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Now That This Story Is Published It Is Too Late For the “Tragic Accident” to Befall This “Nice Gentleman”

Home - by - January 31, 2013 - 03:51 America/New_York - 22 Comments

The Frisky


Melissa Frost…wanted to help out the victims of Hurricane Sandy and she conveniently had a vacant room in the house she owns in Philadelphia. So when a 55-year-old man got in touch with her about renting out a room, she was all too happy to let him move in. “I got a response to the ad for the house from this guy saying he had been displaced by Sandy, and was still in Rockaways with no heat,” Frost told The Frisky. “He had pets and a seemingly good Internet persona–well educated, 55 … a reasonable adult.” Since her house happened to be unrented at the moment, “I told him it could be a good layover spot while he looked to find permanent housing.”

But no good deed goes unpunished.

So Melissa arranged to have the man come and check out her house, so she could suss him out personally. Instead, “He showed up in a van with all of his things––including his two cats and dog,” she explained. “He thought he could just move in right then and there, and I said, directly — multiple times — ‘I’m very uncomfortable’ and ‘Can’t I have at least a day to think it over?’ to which he basically said no. He said he had this rented van that he needed to return and these pets [to care for] and this and that.”

The plan was for the man to stay there for the month of November. Because of his Hurricane Sandy refugee status, Melissa asked for a check in the amount of $600, which is what she estimated her utilities would cost. Here’s where tenant/landlord law gets crazy. Despite not having a lease or sublease with her, when Frost cashed his check, he officially became her tenant.

Melissa returned to New York, and two weeks later, headed back down to Philly to check on her house. She was mortified by the sight that greeted her. “When I got there, the place was a mess,” she explained. “His stuff was in a bunch of rooms when it had been made clear he had the rights to one room.”

He’d been letting his dog sleep in Frost’s bedroom, and he responded in a wild, apoplectic way when she confronted him about it. A few days later, Melissa inquired about his living situation for the month of December, and though they’d agreed he’d only stay at her house for November, he responded, “Well, I thought I’d stay here.”

“I realized I needed to talk to him,” Frost said. Initially, “he was reasonable and  calm and I was honest about my being freaked out because he was messy, and things in the house were getting damaged. He said he hadn’t found somewhere but he was looking and he would be out as soon as possible.”

Later that day, though, his approach took a 180. “He was angry and threatening,” said Frost. “That’s when he basically said that he was the tenant and it was going to be hell to get him out, that he had ‘rights’ to my house.” She attempted to reason with him, but “he was purposely speaking down to me in this really calm, sadistic tone I hadn’t heard before. He was saying that he had all the rights and I had none. Literally! I was crying, offered to pay him to leave.”

But he wouldn’t. And as the days dragged on, he became more and more firmly entrenched in her home. “He made it clear that if I touched any of his things, there would be problems. He threatens in that way — in vague, indirect threats, like, ‘You know better than to do that.’”

When Frost attempted to remove some of his ephemera from the house’s kitchen, he refused to put it in his room, and then tried to push her down the stairs. Thankfully, Melissa had a friend named Peter over who intervened, and while the man attacked Peter, Frost was able to escape and call the cops. But when the man heard Frost dialing the police, he also decided to call them, racing to file a claim against her before she could file an assault claim against him. Frost says he actually broke some of his own stuff so that he could claim that she did it.

Frost had had enough, so she filed to evict him.

But here’s where shit gets extra twisted.


Update: If you have the time, read the comments. There is a person named Lisa on the thread that has to be seen to be believed. What an a-hole.



  1. RosalindJ

    January 31st, 2013

    Maybe that was a turning point (in a different way that forced funding of the Great Society). When the caricature of the ‘evil landlord’ – because he must be rich to own property and people had to live somewhere – had a legal mandate assumed against him.

    I was aghast when I learned that the minimum to get a tenant out in one state was three months back in the 80s. Despite the quote in the article I’m linking, in my court experience things have been weighted more and more in the tenants favor, which is why it pays to attend your town meetings and check your state laws.

    Personally, I think it’s a good thing she hadn’t paid off the house, else she might never be heard from again. She had to file for possession of the house. On her own freaking house. And Lisa is a tool.


    Thumb up +9

  2. Unruly Refugee

    January 31st, 2013

    This is the kind of case where it can be helpful to have a crazy cousin who just got off parole. Use street laws for street tactics.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +13

  3. Ornery1

    January 31st, 2013

    Hey–there’s a creepy, freeloader guy like that in the White House.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +34

  4. Boobie the Rocket Dog

    January 31st, 2013

    Is the house insured?

    Be somewhere else when it mysteriously burns down at 4AM. Then blame the arson on him.

    He has no scruples, why should you?

    If you were so in love with the house, you wouldn’t have rented it in the first place.

    Thumb up +5

  5. BigFurHat

    January 31st, 2013

    And then a fireman dies fighting the fire and you get life in prison without parole when the investigators trace the fire back to you.
    I’ve seen too many Forensic Files shows.
    There has to be a better way.
    Crazy paroled cousin sounds good.
    Squat on the squatter.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +17

  6. RosalindJ

    January 31st, 2013

    Hadda crazy cousin who could be counted on to fix.your.shit if called for. I never needed him and he passed away last year, as his lifestyle finally caught up with him (liver damage and diabetes).

    But it’s good to know someone who gets that unethical behavior needs to be addressed with unethical tools sometimes.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +10

  7. BigFurHat

    January 31st, 2013

    When you are clearly right and there are no laws to protect you…
    Well, you know the rest.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +16

  8. WhiteFalcon1

    January 31st, 2013

    She could rent another part said house to a member of the Hell’s Angel’s (their NOT the scary people most think they are)….he’ll move, believe it he’ll move!!! Gladly move!!!

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +17

  9. Lance o Lot

    January 31st, 2013

    I had a renter in Florida that wrote me bad checks and/or didn’t pay her rent for 5 months. She moved out the day after the processor served her the eviction notice because if she hadn’t, five days later she would have received a court summons. Had that happened, she would have had a judgement against her which would have showed up in her criminal and credit histories and nobody would have ever rented to her again.

    Did I mention that she works for the Broward County Courts? Like the A-hole in story, she knew what she was doing the entire time.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +14

  10. bitterclinger

    January 31st, 2013

    This story brought back memories of one of the most anxiety-producing movies I’ve ever seen, “Pacific Heights,” where psycho renter Michael Keaton rents the top floor of a beautiful house Meg Ryan and her fiance are struggling to pay for.

    Hilarity doesn’t ensue. Rent it, stream it, whatever. It’s worth the time.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to ask my pal George Hayduke how he would “handle” it.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +15

  11. BILL

    January 31st, 2013

    the depravity of the human animal nevers ceases to amaze me.

    thats why anyone that loves freedom should abore big government, professional politicians and communists.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +11

  12. SgtZim

    January 31st, 2013

    There was an old lady who swallowed a fly….

    Thumb up +5

  13. thirdtwin

    January 31st, 2013


    Q: What do big governments, professional politicians, and communists have in common?

    A: All three groups are infested with lawyers.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +12

  14. Serious Putty

    January 31st, 2013

    “Pacific Heights”

    Thumb up +4

  15. Serious Putty

    January 31st, 2013

    … was my first thought also.

    Thumb up +4

  16. Tim

    January 31st, 2013

    This guy epitomizes the 47% that Romney mentioned, the entirety of the OWS movement, and Demonrats in general.

    This is why you don’t allow rats into the house in the first place.

    Soft heart – soft head.

    Thumb up +8

  17. Ohio Dan

    January 31st, 2013

    The author recommended reading the comments made at te link. There are a couple commenters of the OWS mentality. Lisa and some other asshole. Hard to believe there are people that try to justify a jerk like that and make the responsible home owner out to be a privileged oppressor.

    Thumb up +7

  18. reddecaesari

    January 31st, 2013

    a friend owned a duplex with month to month tenants in california. a tenant who had moved out permitted a friend to move in during vacancy. he was unaware of new tenant until he went to property and saw their stuff.

    we moved all of the possessions out on the front yard and changed the locks before guy came home.

    next day the yard plants had been destroyed and ketchup bottles broken on duplex wall.

    but guy was gone. problem solved. he didn’t have a lease or possession. wild west solution but it worked.

    Thumb up +6

  19. Stranded in Sonoma

    January 31st, 2013

    I don’t know how many bedrooms the house had (lets say three) but I would have found BIG 2 friends (that can fend for themselves) and “rented” the other two rooms to them. Maybe rented the living room to another friend. That would have bottled him up into his room.

    Research the landlord/tenant laws to see what your rights as landlord are concerning inspections. That is, notification time and how many per month. Then follow those to a “T” and demand an inspection of ALL rooms. Otherwise the douchebag will claim discrimination. Retain an attorney, take him along, and take a camera too. Inspect every square inch of his room. Document everything with photos and videos. Show him you are loaded for bear.

    He will either become the best tenant or will move out because he realizes he can’t control you.

    Thumb up +4

  20. JPK

    January 31st, 2013

    Well, shoot. Where did Lisa run off to?

    Thumb up +4

  21. Tim

    January 31st, 2013

    I read Lisa’s comments and all I can say is:

    “It should happen to you!”

    Thumb up +1

  22. Unruly Refugee

    January 31st, 2013

    If you are a landlord, at the bottom of your renters application add the following line:

    Would you like to have $1 of your rent payment go to the 0bama administration’s community organizing efforts?

    If they say yes, you know what to do.

    Thumb up 0