Tenancy November 2018
This article will be a little bit different, but I have experienced things that I need to offer you to remember and to share with your children and grandchildren. Here are a some true stories about renting a room or renting a home and what can happen when the process goes wrong.
Leslie owned seven rental homes. On her way through the city one rainy, cold night she saw a light on in one of her homes that should have been vacant. Opening the door carefully, she found a drug-using woman inside the house who begged Leslie not to throw her out into the weather. Leslie‘s heart was moved, and she told the woman that she could stay the one night. The woman said that she would be gone by 7:00 the next morning. Leslie returned to the home at 9:00 a.m. and found that all the locks had been changed and the woman had moved her goods into the house. It took Leslie nine months to get her out. Why? Because on that one rainy night, she had given her tenancy in the house.
Frank and Janet’s son had just turned 18 and was living in the fourth bedroom in their house while he went to college. Down the hall were his two much younger sisters. Becoming suspicious of odors, Janet investigated the son’s room when he was away one day. There she found a modest amount of marijuana. They decided to take the drugs to the police department where they were told they were guilty of criminal trespass and theft of personal property. They could be arrested. Why? Because their adult son had tenancy in their home.
After experiencing an abusive roommate, Evelyn contacted me to investigate. “She was so nice when she interviewed. I don’t know what happened.” After we dug in, we realized that the woman who had paid for the $2,500 get-started money was her former landlady. It was worth it for her to write that huge check to get rid of the roommate.
Nadine is in the process of evicting someone that she loaned her house to for a month. Her heart was moved to help someone in great need. Nadine now has no place to live until her “tenant” quits the house. Why? Tenancy was established the first night. The tenant also brought in two dogs, her cigarettes, and threw out some of Nadine’s food to make room in the pantry for her groceries.
I hear these stories all the time. You think a bad marriage is horrible, try having a smoker (did not interview that way) with 8 guinea pigs in a cage and new padlocks screwed into the wooden door of the “rented” room. During the eviction process, while preparing breakfast in the shared kitchen, there was just a little tension. (Also a true story.)
By the way – in every case mentioned, these tenants were legally occupying the properties. In several of them, no money changed hands, no contracts were written, and no promises were made by the property owner. They were legal tenants with the same rights as ones who had paid, signed a lease, and had not been morally corrupt.
I urge anyone in your family, or your circle of friends, who is considering renting a house (or renting a room in their house), to contact a professional to investigate the person that is going to be renting.