Friday, July 29, 2016

Adventures of a Landlady - Help! Its Broken

Plans are made to be broken, or rather that is the motto of a landlady. I make plans and with one ring of the phone your day just became someone else`s day, you are the problem solver. 

I got the call early that one of my rental properties was being abused, the front door and a window, all because a man told a woman to go away, the woman thinking she can have her way with my property is sadly mistaken. I sent word, I will have her arrested. 

After carefully thinking about this situation with this property, how many rules are being broken, I decided to give notice of eviction, with an out. When I say " with an out" I mean if they leave before due date I will not take them to court for damages, just go away. Stay and I will have to recover losses. I prepared the papers and headed off for the planned work for the day.

Stop one, fix a leaking rook on one rental house.

Stop two mow the grass at th other rental house, install a new toilet handle because they don`t make them like they used to.

But now because of this early morning interruption I have to make one stop before work on the other properties, the eviction.

This eviction was not expected I could tell by the look on his face, I reckon I am supposed to keep taking what is dished out.

I did get the eviction taken care of and the roof repair. I began to mow the grass and the rain started, so I stopped and my help fixed the toilet handle. 

But one good note to think about is the other lady that I had served an eviction for failure to pay rent, stepped up and paid her past due rent so I am not out another months rent. 

Just when you think things will run smoothly, they don`t and they never will, that is just the life of a landlady!

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Adventures of a Landlady - Never Ending Drama

I have to say that I did not pick this profession is actually picked me. One day someone said " here do this" and I did and now I made it this far. Being a landlady is more than "adventures of the landlady" its more of a never ending drama, I should make this into a lifetime movie!

Finally the hot water tank problems was solved and it was just the breaker needing a new one. But while I was investigating, with help, I was told about the kitchen sink drain was leaking, leaking nasty water under the house, so my help went under the house to fix that and busted a water pipe! Now its was another ballgame, so to speak. I ran down to the water meter and turned off the water. Told the tenant the water would be off and I will be right back.

After the hour long drive to get supplies I got back and the help fixed the pipe he laid on and busted. 

With me being his ride home, he was sopping wet and muddy so he took their water hose and washed off all the mud and I layered cloth over the leather seats to catch any extra water.

This tenant was one that moved from a smaller house to the bigger house, now she wants to move back into the smaller house but its occupied, because as she said " its easier to keep clean and a smaller yard to mow and rake, I made a big mistake when I moved in this big house because I can`t even mow the grass all in one day." It is a huge yard, with hills.

I did not make it the the elderly ladies house to fix the toilet chain.


A new day. 

With Tony being sick again I had to take off another day and take care of him, so I said I will not answer the phones because everything would be "urgent" although it isn`t. Tony decided since he was down on the couch for the day he would do my job and run the phones and solve the problems. I was very impressed! But I made the mistake of answering the first call.

First call : To early in the morning.

Hey, are you busy today? said a tenant.
Why? What`s up? I replied but not telling my schedule.

The tenant said "I bought a new window a/c from the power company and it is to big for the window by a couple inches, can I take out the window. "

I replied with " Let me talk to someone about this and I will get right back to you."

"Okay" and the call ended.

I did call my helper and he said " if its just the hight then I would say yes to removing the bottom section of that window, but if its width, no way!"

But before I got the answer that same tenant called three times and it was not even an hour.

I "asked" Tony to answer the call after I got my answer. Tony said what I was told and matter closed.

Call Two : I seen the number and told Tony who it was, the guy that his girlfriend beats up on and they just went to court, but he asked her to leave last week.

Hey, Is Angie there? asked the tenant.

Tony said " She is busy, what`s up?"

The tenant said " I went down to the camper where __ __ had moved and its so hot in there and she doesn`t have a toilet, I felt so sorry for her and told her she could come back home, if that is okay."

Tony said " you are the lease holder and you are responsible for everything that goes on there and I am sure there is not a problem with her coming back, we like her but you HAVE to live with her." 

"I promise no more fighting and the neighborhood calling about the police being here" the tenant said.

I think Tony has been listening to how I handle the tenants because he said just about everything I would have.

What caller number two did not know is that I knew that his girlfriend was already back the day before, I seen her when I walked down to my sisters house from the rental that is up the hill.



I am waiting for the call " come get your rent money." but for some reason I feel like I won`t get that call. I am writing up the second notice of eviction to tape to her front door.

I need a new job with better pay but I will thank God for what he has given me, until he closes this door and opens a new one.

By Andria Perry
Photo by Andria Perry- Downtown Anniston, Alabama.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Great American Dream - Adventures of a Landlady

There is always something to be fixed, that has become a fact of life for me being a landlady. If its downed large tree limbs or leaky facet, or "I don`t have hot water," There will always be an adventure of a landlady living this great American dream of mine.

The latter half of the week was swamped with phone calls of problems, I need this fixed and phone calls asking me to please wait longer for my rent.

I got the tree limbs cut and I loaded the truck full, I had help with the cutting and help unloading but this took hours.

I had assistants from the electrician VIA phone about the hot water heater not getting beyond warm, since its only a couple years old I am not thinking about the element but more a breaker.I had one breaker replaced with a used one so I went and bought a new breaker. Other than the breaker I have one more thing to check before I go out and get another water heater or hire someone to replace the element because my electrician is swamped with work and cannot turn loose.

The tenants that were put in jail for domestic violence were released from all charges and fines and she went back to work that night ( she had been fired but got rehired back) she came home drunk and the man told her to leave, she abused him. The next day he got a restaining order due to her abusing him and she has moved completely out. But this guy called and called and called wanting me to help but I could not just leave work so I advised him and he found a way to get what he wanted done. He mentioned she had been in court ten different occasions for domestic violence, she did mention that men had beat her in the past, as I see it now they were defending themselves. Of the injuries I know of was this huge red, skinned spot on the side of his head, a bruise on the upper inside of his arm and he told my sister that he got a broke rib.

I had hung an eviction notice because the new lady has not paid rent, told me a huge story that I cannot believe, although it may be true I can`t take her for her word because I have meet her two times. After a week she finally called and asked me to allow her five more days to pay up, I told her she had to pay by the date listed or move, she promised to pay within five days.

Then I had another tenant that upgraded to one of my bigger rental houses say " I wish I was back down in the smaller house" and when I asked "why?" she replied with " This place is really to much for me to keep up." I told her when it comes empty again I would consider moving her back into it. Now I wished she would have stayed in the smaller three bedroom house because the four bedroom could rent for more.

I refuse to answer any calls from the tenants today, I need one day to clean my house.


Now to the plants / produce business

I have to say I came out with plans to have a wonderful harvest and sell a lot of food, get the greenhouse up and started and have each season ready with plants.

I did get a wonderful harvest on the zucchini and yellow squash and I sold around $60 worth, that is 5 squash for $2.00 I estimate 150 squashes that I sold, I gave away as much as I sold and I put away enough for my own winter use. 

I made the money back I invested.

Then mid June the rain stopped and the temps went to August norms of 100° plus. The garden dried up. I sold no more.

But A couple weeks ago I planted a few cucumber plants in flower pots and I am growing them on my deck. One row was tilled and yellow squash was replanted for another harvest, I just hope it makes as well as the ones before and that I sell as much or more. In late August I will sow seeds for the greens, turnip, kale and more.


Writing ....

Since the site of Blogjob got hacked and they lost many of the ad companies paying the bills, they just about have closed their doors. I waited two months, or had it been three? for them to come back as a paying site but not yet. I do hope they return because it was an awesome writing site.

I am writing my own blogs here at BlogSpot/ Blogger but I do not get any pay for them,yet.

On my birthday I was told about a new site that just opened and one of the owners I have written on other sites with so I do know his name. I signed up and I am writing there now and I should get paid in October. 

Maybe one of these days I will be what I was meant to be....... I just have not figured out what, yet.

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Adventures of a Landlady - Evictions And More

I wanted one day for me because it was my birthday but I did not get around being a landlady. 

I had to hang the eviction notice for the house that is rented and the tenant moved her stuff in but has not herself lived there because she is three weeks late on rent and for some reason her story just seems to weird to be real. She has to pay up or get out by the last day of this month. I really wish she would just pack up and go, I know someone else that needs a house and would make a perfect tenant, she works daily too.

But that was not what got me on "my day," it was another tenant that has a  problem, this time its the NEW hot water heater, well its just two and one half years old but to me that is new since they last twenty years for the most part, it not heating. The first thing I always do is flip the breakers to make sure it was not flipped off and then wait to see if the water heater is working, she said " nope" so I asked Tony to call the electrician and he told us how to reset the tank, maybe that will work. He also said they hot water heaters tend to kick off when the temp has been reset higher and for us to make sure its not hotter than 120. I will have to run up there today and do like he explained.

The tenant that went to jail had his day in court today and the charges was dropped and the judge was nice enough to drop the court cost to but gave them warning " if I see you two again in the next year I will give you 180 days each." Maybe they will stay sober and not get back in jail.

All of that and I was not in th neighborhood fifteen minutes.
I have to give thanks to God for allowing me to be a landlady :)
By Andria Perry
Photo`s By Andria Perry

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Adventures of a Landlady - New Projects

Being a landlady is NOT an easy job, I sometimes describe it as running a day care to being in high school to running a nursing home. The people are all different, some live clean some don`t, some whine some don`t, some expect a mansion on a trailer park budget (no I don`t own trailers but its not out of the question!).

The past couple of days I noticed things that were ..... not right and obsessive.

I made the choice to start on the one house that is in dire need of repairs, A tree laid down on the porch and another limb fell across the path to the side porch. In the process the limb yanked out the power lines from the wall and a new metal plate had to be installed, the power is still on and okay its just not completely stable, so many steps had to be taken to fix this.

First cut the tree limbs down and into pieces easier to move, then move it into a pile to be taken away. Got that done.

Next replace the long piece of metal to the block.Got that done.

Now I had to get rid of all the debris, so going back to asking for help a couple days ago and not getting it, I got a call from the same man wanting to work and I said okay and got that part done, nearly.

Now I get to call the power company to come and reattach the wiring to that metal plate since they can now safely get to the side of the house.

I had forgotten my yard rake to get up all the dead leaves and small stuff but that is okay, I will do that next week.

I also trimmed up a few if the summer growth of unwanted trees and vines, I mowed the grass and I filled the trash can.

What I had did was get the guy to load the truck with all the limbs while I cut the grass, Tony drove the truck down to the woods ( My woods) and had him to unload them there, it`ll rot and go back to the soil. When I finished the mowing then I helped.


The man Tony asked to help was in need of money, that we know, but when he called to say he wanted to work he also asked if his g/f could come, just for the ride. Tony said " no, we will be in the same neighborhood." This did make the g/f mad, this guy told Tony he was glad he did not let her come because he can`t be one minute without her up under him, that he needed a breath of air, He said " I do live her but I need a little alone time."

When Tony passed his house after the first load was dumped in the woods with the guy in the truck she yelled at him and Tony stopped in the road, the guy told her "I am not done I will be back later."

When he was finished with the second and last load I told Tony to drop him off and I would have to go to the bank for money. 

Tony came back and he said she had put on make-up and was sitting on the porch waiting when he dropped him off.

I went into town and got the mans pay and took it to his house and this was the first time she did not come out to talk when we came by, mad I reckon.

But what was obsessive was, when I got home I checked the missed calls on the business phone and she had called at least six times, repeated over that six minutes. She left one message : " I am looking for _____, he rode by and said he was going to the store and has not came home yet." She knew he was working but still insisted on hunting him down.

I truly feel sorry for this man.


What was not right in the past few days? 

I talked to another tenant and I told her I would be there to cut up and remove the tree limbs in the yard, its not really my place but I will do it.

She said" I called a tree surgeon and he said the whole tree is rotten." I just replied with " I cannot afford a tree surgeon." because I was blown away that she even called one.

The old oak tree is not rotten, limbs do rot and fall off that is just a fact when you have large older trees. We have had some storms come through and high wind. I will not cut that tree. 

This tenant is scared of trees, she has so many fears in life that I do not know how she lives day to day.

In the lease it reads that "I will not" reimburse anyone for going off and doing what they want to my property. If something has to be done I will do it or hire whom I chose.

Just another week as a landlady!

By Andria Perry
Photo by Andria Perry

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Great American Dream - When You Need Help

Last evening I just needed to get away from home after three days working at the homestead and to see people and drop by the grocery store and post office.

I also needed to pick up a piece of metal for the old home place to repair the power head that the tree limbs broken down, my Uncle had that and he lives behind my sister so I stopped by to check on her, they both live in the old neighborhood where the rental houses are located.

Before turning up the street into the neighborhood I seen a couple tenants, stopped and talked a minute, just behind them was another set, the elderly ladies and I talked to them a minute, all were walking the the grocery store.

When I stopped at my sisters place first, another tenant seen us and drove his wheelchair up the hill and talked with Tony while I was inside.

When leaving that area I drove by the old home place, Most of the cut up limbs were dried out and ready to be moved. 

When I got back home Tony had the idea of hiring a tenant to help me move those limbs and called him, he said he had a headache but maybe it would be better today, after all we planned to work in the evening when the sun was blocked by the trees and we would have shade.

As I was making dinner, for me fried corn and tomatoes and for Tony b-b-q sandwiches, cheesecake for desert for both. That is when the phone began to ring, one call after another, I asked Tony to run the phones. 

One call was another tenant so he handed the phone over to me, it was the tenant I think is lying. She said she was checking in on the progress of reinstating her income ( well she did not say it as I did but...).

I had enough of the business world of mine and I turned off the phone.

This morning I had a call ( but ringer was off) it was the tenant, that needs work, saying that he was not going to work today. Bummer. Oh well its not like I always have help on the job. 

Making the decision to drag one job with me to do another was the " do I or don`t I" work today, I let the caretaker job make the decision and that was take off and do nothing today. 

I had a true day off work, well except being a caretaker but he slept all day so that was easy.

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Friday, July 8, 2016

Adventures of a Landlady And More

July 7, 2016
When you have a company made of rentals you often have adventures of a landlady, here is one adventure.

First stop: This tenant needed a few kitchen tiles replaced due to they cracked in half, the reason being they are on a seam. I have had to replace these same tiles before because this house has been rented to many people that are bigger people, three hundred pounds or more, and the floor moves under their weight differently than smaller people. So I took help and had them to screw the floor down ( screws makes it tighter than nails)  so there is not as much give on one or the other side and laid those broken tiles. I have to say that when I put the new tiles down I can see how this floor is not clean because these are the same color tile from the same box I used a few months ago, I must inspect the coming month. I also noticed some big tree limbs down, I will have to cut those and remove the debris. This tenant was not happy to see me but her mother asked for these tiles to be replaced and she is the lease holder.


Next was the tenant that had the toilet leak, I just put another new wax ring in but they said its still leaks, so I got everything together and my help and went to do this but was stopped by the lady, she said " I think it may be the babies bath toys, I noticed water in the bottom of her basket." I told her to watch closely and let me know. But since the water is always clear and has no smell I hope it is just the bath toys. This tenant had no problem with me showing up and actually showed me her new bedroom set so I sorta looked around , now I wont have to inspect, its clean and okay with me. I did tell her how to block the hot summer sun from heating up her bedroom daily, I am sure she will try my suggestion.

Now to the new tenant that told me a big fat lie, she did it again when she did not call me as she told me she would, I gave an extra day before calling her, but I got her mother instead. The mother reassured me that everything would be alright but she did not realize some of the things she said that makes me wish I had not rented to her daughter. The tenant is mentally challenged but that is not an excuse for being late with rent, she has two children and has been living on her own. I will have to watch and see what happens here. The tenant moved her stuff in last month but has not spent one night in the house.

I have plans to redo another house to make it another rental, no I did not buy another house, I am referring to my old home place. Seems that it has always been the last to get any repairs, something always got in the way of repairs whether it was lack of money, repairs for another house or health problems.


But this month just as I was beginning to get things moving on this one house I had a tree to lay down across the from porch and into the power line to the house, the power is okay but I do need to find out who has to reconnect the attachment to the house, the power company or my electrician.

Me and my help took two electric chainsaws, one borrowed from my Uncle, the pole saw, and within three hours had the tree off the porch roof and in piles to be hauled off. I am thinking maybe three or four loads on the smaller truck. I am sure free dump day will be July 16th.

Now I can continue with my plans. I don`t have to hurry because this property has not been part of my income so I won`t be down any money while I am working on this one, I will just be down the material money. 

Another day, adventures of a landlady.

By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Adventures of a Landlady - Collection Time

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