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Deadbeat Tenant Finally Gone

July 20th, 2017 at 01:39 pm

My father's deadbeat tenant is finally gone, after a year of delays and the eviction process. She started paying her rent late right from the get go,and it all ended up with her stiffing my dad for 3 months' rent and I'm afraid to know how much money in legal expenses he had to pay his lawyer. I'm guessing the lawyer charged around $300 an hour so it wasn't cheap.

The woman, a waitress, should never have rented the house in the first place as she couldn't afford it but was too stupid to realize that. Or m aybe she did. She sweet-talked my dad who was naive enough to think a conversation and a hand shake could seal the deal without a credit check.

What really galls me is that when she left, she and the other people living there stole alot of stuff that didn't belong to them. Two mirrors, a mahogany chest, 2 Ikea shelf units, 2 deep sea fishing rods my dad had left for their enjoyment, and a washing machine.

He's driving down there today for a doctor's appointment and plans to file a police report on the theft. I typed up the list for him yesterday because his handwriting has deteriorated due to his vision problems. It's doubtful he'll recover anything. Or maybe his lawyer, better versed in landlord/tenant law, knows what to do. I'd like to see her prosecuted just for the satisfaction of it.

My sister, half brother and I have all told my dad he should sell the house (on the Jersey shore) instead of trying to rent it again. The house is 2 short blocks from the Toms River and will probably be underwater in 20 years.

He had decided not to sell it originally because he wanted to get $200K for it and his realtor told him prices had dropped and $185K was more realistic.

Most of the places I checked for prices online indicated $210K and that was erroneously listing it as having 1 bath when it has 2. So I'll have to work on dad and have him "interview" 3 realtors after they provide CMAs.

In other news....

My phone interview with the Catholic high school went "okay." If she hasn't realized already, she will at some point realize that while I'm a great writer, my weakness as far as this job goes is that I don't have a ton of experience analyzing social media performance and aren't familiar with the social media out there. I know Facebook very well and of course I blog here, but I just don't have time to post on Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, etc. so I'm less familiar with those although I did yesterday create an Instagram account and post a few photos there with commentary. It was pretty easy.

I should know by tomorrow if I will get an in-person interview.

I did in fact check out my local BJs and Costco yesterday for p/t jobs becus they are some of the few places that offer health insurance to part-timers. The job openings they have would include customer exposure; I was wanting to be a back room stocker becus to be perfectly honest, I'd be embarrassed if someone I knew saw I was working there. I'm sure they would assume I was "desperate" for work and it would just be really embarrassing. I shouldn't care, but I would.

In the meantime, there is another p/t job I plan to apply for, as a marketing copywriter. It's in an affluent area; perhaps I could make a concession on some of the paycheck in exchange for getting on their health plan?

I've heard that you have to work "full time," or at least 30 hours, to be eligible for health insurance, but then how do certain companies like Costco and Starbucks and Home Depot offer coverage to part-timers? Is this a federal law or something?

After my phone interview yesterday, dad needed help faxing the eviction court order to the NJ electric company so they would not turn the power off. Apparently the former tenant also owed them a lot of money and they want to make sure my dad is who he said he is. So I drove to his place, picked up the court order and the fax number, told him to stay home cus it was too hot outside, drove to his local library and paid their stupid fee for the fax. Then I drove back to dad's to return his paperwork and went home.

I am glad to help him, but I would be even gladder to see him unload the house becus being an out of state landlord is not easy for anyone, let alone an 84-year-old. He makes that drive too many times and he really shouldn't be driving at all with his vision problems. It's a 3-hour drive along some of the Northeast's most congested highways, in the area west of the Hudson River.

We are transitioning from letting dad make his own decisions to gently coaching, prodding and persuading him to do it a different way.

When he returns from Jersey tomorrow, I'm going to share with him the favorable online market value prices I found and urge him to get the house on the market this season, because it it goes unsold by October he will likely still have it until next spring.

A competent realtor can help get the place ready. Dad has already hired a housekeeper to clean up the inside as well as someone to clean up the outside. The security alarm will be reinstated tomorrow; it was something the tenant didn't want to pay for even though my dad was paying half the bill.

I had told him to also have the locks rejiggered because she still has the keys, but at least for now if she tries to return tomorrow, the alarm will go off and police will arrive. I figure she's stolen as much as she wants but you never know.

Baltimore Orioles and robins are still hanging out in my mulberry tree. The berries are 95% gone but there are plenty of berries on my nearby massive viburnum. They are all red; it took me years to realize that the berries are actually black when fully ripe, but the birds picked them off long before they turned black.

I startled the doe early this morning who arrived to get her share of fallen apples when she spotted me picking wineberries for my breakfast cereal. She snorted her displeasure after disappearing in the cover of the undergrowth but returned a short time later to munch away on her favorite summer food.

The heat wave won't break til Sunday so until then I'm going to mostly hunker down at home and not go anywhere.

My 30-something Chinese sister-in-law easily found a job weeks after being laid off by a pharmaceutical company. She was making a six-figure salary traveling to various hotels and putting on a PowerPoint presentation to 4 or 5 doctors at a sitting about her company's drug and answering the doctor's questions.

She got multiple offers and took one she said she couldn't refuse becus it was "a ton of money." She'll work at home 2 days a week and travel an hour commute on the other 3 days. My dad told me this. I have to admit to being jealous and feeling totally inadequate in my job search.

4 Responses to “Deadbeat Tenant Finally Gone”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    I'm sorry about your dad's troubles with his tenant. I hope you can convince him to unload the house.

    Your SIL is probably in a field where a certain skill set/experience is in high demand. It's a different world for people like that. It's too bad that fine writing is not appreciated, but it seems that's the way it is. People think anyone can do it. Especially the people who can't write!

  2. starfishy Says:

    if the high school wants to interview you again, you could pretty quickly learn how to use twitter and youtube (sounds like you've already tackled instagram!). i wonder if the person in that position would be allowed to somehow incorporate students and their ideas/photos/etc into the school's social media outreach. i try to utilize young people as much as possible when it comes to using social media and technology on the job! then it becomes about managing the social media content (and in the case, the writing and making it all coherent) of a business and utilizing resources available to create the best content possible even if you are not originating all of it yourself.

  3. patientsaver Says:

    That's what I was planning to do, Starfishy. I want to continue adding images/content to my Instagram account...was thinking a trip to local garden nursery. I already have a twitter account through Waldo, my late cat, but it's been inactive for years.

    Using the video on my smart phone is also incredibly easy; in fact, i accidentally shot a video many times before realizing what i was doing. I'm just not at all a big user ofmy smart phone! i fumble around with it a lot and often get frustrated cus i can't get it to do what i want it to do.

  4. starfishy Says:

    great! sounds like you are on the right track. i think what i was trying to say in my previous comment was to sell yourself as having a "vision" for whatever companies you end up writing/doing social media for, based on your ability to have a big picture view since you've been in the workforce representing companies thru words for your entire career. your experience is bigger than being able to just write well - it's also about being able to convey a vision thru your words (and now in images with social media). for company A, i did this - i represented them this way, etc.. I either carried out their existing vision and enhanced it in these ways or i created a vision for them. not just that i wrote this many press releases for them. and to not focus so much on your lack of techno skill, which is something you can learn. also research various companies' social media presence - how do they represent themselves? What do you think works and doesn't work? (Patagonia has a "sexy" feed - compelling photos and words. check out the instagram feeds of local hip breweries/restaurants, etc. for examples) i just looked up Bishop Eustace's (a philly area catholic prep school) instagram account. looks like they post every few days - a combo of items focused on incoming students, current students and what they are learning (for students and parents interest), alumni activities and events, and school personnel. frankly, i think the photos could be a lot better! but also note that instagram and FB posts use words to support the images - so social media also involves good, tight, interesting/captivating/compelling writing, not just technology skills. you can also use a quick captivating image/caption/short sentence on instagram/FB/twitter to link to longer articles. Familiarize yourself with social media as a medium and how it is used and how it can be utilized, and your suggestions about how a company can use it, not just on how to actually post things. it's all about branding and messaging and engaging your audience, just like your writing is. try to discover what is exciting about social media and not focus on the fact that your technical skills are lacking, so that when you talk to companies, you can sound excited and knowledgeable, it doesn't have to be a weakness, even if your tech skills aren't great. My apologies if this unsolicited advice is redundant and what you are already doing!! it's helping me to think through selling oneself as a "mature" worker in the techno age - which is something i will eventually need to do. good luck!!

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