Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Time I Rented a House From a Lady Who Didn't Even Own It!

How could that be you ask? Well I'll tell you. I would never have imagined this scenario in a million years.

I was looking for a suitable piece of property to be my greyhound farm after I moved back to WV from Fla. I saw an ad in the paper and I went to look at the place. It was perfect except for the fact that it was too far from the track, so I decided NOT to rent it. Afterwards I regretted my decision and I tried to rent it, but I was too late - it had already been rented. A few months later I saw an ad for the same place again, so I called the lady up and rented it on the spot!

She put new linoleum in the entrance hall and fixed the stove as soon as I moved in. I gave her the traditional first months rent and deposit. She did not require the last months rent which of course thrilled me to death. I proceeded to build a pen which was connected to an existing out building for my kennel. Bobby brought our dogs up from Florida and I traded my car for his truck and we were in business.

About a week later, she came to my house and told me she was moving and gave me an address to send my rent to. She had been living on the other house on the property and I didn't think twice about her move. I just thought it was something she needed to do.

The next day my neighbor, Mr. Wilkerson, called me and informed me that there was a group of policeman down by the gate and they wanted in. He had a key but he wanted to let me know, I told him to go ahead and open the gate and let them in. I was baffled as to why they were there. They stopped at my house and asked me if I was my landlady (I can't remember her name anymore) and I told them she lived in the other house on the property but she had moved out the day before with a huge U Haul truck. It turns out they were going to arrest her for growing marijuana on the place. I gave them the address she had given me, but they failed to run her down.

The next day Mr. Wilkerson came by with a note for me to call a well known doctor in the area. When I asked him, "why?", he informed me that the doctor was the owner of the property and wanted to know why I was living there without his permission. When I told Mr. Wilkerson that I thought "the woman" was the owner of the property, he laughed out loud while assurring me that she was in no way the owner - she had just been renting the other house on the land.

I met with the doctor the next day. He understood that I had been scammed just as he was. He was surprised to learn that she had also rented the house out to someone before me. He said since I was in a predicament that he would allow me to stay with my dogs but he didn't want me to bring anymore on the property. I told him that was nice but it wouldn't do me any good because I intended to breed them.

So I moved off the property. Bobby came back from Florida and took the dogs and we traded vehicles again. I went to the police about the scam but the magistrate told me all that could be done was to take her to small claims court for the money I had invested in setting up the farm - which I did. Then while I was in court the magistrate informs me that I should have filed fraud charges (the usual wishy washy court thing). I was awarded my damages but it did me no good because by then the woman had moved again.

I was just screwed - royally!

1 comment:

Gary Carden said...

When I moved to Georgia to teach, I rented a house from an absentee landlord who lived in Atlanta. The rent was mailed to a post office box in Atlanta. After living there about two months, the police arrived one afternoon to tell me that I had been evicted. Why? I asked. "It is all those wild parties that you have been holding, " he said. The landlord in Atlanta had been receiving complaints from my neighbors. When I confronted the neighbors, they didn't know what I was talking about. When I was packing to move out, the school superintendent arrived to tell me that I was a victim of a big scandal that had occurred the year before I came to Georgia. A bookkeeper of fraud and went to prison. The mother of the bookkeeper lived in a thicket behind my house and made anonymous calls and filed complaints against anyone connected to the new superintendent's office ... the man who had hired me. Eventually, the landlord arrived in a stretch limo and his driver blew the horn until I came out. He said he owned so many rentals, he couldn't keep track of them. Some people had contacted him on my behalf, so he said I could stay. His parting words to me were, "No more wild parties, you hear?"