Monday, April 30, 2012

Promised Story

I'm finally going to take the time to tell the story of just what happened at the last place I lived at. It was ridiculous.

I was living in a house with two other people, one girl and one guy. The guy, M, was the leaseholder of the house and when I moved in, I moved in as a sub-letter. Renting a room from him rather than through the landlord. This worked for me because I liked having a month-to-month agreement and the utilities were all in his name and my rent was inclusive of all utilities, so I didn't have to worry about anything except one flat-rate check at the beginning of each month. I paid him my security deposit and paid him my rent each month. He was the one responsible for paying the landlord. I wasn't particularly worried about the arrangement because one of my intern friends had stayed here before me and she had no problems with her security deposit when she moved out.

It is important to mention some other people who play roles in this story. There is K, the other girl sub-letting a room in the house. There is D, M's friend who ended up sleeping on our couch almost every night for about 3 months. There is D's girlfriend, H, who also spent the night in our living room many nights. And there is the landlord. 

D and H stayed at the house probably more than any of the rest of us did because D was unemployed and hung around a lot. They never paid rent while they stayed there. They were also slobs, but so was (is, presumably) M. Huge, huge slobs. It got to the point where I bought paper plates and plastic silverware just so I wouldn't have to wash someone else's dishes before I could eat a meal. The worst part is that we had a dishwasher and these three wouldn't every put dirty dishes in the dishwasher and would instead let them stew in the kitchen sink. 

Now, M also had a shady "business" going, which was a lot of buying and re-selling things on Craigslist, making Ikea runs for people (the nearest Ikea is in Houston and Ikea doesn't ship so it's actually a thing people will pay other people to do for them), and he started doing shipping runs all over the country. Would pick something up here and deliver there, then pick something else up and deliver somewhere else. I don't think he ever made it work in his favor, profit-wise. Anyway, the constant flow of goods meant that our carport was always full of junk and the living room was always full of junk. At one point there were no less than three beds in the common areas of the house.

I filled most of my time up so I didn't really care what happened at the house as long as people stayed out of my room and my cats were okay. 

Then things happened.

M was out of town and D and H were staying at the house--like always--and the landlord came over to say she was evicting M because he was destroying her house. This is partially true, since he didn't report several water leaks to her and they didn't get fixed and started rotting some walls and ruining carpets. The leaks were in his room, so it was his business to report them. He also didn't take great care of the rest of the house, either. D and H wanted to move into the house in his place and the landlord was supporting this. I didn't particularly care as long as I didn't have to move. It was the middle of March at this point and the landlord told me that she hadn't been given the rent money for the month yet, but I had paid my rent and so had the other girl. Awesome.

So M gets back into town and finds out he's being kicked out and the first thing he does is turn off the cable and internet. Without warning anyone. Meanwhile, he has cashed the rent checks we gave him which INCLUDED all utilities for the entire month of March. A few days later, he shuts off the electricity. While I'm living there. The landlord go it put into her name, but it was three or four days before they could come out to turn it back on.

At this point, the landlord is still asking me to stay as a tenant because she wants to keep renting the house out. I say sure, but things need to get fixed soon because it's getting to be ridiculous. 

An example of ridiculousness? When I came home from work and my landlord was sitting on the porch saying someone broke into the house and broke the back window and smashed the TVs. The only window broken was too small to be a point of entry, and the only TVs broken were M's two TVs. Mine was fine and K's was fine. Then a cop came to ask me what I knew about what was going on. Who do you think went into the house and broke the TVs? It remains unsolved.

I'm asking M for my security deposit and he's being an idiot and a lot of other things I won't write out in polite company. 

Now, the landlord keeps asking me to keep watch on the house and call her if anything ever happens and if anything is moved. I work. I hate this house. I hate everything about living in it. When M found out he was evicted he left everything exactly how it was. The kitchen was a hole. A pit of rot. Trash every where. He even left his dog. LEFT HIS DOG. Tied up in the back yard with no food and no water. I took care of her and D and H's dog for two days before they escaped while I was at work and were found on the streets. 

D and H keep coming by to get their things that have been stored in the house. Landlord wants me to check what they're taking, as if I know what belongs where. Every time someone comes by, the cops have to come, too. 

Animal control shows up one day because my landlord called them about my roommate's abandoned fish, which are suffocating in their gross water after having no electricity to power the filter. 

Then. THEN. After all of this, my landlord tells me I have to leave, too. Because D and H are no longer welcome as potential tenants and just one renter isn't enough to pay the bills. Which I understand, except this whole time she's been begging me to stay. And now I have a week to find a place. THEN she tells me I might be able to stay because she knows two kids who are looking for a place to live. Turns out it's 5 kids that need a place to live so I can't stay. 


I start packing my things up and staging them by the door so it'll be easier to move everything out when the time comes. Meanwhile, the kids are coming in to start cleaning out M's belongings and the general nastiness of the house so they can move in. I've met one of the kid's mom, so I'm not completely worried about this situation.

Until I come home and my TV is missing. I freaked out. FREAKED OUT. I called my landlord telling her that if she's going to let people into the house she needs to be watching them, these kids stole my TV. She keeps saying they didn't, they wouldn't do that, and she didn't let them into the house, I let them into the house. Which I most certainly did not because I wasn't home, so nice big, fat, terrible lie there, landlord. She calls the kid and calls me back and he does have my TV and brings it back. I point out to him what is mine and what he is not to ever, ever touch.

A few days later, some more things leave the house but they aren't mine so I don't care. Except someone did take my laundry detergent and two brand new bottles of shampoo. Which shouldn't seem like a big deal, but I'm pretty poor, so it really is. But I'm almost out so who cares. A few days after that, more kids show up to really deep clean the house to get ready to move in. I tell them the stuff in the front room is mine and that the stuff in the fridge is mine and the front bedroom is mine.

They go about cleaning and then a friend comes over to help me move some stuff and we go to get the food from the fridge the fridge is empty. FREAKED OUT again. Because the fridge was full of food and I have no money and I told that snotty little girl that the stuff in the fridge was mine. I ask the kids what happened. I get a lot of sheepish looks and "uhh... I didn't do it"s so I start yelling at this girl, telling her she better get that food back or she owes me $200 to go grocery shopping with. Then one kid says he emptied the fridge but it was only a couple minutes ago so everything should still be fine. We get the food and move a few more things out and then I go to get my toothbrush from the bathroom and it's missing. I ask that stupid little girl, who I was about smack in the mouth, what she did with it. She threw it away. 

I was leaving for the evening because at this point I had one more night left before I had to be out and had already moved pretty much everything out of the house but still had to leave my cats there for a night because I had no where to take them yet. So I made it very clear to this girl that she should not go into my bedroom because it is my room and I will clean it before I leave. She has the nerve to ask me when I'll be out of the house by and I tell her "I have until midnight tomorrow night, so that's when I'll be out."

And that is what happened at the house I once lived at.

I still haven't found a new semi-permanent residence, but one of the keepers from the zoo has been really great and is letting me stay in a spare room at her place until I find something. A friend's roommate has let me keep most of my stuff in an extra bedroom there, but that is coming to an end so I'll have to find another place for my things within a week, but hopefully will find a place any day now. I'm trying my hardest to find a place I can afford on my own because this roommate thing has really started to freak me out.

Long story! That's why it took so long to get around to telling it. Hope it was worth the wait.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Glad you're out of that one, and best of luck finding a solid new place!