Memories of Daniel Lawrence’s 3301 Westland Drive

Most realestate agents will tell you “buyer beware” .. certainly true purchasing property and used cars. Even the Romans knew this “caveat emptor”. So when we arrived new to town looking for a place to rent, it’s too bad the rental market was quite hot so there was really not much to choose from. After looking at over 50 places with our amazing realtor, we finally decided to sign a lease for 3301A Westland Dr. Now some opinions were it was the best of the worst, but we were actually quite happy to rent it at the time .. seemed like a nice enough place and we were under an immovable deadline.

Probably due to the unfortunate drainage issues at the front door area, but during the first couple of months there were quite a few spiders and other small bugs we found, I just thought that was relatively normal .. until the cockroaches started showing up. The first one was a bit of a surprise since the very attentive landlord indicated he had a pesticide treatment applied in January –  shouldn’t be due for another touch up for another six months … right? Well, at least it was dead when we found it. So when the other cockroaches started showing up alive, we started getting a bit concerned. To the landlord’s credit, he got right on the cockroach problem and was caulking any cracks or holes the buggers could be climbing in through. Easy enough since the landlord lives right next door.  Not the best if you’re a college student, but as mature adults, no problem.  No matter, we actually got quite proficient at dealing with the next four or five we found.

Hopefully the extremely loud furnace has been updated and it’s housing ripped out and upgraded .. even if to get rid of the mold found under the furnace that obviously wasn’t picked up in the home inspection.  When we looked at the unit, of course the furnace/AC wasn’t running so it sounded nice and quiet .. it wasn’t until much later when laying in bed in the master bedroom we realized just how noisy the HVAC was.

On to the next adventure .. with the bottom seal of the master shower completely decaying, with a strong mold odor that lead us to believe there may be water damage behind the wall, good lord, more mold?  Being good tenants, we agreed to remove the caulking for the landlord .. in hindsight we should have left that for him, since it appeared the mold was deeper than the surface.  Again yuck.

We certainly found the PitStop behind the house to be very convenient to have our annual vehicle inspections done, and really didn’t think much of a car repair shop located right behind us, since they would be quiet at night when we’re home, right? Oh, yes, that’s assuming they didn’t start work at 5:30-6:00am .. including air power tools. The worst was the schedule on which the industrial trash bins are emptied .. you can set your watch to it on Tuesday and Friday at 2:45am, but I have to admit there were a few nights I was tired enough I slept through the weekly cycle.

With the landlord living right next door, it was very convenient to discuss the state of his property, which we quite enjoyed. There are advantages to having a very involved landlord .. he certainly stayed on top of what he could.

Although there was a beautiful vine growing at the front of the house, they are often quite invasive, this one being no exception .. into the gutter drains, even the eves under the roof. Having the good fortune to have some good landscapers, they started the huge task of cleaning out the vine. So imagine the surprise when the landscapers came aross a garden snake as they are finally digging out the vine. Not a poisonous little guy, so No harm, no foul!

Well, the day eventually came when we had to move out, so caveat emptor part: beware when you move out to take pictures of the walls, hallways, etc. as the land lord did charge us for repairing nail holes in the walls … according to the Texas landlord / tenant act, damages cannot be charged to “normal wear and tear”.  Even though he did not have paint for us to use to patch and paint over larger mounting holes that had been put in the walls for mounting mirrors and such, we selected paint chips to get a good match, got the landlord’s approval with the color, bought the paint and then he charged us for having some areas repainted.  May be an area of mutual disagreement, but just be careful since he sets the bar pretty high.

Moving to a new place closer to downtown was nice, but we sure miss the walking distance to Red’s Porch, Kerbey Lane and Torchies.. nuf said.  We won’t complain, since we’re within walking distance to Maria’s Taco Express and Black Sheep Lodge – and with no landlord .. so it worked out even though we had to buy out our lease.