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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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