Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shit Happens & It Does Run Down Hill

This is the last month the New Kids are occupying the main house.  The male part of the New Kids (I'll call him the New Guy) and I had a contretemps over an unpaid gas bill and an open door.  Words were exchanged in anger and apparently no one has ever spoken to him in that way ever before in his life.  I'm that scary I guess.  Who knew?  Now all communication having to do with their tenancy has to go through an intermediary.  So this morning just as I was leaving the house to go buy a new washer and dryer, I got a call from the intermediary telling me that the male New Guy called her to inform her that water is leaking from the shower into the basement.  I went over and took a look in the basement and sure enough the basement floor is wet.  I looked around for a dripping pipe or some other source of leaking water and could detect none.  I called my friend Joe at Joe's AAA Drain & Sewer Cleaners and he was here in half an hour. 

Joe asked me to got upstairs and run the shower.  This is the first time I've walked through the main house since they've moved in.  I'm in shock.  I've never seen a filthier house.  The shower probably hasn't been cleaned since they moved in.  I ran water and no, it isn't the shower that's the culpret, it's the washing machine drain.  Joe's been working on it for a half an hour and it isn't clearning.  I don't dare talk to the male New Kid since he thought I was horrible about the unpaid gas bill (since paid) and now will have nothing to do with me.  I'm so fucking mad I'm shaking as I type this.  How can people live in a house littered with trash.  Everything in the bathroom is on the floor: wet towels, dirty clothes and debris of an unknown origin.  The house smells bad.  I'm shaking with anger and I  know I can't get into it with the New Guy who is now home and feigning total innocence (ignorance) which seems fake to me.

Joe had his assistant ran water into the washing machine and that drain is plugged so bad Joe can't get it to clear.  He asked me to check the kitchen drain.  When I looked at the kitchen sink it looked like someone had been dumping a months worth of coffee grounds in the drain.  I reached in to move the coffee ground looking stuff and it turned out to be several inches of backed up crap (possibly literally, since it is very slimy and stinky).  Now I want to throttle the 6' 6" New Guy.  He came home while we were trying to find the source of the plug and is Mister Innocent, all wide eyed and way too pleasant.  I can't express my anger or disgust with the state of the house and the plumbing.  I obviously will have to postpone the washer/dryer purchase until the plumbing problem is solved.  I suspect sabotage.  I suspect passive-aggressive bullshit as payback for my speaking harshly to The New Guy. I'm trying very hard not to say anything that will piss him off any more than he is already pissed off. 

It's looking like I'll have to get a line of credit against the house and replace the sewer line.  It will require digging up the sewer line and that will require a backhoe in the backyard.  I had plans to spend tomorrow with my friend who has MS.  We were planning a trip to Costco.  I have a feeling I'll be spending tomorrow at the bank and then taking bids on a major construction/plumbing job.  Anybody know a good plumber?


Nan said...

Crap. So sorry you're going through so much hassle with those tenants.

darkblack said...

You've got their damage deposit, yes?
It appears under state law that you have grounds to retain all or some of that for 'damages beyond reasonable wear and tear' and 'cleaning', especially with the failure to keep clear sinks and drains.

You might also be able to slap a three day 'pay or quit' notice on them (if they haven't vacated already) once the repair bill is tallied and they are served with it.

'Exterminate the brutes'


Utah Savage said...

Nan, thanks for the commiseration. Little bastards.

Dark, I do have a damage deposit and Joe told both me and the New Guy that the problem was paper towels and handy wipes clogging the drains. All flushed. I gave them a list of the things that cannot be flushed when they moved in. I'm thinking this is payback, sabotage, passive agressive childish bullshit. Joe wrote on the receipt that the clog was caused by... And said to me before he left, "This should come out of their deposit. You did get a deposit, didn't you?" Sadly it's now quite likely they won't clean the place. It looks like my idea of a crash pad for wasted, careless, filthy kids. I could take them to small claims court. And it depends on how much other damage they've done once we take a walk through after they've got their stuff out. If I were younger I'd go to war with the little assholes. But I'd rather write. I'd rather keep my own little house in order, and spend my time writing.

I wish I had a man in my life who liked me enough to keep the real world at bay so I could just write.

Nice to see you out and about. Are you back?

Judy Weir said...

When did you say they were moving out? Because they needs to go.
Poor thing, you.

D.K. Raed said...

What did their references say when you contacted them and how will you rate them for the next unfortunate landlord?

Those kids belong in a barn ... no, sorry, they belong in a cesspool ... probably be quite at home there, flushing their wadded up paper towels and living in the backed-up hairball sink.

I would be more than angry ... you sound quite controlled to me. Just get them out of there.

Sorry UT, those types of renters are why I won't rent out our house which will be sitting for sale in this market for a long time, something we can ill afford.

Utah Savage said...

I'm doubling the damage deposit. And I thought since I live on the property my presence would inhibit such behavior. Instead I seem to provoke it.

Ms M was a wonderful tenant. She's neat and orderly. She took the initiative to weed and mow the lawn. She used the patio and kept it cleaned up and party ready. And best yet she respected my rules and became a good friend. She was here five years. She left the place better than she found it. So I guess I'm spoiled.

Fran said...

Damn! Do you just have a verbal agreement that they are out by the end of the month?

I'd put it in writing (signed by the intermediary/witness) so they really do have to be out-- if they don't move you have more legal muscle to get them out.

Document everything! Dates, prices, etc
Even take photos if need be of what the plumber is pulling out of the clogged drains.
Better yet have the plumber take the photos as an independent 3rd party.

So sorry you have to go through this.

Beach Bum said...

I suspect passive-aggressive bullshit as payback for my speaking harshly to The New Guy.

Have a similar type of issue with one of the neighbors, who happens to have friends in the county government.

Nan said...

Take them to small claims court if it costs more to clean up after them than the damage deposit will cover. It's worth the filing fee because then for sure their bad behavior will be on their credit reports -- and it will help protect other potential landlords.

It will also help teach the little shits that actions have consequences.

anita said...

how truly awful! i've been thinking i might rent out the downstairs of my house (or get a roommate) in case of a pending financial crisis (a career change of sorts) but now i'm not so sure.

i think this is definitely a case for Judge Judy!!! She'd knock some serious sense into them.

Utah Savage said...

Fran, I have a $500. Deposit, but the bill from Joe was just under $400. Joe gave me $100. discount, I think because he felt sorry for me. When he was working on the kitchen sink he got a look at the dining room. My round oak table is pilled hight with junk, the floor is littered with stuff, half of which, I could not identify. It's a pigsty. So I may have to take them to small claims court. I have influential friends.

Beach, I though I was rather restrained when I spoke to the New Guy, but my restraint must be pretty damn harsh. These kids work in the social services part of federal/local government. I will take photos of the house when they move, but if I take photos of the house not, I'll be violating the tenants rights (which they know all too well).

Fran I do have a contract signed and witnessed. If I suspect some serious problem in the house I can go in to see what it is. Other than that I am not allowed by law to invade their space.

I called the New Guy downstairs to have Joe inform him of the things he found--handy wipes and paper towels. The New Guy took in the information and then mumbled it must be the wife. He has the affect of a ten year old who got caught after he set a fire in the living room floor. He seems profoundly damaged. However he can turn on the charm when he wants something, ie to rent my house.

Fortunately the have a house waiting on the 1st to move into, so I'm pretty sure they want out as much as I want them out.

Nan, I think you're right. I won't even talk about their deposit with them until they've paid the last months utility bill.

Anita, I lived with Ms M for two years before I moved out to the little house. She was a very good roommate. When I moved back here, she proved to be an excellent tenant and did most of the yard work. These guys won't even take the garbage cans out. This next time I'm having new tenants investigated. You can pay $25. and get credit history, criminal background and rental history checked. And no more dogs who are advertised and well behaved and small. Consider anything they say about their dogs to be lies.

anita said...

men (in general) are lazing bastards when it comes to anything but themselves.

sorry to say that to you 'men' ... it's just the truth. privilege based on perceived superior status.

no, i'm not angry. or bitter. just telling the truth.

darkblack said...

Utah, I had to give attention an I.O.U because I couldn't afford to pay it. My status is still on the wrong side of quo, unfortunately.

men (in general) are lazing bastards when it comes to anything but themselves...just telling the truth.

Well, isn't that a charming generalization. I have two words in retort to that - and because this is a friend's blog, they wouldn't be the two words I'd deal out on my own turf. Ready?

'Your truth.'


Randal Graves said...

Anybody know a good plumber? Are you starting your erotica gig a bit early?

I much prefer darkblack's second suggestion about brutish extermination.

And yeah, not all us dudes are wankers, goshdarnit.

Utah Savage said...

Dear Gentlemen, I know only too well that you are both responsible, charming, capable, fair, funny (that's a big one) handy men to have around. Either of you want to move to Utah and rent my house? Did I say you're both sexy? You are. Certainly not lazy.

But you must understand that both Anita and I have had our painful run-ins with lazy worthless men. Is it our fault? Are we magnets for that kind of man? Were we born under a bad sign?

darkblack said...

It's not to say that such loutish miscreants don't exist in numbers far out of propotion to their usefullness, dear Utah - and, barring certain subjective predilections, no one deserves to attract or be forced to nourish such humanoids save as candidates for wormfood in a lovely garden.

However, despite my occasionally rogueish tendencies I am not to be found within the company of the above, and thus must refuse an generalized inclusion most firmly.

I was raised to be a gentleman, and to such high standards I will remain true.


Utah Savage said...

And may I say, you, Darkblack, write beautifully. Smart is so sexy.

PENolan said...

Smart is sexy.

I'm sorry this situation is sapping your energy, but it's always something.

How is your health these days?

All I can say is that someone clearly needed to tie a knot in New Guy's tail a long time ago.

If you want to say I'm your legal counsel and charge them hundreds of dollars in legal fees, I'll write you an invoice. Or my mother will - she's a double barreled bitch.

Utah Savage said...

PEN, I think this New Guy already thinks I'm a double barreled bitch. I'll have to write about that episode and what I said to him. It wasn't much, but he claimed NO ONE IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE EVER EVER SPOKE TO HIM LIKE THAT. I think all I said was, "...and while you're at it, empty that fucking ash tray."

anita said...

i believe that a mea culpa on my part is in order here ...

utah, i totally apologize if my comment was too harsh. i agree some men (perhaps even many men) are quite the stand-up kind of people that like i like and love. darkblack, i'm sure you are this way, and randal, i know that you are very much a stand-up guy and i don't include you in the group of "loutish brutes" i disdain so much.

as utah mentions, sometimes one's experiences with a portion of the population causes one to act out or vent or see everyone through dung-colored glasses.

i didn't mean to include ANY of utah's friends in that sorry group.

Crazy Ass Beastard said...

It's been a long time lady. Anyway ...

Look in the Yellow Pages under 'A' for assassins. But that wouldn't fix your leak would it?

I'm sorry. I can be so bad sometimes.

darkblack said...

Anita, I certainly don't take offense - having been called far worse things in RL and the cyberworld - but as you don't know me, indeed it may be a far safer and sadder assumption that I am within the parameters of your generalization than without.

Frankly, the older that I become the more readily it becomes apparent that my attitudes toward women (shaped in large part by the fashion and times that I was raised in) are an anomaly that the western male society at large appears reluctant to accept.

To see men younger than I parrot sexist non sequitors and act out of their elders misguided sense of macho exhibitionism is a 21st century disgrace.

Fortuitously, women are becoming less inclined to enable or acquiesce to this hoary status quo, electing to forge their own destiny rather than wait for the majority of penis-equipped puddingheads to develop some enlightened chivalry and sexual egalitarianism...A trend which I hope will continue and increase.


Utah Savage said...

This might be one of my favorite phrases of all time Darkblack: "penis-equipped puddingheads"

Thank you for staying with this conversation. You always bring it. I love that about you.