I find myself at a crossroads at the moment and unsure of what road to travel down.
Do I pack up, sell the house and move into a smaller home or into an apartment? I did the cost crunching and it would basically cost about the same as where I’m living right now. So, I am staying put. One decision made.
Do I continue to find people to rent rooms to? This is the nagging question that’s been spiralling in my head as of late. I had many problems last Fall with the people I was renting to; missing tenants, unpaid rent and excessive use of scented products which in the case of the latter I’m severely allergic to.
The missing tenant was thankfully found after I was featured on the local news and is coming clean on the money he owes me while another tenant will likely be served legal papers and taken to court for the monies he owes to me. Oddly enough the third tenant who wears excessive cologne wants to move back in and when I received the email I spat out a mouthful of water onto my desk in shock. What did he not understand? Even the money he paid his rent with reeked of cologne and made my finger tips swell when handling it and I had to encase it in plastic before travelling to deposit it at the bank. This same person vehemently hated cats and hissed and shoed Missy repeatedly telling me to keep her out of his room. I said you’ll have to accept that she lives here and this is her home and that if you don’t want her in your room you’ll have to gently pick her up and place her outside of your room.
I’ve rarely had problems with renting to employed people or people here on vacation. I’ve rented to many tradespeople, professionals and students, all of which were cordial, friendly, paid their rent on time and respected the household we lived in together.
I’ve remained in contact with many of my past tenants and call a few of them friends.
And then there are the one’s that phone to set up an appointment to view a room and never show up for it or the one’s that show up plastered in cologne or the one’s that scream at you on the phone when you say the room has been rented or the one’s who stare at your breasts and only your breasts while you are talking to them about the room and house or the one who shook your hand so hard that it hurt for a few days afterwords or the one who said “Well, you do wear low cut, revealing tops, so no wonder he was staring at your breasts. FYI… I wear a 32A bra size. I do not have cleavage. Or the neurotic one who was a supposed vegan fanatic who did two to three loads of laundry per day for seven days straight and when you check to see what he is washing in the machine he’s only washing one T-shirt or one pair of jeans at a time with the washer set to maximum load size or the one who kept rotting food in his closet or sadly, the man whom you wanted to rent to but couldn’t because he was morbidly obese and for safety and insurance purposes could not rent to him.
The twin beds in each rental room have a maximum weight capacity of 300lbs and also the kitchen chairs can not support more than that weight either. I’ve also accidentally put my heel straight through a plastic bathtub after slipping while getting out of the shower while I was living at my parents house two years ago. I couldn’t imagine that the bathtub in the upstairs bathroom could support a person that weighs more than 300lbs if this person fell or slipped.
I felt so bad that day when I made the call to this man saying I couldn’t rent to him. When he asked why, I was honest telling him that his references checked out great (which they did) but that his body mass exceeded what the bed, bed frame, kitchen chairs and bathtub could safely support. He was so nice and I felt like shit for having to say no. He thanked me for my honesty.
So, what do I do… do I continue to find tenants or perhaps open up and look for a couple of roommates to share the whole house with?
The thing that’s hard for me is this, once a person moves out when their contract or job or schooling ends here in the Port City of Saint John after having lived here for a month or longer it makes me sad as I had grown accustomed to their company and friendship, only for it to end abruptly.
Most people are respectful and most are genuinely kind, honest and hard working and do respect your boundaries while you respect their’s. But opening my home up to roommates could be opening a can of worms as I’ll lose my privacy completely if I give them access to the whole house. Right now, my studio, living room, sunroom and backyard deck are private and off limits to tenants. My tenants have their own entrance and their own living room while we share the other common areas of the household.
thinking thinking thinking…
At the moment, I do not have anyone else living with me. My last tenant moved out a few days ago and into an apartment that was closer to UNBSJ. He felt sad and didn’t want to go as he’s worried about noise issues in the new place he’ll be living in. He said he never had trouble studying here and might be back if he’s able to purchase a vehicle as the Univerisity is a 45 minute bus ride away and it was the only reason he moved.
I’ve got the ad up on Kijiji for room rental and also put out a private call to close friends for roommates and am in panic mode wondering what direction to go in or what to change. I’m asking myself if I could actually earn enough with my art to pay for everything or if it might be nice to have a roommate whom would have access to the whole house minus my studio and bedroom of course or if tenants are the way to go.
more thinking… more questions… weighing the pros and cons