Strange night last night, it seems I get to say that far too often, hmmm. It appears one of my tenants may have a bit of a drinking problem. I was sitting at viewing night for my girls’ dance class when one of my rooming tenants called. The phone was on vibrate, but I noted the name and number and was going to call after the class.
Five minutes later an email comes in on the phone from another tenant in the same location with the subject “Assault”. Now I had to read it! Both tenants have been great, but I knew they didn’t like each other that much.
From the email, it appeared that the tenant who called, had assaulted the tenant who emailed me. First, this seemed entirely out of character for either of them, second I was stuck in a dance class for another forty minutes. So I emailed back replying I was tied up for another thirty minutes and would call right after.
This didn’t sit well with him as he emailed back even more upset, so I replied back I could have him moved to another property within a couple of hours where he would be safe. Apparently, this was just more gas on the fire. He replied, with the following line in his email “I am stunningly superior in intelligence and education, and you are frankly facing a lawsuit, is that really a road you want to go down?” My demeanour shifted and suddenly I became much meaner and significantly less tolerant.
I replied again, reminding him, I wasn’t the enemy, I was trying to provide a solution to make him safe. I just wasn’t going to abandon my family at a dance studio in -27 degree weather. Nor was I going to drag them over to a potentially dangerous situation with someone who was coming across as unstable, no matter how “stunningly superior” he felt.
At this point he demanded his rent back, reminded me how educated he was and this wasn’t some drunken lout I was dealing with and informed me how perhaps my tone would change when I saw all the blood from his wounds on the carpet in his room. Sigh.
Class was winding up, so once we were out, I called the first tenant back to find out his side. He informed me the assaultee was drunk, there was an issue with some mail and the educated fellow basically “got in his face”, and became quite agitated, so he grabbed him put him down on the ground in a headlock and told him he wouldn’t let go until he calmed down. Yes, I have my own personal WWE show in some properties!
As I drove Karen and the kids back home, Karen and I decided we would probably have to call the police in, just to cover ourselves off and to ensure everything was safe in the house. The lawsuit was a baseless threat, but better safe than sorry. So when we arrived home, I was going to call the educated fellow, but I didn’t have his new phone number, so I emailed him back asking for it. The fire got bigger!!
Here’s his reply:
“This is ridiculous. Bring me my dough 2morrow. If you wanted an online endorsement, well you are going to get it. I intend t SPLATTER the inet with your name.
Your biz life is about to change in ways you never dreamed OF (you think you are technically sharp, but I have it in for you now). It is your fault, I asked for your protection and you scoffed. “
Just a little more background on this fellow, this was his second stay with me in a few months. He had just moved to the city looking for work and stayed with me initially, but when his funds started to run low he moved to a less expensive (read less desirable) place to make his funds last.
When he left he told me he wanted back, he just wanted to make sure he had the funds to make it possible. This was an ideal tenant, who I wanted back! He kept the place spotless, paid on time and appeared to be a great guy, the type I would go above and beyond to help, which I did.
He contacted me after several weeks to see if I still had space, as he had secured a fulltime job and wanted back in. It would be a few more weeks before he had enough cash, but since his past performance was so outstanding and he was the type of tenant I liked, I offered to let him in early and I would cover him until he caught up. It took just over a month, but as of the week prior, he was not only caught up, but had paid for this week and the next week, so life was good, until last night.
Back to the story, once I saw this I asked Karen to call the police as I was heading directly over. I grabbed one week’s rent to refund to him. If he wanted out that bad, I wanted to provide him something right away so he could at least get into a hotel to stay warm, it was freezing cold after all. I wasn’t positive as I didn’t have all of his payments in front of me, but I believed he had his security deposit, plus two weeks rent paid to me.
We were already three days into the week and he wasn’t playing well with me, so I was quite sure he wasn’t going to get any of the week back. So, depending on how it worked out, I would potentially owe him his security deposit and one week’s rent back, but I would need to confirm that with my books before I just handed all the money back.
My leases state that I can refund security deposits back right away if I have at least 48 hours notice. This was an hour’s notice. More importantly, the Residential Tenancy Act states you have 10 days to refund a security deposit and it supersedes the actual lease in a case of a dispute. Either way I was kind of covered.
So at this point, I think I will leave you hanging. I’m only halfway through the story and there is much more to talk about. So I will finish this off tomorrow for you. I do currently have a couple of take away pieces of advice from this.
First, a lesson I never seem to learn is that you have to be careful trusting tenants. It’s best to keep your distance and leave everything at a professional level as it can help avoid disappointment and frustration. I really liked this fellow and in the end, I felt betrayed, disrespected, and as though he had taken advantage of me.
Second, you need to understand the laws if you are a landlord. My knowledge and considerable experience with evictions and problem tenants gave me an edge that his “stunningly superior intelligence” wouldn’t win.
I’ll finalize this tomorrow and you can find out why the police called me and asked me to wait outside until they showed up, where all the blood on the carpet came from, how my refund went over, and once again how a tenant who appeared to be perfect took even more advantage of me. Is that enough of a teaser?