Had to happen


#1

A subject NEVER discussed on thes Boards is ones like this (leave it to Meade to bring it up).

Set up to meet a prospectiver tenant in the park today at 8 AM. couple with a 3 year old daughter and and 9 year old son. Wanted a 3/2 D/W. Rent is 750 per month and i told the ladty we would work on deposit…they want unit on the first. At 8:40 they show up and without an apology, asked to see unit. There was a vacuum cleaner in the unit from my final clean crew and 9 year old starts running thru home pushing this vac. The little girl Sasha was adorable and held her arms up to me and became a lump on my hip for 10 minutes. I show the home(she picked it apart, I knew she was gonna be trouble) and they want to pay 500 dollar deposit in 100 month increments included with rent.

I tell them I like at least half of this up front and the lady asks,“Cause we’re black?” I reply, " No because you were late for our appointment, have a unruly son, and a bad attitude".

Husband got involved and it quicky got ugly with some 4 letter words (his, hers, mine). i hate this kinda thing and I love this kind of thing. I hate it because it makes me take time and honestly question if my response was in ANY way tinged with race issues, glad because it brings this issue out of the dark and into the light where folks can kick it around and maybe take some of the power out the thing.

I knew they were black before making the appointment…I could care less. I believe we are all God’s children, but my own beliefs are not really germane in a business setting. Should I have taken them to number 17 where Lexi, a black girl of 6 almost got adopted by my wife and I? (Mom had a drug problem and DFS was gonna remove her from the home). I realized I didn’t need to defend myself in any way. All of our properties reflect area demographics.

This shook me up some, I realize their being 40 minutes late didn;t exactly set the stage for a good showing…what could I have done better? Anyone else had this come up?

Greg


#2

Greg,

Must be due to the Moon phase. As I to had an altercation with prospective tenants this week.

A couple come to the community (along with one of their mothers) and tell us that they need to look at rental under the low $400 range. They look at two units in the high $300.00 range per month. They return to the office when the mother jumps all over us yelling that our unit are not livable and that she is going to call the inspector and have us put out of business and just ripping us as fast and furious as she can go.

Toward the end of her episode she let it slip that she had had dealings with us before and that my family was a bunch of crooks.

Now the line has been crossed and I inform these folks they can leave two ways either on their own or in the back of a cop car its their choice. Well it did not take them long to get out and go.

Having bought my MHC from family I had access to old rent rolls and tenant notes. So I start digging through them.

Found out that the mother had either a friend or family member served with a Writ of Possession and their belonging were put on the side of the road. Notes suggest it was a nasty situation.

In my business I try hard to supply affordable housing and one out of every three tenants move either owing money or with major damage to the homes we have to rehab. No matter how well you check em out you still get hit.

To top it off a lady came in an hour after this happened and looked at both units they had and complemented us that she had been looking for something she could afford for two days (her husband was laid off) and we had the nicest homes she had looked at.

I shouldn’t let people upset me like I do as there is always someone out there looking to destroy the hard work of others. I guess the current events of the last few days should put that into perspective. Make a mess collect your million dollar severence and let the Gov’t clean it up.

Where do I sign up for a BAILOUT!

Sam


#3

A telephone conversation with a potential renter or purchaser to-day in response to an advertisement :

Caller: “Hey, how much do you want for a down payment ?”

Ans.: " That’s negotiable. It depends on you. Once you fill out an application form, which costs $35, we check out your credit, your criminal history, your employment history. Tell me–what are you looking for?"

Caller: “Hey, do you discriminate?”

Ans,: “Very much so, all the time. If I wouldn’t, I’d probably die of food poisoning or end up as a traffic fatality. But seriously, tell me about yourself and what you are looking for.”

Caller: “Hey, are you a racist?”

Ans.: (by this time I’d had enough; my sarcastic streak came to the fore)

“How did you know? I race every day 50 miles one way. but have only had 2 tickets for speeding. Do you want to rent or buy a home, or are you just lonely?”

Caller: "You . . . (expletives). . I would never buy a trailer from you . . .

(expletives) . .

Ans.: “Thank you. That’s enough from you.”


#4

It happens to the best Greg, What you just experienced WAS DESRIMINATION! It erks me to no end that people of every race are still unable to get past skin color, sex, and every other reason you can think of to dislike someone they don’t even know…

I’ve been through similar situations and my answer is simply “if you feel that way sue me for discrimination and I’ll let the judge make a fool outa ya on the stand… Have a nice day and I apologize for wasting your time.” I have tenants, friends, and family covering just about every race and religion across the United States.

There is no issue with discriminating against people for actions, prove to me that you are a racist (I turned a guy down last week for this one), like thumping bass, can’t control your kids, or I that I just plain don’t like you and I’m not going to rent to you. My advice is to let it blow off your shoulder and move on to the next person, the one that is going to be happy with you, your product, and is a decent and respectful person.

Best wishes,

Ryan Needler (who coincidently located your lot the second time from directions obtained at a predominately black church from a very sweet lady who knew you by name)


#5

Greg,

The only thing I would have done differently is I would never have waited for 40 minutes. I have a 15 minute rule, unless I get a call explaining why they are late, or that they are stuck in traffic. Even if I’m still around I’ll tell them it’s a no go. I have recently stretched that limit, and it came back to bite me.

One thing I do know is that poor people of all races, but especially minorities, are subjected to discrimination in housing and all other ways, on a regular basis, and in some locations more frequently than others. These folks might have just been at the end of their tether, and really chose the wrong person to let it out on.

I am irked by applicants all the time who accuse me all sorts of things- you name it, racism, being stupid, hating dogs. While I am not always successful at staying calm, I do try to respond compassionately, even when they don’t deserve it. One thing about being closely involved in running a mobile home park, and trying to fill mobile homes is that I am acutely aware of how rich and fulfilled my life is.

Greg, I know you are a very compassionate and giving person. I also guess that your tenants are very lucky to have you.

Anne


#6

Here


#7

It has been said that the management of tenants is like the raising of children: if you ignore or actually reward bad behavior, you will get more of the same, or worse. Although I have made a good living since '78 with managing my own properties (site-built homes, apts., etc.), I have not been successful in raising my two oldest children.(If any one of them ever applies to your park, take them; they will do their own maintenance, pay the rent on time, and may stay with you for the rest of their lives.)

Still, I have this archaic but uncommon belief in individual liberty and property rights, which makes me the master of my realm, thereby conferring all the responsibilities and privileges to me. There have been memorable occasions when all the basic criteria seemed to be satisfied, but I had to inform an applicant that I felt that a future association with him/her would not work out for us. I could not definitively identify this “feeling, or sensing,” but my uneasiness prevented me from accepting the people. Was I mistaken? Possibly! Do I have regrets? No!

But-- to consider people’s genetic, physical endowments as a criterion for acceptance is simply stupid.

Character and behavior are the guiding principles for us; the rest is just conversation.


#8

My greatest fear is that, in spite of all I do (hopefully correctly), my little ones do not turn out well. I know I can tilt the odds in their favor, but ultimately they roll the dice, and I cannot dictate that toss. Easy to say in the abstract, terrifying in reality. I am sorry for your pain.

Individual liberty? Personal responsibilty? You ARE old-fashioned! You need to be more sensitive, give to your fellow man, and know that anything that happens to you is not your doing. The good in your life is luck and you should feel guilty that others haven’t had that luck, and be willing to give the proceeds of such luck to more deserving folk who truly need it, not to mention helping sieze assets from those who selfishly cling to they idea that they should keep what they earn. The bad in your life is probably the fault of some curmedgeon with money, to which you are of course entitled. Even in sarcasm, I cannot write more of that, my fingers feel dirty.

Whatever happened to “Judge me by the content of my character, not the color of my skin”? Sounds like it was inconvenient.


#9

MY family and I actually attend there once in a while. These are funn services. Singing, dancing , clapping and this DURING service.

Pot lucks are out of this world…I get my own table…to hold all the dishes.

Greg


#10

Anne. We usually won’t wait that long but I took the time to clean around the dumpster.

Can anyone PLEASE tell me why folks in our Park won’t lift the dumpster lid, instead the throw bags on top??

Greg


#11

IF you are carrying two bags to the dumpster, you have no free hand to lift the lid. Why bother?

Steve


#12

Lazy Tenants. Best if Manager opens lids on one dumpster till full. Then close those lids and open another dumpster lids. As long as lids are open noone even approaches a dumpster with closed lids.


#13

Small children aren’t tall enough to flip the lid open. They also need to stand on the highest ground in order to heave the trash bag over the side.

Post Edited (09-23-08 17:42)