Being a landlady is not an easy job, I have had people say " just sit back and collect the money" but that is not true. You have to deal with people, each tenant has a different personality and you have to know how to talk to that person. Collection time is one of those times when you are not just collecting money but you ask how their life is?and how is the house? Do you need any repairs? Or I do an inspection. This month I did not do any inspections.
I made the appointments to pick up the rent so that I would not have to sit idle, waiting, nor would anyone have to wait on me. My day began at 10 am.
Seems I have several tenants that do not have cars, for the most part they are all on a fixed income and simply cannot afford a car and the insurance, so if need be I will give rides to the bank.
My first stop was one of the new tenants, the one that went to jail last month, Tony bailed him out after a few days. Well I was wondering how this was going to pan out, would he pay rent? Would he pay Tony back? They asked for a ride to buy money orders But when I suggested to stop at the bank that is one block before the post office it made sense to him to just walk in and pay the bills. He did paid the rent and he did pay Tony back. He did not complain but she did and Tony gave the response " You make it hard on yourselves." I took them fresh tomatoes from my garden.
As I was finishing up with the first tenant I got a call from the elderly lady that I am selling a house to, she had the payment early and wanted me to come get it, I did and it was perfect timing . This lady is another that doesn`t have a car but her grandchildren live with her so she has a ride. No drama ever. I took her yellow squash and zucchini from my garden.
On the way to appointment number three I got a call, and yes it was her, This lady is the newest tenant of only one month, another one without a car. But she called to tell me a big fat lie and she did not meet me and she did not pay the rent. I am very disappointed because I took a huge step of faith and rented to her based on knowing her people and that she would be on time with the rent each month, she is also a special needs person. What was the biggest disappointment was her dad was backing her up, the mother would not and handed the phone to them, that is why I know it`s a lie.
I have these two elderly, mentally handicap, sisters that have been my tenants for sixteen years, they gave up driving due to age and they cannot afford to buy another car. I take them to the bank, out to eat and to the grocery store. This month was headed for disaster but I popped in a 1960`s oldies CD`s and stopped the chaos before it happened, Yay! me.
Now to the easy tenants.
I stopped by after 2 pm as directed when this family first moved in and I have never asked about a different time to show up. She had the rent but she wanted to play a joke and say they would not get paid till the third, I said " That`s Sunday! No one gets paid on Sunday" she laughed and said " you`re on your game, I got the rent I was just seeing if you knew the third was Sunday." They have a two year old and she is .... the boss and demands attention, After talking to her a minute I asked her for Candy ( Yes I did!) and the smile on her face went to " what the hell?!" I adore talking to children, you never know what reaction you`ll get. When I said goodbye to her she wanted to go with me, so now she likes me enough to actually go home with me. :) I was told about a snake that lives in the tree and they watch it leave and come back. I think they want to kill it. I took them tomatoes from my garden.
The last tenant would not be home for a couple hours so it was " drive the sister time" and you guessed it right, she don`t drive anymore, is on a fixed income and could not afford a car if she had one. So I killed two birds with one stone, I got what I needed at the grocery store while she was shopping for her needs.
Now back to the last tenant of the day, I arrived a few minutes late and we just about drove up at the same time, She has a special needs adult daughter that likes me, Well, while they were taking in groceries because they were brave enough to go to Walmart on a Friday, and S.S. check weekend, Granddaughter was there and she was talking to me about her new pool( I think she is 3 or 4 years old), the other daughter was paying me. The special needs daughter was getting mad because they had not gave her, her honey bun yet and totaled the dining room by slinging potato chip all over and stomping off into the living room, the older sister put it on the table told her to come get it or it was going in the trash, she ran in and sat down to eat. I made the appointment to replace kitchen tile that are cracked and got out of there. I could tell the mom was stressed from the hectic day so I did not hang around.
That was my day as a landlady, Oh did I mention I also had with me the man that I take care of, he is still sick but would not miss this day for nothing! Yes he had a couple bad spells and the only treatment would be the hospital E.R. and he said " NO!" to that when I asked. I took him out for Chinese food at lunch and we had cereal for dinner.
By Andria Perry
Art By Andria Perry