No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

A few years back, I purchased the house that I was living in from my father – and it was a great deal. I fixed it up, but then got engaged and moved in with my fiance – which allowed me to rent my house to others in the Newark, DE area. Everything was going pretty well, until these last tenants.

Last September, I received a call from an insurance housing company offering me a 25% premium on top of the normal rent for a couple whose home had been destroyed in a natural gas explosion. I agree, bypassing the normal credit checks and doing some things that I normally wouldn’t have done because of the situation (and the money).

Now, I’m living to regret it. The tenants trashed the house – and because I didn’t get the insurance company named on the lease like I originally wanted to, I’m stuck trying to go after the tenants – which might be an exercise in futility.

When I was preparing to start showing it to new tenants, I tried to contact the tenants to arrange times that would work well for both parties – and they never called back. I finally spoke with one of them when I was power-washing the siding and she came out. Turned out she didn’t think that her reconstructed home would be ready, despite the letter from the insurance saying that they wouldn’t be staying past the end of August. So, I let her know that if she could find out for me quickly, I could let them stay another month. She never called back and we finally decided to show the place.

Unfortunately, when my wife went to show the house it was in no condition to be shown to ANYONE. Trash was everywhere, the floors were covered in stains, blinds were broken and the “2 birds and 1 cat” I had allowed had blossomed into a cat and his favorite 50 feathered friends. The entire downstairs was covered with bird cages and birds. Worse, there was filth everywhere – she was disgusted and we had to cancel all of the showings. We left a note saying that they needed to seriously clean the place up before 8/31, and I cancelled our ad in the paper since there was no way we would be able to show it before then. Then we went on vacation.

After we returned, we still had not heard anything from the tenants so I went to check out the house – and it was even worse. Not to be gross, but this is what we found:

  • Trash left in most rooms of the house
  • food, bird litter and scattered feathers throughout the house
  • people food left out and molding
  • every mini-blind in the house broken
  • window sills chewed by birds
  • the front door nearly busted out of the frame, and the lock on the back door broken
  • bugs, fleas and spiders everywhere
  • I don’t think that they cleaned that house in more than a month if not longer, and they moved most of their stuff out but left nearly all of the trash behind and didn’t do a lick of cleaning. The place is disgusting and will probably cost us $3-4,000 to fix at the minimum. I can’t believe that people would live this way in their own house, let alone one that they were renting from someone else. I’m embarrassed to think what the neighbors must have thought.

    Now, we’ve hired a lawn service, an exterminator, a cleaning service, a painter, a locksmith and a carpenter, have to replace 2-year old carpets, replace every blind in the house, and repair holes in walls and fix everything that they screwed up. We will be filing a lawsuit, and the place was disgusting enough that we actually filed a complaint of child abuse with the state (they had kids living in this filth).

    On top of Shari’s Lyme Disease, this was the last thing that I wanted to deal with. To my previous tenants, I hope that Karma comes and bites you in the ass … after we get all of our money out of you.

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2 Responses to “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

  • holy crap. i hope they get stuck in an elevator with W and eleventy million wingless hornets

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