Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Study in Human Behavior

That, Reader Dear, is what the job of landlord affords me.  Looking at the range of tenant actions, reactions, temperaments and life skills can be as fascinating as visiting a zoo!

Not long ago I finished the job of emptying a storage unit filled with abandoned stuff.  Mountains of stuff!   Evicting the tenant was bad enough (a long-drawn-out process and rather heart-breaking, as I felt Bad Boyfriend was to blame. Bad Boyfriend [who did not live there, but spent much of each day and every night "visiting"] brought drugs and teen-aged children who were into stealing cars and such.  So [skipping over many frustrating details]  I eventually got my tenant, Bad Boyfriend and all,  to move on. I emptied her dwelling space and did extensive repairs [broken fridge handle, broken window screen, broken window blinds, broken faucet handle...ugh, I'm not listing it all]). 

A few months prior to that, I had said goodbye to another tenant.  This tenant, Reader Dear, was the kind of which most landlords can only dream!  He was the very first to sign a lease with me*  And, wonder of wonders,  he stayed for twenty years!  Ted would make his rental payments three months in advance, took meticulous care of his apartment (He'd been in the navy when he was a young man in the 1950s).  He  was quiet, and kept me informed of all the goings-on around the place!  The fact is, Reader Dear, I had not one problem with Ted until he began to age and become a bit senile.  Then he morphed into a crotchety old man who complained bitterly about the tenant upstairs!  Dear Reader, I'm not going to go into great detail, and I do not want to tarnish the memory of Ted.  Suffice it to say, Upstairs Tenant was not charmed by Ted's banging on his ceiling with a broom handle and vacuuming late into the night.  Shouting loudly.

Though Ted never married and had no children, I was greatly relieved that he had a few nephews who lived a couple hours' distance away. I called upon them for help. They responded quickly and found a spot in their area to move their uncle.  "It's a nice little place, up against a mountain," they told me.
"We think he'll like it."

Sad as it was to say goodbye to Ted, I knew the time was right.  Although he was still driving his car and living independently, the Upstairs Tenant situation was untenable, and Ted was not happy.

His funeral plans were in order.  He had told me this years ago, and explained that all arrangements had been made and prepaid .  He had given me the name and phone number of a local funeral home.  Now I would not need this information; but, even so, I was saying goodbye to Ted.

"Perhaps I can come and visit you!" I told him. "I'm going to miss you!"

Because he had lived in his apartment for twenty years, I felt I should have new carpet installed.  But it was a tough decision--Ted's carpet was not stained or dirty, only slightly worn.  I had barely any cleaning to do, and no repairs.

What say you, Reader Dear?  "Best Tenant Behavior" award and "Worst Tenant Behavior" award in the space of a few months time!  As fascinating as orangutans and rhinos, no?!


(*Only one other tenant has outlasted Ted and she and
her husband were already renters when I arrived at the
job of landlord so long ago)

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