This is not one of those times, I think. I've been turning it over and over in my head, because I have to write about today's experience, I have to put it into words, have to tell the other side of the story, but the words are getting caught.
My asthma is acting up. I can't wipe the smell of urine and...wait for it...canine feces from my brain. Yes, that's a nice word for dog shit. Not funny, but classier, so I'm going to go with it. I've survived a ring of hell today, I promise you, and I almost feel like I should go back and get pictures, because no one could possibly believe that this is what people would call home.
Unless you've seen Hoarders.
And I got the highly cleaned up version. Almost a week into the exorcism process. It was bad, people.
I have a family member through marriage that rents out property. Let's call him, Prince, to keep things easy. So Prince has property, and is a reasonable guy. I've worked for him, I've seen the excuses people give for not paying their rent. I've had people show me mildew in their shower and tell me that there was black mold growing and that they were going to die. And that it was Prince's fault.
I wish I was exaggerating. I am not.
It was a little mildew in the shower. NOT deadly black mold.
The trials of the land-lording business are, let's just say, intense. And yet, they are constantly painted as these evil slum dog millionaires that roam around in a red fur lined King's robe and a crown sipping martinis on the backs of their poor, manipulated and harassed tenants.
I can assure you, this is not often the case. Prince spent the last week hauling dog shit (sorry, I lost it there for a minute) yes, dog shit, in PILES out of each FLOOR of one of his houses. You see, after eviction proceedings began, the tenant simply LEFT their dogs, chained up, unsupervised IN THE HOUSE. They did apparently stop back and feed them, thank Heavens, until they finally took the dogs and left a huge portion of their belongings.
And dog crap. It ruined the carpets, which were outside in strips by the time I got there, and even without the carpet the smell of feces and urine were unbearable.
And here's where we get to the really sad part. They left all this, just stuff, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of STUFF, everywhere, for someone else to deal with. In piles, in cabinets, on the floor. Stacks of toys, furniture, a pool table. Hand built furniture by a dead grandpa. Well, obviously he hadn't passed prior to building it, but a labor of love, tossed aside like yesterday's trash.
A little hard work and a yard sale, and they could have easily paid their rent. I'm just talking filth. Abandoned. Someone else's problem, now. Prince is now completely and totally responsible to move them out. Because they just didn't.
This is more common than you might think. I've seen this before, with less dog crap and more alcohol induced vomit and cigarette holes. I know it was alcohol induced because they left me pictures. Superglued to the walls, no less.
This was a good house. It's trashed now. It will take weeks to finish cleaning-and maybe months to rent out. Prince is out thousands of dollars, and hours of his life that he will never get back.
They had seemed like such good people. I really liked them. I don't understand the tendency to treat someone so poorly, just because you can. The ease with which people can just trash something that isn't theirs.
Sure, there are bad landlords. There are some horrible tenants, and it's time someone did news story highlighting the amount of damage a negligent human being can do to a rental property. The sheer carelessness with which they treat someone else's careful investment.
I've had A bad landlord in my life. One. Uno.
I've seen dozens of bad tenants. Why aren't THEY on the news? Why is it always the millionaire jerk who owns the high rise that should be condemned?
I just don't get it. I can't see doing something so horrible to another human being, but it just doesn't get talked about. To take hours of someone else's life with your irresponsibility should carry some consequences.
At the very least, it's GOT to be terrible Karma.