12:19 PM, Monday, April 29th, 2019:
This was tough. This was eye-ballin' my childhood issues and just steamrolling over them.
So I grew up mostly with my mother as my parents broke up when I was 7. It felt very much like a team/partnership at times and the "Superman Complex" of wanting to protect her and all women was burned into my brain EARLY. It honestly never leaves you, but as I matured I became more aware of the issue and I could combat it in my head and heart...
...enter a new renter last fall: a single mom with a 14 year old son. She came to look at the guesthouse with cash in hand and although she was a little bit late every single month? She paid. She worked her ass off and I overlooked some, well, issues. One being she turned the place into a studio and TONS of people were coming in and out when one of the ONLY THINGS I SAID TO HER WAS I needed some discretion with the backyard. It's kind of, uhm, an attraction? One I don't want a whole lot of people to not only have access to, but specifically have the address to.
...but it was an income. She also had a friend living there (bringing the total to 3) and there's just no space. Compounding that is that my drainage system wasn't built to handle a BUSINESS. 30-40 toilet paper flushes to ONE shower is gonna lead to some issues with the way I designed the thing. A fact I found out in quite an awful way in January where I got to handle ALL of their literal shit while I tried to fix a clog. That's when I should've kicked them out.
I didn't.
I thought of my mom. I thought of how hard she worked. I know rents are OUTRAGEOUS right now and she needed a break. In January I hadn't quite made the connection what was clogging everything, I figured it was a one off. By the THIRD time I cleaned it I knew I had no choice but to let them go. I gave her 6 weeks notice and she completely understood. Then in the midst of those 6 weeks the cops come to our house GUNS DRAWN because there's a MOTHER FUCKING RUNAWAY in the guest house. Apparently she let the kid's girlfriend stay over.
Only two weeks left by that point but what the serious fuck. Unfortunately, even after that? There was no real effort by her to find a new place. I think she believed if everything fell through, I'd let her stay.
Eventually last week I told her I would help her move the stuff outside on Saturday and Sunday because I had to be able to show the place by last night. She almost seemed thankful to have the help - yet, no one fuckin' helped me. And that's when the full extent of their damage came to light. Watch this video. The clothes on the 4 square court had been left out on their back deck for months. Mold, bugs, animals... it was amazing. That deck? Is only 3 feet wide. 3 feet. How the ever loving fuck they had that much trash back there is beyond me...
I'd show video from the inside of the house but it actually seems like an invasion of privacy and, yes, I still feel somewhat protective of her. She's in over her head and it's not gonna get much better. On my end, I found a renter who will move in... literally 90 minutes after they leave on Wednesday. Yay for me, but I'll never stop being concerned with her and how the rest of her story goes. I'll also probably never rent to a single mother again. It's like my achilles heel. Of course the ONLY time I have EVER had to ask a tenant to leave ends up being a single-mother, right? I'm the easiest landlord to deal with ever. I live on-site. I fix shit immediately. I'm extremely laid back...
...but if you're a single mother? Or probably a female at all? I suddenly feel an empathy so strong I can barely process the right thing to do. Ugh.
What a journey...