well this just sucks

maddiemom6December 19, 2006

This is a total whine... you won't see them very often from me .. so here goes.

One of my renters has not paid.. will not pay and is ducking me so we are forced to evicit her. Now in normal circumstance this would not be a big deal... it happens when you have rentals. And in the end I am more mad at myself than anyone. This time last year she came to us via another renter.. she was pregnant and her boyfriend had hit her so she had left him. We had a small unit that we had not yet fixed up and the so we let her have it for only $300 a month and no deposit given her circumstances. So that meant I *ate* the other $200 a month rent and did not have the option of fixing up that side. Any time she has ahd a problem we have worked it out with her ( her car broke down, once her baby was in the hospital and she did not work for 2 weeks.. etc) now NADA.. she will not call us back, or pay or anything. I feel like SUCH a sucker and now I have to inccur even more expense to get her out of there. WHY do people make it hard to be nice? Oh..did I mention I just put a new 3 THOUSAND dollar air system on her unit? uuuugggggghhhhhhhhhh!


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Maddie - don't be so hard on yourself. Deep cleansing breaths - there you go. . .

Console yourself with fact that the great cosmic wheel will come back to bite her hard. You may not see it but it will happen. You can't outrun bad karma. :)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:55AM
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I'm sorry to hear this. It's so difficult to deal with people when you have to enforce a law that they won't face up to. Have you talked to her face to face? That might help, if you can be sure you won't be influenced by a sob story. If you can get her to leave you'll save quite a bit of money.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 12:27PM
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Yeah it does, but i'm remembering a NT scripture that Jesus said about lending without hope of return like the Father who Himself is kind and merciful to the ungrateful. But do confront her if you can in a straightforward way. It'll do her self esteem good if she can own up to needing to pay you even if in the future.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 9:53PM
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So you evict her, finish fixing the place up, and charge $650 a month to someone more worthy. Cse la vie!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 1:19AM
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I have let myself "feel" for so many struggling and holidays make it even more difficult to make a decision like yours. But the truth is that we are letting far too many "not" take responsibility for themselves. Sounds like this little gal will continue to make her problem yours and needs to start being responsible. Whatever it costs you at this point will be made up in the near future. After a year, letting it go any longer will mean you will continue to lose and she will continue to win.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 6:35AM
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Send her a registered/return receipt letter. When she doesn't respond, proceed with the eviction. You are *not* the Salvation Army/Goodwill or her benefactor. She has brought this on herself, and it sounds as if she could care less about the predicament she has put *you* in. Been there, done that. DH and I are good, decent, kind, and generous landlords, but goodness gracious, don't ever scr*w us if we've gone out of our way to help you. That's where we draw the line, hard as it might be. Good luck, don't beat yourself up, and do the right thing for your family and sanity..

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 9:17AM
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You are a wonderful person who gave this woman shelter when she needed it most. Her failure to discuss things with you has to hurt. What's her situation today? Is there a local agency who can help her? Try not to evict her. It is expensive for you and makes it almost impossible for her to get into subsidized housing, which it sounds like she needs. Has she taken care of the apartment? If she has, that speaks to a person who cares for herself and others, and for whom it might be worth trying to work something out. If I had to choose between someone who paid the rent on time or someone who took care of the apartment, I'd pick the latter. I've seen how some renters leave apartments...ugh. It can be a horror show that costs many many thousands of dollars.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 11:10PM
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"great cosmic wheel will come back to bite her hard"

I think the above statement is very true.

Once a friend, I am using this term very liberally, stabbed me in the back. I was so upset not so much about what she did, but that I lost a friend. An old boyfriend told me to sit back and wait 2 months and something really awful would happen to the back stabbing friend. He told me to just let it go, but to keep eye on her. I was so surprised but within about 3 weeks, she had been in a minor car accident and the guy that she was dating had hit on her younger brother! Believe me I did not feel any better because of her circumstances, in fact I felt sorry for her.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 11:46AM
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I'm joining in a bit late to throw in my two cents. It really hurts to be taken advantage of, and hurts to have your generosity thrown away as it appears to have been. But look, you did a good thing and good things are only good things if they cost you something. Throwing old bread to ducks? not really a meritorious act. Helping a pregnant abused woman find shelter for a while at some financial cost? A truly meritorious act. It would have been wonderful if, in the time you were giving her all these financial and other breaks, she could have pulled her life together and managed her own burdens: her personal life, her relationships, her new child, a great job etc... Seemingly, that hasn't happened. It doesn't sound like you suspect she is really suceeding and just refusing to pay you, it sounds like she's simply failing with the added burden of a new child and can't figure out what to do. Maybe she's an ungrateful wretch in the bargain. I don't know.

I agree with momx3's post, which is that though you need to do what you have to do, since you are at the end of your ability to carry her financially, you should try to do it in the most effective and least angry way. Help her find alternate housing, if you can. But don't beat yourself up about being a sucker. What you did was good in and of itself, wasn't it? Don't let your feelings of anger and dissapointment with her cloud that for you, or push you into doing something ungenerous that will later make you feel even worse about yourself.

Maimonides argued that the highest form of charitable giving was where the giver and the recipient *both* did not know where the money came from, or where it was going. That was the most pure kind, the most righteous kind, because the giver didn't have a whole lot of ego wrapped up in how the gift was received and couldn't use the giving as some kind of ego gratification. I see now that it also meant the giver couldn't grieve over how the gift was used or misused.

You can't really know how the wheel turns for people--the threefold repayment of all actions, good and bad, holds true for you as well as for this woman. You don't know whether the repayment is that she will suffer, or that you will be rewarded. The chain of interactions isn't really over. For all you know twenty years down the line this woman and her child will be still calling down blessings on your name and remembering how you, of all people in the world helped them. For all you know you, too, will look back on this gift to them as the most significant christmas gift you were ever able to give. Don't be hasty and don't act from anger, if you can avoid it. We are all on this wheel of life together.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 8:39AM
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Such a beautiful perspective. I would add that a nearby church might be able to help maddiemom6 get referrals for agencies and programs that can help this woman and her poor child.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 9:54AM
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It is indeed a beautiful perspective, but it is not maddie's responsibility to ensure this woman is taken care of. I understand that "it takes a village to raise a child", but being a landlord is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes you need to separate your emotions and deal with the facts. Sometimes people need a kick in the arse to wake them up. This girl has gotten herself in this predicament, something she had control over from the get-go. And not to approach maddie to try and make amends, make things right, talk the situation over and try to come to some agreeable solution for both parties is just not right. Maddie can suggest alternatives to her, as a kindness, but as a landlord she has a vested interest in the financial outcome.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 11:39AM
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I have to agree there - dh's mom owns several rental homes and several apartment buildings and dh and I manage them. It is not an easy task. It is true that the landlord has to act as a landlord and face the facts. The fact is, when a renter doesn't pay rent, the landlord might not be able to pay the mortgage. Who needs help then?

I say evict her and quickly, and get a new renter in there at a more appropriate rent.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 11:50AM
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Well, I didn't mean to suggest that maddiemom had a special duty to this poor woman and her child--only that maddie herself framed it in this way and seemed to be unhappy because her role as landlord was conflicting with her role as helper. I've rented, and been a landlord, and I'm renting now as we renovate our house so I can stop being a landlord and have my house to myself so I'm not underestimating the cost in time, money, or angst for maddiemom and her family in taking on any part of this poor woman's problems.

Maddiemom has a couple of ways she can handle this problem--she can start eviction proceedings, which are costly and time consuming and painful. To do that she really has to forget that she ever had any sympathy for this woman, or transform the sympathy she had into a kind of angry jumpstart the girl with a "kick in the rear." Or she can try to reach out to this kid and social services and try to help her get settled elsewhere. One approach may "work" and the other approach may "work." Both require more work from maddie, and both, depending on how this kid reacts (gratefully, angrily, with difficulty, etc...) will leave maddie feeling either even worse, or pretty good about herself. Maddie, and many posters, specifically discussed the goodness of maddie's original action and how it made maddie feel originally, and how it made her feel now, so I don't think its wrong to explore those issues as well as the purely monetary. Because whatever course maddie takes is going to end up costing her time, money, and some emotional burden.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 1:17PM
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Depending on which state you live in determines the amount of time and/or money you will spend on eviction proceedings. Also, does she have a lease or a month-to-month "renters" agreement? It is easier removing someone with a month-to-moth agreement where I live. Been there, done that. And I agree that maddie felt the warm fuzzies when she first gave this young lady the opportunity to pull herself up by her bootstraps. But from what it sounds like, the young woman has no interest in "paying it forward" and making maddie's life any easier. No, maddie definitely does not have an obligation to this "poor woman and her child", or to "this woman and her poor child" because it sounds like this child's life will be one of difficulty more than ease. It is extremely frustrating when people don't/won't accept responsibility for the situations they have created, with the expectation that someone else clean up the messes they have created. Now, that doesn't mean this young lady means to cause any inconvenience or unhappiness for maddie. I say maddie should make every effort to have a discussion with this young lady, to try and resolve the situation in the most fair, least uncomplicated way, which in the end will benefit everyone involved. But I've long ago given up the notion that people will change because someone else has shown them the right way, the good way. Cynical as it sounds and real as it is. That's like expecting your mate (or them to expect you) to change the things about them that irritate you. There's an old saying "The perfect mate is someone whose faults you can live with". You can apply that to other relationships, as well.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 1:58PM
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Well Maddie is up to her eyeballs in it as we speak ~G~ The renter is moving out and while doing so it TRASHING the duplex. I nearly fell over this afternoon when I walked over there and on the side of the house there is WEEKS AND WEEKS woth of trash and holiday wrapping all over the ground. So I have already booked a dump-skip to clean out what I am sure is going to be the rest of it. The whole thing is a total farse and I ran into her minister while I was there.. he was there to offer her help since she had been so *cruely* thrown out of her home during the hoidays. Needless to say I set him straight in a big way. It seems the church had given her money NONE of which ended up with me might I add. She has a job and yet spends her money in ways that baffle my mind. She rents ALL of her furniture and electronics and 1/2 of the them get taken back each month only to come back a few days later.. that industry is such a rip.

She still refuses to talk to me and at this point if she just gets out I will be happy since I am ready to be done with it all. When I went over today there was NO DOOR KNOB.. this was a new door and new lock I put on last year. I have NO idea what happened to it but I totally fear for what the inside is going to look like.

So in the end no matter what I did, or what I offered it does not matter. I wish her well but am glad that she is not going to be my renter any more.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 5:52PM
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"So in the end no matter what I did, or what I offered it does not matter. I wish her well but am glad that she is not going to be my renter any more."

Maddie ~ I am truly sorry you have had such a nerve-wracking and nasty experience. You did more than many people would have (I being one of them). I think what may have happened is that since you were so generous from the beginning, rather than allowing her to "prove" what a good tenant she was, she felt an entitlement to be able to take advantage as the rule rather than the exception. We have learned from experience not to allow our emotions to be a factor when choosing tenants, and this has served us well over the years. In essence, we are running a business and must treat it as such. We can be good landlords, fair and just, willing to be flexible when necessary. But when people start to take advantage the flexibility should come to a grinding halt. And a serious conversation should be had from the get-go. The rules explained and the consequences spelled out. We currently have a young couple who are such wonderful tenants, as have been the majority of our tenants. For Christmas, I made them a gift basket of goodies, which includede Tassimo coffees and hot cocoa, wine, biscotti, jams and candies. The look on their faces was priceless, and they really did appreciate it, just as we appreciate the fact that they are terrific renters. In all honesty, momx3 made a valid point " If I had to choose between someone who paid the rent on time or someone who took care of the apartment, I'd pick the latter. I've seen how some renters leave apartments". This is very true. I'm not saying that you can't be flexible and allow a tenant some slack if they are having a difficult time, because if they're good and decent in other ways it makes up for the fact that they may be late a few times with the rent...we've been in that situation more than once. You are right in saying that you are glad she's leaving, goodbye to bad rubbish. It could have been worse, you could still be trying to remove her, paying costly fees, etc. Alot less aggravation and finally, peace of mind. I'm very glad it worked out, even if it was a bumpy road.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 9:09AM
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