Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Valentine's Day

Yesterday was a memorable day, unfortunately not in a good way. We had our appointment with the insurance people. We are reasonably sure we have that sorted out, but I had to get us set up on line with the government offices (what do people do if they don't have a computer? The assumption is that everyone does!) So there were passwords and decisions and do you have any idea what a turn on it is to talk about death and catastrophic illness? (Answer: not much of one, I can assure you.)

We also had a romantic foray into Walmart to buy new filters for the vacuum, which they did not have. Amazon will have them here by Thursday, and since Tim bought himself a new table saw, turns out I had enough points to get them for free. So. There's that. Unfortunately, the sensuous Valentine's day Hoovering/vacuuming session was not possible. That sucked. (See what I did there?)

Tim headed up to the property to feed the deer. I was cooking a special dinner for two. 

In the middle of all that, the discovery was made. One of our tenants, younger than us, had died of covid. We were not aware that he was sick. It came as quite a shock. I called Tim who came home immediately. We went straightaway to talk to his mother who lives two streets over. Our concerns were many, mostly, keeping his things safe, and how did she want that handled. He had never married but had a room mate, someone who was in a bad situation. A temporary situation had been going on for months and he was too soft hearted to handle it decisively. 

How do we make sure that his stuff remains there, how do we get his room mate out legally, who's responsible for the utilities when a tenant dies (short answer: the property owners), how do you legally evict someone who's not on the lease (and someone who told me flatly: if he wants me out, he's going to physically have to throw me out. I'm not moving.) There were issues about who owned what. 

Lot of questions, but it came clear that the first thing we needed to do was get in touch with the executer of the estate. so we went down to offer our condolences to his mother, and to make sure she had our number for when she felt up to getting her son's estate settled. He was our longest tenant. We had him for nearly 10 years, and he had come with the house. We thought a great deal of him. Our main worry was the room mate who seems to have some serious issues. 

Mama had that sorted out. She does not have her son's tender heart. In a no nonsense way, she had gone to the house and said "You need to get out and you've got two weeks to do it." After arguing for months, after defiant refusals, the roommate listened meekly and said that she'd be out in a week. She was physically moving out even as we were speaking with mama.

God bless mamas. Once the room mate is gone, we can change the locks and give the mother the key to begin moving her son's stuff out. Mama is down there, in and out, overseeing what is being removed from the house. There has been no arguments. 

We notified the other tenant in the building that he had passed and that if she saw the roommate out and about, it was probably not a good idea to give her a consoling hug. She believes that covid is a hoax. 

That tenant had already known. No nonsense mama had put it in the paper: her boy had chosen not to be vaccinated, and he had died of covid. Like I said, she's a very no-nonsense woman, a social worker. 

Turns out that multiple people had been trying to contact us to let us know all morning long, including mama and the other building resident and friends. That's how we discovered, after two tech visits and one maintenance call, that our phone is still not working properly. 

I have spent 2 hours on my cell phone trying, once again, to get the house phone sorted out. 

Definitely a day to remember.  (At least dinner was good.)


  1. People can be so stubbornly stupid. Does it make me a bad person that I don’t feel too sorry for him? Good for Mom though

  2. No. We didn't feel sorry for him. We were afraid he would move out and leave her behind though.

  3. Glad you enjoyed your romantic dinner after all that.

  4. What a whole lot to deal with on a day when you must have wanted to relax. I'm glad that dinner was good and have mixed feelings about the tenant. Not much sympathy--more anger at people's intransigence and what it costs all of us.

  5. Like you say. At least dinner was good!

  6. There are always down sides to letting property aren't there - it isn't all plain sailing.

  7. We have been very lucky with our tenants, really. Our Tom had his faults, I'm sure, but as a tenant, we couldn't have asked for more. We had a good relationship with him and were very touched to hear from his mother that he thought highly of us, as well. His room mate was another issue altogether. Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike her, but there are some very obvious defects in thought processes. That complicates things a great deal. She could have been a squatter and evictions are a lengthy process. We have never had tenants pass away before, and we've had 2 in the last three months. This is uncharted territory for us. The first tenant has a husband who survived her, so that was a bit more straight forward. This was tougher because we had a responsibility to maintain apartment security and to keep his stuff secured. Hard to do when there's another person there.

  8. Without the deceased's mother's intervention, that could have been a very difficult situation and not one I have ever considered.

    Telephones have been around for over one hundred years. To have working one is surely not too much to expect.

    I don't expect you want another day like that in a hurry.

  9. Hooray for Mama. She saved you a lot of anguish by the sounds of it.

    I feel that in this day and age of cell phones, landlines are no longer considered a priority which is wrong on so many levels. What if it had been someone really close to you trying to get in touch. It makes me angry as we had the same issues with my mother-in-law's landline.

  10. Glad it is all working out for you and the Mama had taken charge of the situation.

  11. On a day to basis we think things are simple and will work well. One unexpected happening and everything is chaos. I hope you get the rest of this sorted out.

  12. Ouch! What a bummer! Can a landlord require tenets to be fully vaxxed? What a thought. You certainly shouldn't be liable for protecting the deceased's things until the freeloader is out. But the mama is giving her 2 weeks to pack and leave. Should be the mama's problem if anything is missing. Hopefully she removed any valuables. Hopefully the girl won't truck out furniture. So sad for all. Linda in Kansas

  13. No. We couldn't, and I, for one. would not like it to be that we could.

  14. Good grief! That must have been a shock! Thank goodness the mom seems to have things under control. I hope she's keeping a good eye on what the roommate moves out.

  15. My parents rented houses out several times over the years and I never saw one that ended well. Probably why I am sour on the thought of becoming a landlord, at least in very poor and rural parts of the country where I live.


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