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Mon May 3, 2021, 10:22 AM

Am I under reacting?

Last night one of my tenants emailed me a photo of a spider, with a text that said, "This is what I found in my bathroom." It was 9:30. I've asked my tenants to contact me between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. with any concerns, except in cases of emergencies. Was he thinking that a spider in his bathroom was an emergency?

He's lived in the house for almost a year and a half. Is this really the first spider he's seen in his house? I mean, I saw a spider in my house on Friday. Should I have called an exterminator?

This particular tenant has fabricated issues in the past when he's had trouble paying the entire amount of his rent. When he moved into the house it was pristine, and everything was in good repair. He's on Section 8, so there was an inspection prior to his move-in. There were actually two inspectors that came, because one was training another, so it was very thorough. Additionally, I had an inspection by an exterminator before the Section 8 inspectors came.

I was disturbed about the notification from my tenant. I didn't respond last night because I just really couldn't decide HOW to respond, and I didn't want to start a whole text conversation at that time of night. Now it's morning, and I still don't really know how to respond.

I hate being a landlady. I wish I could afford to sell my rentals, but I depend on the income every month to pay bills. It wasn't my intent to be a landlady, but it's what I'm stuck with after my divorce.

Any input on how I should handle this whole spider situation? Should I have asked him if he wanted me to go over to the house and catch it and relocate it outside? That's what I would do if I was faced with the same situation at my own house.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Am I under reacting? (Original post)
Rorey May 3 OP
quaint May 3 #1
Rorey May 3 #3
Goodheart May 3 #2
Rorey May 3 #6
MerryHolidays May 3 #4
Rorey May 3 #7
MerryHolidays May 3 #9
Rorey May 3 #11
multigraincracker May 3 #5
Rorey May 3 #8
Midnightwalk May 3 #10
Rorey May 3 #12
Bayard May 3 #13
Rorey May 3 #14
trof May 3 #15

Response to Rorey (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:28 AM

1. Mutual tolerance or catch and release, either works.

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Response to quaint (Reply #1)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:40 AM

3. That's how I feel

I suppose I probably inadvertently vacuum some up, but whenever it's possible I catch them and relocate them outside. I did find a black widow once in my basement quite a few years ago, and I had to be evil.

I thought about responding that the spider in his bathroom didn't look dangerous to me, and I could go over today and remove it if he wants me to do so, but that response sounds kind of flippant, and, as a landlady, I have to always remember to be careful of how I respond to things.

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Response to Rorey (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:29 AM

2. "Spiders happen even in the most expensive homes. What do you wish me to do?"

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Response to Goodheart (Reply #2)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:51 AM

6. That's a good response

I might send something to that effect today. I didn't want to start a big conversation last night. This guy tends to be wordy, and I didn't want it to be a big deal at that hour.

Last year, prior to the election, he started sending me links to conspiracy theory "evidence", and I realized that he's kind of nutty. I had to really sort of shut that type of conversation down.

I tend to be friendly with people, and I always have to remind myself not to cross that line with tenants and to keep it on a business only level. I just don't know what this guy's motive was in sending me a photo of a spider. It was a black spider, but I don't think it was a black widow, so I doubt it was dangerous. I'm just not really bug-phobic, so I don't tend to get too worked up about most bugs. I'm a super clean person, so I don't see them in my house very often, but I'm not freaked out about any that I come across.

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Response to Rorey (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:41 AM

4. This is absurd

A single spider means nothing. It could have come in through an open door or window.

I think you should tell your tenant to keep an eye out for spiders and insects. If there are more, you can say that you will be happy to contact the pest company, but a single instance of a single critter doesn't warrant that. You can also remind him of the non-emergency contact timing.

I don't think you're underacting at all!

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Response to MerryHolidays (Reply #4)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:56 AM

7. I was so tempted to respond that way last night

I think he might be angling to have a break on his rent, which I haven't received yet this month.

Spiders are a fact of life, and where that house is located, he can probably find way worse than that outside. My sister-in-law lives in a rural area of the same county and finds scorpions every now and then. She doesn't freak out about it.

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Response to Rorey (Reply #7)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:03 AM

9. I managed some property for my family

The best tenants were the ones that I kept at arm's length/at a business level. The worst were "friends" or people that were needy unnecessarily.

You might even take the pic he sent you and search it Google to see what kind of spider it is. If it's harmless, respond accordingly. If, by some rare chance, it isn't, you can call in the pest folks.

Good luck!

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Response to MerryHolidays (Reply #9)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:19 AM

11. I just sent a response

I told him that I can go over and spray if he'd like, or I can call an exterminator it he'd prefer that. I told him that it didn't appear to be a black widow from the photo that he sent, and that they're more shiny and are reclusive, and that I've only seen one in the 40 years that I've lived in Colorado.

I have four tenants, and am not friends with any. My favorite has been there for four years and never complains and always pays his rent on time. I could easily get more rent than he's paying because prices here have skyrocketed, but I won't raise his rent as long as he lives there and continues to be a great tenant.

Another one is looking for a bigger house, and I'm fine with her moving. She doesn't keep the yard up very well, which is an issue for me. I doubt she'll find anywhere to move because there just isn't anything available. Besides that, she has a dog, and that's an issue with most landlords.

I just don't see a point in spraying poison around for a harmless spider, but if it's what he wants me to do, I'll do it. At my own house, I don't do it. I hardly ever see a bug in my house because I'm sort of a nut about cleaning, and my house just isn't bug friendly.

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Response to Rorey (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:49 AM

5. Just say that spider is your exterminator.

Once he has eaten all of the other bugs, he will starve and die.

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Response to multigraincracker (Reply #5)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:59 AM

8. I actually thought about that!

I thought about responding that he should be thankful the spider was there eating any smaller bugs that he hadn't seen.

I don't consider spiders to be my enemy. Now, if there was a snake in my house, I'd definitely be freaked out. I'd have to call my daughter to come over and save me. She likes snakes. I do not.

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Response to Rorey (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:03 AM

10. One perspective that probably doesn't apply

I have a terrible memory for some things. My mind moves on and until I come across it again. I can repeat that for a while.

Not that I would talk to my landlady in any form about a spider, but I might be tempted to send an email about a noncritical issue while it was still in my head. I hope I’d be careful to say it wasn’t urgent

Otherwise I could easily go a month of being reminded daily and forgetting during proper hours for a over a week. Something like “rorey the handrail is pretty lose. No rush but it needs tightening “ if I didn’t just do it.

What your tenant did wasn’t that. Who needs a picture to prove a shower spider? They seem to like showers. You’re not going to stop the last spider from showing up so you may not want to be called on each one.

Again only me, but I’d likely wait until the next rent conversation.

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Response to Midnightwalk (Reply #10)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:26 AM

12. I was a renter for many years

I never called my landlady unless it was something I couldn't take care of myself. I lived in the same rental house for 17 years before finally becoming a homeowner myself, and I could count on one hand the times I called the landlady about something. Actually, I think it was only three times. Once was the furnace, once was the water heater, and once was the sewer line.

Thank you for your perspective on why someone might contact me outside of the regular hours. That makes perfect sense, that you would do it while it was on your mind, but adding that it wasn't urgent. I generally just make myself a big note and put it where I'll see it. Like on my coffee maker.

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Response to Rorey (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 12:16 PM

13. Leave a flyswatter on the doorstep

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Response to Bayard (Reply #13)

Mon May 3, 2021, 02:55 PM

14. Great idea!



I responded this morning asking him if he wanted me to go there and spray, or whatever. He texted back a bit ago saying, no, he just wanted to show me.

I guess I should have showed him a lizard that was in my house yesterday, thanks to one of my cats. She came in the cat door with a tail sticking out of her mouth and proceeded to go into the living room where she set it down and it scurried under the recliner sofa. I thought it was a mouse, and I was pretty mad at her. I envisioned the mouse crawling up into the sofa where I'd have to tear it apart to get it out. The cat figured out how to get under the sofa, and managed to get it out. When I saw it was a tiny lizard I was sad. I caught it and put it outside, but I don't know if the little guy was able to survive. He seemed to have all of his parts, but the vicious cat probably punctured something.

My son keeps telling me he knows a guy with a "nice farm" who would take this cat and her offspring. If it was a real farm, I'd happily let them go there. They're all great hunters, and would probably love it. But I know that the farm does not really exist.

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Response to Rorey (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 05:48 PM

15. Tell him it's not your spider and that he can keep it.

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