Surprising Irresponsibility

Animal House:idea:
For almost two years after I moved into the mobile home I live in, the mobile home next to me remained vacant. The management of this place leaves something to be desired. The mobile home park consists of ten nice mobile homes, each with a fenced in yard. Some of them need a little work, as they haven’t been rented recently, but there are no deal busters. Some elbow grease and a few hundred bucks and even the worst of the lot would be a nice place for someone.

In addition to the ten mobile homes there is a collection of mini warehouses. It seems the warehouses do the most business. The mobile home rental always seems lacking. At this time, eight of the ten mobile homes are move-in ready, however only four are rented.

The owner of the park and warehouses lives in Texas. It is my understanding that he bought the whole shebang about two years before I moved in. The first set of local managers was a family group that lived in a brick home that is connected with the property. I had been here about six months before they were given the boot. Some yelling, fights, and odd little shenanigans led to a closer look by the owner who found they had been lifting and profiting a bit. They were replaced by an older guy that has lived here for years.

The current manager is fine for what he is required to do, to collect the rent for the homes and warehouses, mow the grounds, and contact the owner and contract for repairs when they are needed. He gets those jobs done well enough. Of course, part of the whole process is getting the empty mobile homes and warehouses filled.

I can’t say that he doesn’t try. The problem he runs into is the responsibility level of the renters. He and the owner often refer to me as, ‘the perfect tenant.’ The only reason I have that title is because I pay my rent when my rent is due, nothing more than that. Oh, sure, I mow my little patch of lawn myself, I keep the place in descent shape. Who wants to live in a dump? But the big one for them is that I pay my rent. That seems so simple.

About three months ago, the mobile home next to mine was rented out to a single guy. The manager felt like he had a good one. He was in his early thirties. His folks came by to vouch for him. He was all alone except for two little yappy dachshunds. Oddly enough, his name is Keith. He seemed like a quite and responsible sort, so the manager was feeling pretty good.

Around December 27, I started to notice some odd behavior next door. That Keith was carting off a mattress and box springs, then some chairs and small sofa. The blankets he had tacked up over the windows came down. Sure enough, he was moving out, after only three months.

I was talking with the manager yesterday and asked what was up. Wouldn’t you know it? The guy had not paid rent even once. Sure he had paid the deposit and first month’s rent, but that was the first and last payment that he had made in his three months.

My Mom was not Jewish, but she did instill a firm sense of guilt in me. I could not go a month without paying my rent. In very hard times, I might pay it late, and gladly pay the penalty, but I could not go without making any payment. That said, I have never paid my rent late, always making sure my rent check is in the office on the first of the month. I will go without snacks or other things and do what is necessary to make sure I have a place to live and that the owner has no complaints with me.

In my almost three years here, I’ve seen more people leave by not paying rent than I have seen leave by their own choice. I see fewer homes rented than vacant. Nice places in nice surroundings, at a nice price too. I may live in a hermit box near the bottom end, but I believe in responsibility. It surprises me how many do not.

About Sifu Keith Mosher

My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge". I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager, and I am currently an Author and a Martial Arts Instructor.
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