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Nightmare before Christmas rental thread.
Old 12-26-2009, 07:11 PM   #1
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Nightmare before Christmas rental thread.

On the 22nd i got a call from a tenant visiting down in Ca - "had I heard the excitement"? Seems there was a shooting in one of our units across from his and one of the folks in that unit came over and had him dial 911. First I'd heard of it - a favorite tenant, call her Jane, was shot in the head by a street stray she'd had staying with her. Drunken gun cleaning accident. Cops cut the stray loose, so maybe it was. Police and hospital are being tight lipped. Did a notice I would be entering the apartment, got lucky and found the stray to home. Told him he no longer lived there. Noted the hunting knife stab holes penetrating the front door from the inside. Not good.

I feel a certain responsibility to my other tenants - think someone getting shot in the head qualifies as an act "outrageous in the extreme" and worthy of a 24 hour eviction, but "Jane" has had a tough time - knee surgery followed by car wreck followed by being off work for months and months followed by getting shot - she's several months in arrears now and I can't contact her.

Trying to get someone to accept responsibility for her stuff so we can clear the apartment and change the door and locks. Trying to avoid hanging a judicial foreclosure on her to make her life even more difficult. - Oh - there are also 2 cats at the apartment and a couple horses somewhere that need care....

I can't imagine "Jane" being back to work at the PO anytime soon - supposedly she was back on 1/2 time last week, but that's a rumor.

Her Mom is in Missouri - had a call from her this evening after a friend of Jane's went through her phone bill and found the Missouri # today. Mom says hospital has informed her that Jane's been operated on, the bullet and some other material removed, and that she is on a respirator and is non-responsive. crap. No real good choices here. Feeling pretty crummy about evicting Jane, even as I try to avoid doing a real judicial foreclosure and making her future apartment hunting difficult. Other options include having the apartment as a storage unit for Jane - then what happens when she gets out of hospital? or doesn't? This is the stuff - plugged toilets are just way too easy.
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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wow!

on one hand, yes it is difficult on an emotional and moral? level to deal with

BUT, this is a business. I would proceed as usual.
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:35 PM   #3
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Man...that is awful....sorry calmloki.

The only thing that pops in my mind is contacting a pastor that works with the police department; they go out on the really bad calls and might have some suggestions for you.

If you don't want the p.d. involved, perhaps a minister from a local church may be able to give you some advice.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:18 PM   #4
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Just because it is a business doesn't mean that you can't do what you believe is right, even if it means it sits as a storage unit for Jane for a couple of months.

I trust the guy is out?
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:29 PM   #5
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Don't know if this has potential.

Get her permission to store her stuff, have her sign that she agrees to immediately vacate and let you store her stuff without liability (obviously she can't do the work of moving her stuff into storage; you have to do it or manage it) Then you rent the apartment and contribute two or three months of rental $ to her minus storage fees when she gets out of the hospital so she can rent somewhere else.

Except for the hassle quotient, the money comes out about the same if you can rent the apartment.

The upside is, you protect the rest of your residents in case "the guy" sweet talks his way back into living in her apartment. Don't laugh. This is not outside the realm of possibility.

FWIW.

Just thinking out loud.
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:41 AM   #6
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Ugh that is awful all of your options stink. I think the next time some wants to grow rich via real estate rentals. I'll point them to this story...
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:18 AM   #7
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Hmmmm...business is business or be a good Sam?

Jane is non-responsive, correct? So she cannot act on her own with respect to her apartment and belongings. So her family has to step up to the plate.
If her mother is willing to pay the arrears AND more months' rent for keeping the apartment open as a storage place and possible return place once discharged from hospital, that could be a solution. Assuming Jane will be well enough to live on her own.
In the absence of that happening, proceed as usual with removal. You did not create this crazy situation.

The only problem is this stray character. He is obviously dangerous and you have the right to protect your property as well as your other tenants. Jane is the magnet to keep him hanging around, hoping to get back into her good graces. Eeek!

I think business as usual wins here. The existing arrears and the safety issue were the two critical points for me.
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:47 PM   #8
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Found out this morning that Jane didn't make it. She was shot Sunday night at 11:30, I found out the 22nd. Various meetings and calls including a couple Christmas day since then. Met with some of Jane's friends today and set them up with keys to start clearing out her things. Offered a lockable 10x10 office to stage things for a month or less and asked them to let me know when the dumpster is full so I can get extra service. The Mom down in Missouri seems a real nice person - she gave verbal permission to turn things over to the friend yesterday and was to send fax and or mail confirmation of that when she gets up to the big city. At this point I'm not going to worry about it.

Have some concern for the shooter - if it was an accident. I have other suspicions. Wouldn't be too surprised to hear that the street stray offs himself within the year.
Been reviewing my behavior to see if I was complicit in her death - have decided that I could have been more hardline earlier and evicted her before - but that may have only changed the time and place of her death. I'm not going to feel bad for being too soft on a tenant i like.

In 25 odd years this is our third tenant death - one cancer in home death, one gunshot suicide, and this death off-site. Doesn't stop me from taking care of business (as gently as possible) but its sure different than looking at Morningstar.

Better life next time Jane.


Oh - is there anyone who likes HIPAA?
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:35 PM   #9
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How old was she?
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
How old was she?
Just checked her application - 53. I thought mid to upper forties.
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