Little Old Lady, Big Old Problems

Real Estate Broker/Owner with American West Realty and Management 12599

Little Old Lady, Big Old Problems

It's funny. It's sad. It's true.

A little old lady applied to rent from us about two years ago. She had lived in the same place for many years but was having problems with her neighbors and Landlord. She seemed a smidge paranoid but it's hard to tell with someone in their late 80's and she had the fire of a 30-year-old so we took a chance.

About a month after moving in, reality set in. My handyman of 16 years gave her a brand new faucet and she accused him of stealing things from her (he took the broken faucet). She continued to accuse him for months until I finally told her to clam up and never talk to me about it again.

She found some spiders in her apartment and complained they were crawling on her pillow and biting her face. She insisted they were Brown Recluse even though I shared news articles from an expert that shows they cannot live here. She brought me an envelope with the bodies of multiple dead spiders so I could see for myself. They were Hobo Spiders, yet she insists to this day.

She couldn't push the laundry room door open because it's too heavy.

The neighbors left laundry in the washer for six days (they didn't).

Someone is walking around in the empty apartment above.

An outlet was having problems so we installed a new one but she complained it didn't work. I went over, plugged in a fan, and it worked fine. Turns out she wasn't strong enough to plug things in.

A neighbor lady (86 years old) scratched her car. Stole her special extension cord. Stalks her.  Encourages her pervert son to peek in her windows.

Long story short, there is a constant barrage of complaints and problems, usually every 4-6 weeks but sometimes much more often. We try to be patient and understanding.

Today was the last straw.

We sent an appliance repairman to check her fridge. He shows up around 10am and she chews him a new one because he didn't show up in the afternoon and she was "three sheets to the wind" on her pain medication. Then she starts yelling at him while shaking her cane and threatening him! He now refuses to go back. We only have two appliance techs in town and he's the only one we trust. She followed that up by calling our office and belittling my office manager and then yelling at my Property Manager who quickly shut her down.

Enough is enough. In my office, we go the extra mile for everyone. For this particular woman we've gone an extra 20 miles with a camel on our back, hiked Kilimanjaro backwards while wrestling gators, and received 50 lashes at the top for our reward. My final act of kindness will be to provide her 60 days to find a new home because we're done.

At American West Realty, our slogan is, "We don't just manage!" It speaks to the fact that we handle sales and not just Property Management in Cody, Wyoming. But it also speaks to the fact we do more than just "get by" with the minimal services. We always strive to provide more than is necessary, more than is expected.

Today we found our limit.



Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

A bad day in property management. Not sure why some people have to be so awful....-Kasey

Jun 28, 2017 09:00 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Spunky old gal....and another reason I am so glad we are no longer landlords !

Jun 28, 2017 09:18 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Nathan I was saddened with this post, why an 86 year old lady has to rent... and where are her relatives....Endre

Jun 28, 2017 11:16 PM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Nathan Gesner For us, it was the extraordinary issues similar to these that you described that caused us to sell all our income properties. The aggravation just was no longer worth it.

Jun 29, 2017 04:42 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386 it can be frustrating. However, she's one out of 300 rentals and only about 1% are problematic. Those are pretty good odds for just about any business!

Jun 29, 2017 05:09 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Endre Barath, Jr. I agree! She actually has family in town but I suspect she demands to live independently and they are more than happy to let her. I've only scratched the surface of how difficult she has been for the past two years but I've tried extending additional grace because I do suspect a large part of it is due to her age. I'm hoping my notice will force her family members out of the shadows so I can discuss this with them and ensure she goes the to the right place.

Jun 29, 2017 05:11 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Sally K. & David L. Hanson it certainly keeps life interesting! 

Jun 29, 2017 05:12 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Kasey & John Boles I suspect it's due to her age. She also claims to be heavily medicated, which wouldn't surprise me since that's how we "fix" things today. It's why I've extended some extra grace and patience over the last two years.

Jun 29, 2017 05:13 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Rose Mary Justice I am constantly amazed by some of our elders and how much energy they still have! This woman is nearly 90 years old with some serious bone/joint issues and she would still out-perform most people half her age. Unfortunately, I don't think her mind is keeping up.

Jun 29, 2017 05:15 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate I know she has family in the area but I can't locate them. I hope they'll come out of the shadows and take care of her because I don't think she should be living on her own any more.

Jun 29, 2017 05:16 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Nathan. What a story. No good deed goes unpunished comes to mind.

Jun 29, 2017 05:34 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Nathan, we are in the process of building an aged declared adult community, selling it to investors, and also being the property manager. I sure hope this is a one off.

Jun 29, 2017 06:15 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Sounds like a great opportunity, Joe. In my small community, we don't have the same demand plus the community is made up of generally independent, stubborn people that reject assistance.

Jun 29, 2017 07:05 AM
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Nathan - We've had a couple of tenants like that over the years, and they're a nightmare to deal with. We always remember the old saying "no good deed goes unpunished".

Jun 29, 2017 10:54 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Dick, I just said the same thing in one of my recent blogs. The good news it that we've spoken with a relative and they're going to work with us to get her to another home soon.

Jun 29, 2017 12:00 PM
Janice Zaltman
United Realty Group - Boca Raton, FL
Energy Efficient And Eco-Friendly Homes in Florida

Something similiar happened to me also. There was an older woman who wanted to rent one of my listings. Her family guaranteed the rent as she was recently widowed and her husband's illness ate up their lifetime of savings, her $400,000 property and affected her credit.  The owner hesitated and then accepted her. She complained non-stop for a year!!! All the rent was paid on time.  Because she was so relentless in her complaining , the owner got upset with me. It was not my fault but somehow the realtor ends up taking the blame. 

Jul 01, 2017 07:48 PM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

I'm sorry to hear that happened, Janice. It's a very difficult situation because I want to respect her and treat her well but I can't let her abuse my staff or contractors. I've spoken to a relative and they're working to find her a new home.

Jul 02, 2017 05:24 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

A challenge indeed, Nathan. She's not going to change. Good luck - I suspect you have some more tough work ahead.


Jul 02, 2017 07:23 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nathan Gesner - I have a sneaky suspicion she's having mental problems, e.g., dementia and/or early Alzheimer's. The symptoms sounds very similar to my Aunt's behavior before anyone knew. The symptoms only get worse, not better. It's a sad and dreaded disease many don't understand. 

Jul 07, 2017 10:52 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Patricia, that is my thought as well. I really do admire her spunk and try my best to like her but she's become too difficult.

Jul 08, 2017 05:20 AM