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Life & Events > Excitement at the Ranch

Excitement at the Ranch

We've had a renter in the new house since last June, and thought he was great. Rent paid automatically from his checking account so it was always on time, neat and tidy, no smoking or drinking. Good job as a counselor at a big detox facility near us. His grandparents and extended family all live in my home town.

Checked our house for us last winter when we were gone. All good.

His driving skills are a little questionable - his car developed several dents and bumps where he sideswiped a guardrail on the highway. And in June he says he was coming home late at night and drove through a barb wire fence dodging a coyote. We didn't see the damage from that, but his insurance company totaled his car. He asked if he could borrow one of our vehicles for a few days, and I envisioned him driving it the 24 miles round trip to his job for a few days.

But then a few days turned into weeks, and he told us he got laid off from his job so he's moving, and he had trash stored in the back of our truck parked at his house so the bears tried to pull off the tonneau cover and ruined it. We can't get parts for it, so we are out a $1000 tonneau cover.

Every few days he'd say he found a replacement car and would get our truck back to us, meanwhile, he's driving it to Denver and other area cities all the time looking for cars and a new job, put two thousand miles on it in 4 weeks. It's a wonder he didn't put some dents in it.

At one point he said he found a car, and then he messaged me that he wasn't going to buy it because the interest rate was going to be 20% because of his bad credit, so he needed our truck a little while longer.

Finally, I put my foot down - 'we want our truck back now.' He wrote: "I have a project at work tonight, I will bring it over when I get home. If it's late, I'll leave the key under the mat."

And for once he did something when he said he would, and the truck was in our driveway this morning. Then, at 9 am the phone rings, and it's a detective with the police in a town on the north side of Denver calling about my Nissan truck.

Oh no. What now? My fear was he'd killed someone with our truck or some other act that is going to get us into trouble as the owner of it. I told him we'd loaned it to the renter. "We want to talk to Noel, about some wallet thefts at Walmart," the detective said. I don't know how they knew his name, but was glad they didn't think I'd been driving it. I gave him the contact information I have, and he said "don't worry, you're not in trouble."

I sent Noel a Facebook message telling him the cops had called, and an email in case he wouldn't see that - but up until the last few days he always saw Facebook messages and responded to them.

Finally we went over to that house, didn't think he'd be home because he'd told me a friend was going to pick him up to drive to Denver to get the car he's bought. I had wondered why he kept driving my truck if he's found a car, but any way, we rang the doorbell and he answered it.

He acted surprised when I told him the cops are looking for him. Said yes, he was at Walmart last night, and the friend he was with came running out and said 'Okay, let's go, hurry!' which now sounds like it could have had to do with wallet thefts. "This is giving me goosebumps," he said. Mr. TroutBend isn't so sure that he was genuinely surprised.

We haven't heard any more from him - I was expecting some sort of update - because our truck had been involved, etc. And more information so we'd have more assurance that he had nothing to do with it, aside from being the unsuspecting getaway driver.

**Update** He wanted to borrow the truck again tonight to drive 40 miles round trip to Loveland to deliver a small desk that he'd sold online. He doesn't currently have a vehicle because he has to wait until Friday for his friend to take him to Denver to get the car he's purchased.

I told him the truck still had the pieces of the 200 pound tonneau cover in the bed, and he said that didn't matter, the desk would fit in the cab. I went out to look at the mileage - he put 5800 miles on our vehicle in 4 weeks!

It was supposed to be 24 miles a day times 3 or 4 days = around 100 miles total! And he didn't fill the gas tank when he returned it. Plus, he'd allowed smoking inside the cab, so now it smells like an ash tray. Dang! I was angry!

He came over for the key, and I told him if that desk will fit in the cab of the truck it will fit in his friend's car, or his car when he gets it, but I'm not loaning him my truck tonight because it was irresponsible to lead me to believe he was going to put about 100 miles on my vehicle, and then drive it like it was his and put on 5800, plus I told him not even filling the gas tank when he returned it (it was full when he took it) shows an extreme lack of gratitude. I just hate it when people take advantage.

posted on July 24, 2019 3:41 PM ()


Oh my word! What a wild ride! BE SAFE! I can't stand the thought of you being in danger.
comment by jerms on July 28, 2019 3:05 PM ()
I'm obviously not very good at it, because I am too nice to the renters.
comment by traveltales on July 25, 2019 7:18 AM ()
As a renter a landlord can NEVER be too nice!!
reply by greatmartin on July 25, 2019 2:58 PM ()
Okay, i’d be grabbing that key the moment the police came by. One of my first thoughts was that he is a counselor who was a former drug abuser, and even if he isn’t actually using he has regressed to that lifestyle. Lending him a vehicle or renting to him could make your property liable to seizure. Please be careful.
comment by drmaus on July 25, 2019 6:46 AM ()
You're exactly right: he is a former drug abuser turned counselor. The more I think about it, the more I doubt that he had no clue about the wallet stealing at Walmart before we told him the police had called looking for him.
reply by traveltales on July 25, 2019 7:16 AM ()
My goodness he has taken unfair advantage of you. Rental property can be an excellent income when it works like it is supposed to but sometimes one is left with horrible consequences.
comment by elderjane on July 25, 2019 4:14 AM ()
I'm wondering how much character he has left. If he does something destructive, I'm going to get in touch with his fancy rich grandma who lives in Estes Park and tell her what I think of her grandson.
reply by traveltales on July 25, 2019 7:18 AM ()
In spite of what renters think landlords do not have it easy!!
comment by greatmartin on July 24, 2019 3:46 PM ()
See reply above.
reply by traveltales on July 25, 2019 7:19 AM ()

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