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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Quick Hits from the week of Sept. 25th

  • Not 'cause I was looking for 'em, but by coincidence I have seen waaaaaaay too many dudes (one is too many for me) in skin tight jeans this week. I realize the punk scene is cool again, but it is Not attractive, fellas. If you are not a rock star - I mean a real rock 'n roll musician who gets lots of money for his performances and lots of women to boot - then you have no business wearing pants that fit like skin. Your legs and nethers deserve to breathe.
  • I went to an opening night performance of The Light in the Piazza at the new Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami. It was for work. And I was impressed. The facilities are beautiful. I thought the acoustics were great. And even though I was in the nosebleed seats I enjoyed the performance. The only downside from my vantage point was an occasionally crying baby somewhere up near me in the clouds. Maybe not quite that high, 'cause the acoustics were so good that kid could have been on stage and the sound would've carried. But my point is who brings a baby young enough to still cry on a whim to a musical or an opera? I can only guess it would be the same person who talks on a cell phone inside a movie theater or sits through a religious service with a crying, squirming baby on their lap instead of taking the kid into the hallway and letting him get the crying out of his system.
  • I have sympathy for broke people, having found myself in that position often. But I realize sympathy goes best with humility and honesty. I have a neighbor, a friendly acquaintance - she doesn't live close by, but she owns a rental property close by - who is struggling to keep herself together, because she can't collect rent on the duplex she owns. She can't collect rent, 'cause her tenants won't pay. They won't pay because they don't have enough money. On that information alone I feel bad for the tenants. They're young and clearly struggling. But there's a twist. They haven't paid rent for nearly six months, and while the landlord has offered creative payment plans for them to catch up they've taken that same period of time to stall and come up with creative excuses not to pay. Once when she asked for rent, they told her they'd pay when she got the lawn cut. She did, and they promptly said they shouldn't have to pay because of an issue with a window. Then it was a door. Then they wanted hurricane shutters. And so on and so forth. Did all these things improve the property? Sure, but should these folks have been using them as weapons to keep from having to pay? No. This wasn't the case of slumlord and tenants living in squalor. I saw the property before they moved in. It was nice. Not luxurious, but nice. If you owe, pay. Or at least admit you owe, lean on the kindness of your creditor and make arrangements. But when you try to stiff people under the guise of you being mistreated it becomes tacky. And it's hard to feel bad for ya.


  • James, tell your friend she doesn't have to mow lawns, or fix windows, much less install hurricane shutters in order for them to pay. One common misconception is that tenants can withhold rent to demand repairs. This is not true. She can initiate eviction and if they want to raise the status of the property as an excuse not to pay, the judge will still require the rent to be paid into the registry of the court. After a week, since they won't pay because they can't, she can ask for summary judgement and probably will get it. Much faster than eviction.

    This is assuming she has a lease of course. If the tenancy is month to month then is easier. Just let them know (certified letter) the moment they didn't pay the rent, they are trespassing and then call he cops.

    I'm very sympathetic to tenants, but I have seen and suffered so many abuses, it pisses me off what people get away with.

    By Blogger Alex, at 1:14 AM  

  • Wow, James! You got BOTH candidates for Weekly Behavior Awards in one post. Kudos to the woman just trying to collect, and razzberries to the tennants just looking to buy time.

    Regarding the "painted on" pants, the only thing I can think of that can make that even worse is when the dude who's wearing them is over 60.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 7:33 AM  

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