#FF — Problem solved?


PHOTO PROMPT © Mikhael Sublett

Angeline found her dream job in Grand Rapids, MI; but she lived fifty miles away. She loved her home and didn’t want to sell it, but she didn’t want to drive all that way five days a week either. She reconciled temporarily by leasing an efficiency apartment in Grand Rapids, put the rest of her personal things in one of the outbuildings, hired a management company to find a good tenant, and took out renter protection insurance.

Things went well for a month. After six, there were eviction proceedings. Nobody explained what cleanup would look like post-eviction. Good tenant? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!

[100 words]

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is the gracious host of Friday Fictioneers.

51 Comments Add yours

  1. Nobbinmaug says:

    Dang it! That’s my dream (other than an extremely successful writing career) and my nightmare. I’m buying into my friend’s house with hopes of renting it out and buying something else. That’s why it’s scary, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I was a landlord exactly two times over the years, and one time was DISASTROUS. Like most things in life, it’s a crapshoot. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nobbinmaug says:

        That’s what scares me. It’s in exploratory phase right now. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no! That’s what I call an inventive take on the photo prompt. 🙂

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Thanks Susan

      Like

  3. neilmacdon says:

    That rang bells. I had such a tenant once

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Even if insurance pays off, it’s a pain to do repairs and then insurance rate goes up because you filed a claim.

      Like

  4. Iain Kelly says:

    It’s always a risk – you never know who you’re going to get!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Exactly, even if you have a professional agency screening them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. memadtwo says:

    It’s as hard being a landlord as it is being a tenant… (k)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, the door swings both ways. I know so many slumlords who prey on the poor.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        Not just slumlords. But I’ve lived in buildings with nightmare tenants too.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Carol Anne says:

    Love this! Nice storyline! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you 🙂

      Like

  7. i had a job that was 75 miles away from me, but I worked out a deal to have four ten hour days, so I rented a motel room for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Good idea, Jim. One of the jobs I’m trying to get is 4 10-hr days, and the other is 4 hours 5 days a week. Not sure if I’m ready to go back to full-time work, but if they offer it to me I’ll go for it and just drive back and forth. I could also possibly sleep over one night a week at one of my kids’ houses.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What kind of work do you do Li?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          I’d rather not say. Neither job is what I did last.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. badfinger20 says:

    I had a job prospect in South Carolina for a lot of money a few years ago. We were going to do the same thing but at the last minute the job fell through…I was not looking forward to being a landlord.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It will probably be a few weeks before hearing anything. If they offer me a job, my plan now is to just drive it and see…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 says:

        I don’t mind a drive too much…mine is 72 miles round trip…I go through A LOT audio books.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          I’ll probably do that also. I see pandora radio now has podcasts so maybe those as well.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Sandra says:

    Oh how this resonated with me! We’ve had varying experiences, but the worst was epitomised by your offering. We were left with £4k in unpaid rent, holes in the walls, busted doors, and some carpets removed. We were in South Africa at the time and had to come home for a week to deal with it. So yes, a very accurate piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sandra, very glad you connected with it, but very sorry you experienced such a thing.

      Like

  10. draliman says:

    All too common a scene these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. James McEwan says:

    We trust people to be honest and we are left feeling like idiots. I know the feeling. Best to get a large deposit first.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. siobhan1967 says:

    This is why I dread renting my house out! Novel take on the prompt, thank you. Hope she had a huge deposit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Even if it’s covered by the deposit or insurance, the hassle of repair, the property being out of commission, etc. is a living nightmare. If you can screen through documented and verified references, you’ll stand a better chance…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. pennygadd51 says:

    Interesting take on the prompt, and crisply written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Penny!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear Lisa,

    Certainly not the ideal tenant. Inventive take on the prompt. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Rochelle.
      Shalom,
      Lisa

      Like

  15. granonine says:

    If you’re going to rent out your home, you have to become Hector the Inspector. It’s a shame, but this sort of thing is not unusual. Well written, Jade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Linda. The courts, in their effort to be fair to tenants, tend to go overboard and shortchange the landlord. When those papers get served, they have 30 days to get out. A lot of damage can be done in 30 days, and even then the 30 days only means you can file paperwork for an actual hearing in front of the judge at that time. So… the clock keeps ticking until that hearing, which means they can continue the destruction until then.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. granonine says:

        While the “unreasonable” landlord will end up putting out LOTS of money for clean-up and repairs. Infuriating.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. plaridel says:

    it guess it’s about perspectives. 50 miles commute is nothing in california. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You’re right, it isn’t all that bad. Two of the jobs I’m looking at are 4 days a week, so could be worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Dale says:

    After my husband died, my accountant tried to convince me to buy a five- or a triplex. Oh hell no! You think I want to deal with tenants? And with no handyman in house? Fuggedaboutit!
    WEll done, Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Dale. You made the right choice!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale says:

        I like to think.so!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I guess that’s the risk you take! Having driven to a job 40 miles away for 5 days a week I understand why you’d want to move closer.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Your story is like the first chapter of a crime thriller – now I want to know what happens next, sure it will be spooky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Interesting view of the story. Maybe something/someone? will be found in the space behind where the drywall was destroyed…..

      Like

  20. I’ve never been a landlord, but I’ve moved into plenty of apartments and I’m appalled at how many people forget that while it’s their “home”, it actually belongs to someone else who has (usually) put a lot of money into it. As you say, the government now tends toward protecting THEM, and I understand, I really do. But I moved into one house owned by a friend. He’d felt bad because the previous tenant had lost his job, so dilly-dallied over evicting them, but finally someone spotted huge cans of kerosene and lanterns in the livingroom — the electricity had been turned off for nonpayment. Because there were small children, he finally got the sheriff involved and they were made to leave. Heaven knows where they ended up. My friend paid a service to come in and clean. The poor family hadn’t deliberately damaged anything, but after I moved in, I discovered deep sludge in the bottom of the unplugged refrigerator and stacks of black garbage bags 15 feet high behind the garage. Which explained why the place was full of cockroaches! So we had cleaners and fumigators in again. What a nightmare. When I wanted to sell my mother’s house so I could move out of state, people said to rent it out. And I said, oh, hell no!
    Obviously you’ve struck a number of nerves with this well-done story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Eugenia, the nightmare story you shared is exactly what I’m talking about as far as how tenants can be. Not all tenants are like Bob Cratchett and Family and are serial transients from rental to rental. I’ve also seen the other side of the coin, with slum landlords who are well-aware of that game and still get their deposit and first month’s rent paid from whatever social service agency is picking up the tab each time. They have crews in the wings waiting to spruce up the damage enough to let the next destitute family move in. Home ownership is the way to go, but the way our system is set up, there will always be bad tenants and slumlords 😦 I appreciate you sharing your story and sorry you had to go through all that.

      Like

  21. Russell says:

    A good tenant is hard to find? Great take on the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks Russell 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. magarisa says:

    Yikes! What a risk you take when you rent a place out, especially in the long term. Even if you have a good tenant for a couple of years, you only need one bad one to tear down the whole place.

    Liked by 1 person

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