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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Looking for a renter/a.k.a. the saga of Lyin' Lynn

I'm looking for a renter for my house in Anoka, and I'd appreciate it if any of you all readers keep it in mind if you hear of anyone looking for a place. You can pull up pictures and updates of the house here and here and here.

The house is gorgeous! A person can share the house with just one other adult for $650 + utilities (they'd have 3 private bedrooms) or could have just one bedroom for $400 + utilities and maybe have to share the house with 2 other adults.

Enough time has gone by that I'm going to vent and tell the story of Lyin' Lynn. I'm hoping that she does not regularly check my blog (as she and I had previously exchanged emails and she could conceivably have my blog address). But even if she does read this, I'm going to speak only the truth. It might be interesting to get a comment from her.

Lynn signed a 12 month lease that began the beginning of July + pro-rated rent for the last half of June. She and her daughter moved in knowing that Randy still had 2 complete weeks of work on the house including installing the AC, dishwasher, microwave, finishing some woodwork inside, and finishing some repair outside. Lynn assured us that that would be fine, as she worked long hours at her job.

Well... she moved in and was always home! Always! And not only that, each morning she'd have a couple of kids over at the house with her. It became very clear to me, RR, and Eforce that she didn't really have a full-time job, that what she REALLY was was a babysitter. RR was forced to do all the outdoor work first (which he was fine with) because the inside stuff is much more difficult with people walking back and forth (especially kids). Can you imagine varnishing stair railings with kids running around?!

I didn't say anything to her before Wyoming because I didn't want to deal with it right before a long trip and I wanted to make sure she paid me for July before I left. Once we got back and Randy was over there finishing up the last few days of the patio door/deck project, it was clear that we were correct: she still had the kids over every day!

I called her and basically told her that we had to stick with her lease agreement that states that the house is for residential use only and that she could not run a daycare or a babysitting business out of the house. She said a bunch of stupid stuff, like:

--"I didn't have the kids over for the last two weeks!" (yeah, right... you want me to believe that every day that RR, Eforce, or I are around you have the kids, but when we are in Wyoming you conveniently don't have them at all?).

--"So you're saying that K (her daughter) can't have a friend sleep over?!" (umm... no. I'm saying you can't run a daycare out of the house).

Ultimately she said she'd watch the kids someplace else. Fine.

And then there was the air conditioner. Because that was an "indoor" project for RR, and Lynn and the kids were always around the house, the installation of the AC was put off until the end of the 2 weeks. Lynn was VERY hyper about the AC because she said the heat was bad for her asthma, and I guess the ceiling fans in every single room of the house wasn't good enough for her. The AC went in the last day before we left for Wyoming and works great.

We get back from Wyoming, and probably a week later RR and I notice while over there that the AC is set to 68 degrees! And it is on FULL blast, roaring day and night regardless of whether anyone is home. Eforce never really was observant and noticed this, but we pointed it out to him and told him that he would end up paying an arm and a leg if he didn't set it higher. So he talked to Lynn about compromising: setting it at 74 degrees when someone was home and 78 when nobody was around. She said that was fine.

Well, obviously it wasn't. I called her on the evening of August 1st, reminding her that rent had been due by 5pm that day and I hadn't received it. We left for my cabin the next day. Sunday night as we were packing up the trailer I get a text message from her (yes, she's that mature of a 37 yo) stating that she had packed her things up and was moving out because she won't rent from someone who tells her who she can have over and that she needs the house to be colder. She said she'd leave me August rent on the 5th when she'd come by to pick up the last of the stuff from the garage. She had this idea that rent was due on the 5th because she can't comprehend that the lease says that rent is due the 1st and she won't receive a late fee until the 5th.

Did I mention she'd signed a 12 month lease?

We get back, and sure enough, she's gone. I post a new ad on Craigs list that night to try to replace her, stating that the space is available immediately. She emails me the next morning saying she saw my ad and that if I'm advertising it to be available immediately, then she's not going to pay me for August. I think her exact words were something to the effect of "I was trying to be respectful and responsible..."

Anyway, here we are 6 weeks later and still no one to replace her (hence why I started advertising the space available as "immediately". If she'd have had a conversation with me I could have told her that if I found anyone for a portion of August I might be willing to pro-rate some of the rent back to her.

My utility bill for the month of crazy AC was $350! And of course she's not paying any of that.

Crazy, huh?

Anyways, money has been tight and unfortunately this played into why I couldn't afford to take off time from work to go do Superior Trail runs this year. I don't have a sponsor yet.


Londell said...

Being a landlord sure has it pains, but it can also be rewarding. I only know people south metro but will keep my eyes open...

Diane said...

Thanks! It really can be a headache at times, but it'll be worth it in the long run.

I've been very lucky with the renters who I've had living with me; a new one just moved in this last weekend and so far she's been grand.

SteveQ said...

I was joking at Superior that I'm being sponsored by Vycodin, but I could really use a sponsor, too. My projected utility bills for the winter are about 5X the average and I have a tiny house compared to most.

Anyone want to make the Surph the Murph a fundraiser to pay my medical bills?

Diane said...

Steve, maybe some caulk would help you. Your leaky house, I mean. I'm not sure if it would help your hand!

SteveQ said...

At Home Depot one year, I was called the Caulking Guy.

The house has poor insulation and oil heat. Nuff said.