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Can You See Fingers?

If you look closely, you'll see fingertips at the back of the mound in this photo. They belong to my husband who stands 6 feet tall, and his arms are stretched over his head. Our tenants left behind this mound and more like it along with three non-running cars, truckloads of plastic bottles, weight lifting equipment, a goat, and lots of wet mattresses. So far, we’ve found 3 5-gallon buckets of poop. That’s right, poop. Five refrigerators. A television big enough for a hotel lobby. Flies hover over steaming pans of oily liquids, a broken swing set, car parts, a swimming pool ladder, tools, clothes, dishes, toys, wrapping paper, furniture… a warehouse of used, unusable trash. It smells. The cages of animals at least have been removed.

They left the property with the water running. Hardwood floors on the top level have a standing inch of water, but on the bottom level, it’s like a rain forest, complete with a river that runs underneath a sliding glass door which is stuck shut. Will the ceiling collapse?

When the government declared an eviction moratorium during covid, they helped create this mess. Half the housing in California is provided by families like mine. Repairing the damage will drain our savings account. It will require labor that will eat into our precious family time. And it will be disgusting.

This property, like so many others here, will never be a rental again.


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