Thursday, June 19, 2014

Don's Crazy Friend

Is that even a viable contact name?  Because that's what I had to list him as.  I don't even remember his name, but I needed to know it was him calling...

My excellent tenant Don called me, asking me to help him solve a problem.  Apparently he fell for some acquaintance's hard-luck story, and let him crash on the couch of his one-bedroom apartment for "a couple of days".  The days turned into weeks...and you know how those song lyrics go.  And now Don was calling me, asking me to compose a stern email saying he couldn't have another person living there or he'd be in violation of his lease, etc., because all of his efforts to get the guy to leave failed.  Maybe a firm email from his landlord would do the trick. Don told me the squatter was "a very good salesman", and every time he tried to reason with him, the guy would talk his way into staying another night.

But just from this short description, I really knew this guy was crazy.  And desperate.  Don't ask me how I knew.

So I told Don to forget about the email.  That would never work.  Is he in your apartment now?  No.  Are you home?  Yes.  OK, this is what you're going to do:  go to Lowe's.  Buy a new lockset.  Come back home and install it.  Pack all his belongings and put them outside the apartment door.  Then call me when it's all done and give me his phone number.  Then leave the house.  Do you have a place you can spend the night?  Yes?  Good. And under no circumstances are you to answer his phone calls, text messages, or emails.  Total silence.  We will be bombarded for a while, until he moves on.  And by winter, he'll be someplace warm. Got it?  Agreed?  OK.

Don calls back a few hours later.  The deed is done & he's leaving his apartment.  So I call Don's Crazy Friend, tell him "The locks are changed.  Your suitcase is in the hall.  Take your stuff and do not show up at this building again or I will call the police."

Desperate people always try to engage you in conversation, but it's futile to try to reason with a crazy person.  So when he kept asking me what he did wrong, etc., I just repeated "You're not my tenant of record.  I'm not having a conversation about it, nor do I owe you any explanation.  Just take your things and go." And I hung up.

But, as predicted, that didn't end it.  For weeks after I was getting voicemails and texts, some cajoling, some threatening, even some in which he thought he was texting Don (but was actually texting me) and told Don his landlord was "Crazy. Looney. Really nuts."  None of which I responded to.  All of which I saved.  Don was getting messages too.  I had to keep calling Don to make sure he wasn't capitulating, because that would undo all our work, and the end result (although I didn't share this with Don) was that I'd have to evict him...and I didn't want to do that just because he was too nice a guy to stand firm.

It's been a couple of months now, and it's been all quiet on the eastern front.

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