Friday, September 5, 2014

On being a Landlord...

So, I am finishing up dealing with what are the last renters I will ever be involved with in my life. I was in Real Estate for many years and have dealt with all sorts of renters and as a Property Manager I dealt with Subdivision Management and all the renters and owners in them.

Time moves along, things change.

I had needed renters the last few years in order to survive, but things changed again and they are no longer necessary.

The problem that always besets Landlords is that while most renters are decent people, there are, as with most things in life involving people, the bad apples.

Anyone who has rented out their own homes, or who has been involved with the rental aspects in Real Estate, has to always keep in mind that whatever they do to try and insure they have a decent renter, might not be the case when they have to force them to leave by using the eviction laws.

How evictions are handled varies by State and even within individual Counties within each State. The reality is that what a layman reads as standard laws of the land are, in practice, often much different.

In reality, Judges have much power and leeway in the specifics of how they rule, and this largely depends upon how they perceive justice is to be served by arbitrating Landlord/Renter issues.

Some are more pro-renter than pro-landlord, for example, and this effects how they make their judgments.

While the laws are often written with good intentions, it is how they are interpreted that in reality rules the lands. Even to if you happen to know the Judge, or someone in their staff, or cops involved, etc., these things can be utilized, as with people's networks in business and such, to help get the rulings you want.

These last renters I am now finishing up with pushed the boundaries of decent civilized actions, and reactions. While wishing to use the system to "protect" themselves, they have lied to cops and the Judge, and to his staff, their own friends and family...all in order to not pay me for the actual reason I allowed them to be on my land in the first place, the overriding base agreement...that I am paid a certain agreed upon amount of money and in exchange they have access to my land, space to live on, and use of my utilities.

And, guess what, this whole problem revolved around them not being able to afford $75 a week, does this speak to the root problem, to you, better?

This is an underlying problem with many human interactions, thus why laws are made and courts exist, and cops are needed. It all has at its roots the desire to keep societies civilized and ordered, even as much as it is likewise true that this is a constant battle to try and accomplish, and will never fully happen, humans being diverse and ofttimes problematic.

As well, from a landlords perspective, we have to be very careful in our dealings with renters because we have a certain set of guidelines which give us certain ways of handling issues that arise. Landlords are, in effect, the glue that holds these interactions together, they are those who have invested time and money into making their land or housing available for the larger majority of those who rent.

It is their investment, and they deserve to profit as they did the time, they spent the money. If they are not experienced in such matters, or, for other various reasons, cannot manage their holdings themselves, they will find a Property Manager, which is one thing I did in Real Estate.

As well, the human perspective is, in my opinion, something to always consider foremost. You actually cannot be a good and, hopefully, profitable, Landlord without this. Renters do not have this obligation, theirs is the easy course.

Which segues nicely into my little tirade here.

I always consider the human side of things, such as that people have bad days, people get ill, people get cranky sometimes, and people are really only mere humans, subject to all that comes with that.

However, the fact of the matter is there are people who are users, they take rather than give, their entire lives are based upon this "code" of how they live, it is a dog eat dog life, preying upon the weak, or those perceived to be weak, even those who have less than they do in life.

There are those people for whom taking from others, even such low amounts of money or in-kind "things" is simply "how they live" and they have all sorts of reasoning behind this, and actually believe they are smart, and in some regards even "doing the right thing".

But any more deeper view into their psyche can show even the simplest of humans, that they are not what they wish to appear to be by their peers. However...

They do not realize another basic of humans, that people gravitate towards those who think and do things similarly. While this may seems obvious to many, it is not so obvious to them.

For example, these last renters peer group is other criminals who are takers and users, they even use each other in a never-ending cycle of base simplistic life. They actually have no clue whatsoever of how decent and civilized people do things.

While these last renters have caused me many problems, all unnecessary, but based upon their general worldview, and enabled by those around them who think the same way, or those they have lied to in order to get them on their side, the fact remains that they will eventually be out of my life completely, and will go on to screwing other people, their peers and their families, and have no clue at all that this is what corrupts societies, nor do they even care.

The fact remains that time is fleeting, losses can eventually be paid [and in several ways], fixed, replaced, or simply left as they are. Their time in my life was around 10 months, which is nothing, really, just as them and their types of humans are... nothing... really.

They think they are smart, they think what they are doing is OK, they think that lying and stealing and using is just fine...because it is a dog eat dog life, they think...so you might as well be the dog who eats another, rather than be eaten yourselves.

None of that is really, intrinsically true, and it is why such people usually have long criminal histories that stretch throughout their lives, and why they are always on the move, from one rental to the next, from one "friend" to the next, using people as they go, and living an existence that is entirely bereft of basic human compassion and civilized behavior.

One of them said yesterday that they have to get rid of the snakes and bugs infesting the place they live in now...I mean, really, does this irony escape us?

But this all is exacerbated and corrupted by both the law and how those people use it to their own small advantages. The laws of the land wish to allow impartial judgments arbitrating human matters in contention...thus they wish to protect renters from abuses by those Landlords who in fact would call those who abuse the system in negative ways as renters their peers...even if not in fact, but reality.

They are the of the same cloth, the same similar mentality.

This all makes it hard for the legal systems to find the truth, and only the written word has much force, and even that can be manipulated...the entire issue is fraught with problems from the git-go, and all Landlords with any experience know this well.

I do, and I did, but...

I made a conscious and considered decision, years ago, that I would no longer let others dictate to me how and what I should do, that I would try my best to take the high road, rather than let the takers and users pull me down to their low level. This is a very difficult thing to try and do as they do things that absolutely force you to deal with them in a lowbrow type of way, or they will just continue on abusing you, taking from you, and using you.

I made this conscious and considered decision knowing full well this would also bring with it its own problems, and that the users and takers would perceive this as being weak, and pounce, as vultures do.

I made this conscious and considered decision because I decided in my sunset years I wanted to treat people as decently as I could, and to remove that civilized way of life as those people showed me they had no basic comprehension of civilized behavior, would try to do.

But they actually, in reality, have no hold on me at all.

Thus as happened with these last renters, they perceived me as weak and in their small minds they used it to pounce and use me. But they simply have no clue.

I am forced by law to allow them to get their stuff off my land, until the 19th of this month, under certain prescribed conditions and by mutual agreement. And I am forced by law to allow them to bring in other criminals and lowlifes on my land to help them move their things out. I also fully expect that while I am going to try and get the courts approval to obtain some of the monies they owe me, that in the meantime it is very likely they will trespass on my land and cause me other problems. There is really not much I can do about the latter, and in reality not much I can do about the former either, so I still have that decision to fully consider if it is worth even more stress and time.

I have to consider if pursuing the principle moral high ground overrides the extra costs in time, money and stress. It may not, and the small losses will just have to be dealt with by making hardship pleas to the electricity company and my mortgage holders, and similar things that "write the whole thing off" not as another lesson learned, as I already knew such things very well, but as simply a way to move on.

I never knew life to be simple and carefree.

Why does this personal and partial anecdote of my life pertain to this blog, a VR blog?

It does because we are all humans here, going on about our lives, doing such things for all sorts of reasons, many just to escape difficult lives as best we can.

There is the commercial land renting side of this started by SecondLife that others have taken to other places. Renters renting from those grid owners and renters renting from those renters, to smaller and smaller pieces of virtual pixel land spaces. There is a whole business related to all that, and forms the basis for SL and other similar grids [those being the minority of the greater whole of the Metaverse].

And as in our real lives, it has similar problems and issues, but in these cases it is whatever systems set up by the grid owners that they must take their case to and plead for their self-appointed arbitration of some kind.

This leads, in turn, to the actual ability of those arbiters to actually know how to properly arbitrate, right? Those arbiters of the last resort are not trained judges [afaik], they are not trained in the intricacies of landlord/renter disputes and law, and...

They do not even have to be. All they need to be is someone who wishes to do such a thing, and can gather around themselves enough people, often by hook or by crook, in order to sustain themselves in whatever monetary level that makes them feel comfortable [which, of course, is entirely an individual thing].

They do not need to be versed in real land management because this is actually not real land. All they have to do is "market" themselves, and they do not even have to be truly experienced marketers either.

Then there is the illusions that some people have that they actually "own" these not real land spaces. The only people who own such spaces are those who run the software on their own or rented hardware, and those who have the full authorities built into it.

And as many people are well aware, it can be gone in the next second, with actually no real recourse in compensation to pixel content lost, and more importantly, time invested.

But for many of us, time we have aplenty, for some, not so much.

So, as in my personal reality issues of being a landlord, you have similar "land" issues in this current iteration of VR, but less the laws and courts and systems set up in order to find an impartial and fair arbitration.

Who do you go to with issues? Why do you think they actually know how to deal with such things, because they tell you? because they run a grid? All grid owners, especially those wishing to profit, have their own personal agenda, and, of course, this is predicated upon making profits...without profits they cannot survive, they will be forced to close down, they will have to find other ways to live, and often they simply have no other ways, their entire lives are based upon making enough money from their grids to maintain or try to improve their own personal lives, to think otherwise is only simple naivete.

You might say these things are obvious, but any reading of any amount will often show you that not only is there a certain type of human who simply does not understand this, or are themselves trying to do a similar thing, who also have no real clue to how to deal with renters, they just want to do it. And they have no real trained arbitrator to get help from, because those self-same arbitrators of last resort are themselves in the same business. In reality if a Judge knows someone that comes before them personally, it is often wished that they recuse themselves...though in reality, this also, is often abused.

Recusing oneself speaks to basic fairness, as this definition speaks to; recusal reasons.

So, you cannot have a fair or impartial arbitrator who is actually renting lands also. It is simply not possible and is in fact a conflict of interest, but people often do not even consider such things, and within that % of people, many are not even aware of this conflict.

It is a basic tenant of natural law for a very good reason. A litigant in such a situation can even find ways to ask for this recusal if the Judge does not do it themselves, but always be aware of the "good 'ol boy" fraternity/sorority of judges where they talk amongst themselves.

So beware of those with agendas that could be contrary to your own interests due to conflicts, those takers and users, sometimes lacing their words with pats on the head or using your own interests against you.

They are not unlike my own last renters, of the same cloth, of similar breeding and stock, their peers.

But, this too, shall pass.