Friday, June 1, 2012

Adventures in Landlording

Since the start of the year I decided to do what many here do...rent out rooms.  And I must say off the top that it's been a great experience.  Aside from the obvious extra income, it's been nice to meet people from different walks of life, hear what brought them here and about their various jobs in the oil sands.  I've actually only had one tenant who didn't work at site somewhere.  The other benefit of being a landlord is that I see it as a testing ground for a dream of mine a bit later in life, which is to own a bed and breakfast.  True, renting out rooms and running a B&B aren't  exactly the same but I like to keep a good home and I like to keep my tenants happy.  Affordable housing, or lack thereof, is a challenge here.  We aren't exactly in the most affordable housing market here as a quick online search of real estate prices here will easily demonstrate.  Besides, while I'm hardly in a mansion, there is quite a bit of space for one man and a cat so why not spread the wealth?

OK, so I've set this up and you know all is not always bliss, so let's get to meat of the story.

So, as I said off the top, it's been a good experience overall.  I work hard and generally keep to myself so it was important to find tenants who understood that.  And, I've been rather successful.  My current tenants have told me horror stories crazy room mates and living conditions that make me cringe.  Unfortunately, I occasionally screw up though as I did have one rather interesting tenant who was, shall we say, accorded himself rather slovenly.   So why would I break down and rent a room to said person, you are no doubt wondering?  Essentially, I knew the guy from work (yes first mistake right there I know) I decided to give a guy a hand.  I once rented too after all.

Now, if I have one character flaw, people who know me would say I'm too kind-hearted at times, and yes, perhaps a touch naive.  I like to think that a hand shake still has meaning (mistake number two) but as I know now, that is rarely the case these days.

To cut a long story short, I can breathe easier tonight as said slovenly individual has now vacated.  The breaking point came when I broke up a small "party" late one evening on a work night.  Yeah, I'm a kill-joy.  Granted there was only one other fellow, a friend of my tenant, but I wanted to nip things in the bud  since I have to get up at 4am for work.  Fast forward a couple days later and I arrive home to find party man passed out on my couch.  His friend (not the one mentioned earlier) was passed out in my tenant's room downstairs.  Anyhow, I was working and my tenant wasn't (hardly a surprise I suppose) and I arrive home to discover this....


Not impressed, obviously.  Thank goodness for rubber latex gloves and garbage bags.  Among the many beer cans, cigarette butts and other detritus, I did find about a dollar in loose change though.  The carpet was rather gross but I managed to get the worst of it cleaned up, though I suspect the carpet will eventually have to go.  I'm letting some carpet deodorizer work its magic, though I'll need more, but at least it smells a bit better.  

Now, I know what you're thinking.  Damage deposit?  Unfortunately, no. I  didn't ask for one when he moved in (mistake 3), assuming I could take the guy at his word.  So while I'm furious with my now ex-tenant I have to say I'm a bit disappointed with my own lapse in judgement.  Tough life lesson, but not the end of the world.  I think this room just doesn't want to be rented out as the two previous tenants in it were also a bit on the difficult side.  Lesson learned.

Now, as I said, my other tenants are fantastic.   While I arrived home to a disaster in the basement, I also was met with a much better sight in my upstairs bathroom as a tenant took the time on his day off to install my new vanity.  (He was up working on it at 5am this morning shortly before I left for work.)  I bought the vanity some time ago but it just got put on the back burner for awhile. This is what the old vanity looked like.

                                              

And here is the new one. There is a bit of finishing work to do, mainly where the old one was attached to the wall and there is a small gap on the floor to the left since the vanity is smaller than the original, but these are minor cosmetics. And I can now get some new flooring and put in and do some painting which will give the room some much-needed zing.

                                                  

So there you have it. Some people are just jerks, but some people are awesome. Time to throw on a little music and relax a little now that the day's drama has ended. Ah the drama. At least no one will ever accuse me of having a boring life.

1 comment:

amber said...

Too funny! Such a great "Darcy story"!!! Kind hearted and a little niave are some of just the many traits that make you a GREAT person!