Thursday, January 24, 2008

rental rant #3

It's been a while, but have no fear: our renters are still creating heartburn. To be more accurate I should properly state FORMER tenants.

The 27th of December, sometime around 9 pm, I got a call from a tenant's sister, asking if they could come over to talk to us. 'Well, if you feel like driving 12 hours, knock yourselves out.' The brother had to go back to Mexico for a family emergency, but the sister wanted to take over his apartment. Would that be OK? I'm in New Mexico and it's late. Right at that moment, sure, it's OK. What else am I going to do? My first thought was that at least we wouldn't have to do much to turn the apartment over. HA HA HA HA HA. I never learn.

We return to CO and meet with the gal to go over the lease, etc. She'll be moving in Feb 1, and all she wants is the bedroom set. Anything else that was left she isn't interested in. I went over this a number of times, as - to my continued detriment - I have not yet taken a Spanish class.

We head over and HOLY SMOKES! Someone should have brought her camera. They clearly left in a hurry, but still. This two bedroom apartment housed two adults and their 4 children (most recent one 2 months old). [Two separate friends of ours - each with 2 children and houses that are two stories and have basements - are looking for new abodes because they just don't fit anymore. HELLO! But that will be another post.] They managed to take or dispose of their 4 TVs, living room furniture, crib, and double bed, but left two closets full of linens, bags and bags of children's clothing, three dressers, and a kitchen full of everything. Oh man.

We took an entire Saturday and loaded up two truck loads for the dump and had a family friend who recently suffered a fire come and take what she could use. This still left a mountain of stuff in the living room. When I went back to clean some more, the living room was empty! Apparently the sister changed her mind, and came and got the stuff. Craziness! We would have happily let her move ALL of the crap out of there!

Two things really struck me with this turn over:

1 - I could NOT stop thinking of the irony that the chore I probably hated MOST as a kid is what I end up doing far too often as an adult: washing walls. I understand it's a rental, but they have to live there. Are people really OK with black walls? Is there some black/white colorblindness that I don't know about? Do we need to switch paint colors from the landlord-standard Dover White to some gross shade of brown that will better hide hand prints and nose waste? And WHY OH WHY do you need to have 800 holes in the wall to hang one picture? I'm stating up front that filling holes will cost $50 an hour. Totally ridiculous.

2 - When folks have limited funds, why does the amount of junk seem to multiply like wire hangers. For example, these tenants had three hand mixers, and probably 4 sets of beaters. Call me crazy, but it seems like the amount spent on these three junky mixers would probably be equal to one that actually worked OK. Why does something being FREE suddenly make it something you can't live without. The friend that came to get things for her house took TONS of stuff that I thought should have been destined for the dump for sure. Does anyone need two sets of silverware? But there were two, so in the box they both went. Three colanders? Sure, why not? Tupperware without lids? Throw it in. I felt like we were just transferring junk from one over-crammed place to another. Oh well. Just very interesting to me.