One of my tenants is acting erratically, and I am scared
September 18, 2013 5:14 AM Subscribe
One of the tenants in my house is sending me increasingly angry and delusional messages. I don't know what to do. He is set to move out at the end of the month.
posted by unannihilated to human relations (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry this is long, but I feel rattled.
I live in New York, rent a house in Pittsburgh that I am supposed to go back to this weekend. I got a text at about 1am this past Sunday from one of the tenants stating that the house was very cold. I happened to wake up very early on Sunday, so at about 5am I sent all three tenants the basic troubleshooting list for a cold house (check all the windows, clear the vents, proper thermostat settings). I got a e-mail that was toned with indignation (As in, I know how to check windows, thank you very much.) saying it was the furnace, that it wasn't working.
This person had threatened a property manager I had hired last month (threatened to sue him for going into his room. I'm really not sure what that was about). I referred to this fact, ("So-and-so quit because you threatened him so I don't have a property manager to handle this.") and said that if one of the guys was willing to meet the furnace guy I would call him that morning, explain the situation, then one of them could call the furnace guy to arrange a time to come over. I also said I would be home Friday and would take care of it then if none of them could meet the furnace guy.
Mentioning the property manager was a big mistake. He sent me an e-mail telling me that I think he is an idiot but he's not because (list of reasons) and he shouldn't have to justify needing a repairs like this, and he is going to sue me and the property manager because his sister is a lawyer (sending me a link to her firm) and he's made dozens of people's lives hell for violation of his civil rights for going into this room, and he has video. I've never gone into his room without reason+notification. I can't speak for the property manager, but he CC'ed me on all the notices he sent to tenants when he was entering the house.
I sent him a calm e-mail back stating that it's nothing personal, but since I'm not there I have to cover all the basics. I say that I will call the furnace guy at 10am, talk to him, then pass along his name and number via e-mail to the tenants, and then one of him could meet him. If not I will take care of it Friday. My last line of that e-mail is "Let me know if this works for you."
I receive no response all day Sunday. I do what I say I will. Monday morning I wake up to a huge rambling e-mail saying what a horrible person I am for treating tenants this way and telling me things he had taken pictures of in my room that he would use against me in court (I gave him permission to go in my room and check if the windows were closed. Another mistake.) I am utterly baffled. I send him an e-mail replying that I don't know what he's talking about, and again repeat what I did with the furnace guy. I cc the other tenants and mention that they can possibly help on scheduling something. I wonder if he's not getting my e-mails, so I send him a text Monday morning, asking if he got my e-mail and again explaining I left a message for the furnace guy and he is free to call him. He replies "No time." (List of things he is busy with). Then he says, Don't worry, I'm not going to sue you. "I just go absolutely crazy when I can't get sleep, on top of people going through my room."
I just want to get this handled, so on Tuesday morning I contact a woman I have been talking to about helping me with house things. (We hadn't yet settled the details, which is why I didn't call her from the start.) I send everyone in the house an e-mail stating that I am asking her to take care of the heat, that I hope she can do it before Friday but if not I will do it, and I will keep them all updated on the appointment times. No response from anyone.
I wake up this morning to two angry, rambling e-mails about how I just think they're all idiots and that a picture in my room is evidence that I'm plotting to take advantage of them. (The picture was a joke from a party. As for taking advantage of them, meanwhile, the guy hasn't paid any utilities for the entire time that he's lived there, which is hundreds of dollars.) "You're in over your head, you literally did everything wrong that you could possibly do. You messed with the wrong dumb dude this time." Again reiterated that it's against the law to treat tenants like this and the house is freezing cold. That I CC'ed the other tenants on the other e-mail to be hostile and so that they could see what he said about them. (He had made a disparaging remark about them.)
I simply replied that the person I hired is going to be calling the repair people today, and I will keep him updated on the times. I was debating whether to text him this information as well. I haven't been addressing or refuting any of this person's assertions.
At first I thought he was just blowing off steam. But the weird disconnect with reality (I've been working on fixing the heat the whole time. Also, the temperature during the day is in the 70s so it's not like this is the dead of winter. The continual rants about how I think he's stupid.) frightens me.
I'm supposed to go stay there this weekend for a doctor's appointment. I need to go there at the very least to pick up my car. I'm too scared to stay there. Should I just ride this out until he leaves at the end of the month? I feel like notifying the police would just set him off more. I plan to get the locks changed and change the security code after he leaves.