Actually there’s already been one and if I don’t see another 12 before the night is done there will be a damn good reason for it like death.

Had a meeting with my realtor about putting my house on the rental market. I have been dreading this with a severity so bad it’s given me nightmares. I really, really, really don’t like dealing with people. I don’t like having workers in my house, I don’t like having things to do at the bank, I don’t like dealing with parents at school, I don’t like taking my car to the mechanic… anything that involves having to deal with people I don’t know (or even those I do) is very difficult for me. Hence my complete terror at having to be a landlord.

So, I’m already positioned behind the 8-ball and, after the meeting today, I feel the future looks even more bleak. The rent I can likely get for my place may or may not cover the mortgage. If it does, there is still ~$300/month in property taxes and another~$80/month in insurance. Plus the water bill is still on my head, although the tenant pays the other utilities. So, the money pit would be lessened, though definitely not eliminated.

A very nasty thing is that it could take awhile to get the place rented, up to 3-4 months. We could get lucky, but there is a very large problem with my place and with 99% of all other homes in my town – lead paint laws. These laws are ludicrous. The funny thing is that reading about them, phrases like “a child’s natural inclination to explore the world by putting materials into their mouths” crop up. Ummmmm… where’s the adult that slaps their hand when they peel the paint chip off the wall and try to make it lunch? And how many kids die per year from lead poisoning? The necessity for the laws is another example of the decay of parenting in this country, but they make it crippling for people trying to rent a property because they butt up against equal housing laws. Here’s the legal situation for renting:

  • You cannot rent a property to a family with children under the age of 6 unless the property is certified as de-leaded.
  • You cannot discriminate against families with children under 6 when renting a property.

So, you can’t state “no kids” in the rental agreement, and, if there is no compelling reason not to rent to a family with young children, you have to accept the application. Even if it means you have to spend thousands of dollars getting your property de-leaded. Frankly, I don’t want young children within a thousand miles of my place for many reasons and the fact that I can’t say no is galling. That it puts me in a precarious situation for renting makes me blistering mad. I don’t have thousands of dollars to waste on trying to Band-Aid parental incompetence. I don’t have hundreds of dollars to cover the insurance bill on my car and that’s actually important to me.

The one good thing is that I can say no to Section 8 applications. I would rather swallow a live snake than rent to a Section 8 tenant. I’m sure there are good people who need Section 8 housing, but I’ve never heard of any. Story from a town I lived in in Western MA… it was a nice little town with low crime, friendly people and a few family-owned businesses. You could go out on foot after dark and get pizza and rent a movie. Then, some developer bought an old building and turned it into Section 8 housing. Immediately it filled up with scum from nearby area. Crime sky-rocketed. It wasnt’ safe to go out at night any more and the businesses got so tired of being burglarized that they moved out. If the tenants themselves weren’t scum, like women trying to move their kids to safer towns, their ex-boyfriends would follow them and show up on weekends to get drunk and cause trouble. The nice little town went downhill fast. There will be no Section 8’ers in my condo. Although I don’t live in my condo anymore, I really liked my neighbors and would never inflict a shitty tenant on them. It was bad enough when Trailer-Trash Tanya moved into the other unit in the house. The neighborhood was disrupted with her antics (along with those of her brats and the drunk boyfriend) and the guy who owns that unit has completely lost any goodwill he may have had with the neighborhood residents. In a smaller, upscale town that’s just not a good thing.

So, as usual, I’m in a lose-lose situation. My condo is not going to sell in this market. Renting is a partial fix, but could be taken off the table as an option of I get crossways of a friggin’ pack of breeders… excuse me, a family. And, if the rental option does work out, it will mean my life continues as a mass of stress having to deal with property management…

Oh look, my rum is gone… that’s at least one problem I can solve…

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