Tag Archives: landlord

Registering Alarm

smokealarmWe recently renewed the contract for another year on the house we rent. We politely inquired directly with the owner about cutting the property management company out of the deal because they’re stark raving assholes and don’t do jack shit, but she said no. I figured it would have been a good deal for her since she wouldn’t have to pay them for doing nothing.

They only handled one issue from us all year and that was a broken 35-year-old hot water heater. In our defense we do need hot water several times a year.

The owner felt she “didn’t have time” to manage the property herself. Eh? Wazzup?

Then the other night came a very alarming sequence of events.
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A neighborhood miracle

This is what the front of the neighbor's house looked like for most of the last 12 months.

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much! You love me, you really love me. I want to thank the universe for this incredible gift. I never thought this could happen to me. And there are so many others I want to thank. Thank you to the homeowner’s association, my landlord, and of course my wife for standing by me during the dark times. It was a struggle. And, I have to thank the neighbors. Without them none of this would have been possible. Everyone, please remember. Dreams can come true!

I may never win an Oscar, but who cares? I’ve already received a gift much more precious. As far as I can tell my work on this planet is now done.

What can I say about my neighbors that hasn’t already been said? Of course they are dim. They are obnoxious as hell. There were eight people living in that house, most of them not even on the lease, and a dog they never told the landlord about. (The dog was famous for poop in the backyard, which, of course, they never picked up.) They routinely paid their rent 20 days late. The man of the house was on “disability” leave from work (he fell down stairs on the job) but partied his ass off every single night. The place was busier than Grand Central Station with umpteen cars parked out on our narrow street 24/7 and people living in the driveway. That was their hangout where they’d drink, smoke, ignore their kids and eyeball us every time we went in and out of our house.

We knew their days were numbered but my brain never fully accepted that this day might come. Well, it actually happened.

The neighbors have moved out!

The view of the neighbor's house this morning. So that is what their garage door looks like!

However, they didn’t exactly go gently into that good night. I guess they couldn’t help but leave some spore behind as proof that they once existed here.

When I walked out on my driveway this morning, the garage area was naturally the first thing I examined. Miraculously the door was closed! I didn’t even know it could do that. The second thing I noticed was there were no cars! Not in the driveway and not on the curb. Wow. How extremely odd.

I did notice their trash cans were still out on the curb, though. Those poor abused cans had already been through so much, being stuffed overflowing week after week. Garbage pickup was yesterday morning so they should have been put away by now. And the neighbors were in their driveway last night so they could have taken care of that. Apparently they opted to leave them out. After all, why should they have to bother with them when they can be made to be someone else’s problem?

As as expert tracker (and a trapper) I looked for other signs of neighbor spore. I noticed they left the outside lights on. Nice. And for bonus points one of the bulbs was burned out. Double nice. I guess that will be the landlady’s problem.

What was that? Something on the roof caught my eye. I moved in closer to take a look. It was some sort of toy they left behind. Nice. Again, someone else’s problem now.

While there I noticed the front yard. The lawn was left in terrible condition. Big divots of wasteland left behind in a sea of yellowish dying grass. Nice.

I couldn’t resist taking a few photographs of what the house looks like empty. In my old age I’ll never ever need Viagra. I’ll just pull those suckers out to get in the mood…

Golly, Dim Neighbors!

This is where the neighbors live - in camping chairs in their driveway. They call it the Smoking Room.

Most people don’t have the luxury of choosing their neighbors. I’m no exception so I have douchebags next door.

I happen to live in a newer subdivision so wisely allowed by our city leaders. You might know the type. The single family dwelling lot sizes are smaller than the square footage in some people’s houses. (At under 5,000 sq. ft. I like to call them “postage stamps.”) The street is about three car-widths across and parking is allowed on both sides. (Yes, that means the street essentially becomes “one-way” when cars are parked on both sides.) And the houses are literally about 15′ apart. (I call this “Santa Claus development” because he could theoretically land and simply hop from rooftop to rooftop.) These houses pretty much don’t have luxury items like yards. Lastly, you can park two cars in the “two car” garage unless you do something stupid like put a box in the garage, then you can only fit one car.

As you might imagine, having asshole neighbors in a community like this bites the big one. Of course the worst neighbors in the entire development are located next to yours truly. It’s kind of funny how things work out like that.

I’m sure the landlord thought she was getting a good tenant. The man is a manager at one of the local banks. She probably liked the sound of that. It has the ring of responsibility to it, eh?

Let’s briefly recap some of what I might have shared about them before in a post entitled The neighbors days are numbered :

  • They are friends with our gerbil, party with him, and provide him with illegal drugs;
  • They routinely have excess garbage spilling out of their garbage cans, place cans too close to mine on garbage day;
  • They smoke outside all the time creating an omnipresent cloud of disgusting smell we have to navigate every time we come and go;
  • Cigarette butts are found all around their property;
  • They allow their crazy kids to run rampant and unsupervised;
  • They make a ton of noise such as loud banging noise, kids, and gunning their motorcycle engine for endless periods of time;
  • Their friends park on the curb, the grass strip, block our driveway, and park diagonal across the sidewalk;
  • They have friends over seemingly 24/7 with multiple vehicles always parked on our narrow streets;
  • They have kiddie pools and camping in their front yard with frightening regularity;
  • They are “driveway dwelling” folk, their garage door always left open showing their clutter, lounging in folding camping chairs and smoking throughout the day.

Like I said, however, the neighbors days are apparently numbered. I say “apparently” because even though the landlady has told them their lease will not be renewed (praise God!) I’m still not convinced they’ll actually leave. They seem like the sort to stick around and force physical eviction. My motto is “expect the worst and you won’t be surprised.”

Even though we are miserable next to them, we never complained to the landlord who happens to rent both houses.

So yeah, the landlady wants them gone and it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes good things can happen to good people. (I’m talking about me.)

We’ve learned a few extra tidbits about these people since I last wrote:

  • There are EIGHT human beings (allegedly) living in that three bedroom house, three adults and five kids;
  • In other news, some people living there have not been reported on the lease;
  • They won’t pick up dog poop in the backyard which frustrates the landlord’s gardener to no end;
  • In other news, they never asked for permission to have a dog at all;
  • They are damaging and abusing the front and back yards;
  • They routinely pay their rent 20 days late or more and the landlady has been too nice to charge the late fee;
  • One day the landlady went to the local bank to find the guy and discuss the late rent only to find out he was out on disability leave for falling down the bank’s stairs, meanwhile he’s been out living the life of a mondo party animal for months on end;
  • It was quiet last week; the family was vacationing at Disneyland giving us a little taste of what it’s like not to have asshole neighbors for an entire week.

The assholes are back and picked right back up on their douchebaggery without missing a beat. It’s business as usual next door — but only for 21 more days. They have to be out by the end of the month!

Of course I’m expecting nothing less than bigger douchebags to move in and replace them at that time, but who knows? I just might get surprised.

Gerbils and neighbors

The biggest PITA (Pain In The Ass) neighbors in the whole area live 15 feet from my house. Naturally. Where else would they be? Literally no one else for blocks in any direction can come close to these people in sheer douchebaggery. I believe that all good people should tithe me or something because I’m the one who always has to take this kind of shit for the team so no one else has to. I guess that makes me the DOW Scrubbing Bubbles of society.

We found out recently, however, that The neighbor’s days are numbered. The universe noticed them for what they are and, for once, actually gave a shit. I’m still flabbergasted by this unusual development. Of course, the shit they pulled wasn’t exactly subtle.

I have to say, this city living can be weird. Out in the country we knew our neighbors for miles in every direction. But here, in this tiny and cramped urban subdivision, where buildings are 15 feet apart, we don’t know our neighbors at all. Not just these douchebags but everyone. They all keep to themselves. No friendly waves. No welcoming new neighbors. No nothing.

Anyway, it turns out that our gerbil became friends with our neighbors even though we never did. No doubt it had a lot to do with the fact that they have so much in common. Like smoking, marijuana, drugs, drinking, partying, irresponsibility and much, much more. (I wrote about this in My neighbor is parenting my kid.)

We happen to have the same landlord as the neighbors. She’s a very nice lady. And even though the neighbors have irritated the living fuck shit out of us since the day they arrived, we have never once went to her and complained about anything they did. That’s just not the way I roll. I may bitch and moan and complain, but I don’t turn them in. That’s a skosh too passive aggressive, even for me.

About a week ago, though, we heard from the landlady. She had concerns about the neighbors. Imagine that! She had been hearing all sorts of awful things. (Again, not from us.) So she needed a favor. Had we noticed anything at all? Could we confirm what she had heard?

Now I may not be a tattletale, but on the other hand, I’m not about to lie to protect some flaming douchebags, either. We replied to her inquiry and basically said, “We can confirm that what you’ve heard is true.” Shortly after that she let us know they wouldn’t be back when their lease ended at the end of August.

Based on what I’ve written so far you can probably begin to guess where I’m going with this…

Yep. Enter the gerbil.

We were watching a movie in the living room the other night. My wife was on the sofa. I was in my comfy chair and had a view out the front window of our driveway. I noticed our gerbil was out front. I went and took a look and sure enough, he was standing in the neighbor’s driveway (that’s where they mostly live) and they were having a little smoke party. I watched the gerbil throw his butt out in the street and start to move in our direction.

Of course he had an agenda. That was the purpose of the visit. More on that later. But in the midst of us dropping everything to discuss his needs he switched gears into investigative mode.

“So you know the neighbors are getting kicked out. What did you tell the landlady?”

Nice. Very subtle. We can’t even begin to imagine who you might be asking for. We informed him that we never went to the landlady with any complaints about the neighbors. Ever. It wasn’t our fault that they were such big douchebags they made everyone else complain.

“Uh huh,” he said. Oh, this is rich. Now our gerbil is calling us liars? Wow.

Then he went into a little gerbil rampage. For some reason gerbils love to get angry at those who support them the most. I have surmised this is probably why some gerbils also eat their young. “I don’t give a shit,” he yelled at us. “It doesn’t mean anything to me! I’m just asking! I could care less!” Indeed. That’s probably why you’re yelling.

So that was pretty much the end of it. He calmed down and realized he needed to get back to the remainder of his agenda, which was, of course, asking us for more stuff. Then he split rather abruptly.

So, let’s recap. The gerbil visit consisted of:

  • Asking us for stuff
  • Quizzing us about the neighbors (and no doubt reporting back)
  • Call us liars
  • Gerbil rampage
  • Asking us for stuff
  • Leaving abruptly

I’m beginning to realize something. I keep waiting for the shit to be over. This is a fool’s errand. The trick is this: it’s never over. If one piece of shit gets solved then tenfold will flow back to take its place. The shit will never be over.

I don’t feel so good.

The neighbors days are numbered

Maybe, just maybe, good things can happen to losers.

Meet my neighbors. If you’ve been paying attention, I already introduced them. We first met them in My neighbor is parenting my kid then got to know them better in The smell of freedom.

They are “garage door open all the time” sort of people. (I’m the opposite.) Their messy garage is always open and so is the inside door to their house. They must love heat and bugs.

Because of these neighbors, I’ve been formulating a completely new theorem. It deals with the amount of time a family spends in their driveway and how it correlates to I.Q. These people are out there all the time so I hypothesize they are pretty low in the I.Q. dept. They have lawn chairs they keep handy so they can hang out and smoke, in their driveway, for hours on end. Maybe more on that theory later.

Our neighborhood is nice and quiet and orderly – except for the neighbors. These are the people that live on the lot next to mine and their house is literally less than 20′ from mine. Yes, the one and only nexus of jerks in the entire neighborhood happens to be located directly next door to me. What are the odds of that? (Hint: 100 percent.)

The house is the location of innumerable and never-ending parties. It is also the kid nexus of the area. Balls over the fence and then poorly-behaved kids pounding on our front door wanting them back. And all of the kids from miles around apparently are drawn to this nexus, too. It’s kid crazy over there.

For some reason, the City allowed this development to have extra narrow streets. They are not regulation width. There is just enough room for parking on each side of the street then room for ONE LANE of traffic. It’s hella crazy. I know they allowed this non-standard street so the developer could squeeze in a few more lots and make even more money. This is the same developer who lives in a $16 million house and bitches at City Council meetings that the City shouldn’t raise fees on developers. Whaa! “If you don’t let me make the streets narrower than normal it will cost me some lots!” Fuck the residents, eh?

The point here is that I’ve never in my entire life seen a house that gets so many visitors. And so, naturally, the street is constantly clogged with the vehicles of their guests. That forces our street into a continual one-lane fucking nightmare. When we drive in or out we have to drive 2 miles per hour while watching carefully for the omnipresent and unsupervised children who are allowed to run crazy in the street. They party every night, have the inflatable jumping cage in their front yard, with smoking and drinking and kids galore. One of their guests ALWAYS parks with two wheels up on the sidewalk – presumably because his rig is so precious and he’s worried about the narrow street. Him and another douchebag also park by a narrow section of curb that is decidedly not a parking spot and their vehicles block our driveway. Our neighbors, of course, have never once given a flying fuck that our drive is blocked.

Anyway, we happen to have the same landlord. Even though I hate these people with a passion and our enjoyment of this home went completely to shit when they moved in, we have never once complained about them, the cars, the parties, or their constantly overflowing garbage cans.

So the other day we get an email from the landlord. It seems she’s been hearing complaints about them and, as the people located in the eye of the shit hurricane, she wanted our opinions. Had we seen anything next door she wanted to know. She’s been hearing complaints about noise, cars, cigarette butts everywhere, garbage and the front and back yards being destroyed. Apparently she’s also being asking them behave in a certain manner and also she’s gotten for her trouble is the tenant equivalent of “kiss my grits.”

I didn’t want to be a tattletale, so I simply tried to remain calm, logical and factual when replying, “We can confirm that what you have heard is true.”

So the other day we get a follow-up email from the landlady. The neighbor’s lease is up at the end of August and she has already informed them she will not be renewing with them. They has gots to go!

Someone keep a phone handy. If too many things start going right in my life (like one more thing on top of this) I may go into myocardial infarction and someone might have to dial 9-1-1 to save my life. Please remember I have a standing “do not resuscitate” order on my corpse.

Happy days are here again!!! Party at my place in six weeks!!! 🙂