Eviction Woes (part 1 of ?)

Someday this blog will go back to being about renovating and decorating my personal residence. Speaking of…good thing most all of our materials have already been purchased for the master bathroom renovation or it would likely go on hold. Something about having to buy paint, flooring, lighting, tons of cleaning supplies (all of that for the rent house), lots and lots of fast food, multiple tanks of gas to Norman, and carrying three mortgages right after an eleven-day vacation makes me not want to spend any more money. Ever. But we’re not done yet. Nope. About $5k so far and adding up everyday. Good times.

So yeah. Thankfully (Praise the Lord!) we put a little money back for vacancies and minor repairs on our rentals. It’s just wise. You never know what’s going to happen. But then when you actually have to spend it…well…I’ll probably be driving my already-old Kia minivan for another five years. We’re still eating and no one died. Guess I shouldn’t complain.

But I’m going to. Just a tiny bit. Just enough for you guys to get a little bit of understanding of how annoyed we are. With our tenants, but also with ourselves.

In eviction #1 (E1), they had been there for three years. They almost always paid late, but they paid every month and usually not more than a few days late (late fees start on the 4th per their lease). Their lease ended mid-July, and unlike the previous two years, we hoped they wouldn’t want to renew it. We just knew that their spending was getting more and more out of control and they had gotten later and later, resulting in more late fees, which left them “broker” and “broker.” (I use quotes because they weren’t poor. They weren’t really “broke” like I’ve known people to be BROKE!) It’s like payday loans. If you start every payday with having to pay back what you borrowed, you just get broker. Don’t do that, people. STOP IT! Live within your means. Whatever those means may be.

The hubs had been asking them in recent months if they were going to renew their lease. (They kept saying for two years that they wanted to buy eventually and might be moving.)  They asked for a month-to-month so they’d have the freedom to move whenever and we said no. We’ve done month-to-month before and have no problem with it in certain circumstances, but we knew these people weren’t a good candidate for that. Also, the location isn’t as good for that. There is enough “inventory” in that area, that we don’t want stuck with a vacancy in, say, September. Nope. Horrible!

That’s why we wanted a firm yes or no on renewing their lease, because if they weren’t staying for another year, we wanted them out in July so we’d have time to clean it up and get it rented before school started.

People don’t like to move after school starts. College students pour into town and get situated by August 1 usually. Families with young kids also don’t like to move right after school starts. We’ve found Sept-Nov and Feb-June to be the worst months to rent a house in Norman, with Sept and June being the absolute worst. Sometimes by October, students are fed up with the dorm or sick of their roommates and looking for something new. And then again in December and January at semester change there’s a bunch of shuffling. June is horrible. Thirty thousand people leave town at the end of May. Give or take, y’ know.

Obviously, there are always people moving due to jobs or marriage (or divorce 🙁 ) or new babies, etc, etc. But as far as renting your house super fast, September and October are not the best months to be doing it. Especially where E1 is located. It’s not super close to campus. You wouldn’t walk. But it is minutes in a vehicle and college students are a big tenant demographic in that location.

So, the fact that they renewed their lease in July and assured us that they could afford to stay was particularly annoying when they stopped paying the next month and now we’re stuck with a vacant house on the East side of Norman in September. Not good. Not at all.

Obviously, in hindsight, I would have followed my gut and not renewed their lease. I should have known better. Dumb Avone. Really dumb.

Eviction #2 is in our last house. The one we just moved out of before moving back to Edmond. The one with the gorgeous new kitchen and brand new master bath. The one that we lived in multiple times. The one we moved back to Norman for years ago specifically so that our children could be raised at our old church there. The one where my twin brother and the boys’ favorite cousins lived across the street. The one with the best pool hours and so many great nightly conversations. The one with the July 4th parade. The one with the most convenient location. The one with the best neighborhood and neighbors. The one with all the memories. Two of my babies learned to walk there (we weren’t there continuously, but happened to be there with two babies). One of my children accepted Christ in that living room.

Yeah. That one. The one that we haven’t even been gone from for a year.

We rented it to a couple. And then a few months into their lease, he “made some bad decisions” (this is a family blog) regarding fidelity and she moved out. We briefly discussed him leaving, but decided to redo the lease in just his name. Dumb decision.

I’m running pretty long here, and you’re probably bored with all this info anyway (“Shut up and spray paint something already. Show us some of your awesome photos.” Yeah, I read minds.), so I’ll stop complaining. I’ll probably tell you more about E2 next time, so if you don’t want to read about it (and I totally understand not wanting to hear my griping), feel free to come back in a few weeks when we’ll, hopefully, be back to the bathroom reno.

P.S. Forgot there was good news. E1 is clean and painted and not stinky and back to its former glory. Let me know if you want to rent it. 🙂

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