"I'm sorry--I'm being the Grinch here, but I need to renovate your apartment for myself and rent out the upstairs. Can you please move out?"
I felt mean, but my tenant knew it was coming. We'd talked about it before. He wanted to stay--who wouldn't, for $550 a month?--but it was inevitable. I didn't need four bedrooms for myself, but I needed one.
The mother-in-law suite on the ground floor would be just right for me as an East Coast base while I stayed in Los Angeles for work.
Somehow, he found somewhere, a share in Queens. I had to give him extra money for his move, but it was worth it to simplify my situation. Technically, it's a loan, but I'm skeptical.
I wasn't sure when he was moving out, but there would be at least a week in-between his departure and my arrival. I had ordered a few packages to my house--a used iPhone off eBay and a mini-fridge for the mini-apartment--but both were scheduled to arrive after Christmas, when I'd be there.
When I got a notification on 12/23 that my 73 pound package had been "left on stoop," I was more than alarmed. I sent the former tenant a note. "Sorry, I'm already in Queens!"
(The last I'll hear from him, I imagine.)
I called MK, who had to be in Westchester in a few hours. He hurried over to my house, and was in a bad mood by the time he got there. The Light Rail had been packed with holiday shoppers going to Newport Mall, and he'd had to give up on it and take the bus, which took forever.
He called me when he got to my house. He was pissed.
My former tenant had left his security gate and door wide open, and left empty boxes and rubbish all over.
But MK dragged in the mini-fridge and locked everything, then went to Westchester.
When I got home a few days after Christmas, I went downstairs to survey the damage.
He'd left, among other things, various pieces of a lighting kit, a skateboard, several frames, a ton of empty boxes, lots of books, a sack of coins, old magazines...I recycled the magazines, took the books to the resale shop, and put a bunch of stuff in the basement. After six months, I'll toss it.
We dragged a few pieces of old furniture to the curb, and I got to work scrubbing old plastic and rubber off the bathroom floor, while MK prepped for painting. Things could have been a lot better with my tenant's departure, but they could have been a lot worse too.