August 3, 2015 by phicks2012
So there I was, at the end of an igneous June when the heat was legendary, my aging SUV was saying “What air-conditioning?”, and the tenant slated to move into one of my rental units had decided to give the lease-signing a miss.
When my management agency called to deliver this last delightful bit of news they also told me they had another tenant who would move in on July 1st, but who wanted the bedrooms repainted first.
I was okay with that. I’d planned to paint the bedrooms anyway, if time hadn’t simply run out, and now I had two weeks to get it done, but there was no power in the unit, and hence no air-conditioning with the summer temperatures hovering in the high 90s. Working in that kind of heat, if there were any justice in the world I’d lose weight and have the body of a runway model, right?
I knew I could get the interior finished, but my main concern soon became getting the unit occupied, and hoping that once it was occupied that the next door neighbors (someone else’s recently acquired tenants-from-Hell) in the next duplex over would stop allowing their unruly kids to vandalise my A/C unit and trash my yard.
So, on the final day of June we were finishing up the painting, and I was away at the hardware store when my helper looked out through the window and spotted four of those kids working very hard to tear up the same A/C unit. He ran out and caught one kid with the telephone connector box — just ripped off of the exterior wall — in her hands, and demanded to know where their parents were. Of course, they claimed not to have any, but then the woman next door ran over and started screaming at my helper for shouting at her scofflaw, Visigoth, Orcish kids.
We called the police — again — and the same officer showed up as before, so he knew this wasn’t the first time I’d had vandalism, but it was clear that the neighbors were going to deny their kids were at fault — thereby effectively teaching those kids that they could do whatever they wanted without facing repercussions. Setting them up to be future inmates in the penal system? Very likely.
If I’d done something like that as a kid — even ONCE — I’d have had my ass handed to me, but obviously these kids weren’t going to be punished. Nope, and they’d totally torn up the grating protecting the fan, thrown trash into the unit, and torn the telephone box off of the wall, and their parents were going to lie and defend them.
I also figured it was a sure thing that if, once the new tenant moved in and turned on the A/C, the little felons trespassed again, stuck their grubby hands in the unit and were injured by the fan blades left unprotected because of their own vandalism, their parents were absolutely going to blame me — and no doubt sue me.
As a result, I had to pay nearly $300 to cage the unit — but, of course, before that could be done the kids returned and deliberately bent all of the fan blades, costing me another $300 to affect repairs) — and as a result I’ll admit that I almost regretted that the lease would not allow the new tenant to have a pit bull. Bummer!
I had to wonder, let me tell you, what sort of damage these people were doing INside the neighboring unit if they were creating that sort of carnage OUTside, and I found myself pondering how the devil anyone could get rid of someone else’s tenants-from-Hell without personally breaking about 50 laws.
Obviously, I can’t evict them, and while it might be tempting (on a fantasy level) to give their address to a rampaging Balrog, there are unfortunately very few huge, firey Tolkienian mega-beasts available to properly terrorize anyone these days.
So, I’m looking for suggestions while I wait for them to be evicted for non-payment of rent — which I’m pretty sure is bound to happen EVENTUALLY, and am hoping will happen SOONER! How would YOU do it — and fantasy solutions are allowed, if only for entertainment value!!