Getting the Crazy Out

By
Real Estate Agent with Foster Realty, Inc.
A young gentleman was looking to relocate to our beautiful island neighborhood from the mainland. He submits an application and is thoroughly screened. He has more than enough income, excellent credit and great references. He signs our Rental Agreement and mails in his security deposit. He will be arriving in Hawaii shortly and we prepare the apartment for his arrival. Now, I know you can’t and shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. (It’s a very good way to get yourself sued for discrimination.) But we weren’t expecting what walked into our office that day. He was well spoken, friendly and very polite. But he was also dirty, smelly and looked liked he just crawled out from under a rock. He is in our unit for a year or so before the first sign of trouble. He pushes a stranger off the sidewalk and into the highway because he “sees the devil in his eyes”. Shortly thereafter he is overheard saying that he is ready to start his own “Manson Family”. But nobody tells my office. Management of the complex made it clear when he moved in that they didn’t like how he looked, but nobody EVER SAID A WORD to my office about either of these incidents. We have no idea that there is something wrong with him. Very wrong. But I find out soon enough. On Christmas Day, he has an incident at the complex and has to be pepper sprayed and removed by the police. The complex management is not happy about this and demands that I immediately evict him. I call his next of kin on the mainland and am told that he is indeed schizophrenic and needs to stay on his meds. No surprise there. I understand why management doesn’t want this guy around anymore. Although he is “normal” most of the time, he is mentally ill and his appearance and antics are frightening to other residents. But he has to live somewhere and I’m not all that sure that evicting him is the appropriate thing to do. Management doesn’t let go of this. He has to be evicted. If I don’t do it, they will and this will likely cost my property owner thousands of dollars more in legal fees than if I handle it. When I ask my attorney if we should just let management evict him, the response is “you let crazy in, you need to get crazy out”. The court date arrives and a settlement is reached in the hallway. The tenant, accompanied by his social worker (where the hell has she been this whole time?), agrees to vacate the following week. When the case is recalled in front of the Judge, our friend changes his mind right there on the spot and demands his day in court. Everyone is shocked as the Judge sets the case for trial in two weeks. The tenant comes to see me a few days later. I promptly tell him that I cannot discuss the case with him and that he must contact the attorney. He has the most pathetic, rejected look on his face that I have ever seen. It is painful to look at him with tears welling in his big eyes. He is looking at me for help. Why am I doing this to him? Where is he supposed to go? My heart is breaking for him but my brain quickly reminds me that my duty and obligation is to the property owner. I therefore remind him that he is only delaying the inevitable and there is no point in staying somewhere where he is not wanted. He leaves without incident. My attorney is concerned. He is working diligently toward a settlement with this tenant because he feels that it is quite possible that we could LOSE this case if it goes to trial based on the tenant’s disability. A few more days pass and management becomes hysterical when they learn that the tenant is moving into another unit in the same building. They want to know how this could happen. How should I know? I don’t control the whole complex. I was told to get him out of my unit and I did that. The whole experience has left me very sad and confused. I was told to get rid of this tenant by management, only for him to relocate into another unit in the same building. Now that unit owner has a paying tenant and my owner has nothing. Prospective tenants aren’t exactly knocking down the door to move into this building either so I don’t know how long it will sit vacant. So I ask, who is the real “crazy”?

Comments (1)

Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Central Maryland

Yikes that is quite a story. He is probably in a protected class in Howard County Maryland and would be entitled to stay.

Feb 13, 2011 11:44 AM