But I was a Good Renter. The difference, dear reader, between a Good Renter and a Bad Renter is fairly subjective. And relative, I guess. For example, renters who pay their rent on time could be seen as Good. Some landlords only want that --rent on time, and screw the property. Other landlord-owner-people want more, though. They like respect for the property, the yard, the neighbors, the walls, the plumbing, and even the appliances.
I always assume that my landlord is the latter. I assume they want me to treat the property with care, as if I owned it myself. Call me crazy, but doing anything less goes against my entire being. I was taught young to respect the property of all people --not just myself. I was taught to be kind and considerate, and I daresay that it flows into the stewardship of things --tangible objects we use daily for our use and comfort.
I had a friend once say they did something on accident to the carpet in their condo, and their reaction was "Oh, well, it's just a rental!" I laughed when she said this and replied "That's funny! Usually I freak out at the kids for drawing on the walls BECAUSE it's a rental." I did not doubt my friend has good intentions (in fact, I love the woman dearly), but you could see the difference in mentality when it came to the respect of ownership.
Our home in California was gorgeous. We tried to take care of it the best we could --but with four kids running around...? Our landlord was gracious and knew there would be wear and tear. How could there not be? But I did my best to keep things nice. We told our landlord of any problems or things that needed to be fixed immediately and in a timely manner. Her kind-of-weird vinyl chairs in the kitchen got torn (badly), and so we had them reupholstered and paid for it without question. I replaced everything back to the way it was (window coverings, drapes, etc.) when we moved out. I wasn't perfect, but I sure tried. She seemed satisfied --and she wasn't upset with us over anything.
Our Renters? Partially I blame our Property Managers. They signed the contract with our renters before informing us that anyone had moved in. Before the renters moved into our home, the property agency re-painted the house, but must have felt too rushed to attempt taking down the wallpaper (luckily it was just the border paper around the top of the walls). This was minor, though. I thought. See, we had payments.
But then the phone calls started.
Our neighbors informed us about what our renters were doing. Nothing out of control, but it was obvious they had family living with them --as many as three families at once. They also saw smoking in the yards (front and back), and the children terrorized our neighbor's dog (and family). There was concern about junk in the yard/driveway, etc. and our neighbor's were not happy. A few emails/phone calls with our property manager alleviated some of these things. They cleaned up the driveway, the extra families were gone, and the smoking seemed to stop. To be sure, these folks were not bad people. They were kind in word to us and to the people of our ward. After the first 6 months, the complaints from neighbors stopped. They were still not happy with some things, but they learned to live with it. Which I appreciated. Because this family in our home desperately needed compassion and love, not judgement.
They had a contract until July (this summer). When we realized we would be moving back to Utah, we asked them if we could offer them an incentive to leave a month or two early. That would mean we would rent a house for a few months before moving back into our home. Ironically, they had come under some financial strain and wanted to find something smaller. Immediately. They were gone within 2 weeks! Holy Cow! We weren't expecting that. But we appreciated it. It almost made up for what was to follow. Almost.
They left the house clean. Fridge, appliances, bathrooms...all clean. The carpets were cleaned (I'm guessing by the property manager people). But there was one thing that they had lied to us about the entire time.
They were smoking in our house. In the Master Bathroom/Bedroom.
Not sure who or what, but they swore up and down that the person who smoked only did it outside. The smell must be "from the clothes and bedding" in the bedroom. But after Brandon had cleaned the walls, used an air purifier, cleaned the carpets and let coffee/vinegar/whatever-the-heck else you use in the room, the smell still stayed. And it mostly came from the bathroom.
Smoke lingers, yes. But not from a second source --and not that strongly. My theory is that the person smoked in the Master Bathroom with the window open (or shower on, whatever), hoping the smell wouldn't stay. But stay it did. And I am so angry.
Our contract said no smoking on the property. ANYWHERE. Not even the yard. When we had heard about smoking in the yard, that one was taken care of immediately. Our neighbors no longer saw smoking. But obviously, we were deceived. And now I am living in the remnants. With asthma.
The bright side to this dilemma, however-- and I promise you, dear reader, that there is a bright side --is that now we are re-doing our room and bathroom. New carpet, new paint, new ideas. Hopefully new sink, toilet and shower, too. This has sparked a huge renovation project for the entire house! We're looking at painting, windows, re-finishing floors, re-carpeting, new appliances, etc. etc. Of course, this will all take a lot of time, but the ideas are rolling.
So, the moral of Why I Hate Renters? Don't smoke in your rental, okay? And don't be stupid enough to think nobody can tell. And please don't be a Bad Renter. Be a Good one. Then people will love you!
My Brother is Engaged!
My baby brother, J, returned from his mission last year. He immediately started the summer/fall track at BYU-I (where he went before his mission). He did not lack for dating, but nothing too serious. However, by the time I went to visit the family at Thanksgiving, he had himself a great girlfriend! They worked together, and then started dating this last fall. She's from TN, and so when the track was over (winter semester), she went back home. It didn't take long for my brother to go out for a visit, which solidified their feelings for each other. She came back out to Idaho on March 31 (weeks before school started) for what I can only understand as a desire to be near my brother...? Tell me if I'm wrong, okay, R? Anyway, he wasted no time! He proposed on April 2nd in Idaho Falls right across from the Idaho Falls Temple. How romantic! (I have a soft spot for the IF Temple since that's where Brandon and I were married). He even had his friend arrive to take pictures. I'm sharing it with you in shameless pride. Aren't they just adorable?!
They are getting married in the Atlanta, GA Temple in August. I'm so excited for them!
Congratulations, J and R! I'm so happy for the both of you. :)