TL;DR: I rented my parents’ condo out to drug dealers and they fucked it up.
A few years ago, my parents bought a brand new condo and asked me to help them find a tenant. I said, sure, why not. I posted an ad on Craigslist, and one responder, let’s call him ‘Hank’, really wanted to see the place. He needed a new place, ASAP, he said.
Hubs and I met him at the condo and showed it to him. It was brand-new; the development had just finished construction about two weeks ago. Hank loved it and said he wanted to lease it for six months, starting right away. We asked for a damage deposit, and he said he’d get it to us the next day. Of course, being extra thorough, we decided to ask for a reference and the number for his previous landlord.
He supplied us with the information, we signed the lease, and both parties walked away happy as can be. Hank was charming. He drove a dark blue BMW and seemed fairly clean-cut. A blond man with tattoo sleeves on both arms.
I called his landlord’s number, but no one picked up. I figured I’d try later. I did call his reference, which he said was his boss at the cleaning company where he worked.
(Thinking back, hubs did say to me, what kind of worker at a cleaning company drives a BMW?)
His boss had glowing recommendations for Hank. I was satisfied that Hank was a good guy. The next day, we met at a Starbucks and Hank paid us the $1500 in $5, $10, and $20 bills. (Again, warning bells tinkled but clearly didn’t ring loud enough) It covered the first month’s rent and the damage deposit.
I counted the bills slowly, under the table, as if we were doing something illegal. The money was probably attained through illegal means, but I didn’t know that at the time. I was only 22 and clueless. Hank said he had to borrow from two different friends, that’s why there were so many small bills in there. I believed him.
So we handed over the keys on the first, and everything was fine and dandy.
Until the end of the month, when we had to go collect the second month’s rent.
He didn’t have the money.
He’d pay within the week, he said.
He didn’t pay until the middle of the second month. We met at a McDonalds, and he paid in cash again, with a lot of small bills. I was getting sick of all the bills. Hubs tore him a new one and said it was his responsibility to pay on time, or else we’d evict him. He said, no problem. He even brought along his ten-year-old daughter, who was staying with him for a little while because he’d separated from her mom. He was living with his girlfriend for a while. We’ll call her Tina.
I went on summer vacation and didn’t give another thought about Hank.
I’d had my phone turned off to avoid roaming charges on vacation. When I turned it back on upon returning home, I saw several urgent emails and texts from Hank. Well, they were from Hank’s phone, but sent by Tina, his girlfriend, whom I’d never met.
I called Hank’s phone right away and Tina answered.
“Hank’s in prison. They took away his keys and I can’t get into the condo. You need to let me in.”
I just about choked on my coffee.
So Hank got arrested for drug possession while I was gone. Apparently, he was a drug dealer, and now he was in jail. He hadn’t paid the third month’s rent (which was overdue), and my parents were horrified. They demanded that she pay up before we hired a locksmith to break into the condo.
She said she was homeless and penniless. They’d taken all her and Hank’s money, and that even if she wanted to pay the back rent, she wouldn’t be able to.
After a week of her spamming me with phone calls, I finally decided to hire a locksmith and let her into the condo. The locksmith was shit at his job. Didn’t know how to open up the deadbolt. He ended up sawing the fucking lock off! It took almost two hours, and it was just plain awful.
But nothing prepared me for what I’d see inside.
Just a reminder, the condo was brand new when they moved in.
The place was trashed. Literally. Holes and marks in the wall, gouges in the floor, fruit flies swarming in the hundreds, cigarette butt mountains, dog piss stains, rotten food, overflowing garbage, broken glass, you name it.
Hey, and guess what?
I had to clean that shit up. By myself.
Tina came to join us with two-inch gel nails, boobs spilling out of her shirt, carrying a Louis Vuitton bag. She said she needed to look for her stuff. She proceeded to dig around the apartment, opening up all the cupboards and closets, trying to find something. (In hindsight, probably her stash) I asked her what it was, and maybe I could help. She said, no it’s nothing.
I bought a box of garbage bags and cleaning supplies. Asked her to pitch in, since her boyfriend trashed the apartment, didn’t pay rent and was now in prison. She refused to help! She proceeded to make phone calls and tap text messages for five hours while I cleaned the apartment. I was so angry I wanted to throttle her. Here was this 4’11” evil woman with fake boobs and too much make-up forcing me to clean up after her mess. She said, if the apartment didn’t get cleaned, it would be our loss, because we wouldn’t be able to rent it out the following month. I just wanted her gone ASAP, so I swallowed my anger and cleaned up her shit.
At the end of the day, my hubby and her “friend” had to move all their TVs, sofa and furniture downstairs. She, again, did not lift a finger.
By then, the entire building had heard about my rental fiasco. The building managers, other tenants, they were all talking about it. The only good thing that came out of this was a) I never had to see her again because b) she got arrested later for being an accessory to Hank’s crimes.
I feel the worst about Hank’s little daughter. She seemed cute, and innocent in all of this.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my tenant horror story. I was not a good landlady. In fact, I was an awful landlady. I have another horror story, but I’ll write about that some other time. On a related-ish note, my New Adult rom-com, LANDLADY, is live!
Check it out here: https://amzn.com/B01GUCDCEM
(End of shameless self-promotion)
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