a rant about renters

I am all riled up. My house is a wreck. And so, apparently are the houses of a lot of other people on Block Island.  One real estate agent told me that she has never seen such a sense of entitlement among renters. So I am venting here with the letter I would LIKE to write, but will not to my tenants.

Dear Guests,

Yes, I am booking already for next year! Even as the temps in BI have been in the heavenly seventies. Get ready for a rant, however. I left in June with everything in top form and got home in September to be shocked by the condition of our houses.

Word: Some of you have been stretching the capacity of my houses and septic systems by crowding people in. Hannah’s is meant to house eight; Claudia’s, six. That is code. I do not have bedding for more people (or fold-out couches) for a reason. I know your families have been growing—some I have seen grow up from candy to condom wrappers buried in the couch.
     This past season has been the worst ever. I have just gotten to the island and found unreported broken furniture, busted out screens, stuff moved (presumably to fit in more beds), holes chewed in sofas. I seem to have gained some wetsuits and aerobeds, but where are all my personal bath towels and the four twin contour sheets that were in the locked closet at Hannah’s? I regret being generous with my combination. And what of the wires jerked out of my recently repaired (at great cost) gas fireplace at Claudia’s? I expect some breakage—ok, I have to buy a lot of glassware— but not this much! My house is not a rental car to be abused.
    If you let me know what happened, I can get your insurance to cover it at no cost to you. But when I get home at the end of the season, I have no idea what happened when unless you tell me. Shall I guess and charge random people’s insurance?

FYI, we had an incident this summer when a scammer, known as a “scraper, “ advertised my houses on Craigslist using my VRBO copy, pictures and address. One poor family paid the pittance dude was asking  (Like $1800/wk) and moved in. They were very shocked when the actual tenants showed up. They were lucky that I was reachable to sort it out seeing as I was in Mexico with my dying mother. Be aware that I never advertise on Craigslist. One smart tenant alerted me to such an ad this summer, but other than flagging the ad  (if I can find it), notifying the Block Island Chamber of Commerce and the FBI, there is nothing I can do about it.

I am raising my prices. You may recollect that I lowered them last year because of the new taxes, but it’s not working for me. Costs have gone up amazingly, and so has damage. So I will be charging $200 more/wk during season. That means $5100 for Hannah’s and $5000 for Claudia’s. Off-season rates will remain the same: $4100 for Hannah’s, $4000 for Claudia’s.

These are our homes, not a timeshare. I will try to accommodate your preferences, as usual, based on longevity. Give me your top three preferred dates, and I will strive to make everyone happy. The alternative is to have you race to see who can pay first, like getting online concert tickets! Keep in mind that these houses are meant to be for single families, and rent a larger house if you need one. I want you to be happy and enjoy my oasis, but I want to enjoy it as well!


Claudia said...

And PS how many tenants does it take to change a light bulb?
None. The landlord does that.

swampgassy said...

Your post script is surprisingly similar to to "joke" brother Richard made after Mom's memorial--after he grew tired of washing the dishes.Thankfully,you edited him. If you recall some of the things I said after Mom's death, please edit those as well.

Your letter is great and I'm glad you shared it.
Love, g

Anonymous said...

That's horrible. People are the worst!

Claudia said...

G, Can't remember what Richard said or you said or anything! Tried to find on blog but failed in all my searches. Curious tho!

g said...

Oh, sorry I probably wasn't clear. You didn't blog about it. It was something he said to us as we sat at the breakfast table after everyone had left Mom's memorial. He had been washing dishes alone. Like, "how many _______ does it take to clean the kitchen?"

D.R. said...

So glad you are referring to renters and not guests! LOL