Tuesday, August 21, 2007


There's a new title on my resume, and it is that of "landlord." The house that The Boss, The Partner and I used to live in--the one that's been on the market for 7 months with several bites but no digestion--is now inhabited by a band of siblings between the ages of 15 and 25. The story seems to morph with each telling, but the gist of it is that their mom ran off with her boyfriend, leaving a pregnant 17-year old, another 17 year old (this one adopted) and a fifteen year old without any adult supervision. Their oldest sister, whose name is on our lease, came back from upstate New York to take custody of the children and to move them into suitable housing.

A credit check determined that she had none--good, bad or indifferent--but she struck The Partner as responsible and motivated when he met with her earlier this week. A day later, the group moved in. We stopped by on Sunday to make a few repairs and found the place cleaner and more homey than we had left it. There was talk of a lease-to-own arrangement, which we said we would be happy to consider. We left feeling as encouraged as we could have hoped.

I had a bad feeling about this in the beginning and I can't say that that the vibe has been significantly altered. But now I'm content to hope that I was wrong. The place is, after all, a starter home, and it's been a strong foundation underneath many, many feet for more than two hundred years. I hope our new renters find as much happiness and support within those walls as we did.

And I hope they pay the rent on time.


Boz said...

I don't want to make you any more nervous about this arrangement than you already are, but this is a precarious arrangement. However, I have faith in your partner's judgment. He's a pretty smart cookie, or so I'm told. I will keep my fingers crossed for you, and ask for an update when that first month's rent check comes in. ;)

Jene said...

right. i'm still waiting for my sister to pay me rent. but then again, better than having the house sit empty. very Party of Five -ish, by the way. any boys who look like scott wolf???

Mrs. Chicken said...

I love the idea of 200 years of providing a foundation for families of all kinds.

You may be giving them a gift that cannot be measured.

Do, let us know when you get that first check!

jen said...

sometimes the risks we take benefit others immensely. sounds like you did that here. i hope all goes well...

slouching mom said...

you're good people.

that is all.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

No matter what happens, you've done a good thing. I hope it all works out for you----karma should be on your side.

Andrea said...

Thy deed is greater than thy profit. Or something like that.

You and The Partner are good people. This family may end up being a blessing you have been waiting for.

Boz said...

I'm glad to have gotten my comment in first; the other commentators notes are telling of their character: it's high. While their faith in humanity is admirable, I beg you remain skeptical. It seems the other readers are too willing to open their hearts and wallets for a sob story summarized in two sentences, even when it includes a caveat. :roll: They might benefit from the heart-heardening of the city, where everyone just needs a buck to get a train ticket home or some cash for breakfast.

People who need and appreciate help are all too common, those that actually take that help and leverage it to get on their feet are exceedingly rare. I pray these folks are one of the few that will take advantage of the risk you are taking on them to their benefit rather than your detriment.

I remain skeptical for good reason, "The story seems to morph with each telling," is a strong sign of a lie or half-truth. "A credit check determined that she had none," is also disconcerting, from a financial standpoint. However, it is possible the young lady simply never took a credit card or loan, knowing she might not be able to pay or in fear of missing a payment and ruining her credit (she needn't have feared in that case, as she had none). Lastly, the house is "now inhabited by a band of siblings between the ages of 15 and 25," freaks me out from a homeowner's perspective, knowing the things my friends and I (and you) did to our hovels at those ages.

I'm sure you are already reading up on landlord and tenant's rights in Connecticut. They might turn out to be great tenants (clean is good!), and a boon for you, just don't let anyone's sunshine up your tookus change your view, with which I agree: cautious optimism.

I just don't want to see you, the partner, or the boss getting hurt. :)

Miguelina. said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Chris said...

Boz, charity is not what I'm known for. Beggars on the street never get my change. When you wrote your post about only donating in your will, I turned to Binky and said "see, Boz agrees with me!" I think of this as a financial decision, not a charity case. If this helps them out, that's great. I'm glad I could help, but not if it ends up costing us money. We have an opportunity to avail ourselves of a mortage and possibly the entire house. The market sucks but I'm optimistic that we can wait it out and still sell at a decent price.
Just like any investment, there is risk. On one hand, they might trash the place and not pay the rent. On the other hand, we have 3 months of rent in the bank and a good chance of at least a few more. If we advertise and find someone with good credit, they may not be willing to pay as much or agree to some of the terms we imposed. Or, we might not find anyone at all.
Based on my judgement of her character and not the details of her sob story, I felt that the payoff was worth the risk.

We'll see if this turns out to be a Google or a Lucent in the long run.

Boz said...

The Partner,

You quoted me in an, "I told you so!" argument? I feel so...used, and dirty.

Good luck with the renters!


Whirlwind said...

Good luck with the renters. I hope it all works out!

lildb said...

oh my god I love you, dude.

and I hope you get paid because I REALLY REALLY want them to succeed. and for all the post-payment affirmations and warm fuzzies to flow like wine.