Branching Out Will Do You No Good

, , , , | Friendly | April 10, 2021

Next door to us is a rented house; we don’t know the owners but we get along with the tenants.

No one takes care of the gardens on the property and weeds and plants grow wild. I guess the tenants should take more care, but they seem to not even use the outside space. We trim what comes over to our side and ignore what’s happening over the fence. 

Over the years, the tree growing in the back gets bigger and grows further over the bounties. I trim outside, but no one does the back fence that is shared by the car park.

One stormy day, I notice the branches sway and creek. Underneath is a guy’s shiny BMW. In chatting with him, it’s his pride and joy; he is worried about the tree but has nowhere else to park it.

I can’t stand to see what happens next, so I do some sleuthing and find the agents who manage the house; the tenants “forgot” or don’t care enough to look.

Me: “Hi, do you manage [address]?”

Agent: “I’m sorry, I cannot divulge that information.”

Me: “Ah, okay. Well, just so you know, if you do, they have a tree that is surely going to lose a branch, which will crash into a new BMW that parks underneath.”

Agent: “As I said, I cannot divulge that information.”

Me: “Err… Yeah, I’m not asking you to. I’m sure if I was the owner I would want to know about a possible lawsuit if you were representing me.”

Agent: “And I cannot tell you if we manage that particular property.”

Me: “Okay, this is going nowhere. If you represent them, then tell them.”

She tries to interrupt but I carry on

Me: “Either way, I will be putting a letter through the door, marked for their attention, to say that I have contacted you on this date to inform you.”

Agent: “As I said, we cannot divulge—”

I hung up. She wasn’t getting it. Or, she was just being belligerent. I wrote the letter, marked it as “For owner,” and gave it to the tenants. They didn’t care about any of this and told me that they hadn’t seen the owner in months, anyway.

I gave up; it felt like a marathon trying to help anyone. Next year, another storm hit, and a sizable branch broke off and smashed the windscreen of the BMW and scratched a load of the paintwork. It sat there for months as the resulting legal work carried on.

The owner came round to shout at me for not telling them or not making enough of an effort. I told them where to go in short words they would understand and slammed the door.

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Weeding Out The Bad Tenants

, , , , | Right | March 5, 2021

My friend suddenly inherits a small house. An old lady has been renting the property for nearly a year beforehand; after tax, it isn’t worth much, but my friend hopes this could become an investment, so he keeps her on as a tenant.

The lady immediately starts complaining: this needs painting, this needs fixing, etc. Most of it is superficial, but my friend wants to build a good relationship, so he does as much as he can himself. Ultimately, he has to pay a professional to do most of it as he doesn’t have the skill or time.

Then, the demands become more and more frequent, outlandish, and ridiculous. 

Old Lady: “I want my garden sorted.”

Friend: “Oh, what’s wrong with it?”

Old Lady: “It’s all weeds and lawn. I’m old and need a hard surface to walk on.”

Friend: “Weeds are your responsibility, and there is already a patio.”

Old Lady: “I can’t weed! I’m an old woman. No, you need to come round and do it!”

Friend: “I’m not coming round and doing your garden for you, and you already have paving slabs. I am not turning the garden into a concrete car park.”

Old Lady: “Well, I am going to report you; this place is unsafe. There are so many problems; it’s not right.”

She carries on her tirade until my friend just puts the phone down. The house is old but well maintained and he has so far lost money with all the little fixes. She starts to call at all hours; if he is at work or college, she rings until he answers or he turns his phone off.

She eventually puts in a complaint to the local council who have to visit the house; they give it a clean bill of health. This is the last straw.

Old Lady: “What is this?”

Friend: “An eviction notice. I am not renewing your tenancy. I want you out.”

Old Lady: “Where will I go?”

Friend: “Live under a bridge with the other trolls?”

She left, and eventually, he sold the house rather than deal with more people like her again. I think after relocating and agent fees, he only made a few thousand.


This story is part of our Best Of March 2021 roundup!

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He’s About As Rational As Most Bosses

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Dark909911 | November 29, 2020

I work as a building supervisor with seven buildings I take care of. I also have a side job as a contractor to paint any apartment that needs it. I only do this part-time because of other duties from my buildings.

If I don’t have time for painting, my employer hires outside workers. I have been a painter for about eight years and do a very good job. I want everything perfect.

I have other building supers who are taking care of my buildings for two weeks that I’m taking off. My son started talking really early, and by two, he could speak quite clearly. He doesn’t make much sense, but you can understand every word he says.

I get a call from one of my tenants.

Tenant: *Angrily* “You must come to my place and paint my living room. My grandkids colored all over the walls with Sharpies! I have company coming and I will be totally embarrassed if they see my walls in this condition.”

Me: *Kindly* “I am on my two-week vacation and can’t help you.”

She starts screaming into the phone.

Tenant: “It’s your job! You have to come to paint for me or I won’t pay my rent next month.”

Me: “Please call the building owners and explain that to them. They have three other painters on call.”

That goes over like a loud fart in church!

Me: “Ma’am, my painting job and landlord status are two separate jobs, and I am on a two-week vacation from both.”

The tenant hangs up and calls the building owner. Then, the building owner calls me to ask my side. I tell her and she just laughs about it.

Building Owner: “If she calls back, just have fun. But she knows better than to threaten holding the rent back, because I warned her that if she doesn’t pay, she can’t stay.”

Less than five minutes later, I get the call I am expecting from the crazy tenant.

Tenant: “I just spoke to your boss! They said that you have to be here tonight to get my painting done immediately!”

Me: *Laughing* “I already talked to [Building Owner], and I am still on vacation.”

Tenant: “I mean your boss for your painting job!”

Me: “Oops.” *Laughs*

Malicious compliance activated!

Me: “He is right here beside me. I’ll put you on speaker so we can all straighten this out together.”

I put the phone on speaker and tell my son he is wanted on the phone. He LOVES talking on the phone. He doesn’t listen to the person on the phone; he just tells them all about what’s going on with his day, what he is watching on TV, about the puppy pooping in the grass, etc.

The tenant couldn’t be rude to a toddler, so after a few minutes of him chattering away, I pick up the phone and take it off speaker. This sends my little man into a freak-out.

Me: *To the tenant* “That’s my boss. By the sounds of him right now, it doesn’t look like I can make it tonight.”

She just hung up. I didn’t get another call from her.

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Time To Get Splashy

, , , , , , , | Working | September 28, 2020

Our subdivision has a clubhouse with a pool that we pay for out of our HOA fees. The clubhouse is staffed during the open hours with some very nice people. Lately, though, we have had a large turnover in staff. We also have several entitled people in our neighborhood who seem to think that because they are older they can determine when and where children are allowed.

I have my in-laws visiting. My kids, ages seventeen and fifteen, take their cousins, ages fifteen and thirteen, up to the pool so my sister-in-law and I can sit and discuss some family business.

Less than twenty minutes later, they come back in. I ask why they came back so soon. They inform me that they were told to leave by the woman in charge of the clubhouse. Apparently, there were some older people at the pool who like to sit there in the afternoons and read by the poolside and the kids were disturbing them. 

I immediately go up to the clubhouse with the kids in tow, as well as my sister-in-law who loves to watch me go off on people.

Me: “Hello, [New Employee], we haven’t met yet. I am [My Name]. I know you are new here so I am sorry I haven’t had the chance to welcome you; however, my kids came home and said you chased them off from the pool. Were they misbehaving?”

New Employee: “Oh, no, no, not at all. You see, they were splashing around in the pool and bothering the couple sitting out there who come up here in the afternoon to sit by the pool and read.”

Me: “Oh, okay. I see. When will I be getting a refund on my HOA fees, then? Shall we call your supervisor and have them cut a check or will you be paying cash… now, please.”

New Employee: *Taken somewhat aback* “I… I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”

Me: “Well, I pay the same amount of fees as they do — in the hundreds of dollars — and therefore, I have the same rights as they do, and by proxy, so do my kids. Therefore, since you are denying me use of the products and services I pay for, for no good reason other than that someone else doesn’t want us to, you owe me a refund.”

She is speechless.

I turn to the kids and tell them to go get in the pool, and then I turn back to her.

Me: “Listen. I get it. They have no doubt been driving you crazy with their entitled ‘I’m better than you’ attitude. They think they can come up here to a community pool and sit leisurely by the pool without being disturbed. If that is the case, they can go build their own pool in their own backyard. Until then, they have no right to deny my family their right to use the pool that I pay a great deal for every month. Are we clear?”

She meekly nodded. I didn’t want to be too mean because I know she was being fussed at by the couple that I’ve had to deal with before, but I wasn’t putting up with it. I came to find out that my family wasn’t the only one whose kids were being chased off by this couple.

The supervisor called and apologized, and after that, they sent a statement to all the neighborhood reminding them that EVERYONE has an equal right to enjoy the pool, regardless of age. We have had no trouble at the pool since.

I don’t know if they still go up there and read. Frankly, I don’t care.


This story is part of our Best Of September 2020 roundup!

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No Home For That Type Of Complaint

, , , , | Right | September 9, 2020

I work answering the phones for a commercial real estate company that leases and acts as managers for our buildings. One day, I get a call and the guy on the other end is nice enough. He introduces himself and starts talking about how he has a “problem” with his property and he hasn’t been able to get help with it. I ask him to describe the problem to me so I can get him in contact with the best person to fix it, and his honest-to-God answer is, “There are homeless people in front of my store.”

I sit there for a minute trying to think about what to say next. He correctly interprets my silence as judgement and confusion, so he gets aggressive and asks, “What is [Company] going to do about it?” I explain that there’s not really anything we can do about it, as they are allowed to be there as long as they aren’t doing anything illegal. He launches into a tirade about how his mother shops there and she has to walk by these people to get to his store, they’re driving his customers away, and he’s going to go out of business!

I explain to him that if he really is worried about his customers’ safety, he can always report them to the city or police and ask for their advice. Well, that is the wrong answer, and the true yelling begins, basically implying it’s our companies job to forcibly relocate these people. I ask him what he wants us to do about it and he stammers some non-answer like, “Something!” and goes back into ranting about how his business is going under and it’s all these homeless people’s fault.

The best part from this is his complaint that they will sometimes set up a blanket to sell things! In a shopping center! The nerve! I roll my eyes, tell him I will not be continuing the conversation, and wish him a good day.

He says, “Seriously? You’re not going to help me?!” and I say, “Yup, seriously,” followed by a satisfying click.

Felt like a queen.

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