dilemna--what would YOU do?

by Ravyn 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Ravyn

    ok, Lee and I rented a nice little house from a sweet couple for over two years when we lived in TN. It was the only good thing about TN. We had nice neighbors and wonderful landlords. We got to know the landlords, but not as personal friends. We knew their kid and their health troubles and they invited us to their revivals(but we never went) but we considered them more than landlords. The next door neighbors were very nice too...we never saw her, as she had severe anxiety problems and paranoia and rarely left the house without her husband. Her husband was a good guy tho and we exchanged little christmas gifts and did each other's yard work when one of our mowers was needing repairs. They had a baby just weeks before we moved.

    Here's the deal: the old neighbors have been keeping in touch with email...it seems she is quite capable of communication on the pc --more so than she could ever have been in person. In fact I know more about her now than the two years we lived not 50 feet from each other. I regularly get pics of the baby, and hear all her news etc... We also keep in contact with the old landlords, but not as often as the neighbors. Maybe once amonth or so. And the last email was discouraging, it seems he is having even more health trouble and frankly I dont think he will live another 5 yrs, and he is a young man. His wife emailed me and told me he is not working anymore and she is working 7 days a week. They wanted to sell us the house, but Lee was out of work and we had to move to find work. I still feel bad, because I know what a burden that house is, and the economy is not going to allow them to sell it, it was his childhood home. I hoped they would find decent tenants for everyone's sake. The family across the street are good folks too, with two teen boys and a bunch of weiner dogs who won't stay in their yard- and I also worried about the new tenants being nice people for their sakes too. Well the new tenants are apparently NOT decent or nice.

    The neighbor emails me and tells me they are drug dealers and that she has seen the actual exchange of money and dope. She also says they are neglectful of two young toddlers, careless- like daddy chases them on a riding lawn mower as a game...and they are often in the yard unattended(no fence and on a street). She wants me to put a bug in the landlords ear. Thing is, I don't know if this is real or part of her paranoia. I also do not know if the landlords knew these people before they rented to them and might be friends or relatives. She and her husband do not want to get legally involved, really with her anxiety problems she would never make it to court or speaking with police or anything like that. I don't feel I am good enough friends with landlords to just lay this on them like this---I mean they have enough trouble without worrying about losing the income from the tenants(if there is nothing wrong but the neighbors paranoia that is). and how could I explain how I know this stuff without mentioning the neighbors specifically? Well I have a couple of options as I see it.

    I know the uncle of the landlord very well. I could call him and explain it and put a bug in his ear. But this is a large family and while they are related, they don't know each other except to see one another at funerals and reunions. The other option is that we still have friends who live in that town and he was the former Chief of Police and still has connections. Should I give him a call and explain this to him, and have him run some info on these tenants? The neighbors told me their names. The uncle and the policeman are VERY good friends.

    If they are dealing drugs--I would feel really bad if I found out the boys across the street got sucked into that. They were good boys and their father is the mechanic who rebuilt an engine for us for little labor cost.

    Well I would not be getting involved except the neighbor has been begging me in emails almost daily to say something to someone because she is scared to do it herself. She did not want her name mentioned to the landlord...unless I HAD to....

    So what do you think is the best course of action? My husband is leaning toward calling our police friends this week end with the story. I am thinking it might be better to talk to the uncle first.


  • little witch
    little witch

    Gosh, thats a tough place to be in, Ravvyn.

    I would advise the police. Because, you can request anonymity, for you and her. Proffessional duty will keep that private, yet allow you to tell, and also keep your neighbor friend safe.

    just my two pennies...

  • kitties_and_horses_oh_my!

    Ew, icky situation. Good for you that you're such a good person you even care! I agree with little witch, I would talk to the policeman. Drwtsn said you weren't sure if the policeman still lived in the area, but even if he doesn't he surely has friends on the force who could look into the situation. Best wishes, and keep us posted.

  • Odrade

    My vote is for the former Police Chief too. He'll have the right connections to check it out without worrying the old couple. FWIW

  • Been there
    Been there

    Personally I wouldn't let the neighbour put you in the middle of it all. I would not go to the police on the word of one paranoid person (have you seen any of what she speaks? or heard it from another source?). She may not be able to handle the change in the neighbourhood and just not be able to accept the new neighbours and be seeing them and any action by them with tainted glasses.

    If in fact it is as bad as she says, it is the responsibility for the neighbours husband to step up to the plate and defend his family if the wife can't. He lives there and would be the best person to answer any questions for any investigation.

    You might ask the landlords (in passing) how they like the new tenants, see if they have any complaints with them. These people may pay the rent on time, not make any noise, (they do) cut the grass, keep the place kept up etc. within landlord guide lines.

    Are the new neighbours really mistreating the children? or is it just a little differant then someone else would? Has having a new baby made old neighbour hyper vigilant? The dad and kids may have been having a blast with the lawn mower, it was'nt smart or mature (men can be big kids), but was it police worthy?

    If drugs are in fact being sold in a landlords house he should be made aware so he can protect his property from being taken away in a drug bust, but it is the neighbours responsibility to notify him of their suspitions and his responsibility to check into it by calling in the police or what ever.

    Step back from it emotionally, save your precious energy, and respectfully let the old neighbour use her energy (or hubby's) to fight her battle. I think you will save yourself a lot of grief in the long run. Why should you be the bad guy and they sit back and let you do all the work when you don't even live in the state any more. They (and the other neighbours) need to deal with the problem, not you. A phone book has all the numbers to city hall. Make them go through all the proper channels so it can stick in court if it ever came to that. If taking care of rental property is to much for the landlords then they do need to sell it, but until then it is their responsibility to do what needs done, not yours.

    I just want you to see that you really do not need to be in the middle of it all unless you chose to be.

  • Frannie Banannie
    Frannie Banannie

    I agree with Been There for the most part.....you might advise the neighbors to gather concrete evidence of their allegations against those tenants and present it to the landlords so that the *landlords* can take the proper action with the police/court system and evict the tenants if necessary, in order to show respect for the landlords and preserve peace in the neighborhood, by allowing the landlords to protect their ownership of the property, for their property can, indeed, be confiscated by the Feds in a drug bust, if they haven't been made aware of the problem and taken the opportunity to take action against the tenants. It's the neighborly thing to do in this case.

    Frannie B

  • gambit


    I might consider taking all the above suggestions and wrapping them up in some sort of reply to the neighbor that emailed you. Suggest to her, that SHE call the police anonymously... You could go so far as to say that since you moved, your position may even be considered harassment, cause who knows what relationship you had with everyone involved.

    It very kind of you to be concerned, and to care enough to help, but I wouldn't suggest putting yourself in the middle.

    PS. Wish your prior landlord well. Oh, and maybe ask him how everything is working out. He may shed some light on the topic without you getting involved.


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