(c) all rights reserved · fiction · Friday Fictioneers

#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 thoughts on “#FF — Problem solved?

  1. 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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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. 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

    1. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. 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.


  6. 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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