Sorry to have been MIA this week! I couldn't decide if I should pretend I was vacationing on a tropical island, without Internet, or tell you what I have actually been doing.
I mentioned before that I was in the process of evicting a tenant. I wanted to let the subject drop and promised myself I wouldn't tell you how many thousands I was going in the hole, how much damage was done to the property or how badly eviction day went. I kept searching for the positive element in all of this and wasn't finding any.
Let me clarify that I am not a landlord by choice. The property belonged to my mom. When she passed away, the recession was in full force here, there was a very public and volatile native land claim going on in the next town and the building was in serious need of repair. Needless to say, we could not find a buyer at any price. There were no funds to pay taxes, utilities or maintenance. My brother, sister and I decided to buy the property from the estate, do the repairs and rent it out until the market stabilized.
That's not the courage part. That's the dumb idea part! ~
We trudged through 3+ months of legalities to get out of the mess with the tenant. She moved her boyfriend and another family of four in with her. She got a puppy. We were under a no harassment restriction while the process was crawling along.
The neighbours endured her friends tossing beer bottles in their yards. They endured her kids running all over their yards and breaking down fences. They tried to ignore the obvious signs of drug dealing going on. Still wondering where the courage comes in? I can tell you it wasn't found in the sheriff who was too scared to enforce the order and left us to get her out. Wasn't he the guy wearing the bullet proof vest! What did he expect me to do? Threaten her with a home decor craft? Point my glue gun at her?
The courage comes in over that puppy! One neighbour went to her to complain about it being shut up in a non-insulated shed, in the winter, that was filled with broken glass and garbage. He had the door slammed in his face. He couldn't stand the cries of the little thing all night and would sneak in after dark to feed it. Maybe that's not a lot of courage, but it's at least trying.
Then, the daughter of the tenant told another neighbour that her mom had run over the dog in the driveway and it was dead. A week and a half later, I see the puppy limping up to the tenant's door and crying to get in. It's the day before eviction day. What on earth am I going to do? My sister tries to coax the puppy to her but it will not come away from that door.
Then we see an SPCA van slowly driving by. My sister hails it down and asks if they are looking for an injured dog. They are. Someone has called it in. That someone had to give her name or they would not come, though she had told them she was afraid of retaliation. She couldn't bear to watch the suffering and agreed to file the complaint. She is a young mom of two kids and had to wait feet away from my rental to pick up her kids from the bus every day. That took courage!
The SPCA guy banged on the door until they finally answered and managed to talk the babysitter into surrendering the dog. He knew he would have to come back and formally charge the owner with animal abuse. He was nervous to come back, but he did it. Handing over that citation took courage!
The puppy had a compound fracture, left untreated for over a week. The vet said it was in extreme pain and the leg would have to be amputated. The SPCA is pursuing court action on the animal cruelty charge. I can't urge you enough to support your local SPCA. They may be the only hope one little puppy has!
They are certain the puppy will find a home as soon as it is well again. I call that young mom our village Freedom Fighter now! She's tiny and she's young, but she did what no one else did and she deserves the title!
Just as I was struggling to maintain faith in people, she came along and restored it!
What how do people like that really exist? This is so sadReplyDelete
I'm afraid she is raising four more to be just like her. It's so sad to see children in that situation!Delete
that is incredible that people can get away with so much. How did our world get so out of kilter that the bad guys have all the rights?ReplyDelete
I can't say I have any faith left in the system. Now I know why it's so hard to find decent rental housing. Who would want to be in the business?Delete
That poor puppy! I'm so glad to hear that it is OK. You are so patient! I'm not sure I could have handled all of that!ReplyDelete
Take care and best wishes always,
I guess you are patient when you don't have any other choice. The puppy did put me over the edge though! Enough was enough!Delete
Maureen, We had tenants do major damage to our home. It cost us over $35,000 and weeks of our own labor to get the home repaired. We ended up selling the home for a big loss just to not have to deal with tenants again. The funny thing is the tenant was head of surgery at a major hospital and his wife was a was an executive with a large corporation. We verified an income of $70,000 per month and these people lived like pigs. I have never seen such a filthy and disgusting mess. On top of everything else they actually stole some of the appliances. I hope you get this resolved and the home sold soon. xo, SherryReplyDelete
You have no idea how much this enrages me...one, the fact that people feel "entitled" to do whatever it is they please with someone else's property and two, the abuse of that poor puppy. I cannot tell you how happy I am that it was rescued and I am sure someone will come along and love it the way it should.ReplyDelete
Are they finally out of your place now....they should be so ashamed of their actions!! But I should also say that I am a firm believer of what goes around, comes around...and one day they may be on the other end of that. Please take care.
My brother finally got the tenant out and now we are cleaning up the mess! I sure hope you are right about karma catching up with her. Maybe the SPCA is it! Losing a leg may be the best thing that ever happened to that puppy, if it gets a chance at a decent life!Delete
I am so angry I can't say anything! Furious is more like it. I cannot stand cruelty! Those children should be taken away or they will become carbon copies of her evil. Hope you got your house back Maureen. The sanity part will take a little longer. If you need help getting it back into shape, give me a call, I'll help. Hugs MarilynReplyDelete
That is so sweet of you to offer help! I may take you up on it as I know you have awesome woodworking skills. I agree with you about the kids. It's tragic, really.Delete
Dan & I just commented yesterday on how nice it was to look over and see NO ONE LIVING THERE! It's so sad that you guys had to endure this ridiculousness. You were the modicum of civil and I'm proud of you making it through it all! xo wendyReplyDelete
Thanks, Wendy! I'm so glad you don't have to put up with my terrible renters anymore!Delete
That was courageous for sure! Terrible renters are an awful thing! Those poor, poor kids! xo DianaReplyDelete
I so agree with you. I only lost money. Those kids are losing the chance of a normal childhood!Delete
Hi Maureen...Oh my goodness - you have really been through the ringer. I totally feel for you. I am so sorry that you had to go through all this pain.ReplyDelete
I was a landlord (by choice) once...and never again. I friend of a very good friend rented an apartment in my two family home that I had from 1997-2000. He was a venture capitalist - his job was funding small start up tech companies. I thought that that was a good indication that he had enough money to pay the rent. But - I was wrong. He had a "feast and famine" kind of payday!! He would be in arrears sometimes for 4 or more months. But - when I was selling the home, he became an asset because he was very neat and clean and the buyers loved the fact that I had a quiet and clean tenant. He wound up maying me all that he owed and he paid an extra $500 to me for the heating bill (nice gesture that I didn't ask for). So - his situation started to turn around. But - when I needed that money to pay my mortgage etc for those years - I could have used the money - then...not later!
Thanks so much for your comments on my home staging blog. I appreciate it so much! Please check out my other blog also - where i do furniture re-finishes and decorating...
http://www.studioofdecorativearts.blogspot.com. I linked up to several parties this past week and have been getting very nice comments on my last two posts!!
Thank goodness for that brave woman with a heart. It's so hard to believe that people can treat animals so badly - it's truly sickening.ReplyDelete
So glad that the dog has been saved and that you finally got your tenant out Maureen. Hopefully everything will be on the up from now on ! x
I think things are turning around. It's going to be a lot of work to get the place back in shape to sell but I can handle that. Can you believe she came back for her picnic table? I don't think she knows she's done anything wrong.Delete
Argggggg! We too are landlords and in general....I would love it if renters would just not trash my property. But...the story is about dogs. We live in the country. People dump their dogs here all the time. I know they think dogs can survive on their own in the wild. They can't. If they are mean or severely malnourished to the point of being dangerous....they have to be put down. When our nearby city made an ordinance that Pitbulls had to be registered (which cost money) I can't tell you the number of pitbulls that terrorized our rural area. The county would do nothing. The shelter said we had to "bring them in and pay $60". Like I was going to try to get a very mean pitbull in my car and drive. I'm sure I'm cutting my throat in the blogging world here, but what I'll say is this.....to anyone who thinks their dog will do fine in the country.....your dog is no longer living....and it was most likely not put down kindly by a vet. I have two dogs. I love dogs. I don't make my dogs other peoples problem or responsibility. We take in dogs when we can....we even took one in that was severely abused and dropped off on Christmas Eve. (Can you imagine???) But we can't take them all and we don't save them all. It's sad.ReplyDelete
We have the same problem here with dogs, cats, boxes of kittens being dumped off. Many make their way to my village and every homeowner here has at least one stray they have taken in. Kittens will NOT find a barn to live in and be fine. I feed stray cats outside as I was full with the three I have taken. Feb. is the worst month when everyone gets tired of their Christmas present pet! What is the line between thoughtlessness and cruelty?Delete
You know I hate to say this but damned be those who caused this little puppy so much pain. Innocent creatures cant voice their pain... I'm so happy you got them out of your property.ReplyDelete
Im glad you got through this. Welcome back. I'm in the process of buying my first, own home though! One small happy news.
I'm soooo excited that you are buying your own first home! No other house, no matter how grand, will mean as much to you. I can't wait to see how you decorate when you know it is all for you and your family!Delete
What a nightmare! It is such a shame that the pendulum of personal rights has swung so far that these kinds of abuses are allowed to go on. I am glad the situation is resolving for you. Take care.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Dottie. I'm getting a good workout, at any rate, cleaning the place up. It's my new gym routine!Delete
OMG....what a story! I am always shocked at these stories but then again I live in a province that leads the country in puppy mills. It is so disgusting.ReplyDelete
Courage is right Maureen and we all need a little more of it.
Why is it so hard to eradicate the puppy mills? I guess we all need to be a little more vocal on the subject. I already drive my grocery store crazy, asking for the source of the products. I'm sure they call me the nutty lady!Delete
What a touching post, Maureen. I can't believe people can be so cruel. Isn't it wonderful we have everyday heroes with courage!ReplyDelete
You are so right about the everyday heroes! If you saw a tiny and shy that girl is, you would know how hard it was for her to make that call.Delete
What a touching post, Maureen. It never ceases to amaze me how cruel some people can be. Thank goodness for everyday heroes with courage!ReplyDelete
She sure gave this story a happy ending!Delete
Oh my, Maureen....thank you for sharing this story. What a nightmare...and what courage!ReplyDelete
You are very welcome! She has reminded me to stand up for what I know is right.Delete