When I was 19, I rented my first apartment. No big deal. There were really nice people there. We are all renting.
I bought a house after that. Sold it. Moved. Bought another one in another state. Sold it. Moved again.
Back in 2011, we moved to Florida. Since we couldn’t come down here for house shopping, we decided to rent a house (sight unseen) for a year while we looked around. And, that’s when we were introduced to renter’s discrimination…
Literally NOBODY came over to introduce themselves. And, the entire time we lived there, we only met the next door neighbors, who were snow birds. They were very nice.
We then bought a house in Bradenton, Florida and the neighbors were friendly. Folks moved in across the street who were renting. We went over to introduce ourselves (and our kids became friends) but nobody else paid any attention to them. Super snotty people lived on that street!
Fast forward through another house sale, another temporary apartment rental, and a boat purchase (and sale), and we are now living in a rented townhouse. Once again, we are the lowly renters. Here, we have once again experienced the cold shoulder from most (but not all) of our neighbors. And, don’t forget about Nosy Nancy!
Today, I received a disturbing phone call. The townhouse property manager called, saying the owner of this place wants to put it on the market ASAP. We are leaving on Saturday to head up to Georgia to close on our new house. We won’t be here. She sells real estate, too, and she talked about wanting to get this townhouse listed while the real estate market is still hot. I know she wants her commission and good for her for working so hard to get it.
She said they were going to have an Open House IN THIS TOWNHOUSE, WHERE WE LIVE, THIS WEEKEND and that she’d “keep an eye on everything.”
I told her, “NO WAY!” I’m not letting a bunch of strangers come in my residence, open the closets, the bathroom cabinets, and the refrigerator when I’m not here. I don’t want people sneezing on my toothbrush, or seeing my kid’s jockey shorts, or looking at my bras hanging in the closet. And, we have tons of business equipment and files here. I mean, seriously. No way!!
She assured me that she would carefully watch “everyone.” Yeah, right! She said they expected a big crowd, and a bidding war by the end of the weekend.
I replied, “I know how Open Houses work. A ton of people come in, and walk all over, opening closets and cabinets. There’s NO WAY you can watch everybody. I have business equipment, sensitive paperwork, and much more. Nope. Not gonna happen.”
She said, “Well, okay. Can we start showing the place when you get back? You can install our app and we’ll let you know when each showing is.”
I’m a nice person. And, I didn’t want to cause problems for the owner. So, despite the fact that I knew we’d be packing boxes, and be extremely busy, I said yes.
But, an hour later, I was still steaming about the phone call. Our lease doesn’t end until the end of May but we’re leaving by May 15th. Why can’t they wait another five weeks?
And, then I realized…a bunch of people will be traipsing through this place who might have Covid, or a stomach virus, or something else. And, I still didn’t want people looking at all my stuff even if I’m here. So, I texted the realtor and told her I’d changed my mind. Since there’s a pandemic, we do not want strangers in “our home.” The owner can wait until we leave.
She contacted the owner, who said she understood.
A few weeks ago, they cut off our water in the middle of the morning with no warning. We hadn’t been notified. But, the owner was. We haven’t been notified about other things as well because, you know, we’re just lowly renters. Second class citizens in this place.
Don’t people realize that renters are the ones who are enabling the owners to make their house payments?! Many of my neighbors have been renters over the years and I have always been friendly and welcoming to them. They were all potential future friends! I just don’t understand people… In fact, I’d far prefer to socialize with a “lowly renter” than a snotty, big-headed homeowner any day!
We can’t WAIT to move!!!
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Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
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I would not have allowed an open house while I was away either. And to have “crowds” of strangers parading though my home while we are still neck high in Covid, would be of the question. For the owner to have not notified you about the water being shut off is outrageous.
Stay calm and keep packing. Soon you will be in your own private digs.
We are also renters since about 2007 when we sold our home in Charlotte, NC. What I’ve found over the years is renters have very little protection from the things you talk about, and when they do, it is difficult to find an attorney in an area where they make most of their money from real estate closures, to go after landlords.
We are excited to hear more about your move to the new home.
Well, we live in an increasingly SICK society — people with no common sense, much less courtesy or consideration for anyone else. I thought I was on the verge of lunacy when I had to live 95% of my life in rented apts., having to deal with the insanity of music and tvs infiltrating my hearing space, or the neighbor’s visitors and kids and pets doing what they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it. From singing in the shower to yapping on their damn cellphones in the space between buildings.
Now in a blessed one level retirement community, the peace is a gift from heaven. Still, when you go out in public, you have to hear the cellphonie yappers garbage when you buy celery, or overhead music about to drive you nuts in the cookie aisle, having a hamburger, or at the gym.