Landlording My Kids

Ariana is Still Growing - July 2013

I'm not only a mother, I'm a landlord. I rent my house to my sons, my son AJ's girlfriend, and another young man...and I live 240 miles away with my husband.

Can we say leap of faith? I get to read about their parties on Facebook...Visions of "Risky Business" run through my head...(to those of you too young to get that reference, I give you this image of a young Tom Cruise, singing in his underwear.This is not a picture of the classic teenage party while parent's are away scene, why would you want to see that, if you could look at young Tom Cruise in his underwear?)

I've written about my sons' sense of cleanliness here: Boys Are Pigs. If you don't want to bother clicking on it and reading that post, I assure you, the title pretty much says it all.

And about the reasons I've left my home in their hands here: Leaving the nest. This is actually one of my favorite posts, so please feel free to check it out. (hint hint, please click)

I might have discouraged AJ from living with his girlfriend at such a young age (both are 21, so maybe I'm overly protective), but in my own self-interest, I wanted a woman in the house to encourage them to keep it clean. Before leaving, I lectured them on not taking advantage of Sasha and relying on her to clean the house; and I lectured  Sasha on the few things that must be done to keep it reasonably clean and bug free.

Fortunately for them, I'm a pretty bad house-keeper, so my bar is set pretty low.

I've visited the 3 times since moving out, once without warning (honestly I didn't mean to give them a surprise visit, JAK knew I was coming, just didn't share the info with his room-mates/brothers).

The verdict? Not too bad. Don't get me wrong, not even the most liberal use of the word "neat" could be used to describe the condition of the house. didn't smell. There has been no more than one day's worth of dishes accumulated on the kitchen counter, and the house didn't smell. Like I said, my bar is set pretty low, while bad smell and vermin send me over the edge, I can handle just about anything else.

We once had a rat in our house. I didn't get too bothered about it, primarily because I had never seen him, just heard the reports from my sons, and saw the evidence of where it had chewed through the dog food bag. Continuing to see the evidence over the period of a few weeks, we put out some traps, but he was too smart for them. Then one night I saw him. He was boldly walking across my kitchen floor. BOLDLY. He turned looked at me, snickered, and continued on his way. The next day I put out poison. The rat had to go. I never noticed the poison gone, so when we noticed that we hadn't seen traces of him in a few days, we figured he packed his things and left. Then we smelled something. We tore apart the house looking for dead rat, never found the carcass, but there was no doubting that he had expired somewhere in the kitchen (I'm guessing behind the dishwasher). The house stunk for over a month, so for those of you shaking your heads in disgust that I would poison one of God's creatures trespassing in my home, I will offer that as karma. I paid for ending the life of that rat every minute that I spent in my home for over a month.

I realize that the rat story is a complete non sequitur. But, the good news is, my tenants seem to be keeping out the odor, and the vermin. So I'm pleasantly surprised, and happy.


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