Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Wiped out.
Was sleeping like a log last night and woke up in the middle of the night and just woke up for no apparent reason - and then was awake for a while.

Work was kinda slow today - got through it, came home, conked out for an hour and literally dragged my @$$ out of bed, got the leashes and forced myself to take those dogs on the hike - get it over with.

The newer tenant informed me today that Mary said to her that she "doesn't care how much electricity she uses, she's going to have it cold in here".
That referring to when the newer tenant came home and it was freezing in here. I've had thoughts of putting a locking cover over the thermostat in the past - but - it's easy enough to prove whether she's fooling with it or not.

Simply adjust the camera. Instead of seeing what's going on in the kitchen proper - I now see the computer, the table, the living room - and yes - the thermostat. I don't wonder if they sell an electronic thermostat that can be set to have to use a password to be able to change the settings. Anyway, the lock cover costs all of $20.00 and I have been thinking about installing one for some time now.

Look, I knew allowing Mary to stay would probably have issues in the future. The issue is - how great an issue?
My other thought is something I should have done long ago. Really, I should have. Renting out rooms is a learning experience. Charging a flat rent for everything sounds wonderful - as long as the people that are in your house are conscientious about electric use.

You are not guaranteed that with all people, and probably a good percentage of people aren't going to give a hootinannyholler about their electrical consumption since they are "paying" for it. This isn't an issue limited with Mary. Ken has his computer on and running right now - he left his door wide open so it's pretty easy to see what's going on in there - but he's not here. There is absolutely no point to leaving a computer running when a person is not here to use it - unless, as for me - you are running a program on it that needs to have it on. My program is my video surveillance.

So - from this point forth, I am going to start charging percentage utilities to any new tenants. And I am going to give Mary the required notice and start charging her percentage - 33% - utilites including water/sewer and electricity. She's going to love this. Lol.

Actually, it won't be that bad. I am not trying to get rich off of tenants, just pay my bills. Meaning I will bring the rent down to where their percentage of utilities will equal the $400 I am already charging everyone. If the utilities go up and beyond that - then they have the same problem I do: paying high electric bills because of careless use of electricity. Now, I am not saying the AC shouldn't be on on warm days - I AM saying that having it "freezing" in here is careless, wasteful use of someone else's money by throwing it away for no more reason than they want to - freeze I guess.

For now - I have moved the camera to view the thermostat and this weekend I will install a locking cover over the thing. The temps are supposed to come down substantially this weekend and the use of AC should not even be warranted. Open the windows and cool your room that way, thanks. If you don't like opening your windows, hope cool air from the outside finds it's way in.

How much am I willing to take in terms of Mary? Not much. She's paying her rent now, yes, but - starting trouble with tenants - nope. Wasting electricity as if I'm a bottomless pit of money to pay for it? Nope. Speak crap behind my back? Nope.

Ummmm- well, I'm going to head to the bedroom. I just ran up to Walgreens and got some Theraflu for the temp tenant - she is still quite sick and didn't want to go anywhere. I bought some Zycam for myself - if the symptoms of anything start hitting me, I'm all over it. At least give a "valiant effort" to try and circumvent what might be hitting me. So far, so good, I've been washing my hands like crazy and I've tried to stay away from these sick people. Zycam is a last resort - take it and if nothing else, it does reduce the severity of the illness - at least it seemed to do so when I got that cold last time. I stopped taking it too soon, though - it's rather expensive for my budget.

I'm going to watch some TV - G'nite and sleep tight!


  1. Lock box for sure!

    I've been waking up at 2 a.m. for a week now... I don't know why and it seems I'm wide awake. Makes for a very long day, that's for sure.

    G'nite to you :)

  2. I think once it starts, it's very hard to break. I wake up every night. Some nights I fall right back asleep - other nights I'm laying there for hours, wide awake. But - I went through 8 months of depression shortly after I got divorced almost 5 years ago now - my sleeping habits have never been the same.
    Peace : )

  3. I'm awake too early today, too, and it's not even full moon!

    I would stick with the flat rate but YOU should be the only one who touches things like the thermostat and decide on temps! It is YOUR house after all. I don't think the computer uses up all the electricity and perhaps someone else has their TV on all the time. Just follow the costs and raise the flatrate for EVERYONE if the cost rises... no questions asked!

  4. We always had lock boxes over the thermostats at work. It's the only way!

  5. Its as if you have a small group of children isn't it?


  6. I would be interested in whether you can HONESTLY say you are surprised by Mary's comment about the temperature.

  7. Dorrie: There are 2 things in my house that consume massive quantities of electricity: AC and Laundry - AC outdoing any and all of it by far. I have informed Mary in the past to keep her paws off the thermostat.
    Kate: Indeed - I'm going there.

    Bobby: Yes, I have thought of that a few times now. An unfortunate part of having tenants is sometimes direct confrontation. I'm pretty good at that, though : )

    Fin: I'm never surprised with anything Mary does or says at this point. She also told this new tenant that she sued me in court and won. I'll be having a little conversation with Mary - as soon as I see her. She's playing the "Avoid Ben" game - she knows I had a long discussion with this new tenant. Mary will undoubtedly come back and tell me that lady is lying - which is when I'm going to say what I have to say to her, blunt, to-the-point, and totally contradictory to Mary's claims.
    Now, for Mary to outright tell someone that she doesn't care how much electricity she uses - well, that warrants action on my part. I have several options: Raise her rent; lower her rent and start forcing her to pay percentage of utilities; issue a 30-day notice; and put the locking cover on the thermostat. Dunno - yet - I'll let the conversation I haven't had with Mary yet dictate what terms I'm going to demand.


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