My friend Mark told me the funniest story this week about his tenants and I just have to share. Every time I hear or read a story about a tenant nightmare, cough cough wink wink to Sandy@YesIAmCheap, I am thankful that I still rent and have not jumped into the real estate business.
Have I seen your what?
Mark is in the middle of renovating his triplex. He has a mid 40-ish single woman tenant upstairs and an older gentleman (I’m using that word loosely) tenant downstairs. Mark lives in the middle apartment on the second floor but has been living on a friend’s couch while his apartment is completely gutted and renovated.
The woman upstairs is quiet enough and always pays her rent on time. The man downstairs is a whole other story. Earlier this year the male tenant told Mark that the home renovations are making his apartment tremble and his $200 bottle of after shave fell out of his medicine cabinet and broke, so he refuses to pay his $600 rent…since January.
This older male tenant is retired and lives on a fixed income. I highly doubt he has a $200 bottle of after shave, but I could be wrong. I buy my boyfriends aftershave and the most I have ever paid is $18 at The Body Shop; if I buy it at the pharmacy it’s only $12. Tenant nightmare number one.
Monday evening as the contractor was packing tools into his truck the male tenant comes out of his apartment and says “You are done for the day. Did you happen to see my snake?”
How big is your snake?
The contractor’s reaction is priceless. He asks “How big is your snake? Is it a small garden snake?” The male tenant replies “No it is a python. My friend was over for dinner and brought his two snakes. When he left he only had one snake. So please let me know if you find it.” Tenant nightmare number two.
Now there are a couple of problems with this story:
#1: Who comes over to someone’s house for dinner and brings their pet snakes then lets them slither around someone else’s apartment?
#2: What exactly is the contractor supposed to do if he does see the python snake?
It’s a snake-atrophy
When Mark gets the call from his contractor he immediately freaks out. In a total panic he calls the Police to advise them there is a python on the loose somewhere in the city. They advise him to call the SPCA and The Ministry of Environmental Affairs. Now the entire city is about to ransack Mark’s apartment, tear out walls and ruin his $25,000 renovation as they look for this missing snake.
The Police came to Mark’s apartment and questioned the male tenant about the missing snake. He told the Police he has no idea what they are talking about because he never mentioned anything to the contractor about a missing snake. Tenant nightmare number three.
Is this ground for eviction?
Now Mark has to decide if the man tenant was lying about losing the snake or if he is lying about never saying he had a snake. Either way Mark does not want to move back into his apartment until this whole matter is cleared up and the contractor doesn’t want to go back to work until someone finds the missing snake.
If there is a missing snake does Mark have a legal obligation to tell the single woman tenant upstairs?
After being on his friend’s couch for three months during the renovation (one of which is a delay) and after being $5,000 over budget Mark’s home renovation his now on hold until someone finds this snake.
Total. Tenant. Nightmare.