Leaving Items Behind – Fun Friday Stories

This week’s Fun Friday Story is about a renter who left behind some items and thought we would store them for her indefinitely.

Photo AlbumThe tenants were a girlfriend and boyfriend.  They lived at the house fine for a while until the relationship went bad and they broke up.  The lady moved out first, then apparently the guy had trouble paying the bills on his own because he abandoned the house a few months later.  When cleaning up the property afterward (because of course they left behind a lot of stuff and did not clean), I came across several photo albums.  These were family photos, mostly of the female tenant from when she was young.  They were old photos, and probably irreplaceable.   The kind of thing that someone would want to have.

I did not want to just throw out the photo albums, so I attempted to contact the tenants to try to make arrangements to return them.  i called both the lady and guy and left several phone messages for each over a couple of months.  I also sent emails to the lady and got no response.  I guess since they left the property owing money they were not keen to return my calls, even though I stated why I was contacting them.  Eventually I gave up, and after a few months I trashed the albums.

Six months later, I got a random phone call from the female tenant saying that she had left some personal items in the house, along with a freezer, and wanted to know if we still had them.  I couldn’t believe she thought that we would really store their abandoned items for over six months on the off chance they would one day contact us and want them back.  I had to tell her that we had sold the freezer to try to recoup some of the back-rent, and that we had thrown away the photo albums months ago.  I then asked her about scheduling a payment plan to pay back the rent that was still owed.  Not surprisingly she quickly got off the phone, never to be heard from again.

Unpleasant Rental Discoveries – Fun Friday Stories

It’s Friday again, so time for another one of my bizarre rental stories.  This week’s story is one of the more depressing rental experiences I’ve had so far.  It involves animal cruelty.Rabbit

The tenants in one of my rental properties had moved out unexpectedly mid-lease and left no notification they intended to move.  I only discovered the property was abandoned after checking on it one day after rent was late and I was unable to get in touch with the tenants.  This means that the property had been abandoned anywhere from a few days to a week or two before I was made aware.

The tenants kindly left behind the usual mess for me to deal with – trash everywhere, old broken furniture left behind, food in the refrigerator (however luckily they had not yet shut off the power so no food spoilage), holes in walls, that kind of thing.  Annoying stuff, but sadly not that uncommon.  What made this property stand out though was that it had an outdoor storage shed.  I went out to the shed to see what was left behind, hoping for lawn equipment or something that at least had resale value.  To my surprise though I found that they had left behind a rabbit.  This is where it gets bad – the rabbit was left in a 100+ degree storage shed (no air conditioning) with no water, and with some old food scattered on the ground.  It was stifling hot when I went in there.  The poor bunny was just laying on its side, panting heavily.  I had no idea how long it had been in there, but believe it was very close to overheating and death.

The rabbit was obviously a pet, based on the cage and food I found, as well as how it liked being handled by people as I later discovered.  I was shocked.  I could not imagine why anyone would leave behind an animal, let alone a pet, to suffer a horrible death of dehydration or overheating.  That is cruel and inhumane.  I tried getting in touch with the tenants but of course could not get a response.  I was finally able to get in touch with a family member and explained that we had found the rabbit.  The response was “Oh, if they left it they probably don’t want it.  I would just let it go.”  Their solution was to just release the almost-dead bunny into the wild to fend for itself.

Of course that was an unacceptable solution for me.  I did not call animal control as I know rabbits are not commonly accepted into the local shelters, so decided to try my own luck helping the bunny.  I was able to find a friend who agreed to temporarily foster it, then was eventually able to find a permanent home for it.  The bunny turned out to be very sweet and calm, so hopefully it is being a great pet for someone.

I can deal with tenants leaving behind trash, but abandoning animals in a cruel manner is one of the worst things I have encountered, and hope to never find again.