Back in 2015 I become a partner in a building in Zion, Illinois. Our first vacancy came a year later, when a long time tenant moved to Kenosha.
She had always paid her rent on time and we were sorry to lose her.
My partner, Jerry showed the apartment while I was away and gave me the applications when I returned.
One application was from a woman with a couple kids who said she wanted to move to a better neighborhood. She gave Jerry two months rent up front, in cash and that was all he needed.
Two seconds of googling revealed the following about that woman, whom we'll call Delilah:
1. Delilah was moving from a better part of town than our place because her husband kicked her out
2. She was arrested for prostitution in 2007.
3. Most concerning, though was the following post on Delilah's Facebook page: "I'm coming for all u bitches all year 2017 fuck a summer I'm on one the disrespect ends here I'm grown but I'm also a grown woman who will tag that ass!!! So any one of u hoes who reading this post know it's yo ass!! Kisses"
Though unintelligible, it suggested a troubled mind and/or substance abuse. It read like some sort of urban battle royale challenge.
A week after Delilah moved in, she called about the front door being broken.
I know that it was in perfect working order the day she moved and and it looked like someone ripped it off the hinges storming out of the house.
Then Delilah discovered that her boyfriend had no place to park his car at night and street parking is not allowed in Zion between 2:00 am and 6:00 am.
Since Delilah had been living and working in Zion, she had to have known about the parking ban before moving in. It's printed on the back of her city sticker.
When she moved in, I showed Delilah her parking spot behind the building, where she could safely park overnight. There are four parking spots behind our building and Delilah was entitled to one of them.
I sent Delilah a polite email, again explaining the parking situation to her. She was indignant and felt that it was unfair that someone else had two parking spaces while she had only one.
I tried one more time, but she wasn't having any of it. Her answer was very much in the style of her FB post:
"Well since you want to be very disrespectful and unprofessional my past does not have anything to do with me trying to find and have a place to live for me and my children and if I wasn't fitting the criteria then why break the rules? Call me ungrateful but the message you just sent me was very uncalled for my income you didn't get to see first hand you have no check stubs and haven't seen my tax return so I beg to differ highly I was sending next month's rent to you today I have 2 months of rent I could give to you but after that email I refuse to send you anything and since your well aware of a case I caught at the age of 18 then you obviously know I have been to court and I know the law and that states you are suppose to keep up with your property you can be reported when the weather conditions aren't well and your sidewalks are unaccessible I will be looking into your agency and see how they feel about this email that sounds like your black mailing me to be a tenant and be quiet thanks for writing me I have all I need now"
Don't feel bad, I'm confused, too. This is where I delegated interaction with her to Jerry.
Why Delilah thought I was blackmailing her to be a tenant when she already was one was odd. I had no secret information about her, everything I know is available to anyone with a smart phone.
I'm just sharing this story with anyone thinking of becoming a landlord. Delilah is definitely out there, but not entirely atypical.
In case you're wondering how this story ends, she moved out last week without paying the rent. There were a few months of domestic problems that included a restraining order. She left the apartment looking like many of the pictures you've seen in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Let's just chalk this up to Hurricane Delilah.
PS to Delilah: Your past has EVERYTHING to do with your future places of residence AND employment.
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