Initially, I hadn't planned on writing on this topic but I decided to go ahead anyway now that a few days have passed and calm has been restored. I don't often write about being a landlord here, primarily because its just a part of my life that I'm used to and I didn't really think it would make for interesting reading. I will preface this by saying that overall, it has been a very positive experience. Aside from the obvious financial benefit I get toward paying the mortgage and expenses, I've met people from many parts of the country. One fellow proved extremely helpful when I updated my bathroom a couple years ago and no doubt saved me from putting some unnecessary holes in the floor. He was also a big help when my furnace decided to crap out on me during a very cold morning last month. Other tenants I've had grew up here and have given me great insights on what life is like growing up in such a unique place and answered my many questions about the region. One tenant is quite outspoken politically and I love engaging in political debates, though we do tend to agree on a lot of things so there are times we just sound off our frustrations on each other on some of the issues of the day.
Unfortunately, given the nature of work here and the people that are looking for a place to stay, you occasionally end up with someone who is, shall we say, a bit more "difficult". Such was the situation last Thursday when I had to effectively evict a tenant. This was only the second time I've had to do this. The first time was almost 3 years ago and that went quite smoothly. This time not so much.
I had had the one tenant for at least a couple years and while disagreements and frustrations will arise when living with different people, things took a turn for the worse in recent months when a new tenant arrived. It seemed the slightest little situation could set off fireworks so I knew things were coming to a head as one tenant would monopolize the kitchen, the bathroom, the television etc.. At one point, she bought a label maker and I came home from work to find every shelf in my two kitchen closets labelled. I quipped that I was a bit confused as to why she had designated a shelf to me since in reality I own all the shelves, the closet and the house that contained them. But it got weirder as she labeled the shelves in my fridge, her toaster, her coffee maker, her laptop....and to top it all off, she labeled the label maker. I swear I'm am not making this up. Yes, things were getting weird.
To cut a long story short, I was awoken at 3 am last Thursday after this tenant decided it was okay to come home rather intoxicated and bring along a friend, thus breaking two cardinal house rules. I don't really care if someone drinks as long as they don't come home at some god forsaken hour and wake me or other tenants up. I've never understood the urge to drink yourself stupid but I figure, its their body. Just don't make it a problem that becomes my problem. And I have no issues with guests provided I get a heads up and they aren't here at some odd hour, particularly when I have to work.
Clearly in this case, a line had been crossed. I'm pleased I remained so calm even though inside, I was positively fuming. I do have enough experience dealing with intoxicated people to know what and what not to do. When I calmly informed the tenant that the situation was unacceptable and the guest would have to leave as their delightful conversation had awoken me and another tenant...well, it didn't go over so well as the tenant in question yelled in my face that me waking up in my OWN HOUSE because of HER actions was in actuality MY problem. I'm still working out the logic behind that. Rather than inflame the situation, I simply informed the tenant that if it was indeed my problem I would deal with it....by calling the RCMP. I was then dared to do so. Challenge accepted.
Let's just say that seeing a drunk 43-year old woman being arrested in a housecoat and slippers in my kitchen wasn't exactly something I would have put money on seeing when I woke up that morning. Anyhow, it's a done deal now and calm has returned to the house. I did have to take a day off work which I was not happy about in the least but clearly after the stress of the situation and the late hour I decided that it wasn't a good idea to head in to work tired and stressed. All was not lost though. The nice thing is that last month I rented out a room to a guy from work whom I've known for 3 years now so rent-wise I wasn't really losing out. And even if I was, there are times when extra money isn't worth your sanity over one idiot tenant.
Six days later and I know I made a wise decision. The calm in the house now is almost tangible. Pure bliss.