Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tenant troubles part... okay, I've lost count

We recently had to ask a tenant to move out. Number one, she couldn't afford to live there on her own after kicking her husband out. But number two, and really the main reason, was that she was filthy. We're talking cockroaches by the thousands, dog poo on the carpet and walls(!), cobwebs in every corner. Disgusting.

Now, we were very fair to her.  We gave her plenty of time to find another place, and she did.  We weren't nasty about the situation, just firm.  And how does she repay our kindness?  By leaving piles and piles of garbage in our house.  Old furniture, bags of who-knows-what, table, chairs, two refrigerators complete with rotting food, and let's not forget my favorite, the broken deep freeze.  So now we have to clean all of this stuff out of the house before we can even begin to clean it, paint it and recarpet it.

I really struggle with this as a Christian because I want to show compassion to people who are getting divorced, have three children to care for, haven't found a job yet, and probably won't even be able to afford her new apartment.  But am I enabling her if I just let it go?  I have a judgment against her, which means I can legally collect the debt, but is that the right thing to do?  What about her husband, who gave us the security deposit to begin with?  Doesn't he deserve something back if he didn't cause all the damage (though he certainly caused some and had to have known about the rest of it)?

The fact is, she is costing us literally thousands of dollars, not including the new carpet we were going to have to put in regardless.  And I feel entitled to get some of that back, even if it means having the sheriff tag her belongings and sell them at auction.  And yes, I'm angry about it.  I'd like to take all her trash and dump it in her new front yard.  But I'm sure that would be illegal.  It's fine for her to dump it on us, just not vice versa.


  1. geeze - that is horrible. I don't care how many problems someone has in their life.... garbage and dog poop on the floor are NOT acceptable. That's just being lazy ass. And I hope you denied her any deposit back.

  2. I certainly did. The husband is like "I'm sure it's not going to cost that much to fix all this," and I'm thinking, "Are you SERIOUS?"