife and I occasionally discussed the possibility of renting out a house we were having trouble selling.  My opinion was an unaltering "not in this lifetime."  I've known too many people, at a somewhat - shall we say - lower rung of the socioeconomic ladder than she was quite willing to admit existed.  The damage that can be done to a poor defenseless house by someone who just stops taking out the garbage has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Noisy neighbors?  Oh, I could tell stories.  In fact, I think I will.  One time - this was after the marriage, so it was only a little over ten years ago - I had this cheap little apartment that faced an alley.  On the other side of the alley was another apartment building that catered, apparently exclusively, to low-income Mexicans.  And one such family, on the ground floor directly under where my windows opened, sure loved to party.  And in those parties they enjoyed blasting Mariache "music" at ear-bleeding intensity until all frickin' hours.  I've always prided myself on being able to get used to anything, but this was a daunting challenge.

It had its compensations, though. The morning after the night when the partiers ushered in the year 2000 will forever be a jewel in my memory.  The party the night before was a masterpiece - I didn't think those people were ever going to pass out.  The least they could have done was invite the neighbors, since we got to participate anyway.  Anyway, around six that morning, on New Year's Day, to my surprise and initial dismay a garbage truck started working its way down the alley, emptying the Dumpsters.  And I don't know what the driver's problem was, maybe he was just pissed at having to work that morning, but he was taking delight in stomping those big, noisy Dumpsters up against the top of his truck, again and again, and then smashing them back down on the pavement.  Oh, it was deafening, and he did it over ... and over.

At first I was just a bit put out, since I'd been trying to sleep, y'know?  And then ... I heard the cries of pain.  Yeah, coming from across the alley.  Stomp!  Smash!  Aiii!  Music.

It's the little things.


MamaLiberty said...

And people wonder why I would never agree to live in a city...

The one time I did... a "neighbor" had a small dog that was tied up in their back yard - ALL the time. It cried 24/7 when undisturbed, and it howled or barked if it heard any sounds of people.

It was not only nerve wracking, it was heartbreaking.

One day it stopped. Somebody rescued that poor little pooch - and it was never seen again.

Unfortunately, they went right out and got another dog... and tied it to the same tree.

We moved shortly after that. Hopeless.

LJH said...

I've never gone the landlord route but did a short stint as a property manager for a friend.

Boy, howdy, do I NOT have the patience for that gig! I quit (just barely) before I started shooting people. Had there been Mariachi music I'd be writing this from prison instead of a Utah mountain canyon.

I soooo understand your hermitness (and love of firearms).

Anonymous said...

Karaoke is proof that Satan exists. Period. Residential rentals are a one way ticket to an early grave. I will pay over $40k in materials to restore one year worth of damage to my moms house. When she got sick and moved in with my wife and I we rented her house to one of her "friends". The "friend" proceeded to wreck the place, stopped paying rent and then fought us in court to get her out.
I'm told fuggetabouddit as far as making her ass even pay the back rent. As soon as I get a levy on her paycheck she quits and either goes on welfare or under the table somewhere.
Yay...the joys of being a landlord. Nevermore.


Quizikle said...

Don't need to be on the lower rungs. I cancelled a deal on a house once when it was discovered the doctors that lived there had allowed the pets to pee on the floors enough to ruin the sub-flooring.

I have enough trouble with my own mess. Why should I pay for the privilege of dealing with someone else damaging my property?