Sep 29, 2017

Letting Go

I sent the non-renewal letter to our tenants, that when their lease is up, we will be choosing another family to habit our first home.

This decision did not come lightly. My gut reaction was to dump them many moons ago, when the monthly rent payments started falling behind, and then even further behind, and then so far behind that I worried we may have to walk away from our home just to stay afloat financially.

But, my level-headed better half always encouraged us to keep them. After all, it was so much easier to just have them stay put, right? As long as some money was coming in, we would manage.
As each month progressed, there was always a new excuse.

A car accident causing additional car payments.
A unexpected trip to see family.
Christmas gifts were just too high this year.
A divorce.
Job woes.
Radio silence when I inquired about, well...anything.

I finally had had enough. As each month came and went, I would spend countless hours volleying between anger and frustration until she finally paid, only to start the cycle over again a couple weeks later.

As I am the main point of contact to the home, the landlord that set-up lawn services and scheduled meetings, the person who coordinated deliveries for new appliances, negotiated and executed new contracts, and dealt with all the bullshit text and emails for years, I was the one to finally put my foot down and decide we needed a change of pace.

I was the only one dealing with the bullshit every month, so to everyone else, it was no big deal.
But to was a very, very big deal.

In a sea of ongoing stress, which is very much the norm as an adult, I am picking and choosing which areas to turn my focus to.

And when the renter...who was already more than a month behind in payments, had the gall to reach out and casually let me know that the A/C was broken, and just how quickly was I planning to have it fixed?

That was it. That was the end. The straw, if you will.

I responded that we would need to receive all past due and current month's rent before I even blinked an eye at any issues, filed the email away, and moved on with my life.

All the while, I kept thinking back to when Mark and I lived in that house, when we were just starting our lives together.

The house is older, sure. And the air conditioning didn't quite cool the house evenly, especially not our bedroom on the top floor. At one point we finally scraped together enough money to install an in-window unit for some relief (which we gifted to our renters, by the way), but most days before that?
I clearly remember dragging our mattress down to the kitchen, or even the basement, if it was unbearably warm....and sleeping there, next to our loudly snoring bulldog.

Because we didn't have the luxury of someone else to fix our mess.

Now I get it...fixing the a/c unit is something as a landlord I am required to do for my tenants. And we took care of it. But the month was un-seasonably cool, and payments were it did slip to the wayside, as I delivered our non-renewal letter.

A letter I was more than proud to have put together. I read over every word at least three times, tweaking things here and there. It made me feel accomplished, like I was taking a step towards a better goal. A bit more sanity. A change of pace.

It's scary...choosing the unknown path versus whatever is easier, sometimes. We don't know if we will get new tenants quickly, and if we do, that they are any good. We don't know if our current tenant will actually cooperate through the end of their term and play nice. We are taking another chance that this could blow up in our face. It's easier to just keep putting it off, to keep going at the same pace, until it's not. And pushing it to the wayside is not good enough for me anymore.

I want and deserve better.
So I'm letting go.


1 comment:

  1. I don't blame you one bit. I may be a pain in the butt getting them out and another tenant in but enough is enough, and it's a pain in the butt to have to deal with that every month. I had a very bad tenant years ago (in a condo I no longer own thank goodness). They broke everything, wouldn't pay rent and I spent so much money trying to keep afloat. If you get a good renter you are golden, and maybe the next one will be.