TENANT TROUBLE: Crazy Clown Capers

TENANT TROUBLE: Crazy Clown Capers

So imagine you move into a cheap basement apartment to save some money while you go to school.  While you are there, a neighbor moves into the apartment next door.  You and your spouse befriend them.  You make a plate of cookies and introduce yourselves to them in a gracious act if neighborliness.


Meanwhile, your neighbor’s daughter and her ne’er-do-well boyfriend start hanging out next door.  When you come home from work, the boyfriend gives you bad looks and watches you.  You have a bad feeling about the guy.


Then, you go on vacation for a week and enjoy the sunny beaches of Southern California with your sweetheart.  After spending seven days in sea side bliss, you drive home.  You park the car, fumble with the keys to your apartment, throw the front door open so you can drop your luggage and are greeted with a scene of horror.  Your apartment has been broken into and your valuables meticulously removed.


You call the police who arrive and CSI processes the scene.  You suspect the neighbors but can’t prove they did anything.  Then you get a lucky break.  The neighbors didn’t pay their rent for the month and their landlord is evicting them.  The neighbors start moving things out of their home into the trunk of their car and a friend’s truck.  You offer to help them move their things and they happily oblige.


While you are carrying their boxes out of the apartment, you notice YOUR things in the boxes.  You call the police.  A rookie and his trainer arrive along with a veteran cop in two squad cars.  They detain the neighbors.  The boyfriend and girlfriend say they are taking things to a storage shed.  The police escort you, the boyfriend, and the daughter to the storage shed to take a look around.  You find more of your things there.  The veteran cop stays at the apartment waiting for your return.  He stays with the neighbor as she finishes packing the truck unaware that she is also a suspect in the case.  The neighbor is permitted to leave and the officer is called to a nearby foot chase.  You return from the storage shed to discover that the neighbor is long gone and and you still don’t have your most valuable items.


While all of this causes you heart ache, you feel some assurance knowing that you signed up for renter’s insurance with your previous landlord.  Except, when you go to your landlord to make the claim, you discover that the valid lease you signed with your previous landlord (and is being honored by your current landlord) doesn’t provide renters insurance at all.  When you read the lease agreement, it merely sounds like it does in a sort of confusing yet perfunctory legalese parlance.  In fact, you discover that your previous landlord legally charged you monthly fees for the privilege of NOT having insurance while the uninformed clerk that helped you sign your lease agreement told you otherwise.  Dastardly.


Then imagine that this really happened because it did.


EPILOGUE:  The tenants in this story ended up moving shortly thereafter.  We broke their lease and placed them in another unit in another building.  They were clearly shaken by the break in and bad renters insurance experience.  The neighbors on the other hand are on the lamb.  They vacated their unit and left 13 garbage bags of clothes, kitchen ware, and other personal items for us to throw in the trash.  The latest update from the police indicates that arrests are eminent.