James Frangella, Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove real estate specialist
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Monterey real estate, James Frangella
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I should have known better.

There’s a special place in my heart for our young people serving in the armed forces.  As a property manager, a military individual applying to one of my rentals has a fairly good chance of getting in.

Especially with my house just outside the gate of a military language installation as it appeals to those soldiers that want to live outside the post.   She was a young, recently-married airman studying at the DLI.  She could walk to class every day.  As a matter of fact, the Franklin Street house has been rented years before to DLI students and they have been some of my best tenants.

They pay rent on time and their housekeeping skills are awesome.  I should know as I grew up on a military base during my Dad’s service in the US Army.  Not only did my parents keep up the front yard, the interior was practically as clean as a museum.  Again I should know – one of my childhood chores was to clean the bathroom.  I still can smell the Lysol.

Her application states there will be two cats.  I’m good with that.  The Franklin Street house conditionally allows pets.  The lease is prepared with the inclusion of two cats, which her new husband will bring once he arrives from Louisiana.   The lease is signed and she moves in.

I always do a property inspection after a week or two to make sure my tenants are happy and there are no issues with my high standards for rental preparations.  I also want to meet the kitties. 

The airman and her newly-arrived husband are both very respectful.  “No sir, the cats will be staying back home in Louisiana for now.  Yes sir, we’ll bring them later, sir.”  I’m good with that.  I also ask they drop the ‘sir’.

Weeks later, I’m back at the house with my helper for front yard maintenance.  I hear ‘woof, woof’ from over the fenced patio.  Somethin’ ain’t right.  I take a peek.  Oh my!  Two rather large, young, boisterous and unruly German Shepherds.  Gotta be at least 100 pounds of dog between the two!

My new tenants go downhill from that point.  Her new husband went back to Louisiana.  Marriage counseling wasn’t on the agenda and neither were housekeeping skills.  Discussions take place and I can’t help to feel that I’m not being told the truth.  Nothing makes sense.  Did she commit fraud on the application?

I’m so disappointed by the actions of this airman.  My high regard for the military drains very quickly.  I pull the plug but I still show some compassion for her service to our country.  Dogs go or she goes.  She stays but the lease agreement is on a short leash (no pun intended).  I really question her pet parenting responsibilities.  She also agrees to an increase in the security deposit.

She finds a new home for the dogs shortly thereafter but puppies do like to chew.  The redwood deck must have been their chew toy.  It didn’t take long for that to happen either.

The house is vacated a few months later.  The young airman is gone.  But she forgot to take her belongings and so why bother with the house cleaning too.

I’m really thankful for her increased security deposit.  I spent it all plus more to miraculously bring the house up to the standard it was in before she moved in.

I’m also writing a formal complaint to her commanding officer.  She needs to understand the consequences for her lack of responsibility as a civilian tenant.

I’m reminded of my favorite all-time bumper sticker:  “Oh no!  Not another learning experience.”