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