Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Disaster leads to promise

What we've learned over the years through all our disasters (and there have been quite a few in our 2 years of marriage already) is that God usually takes our hand during those times and leads us to a better place. We signed new tenants the lease is now signed by both parties. We've had tremendous response of interest from people in renting our place since we spent that weekend working on it. How could there not be though, the place is gorgeous now. Our new renters have no kids and no pets (and no desires for either right now). They both work, one is an engineer making over $80K and the other a quality rep making around $60. We couldn't ask for better tenants from an income perspective! Let's just hope they care for the place better than the last people. All that is left now is starting to figure out how we are going to get our money back from the old renters...we are out some STAGGERING amounts of money right now.

On a side note, we close on our new house on Thursday. We are so excited to start making it our own!! The carpets are getting cleaned on Thursday afternoon, appliances will be delivered on Saturday, and then we start moving everything out of storage on Saturday. While we'll miss having Doug and Jeannie around (I know Addison will), having more space to spread out will be a real treat for us. We have a bunch of work to do before we move fully in though: new light fixtures (the people sold most of them), some doors to be hung (yeah sold those too), walls to be painted, vanity to install (yup you guessed it...sold the vanity), and window fixtures to hang. Once we get done though, this place is going to be magnificent!

By the way, if any of our loyal readers want to help with the move on Saturday (or with any projects)...let us know! :-)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Disaster Strikes Again at a Rasmussen Rental

This time it was our 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in Lakemoor, IL. When we could not sell our house last year, we scrambled to rent it out before we moved to MN. We had thought we found the perfect tenants. Although we never met the husband, she seemed so nice and genuine and like she would care for our house. The fact that they had four children under the age of 6 concerned us a bit, but we just wanted someone to take care of that mortgage.

We requested one month’s rent as a damage deposit ($1400). She had said that they had not gotten their damage deposit back from their previous renters yet but would pay $100/month towards our damage deposit until they got their money back (which was supposedly 45 days or so). So they paid us $750 bimonthly. Then December rolled around and she supposedly sent us a money order, but it never showed up. She supposedly canceled it and was supposed to get a refund in 8-12 weeks. The rest of the payments were prompted until the second payment for March rolled around. Her grandmother supposedly died and they had to go to Texas so they couldn’t make the payment. Then her husband was supposedly laid off from his job and couldn’t make April’s payment either. During this time we kept on asking about the half month’s rent from December and the damage deposit from their old landlords and never got a straight answer about either.

Well they couldn’t live there for free so they asked us for three weeks to get out. We told them that they are bound to their lease (end of September) unless we could find someone else to live there. They said they would leave the house in pristine condition.

Trevor decided to go work from the office in Chicago last week so that he could do a check out process with those tenants and have them sign a new contract saying that they would make payments to us for what they owe (two months’ rent so far). He called them and said he would be there on April 30 at 1 o’clock. To his surprise, they were gone, and this is where the most fun begins!

Trevor called me up when he got in the house at about 2:30 (he had to run to his aunt’s house to get a key because he didn’t have one). He called me to tell me the shape it was in. I bought a plane ticket at 3 o’clock for a 5 o’clock flight. I threw some clothes for me and Addison in a suitcase and rushed out the door.

Back to the house. They left garbage for us to dispose of in half of the two car garage. The house was a complete disaster. There was garbage everywhere. The walls were painted half way up the wall from her trying to cover up the dirt and grime from their children who seemed to be terrors. The carpets were stained beyond belief. There were stains in the master bedroom from where a console TV was on the floor (which they also left for us to dispose of). We think it is mold from rotting wood. The screen door needed to be replaced because there were huge holes in it and scratches from dogs on it. (They were not supposed to have dogs in the first place, but we have eye witnesses who told us otherwise.)

Needless to say, the carpets need to be replaced, every wall in the house needed to be painted, and the whole place needed heavy cleaning. Uncle Gary took two truck loads full of trash to the dumpster plus one truck load full to Goodwill. Trevor and I would have been there for a week or more working 12-hour days if we had to do it ourselves. Thank God for family. Dick, Debby, Krista, Eliya, Aunt Debbie, Uncle Gary, and our friend Rachel from IL all pitched in and helped. We got the place looking pristine. We worked out butts off from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Then we had the long six-hour drive home. We got home at about 11 on Sunday night just exhausted.

Some interesting things that we found in the house while cleaning and going through crap:
1. All four of their children’s social security cards and birth certificates.
2. Their marriage license.
3. Their old lease agreement from their previous landlord, of which we looked at and found that they did not leave a damage deposit at that house, so it was a lie when she told us that they would get it back since there never was one in the first place.
4. A credit card.

These people lived like pigs. They are despicable people who were deceitful and sleazy. Shame on them. They have no integrity. I am glad they have to answer to God for what they did. We will, however, do our best to make sure we ruin their lives until we get what they owe us (sue them for what they owe us in rent plus all the damage and travel expenses, etc.). I am glad they moved back to Texas because I would have been tempted to find them when we were in IL and give them a piece of my own mind.

Sorry this was so long. Trev feel free to add anything to the comment section that I missed.