The Others

So you drank the Kool-aid, you bought the Utopian stories of how wonderful it would be to have someone else pay your mortgage while you get to keep your paycheck to yourself.  There you are at the closing all smiles, reflecting the ones smiling back at you from the attorneys, real estate agent and even the seller.  However, they know you’re screwed. They know you’re an innocent duckling about to be thrown into the lion’s pit with a raw, bleeding pork chop around your neck.  You’ve finally signed for the umpteenth time on the dotted line and now you’re a happy new homeowner filled with naive hopes about the new life awaiting you.  You are ready and eager to co-exist with others who you believe will respect your property, pay the rent on time, be mindful of their neighbors and take care of your unit. But you didn’t know behind that smile was a future tenant who knew the law better than you did.  You didn’t fathom that your lease was full of holes and blind assumptions that would eventually be your Achilles’ heel, but they did.  Be nice and respectable?  What does that really mean?  You didn’t know that you’d be paying through the nose to repair the unit for damages they caused but you have no way of proving.  You didn’t know that eviction wouldn’t be the answer to your prayers….your blessed remedy for a fresh start or so you thought.  You didn’t know that “the others”, your precious tenants would turn the eviction into a dragged out free tenancy that would leave you broken, disenchanted and disgusted.  But that’s your biggest problem isn’t it?  You didn’t really know the law, your rights, or your tenant’s responsibilities.  And before you resign to live in an untenanted home and throw away all the benefits of having tenants.  Before you throw up your hands and allow all your relatives to occupy priceless square footage for a penance, resolve to learn, to understand and to know.  Case in point, did you know that companies who charge a bundle to do background checks can only tell you half the story about a tenant’s true rental history?  How can that be? Stay connected and I’ll tell you how…

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