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Break-ins and Giveaways

Edited to add: I’ve made this a sticky post, so scroll down for new entries.

Lots of stuff is ahappenin’ so let’s see if I can remember it all without having to edit this post, shall we?

Today I committed my first break-in and it was amazingly easy. See, I have this renter who told me a week ago he’d run into some money problems and didn’t have money for April, so he’d be moving out at the end of March. I put an ad in the paper for a new renter (I rent one of the rooms in my house out) and secured a nice girl Sunday evening. Unfortunately, I was under the mistaken impression that my current renter would be moving while I was in Reno (I ass-u-me-d that since he couldn’t afford rent for the impending month and because he wants his deposit back, he would get his ass out of my house). Instead, I come back to Reno to find his door locked (I don’t have a key) and his cell phone disconnected. GRRR!! So April 1st rolls around, he’s nowhere to be seen and I want his @#$% out of the room. I confirm with Fair Housing that I have the right to basically break into his room and move his stuff to my living room so the new person can move in. So today at lunch I came home, put a step stool under his window (I have a one-story condo), pull off the screen, open the window, and jump into the room. YES! It’s way easier than I thought it would be. And no one called the cops. I think I’ve found a new career!

Dave agreed to come over tonight and help me move his stuff out. However, when I get home, he’s all “Maybe we should wait a couple of days…it is only the first, and I bet he’ll be wanting his stuff…blah blah blah.” I reluctantlyย agree (only because I’m so irritated I can hardly see straight).

Who shows up at 6:30pm to pick up his stuff? THE FRIGGING RENTER! That woulda been embarassing. I’m glad that of the two of us, Dave is the most logical. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But most of his stuff is out, he’ll be back tomorrow for the rest, and I didn’t have to lift a finger.

Question to you: Should I give him back his full deposit? It’s only $200, but he hasn’t completely vacated my house, and we are now into April. Whaddya think?


There’s all kinds of giveaways going on for Buy a Friend a Book Weekย (BAFAB). Dewey over at The Hidden Side of a Leaf is giving away two $20 Amazon gift certificates. Comment on this post and get one entry. Comment on her very first post, found here, and get another entry. How awesome is that? She has one of my favorite blogs, so definitely check her out!

Care at Care’s Online Book Club is doing a cute giveaway: Booksย &ย A Look. She’s offering two books: The Unbearable Lightness of Being AND St Lucyโ€™s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and a ‘look’ from Mary Kay Cosmetics (a lipstick, eye shadows and blush that fit into a color compact) worth $50! Holy makeup batman!

Also, my friend Amy at Park-Avenue Princess is giving away a book of the winner’s choice. Pretty cool, eh? Go check out her blog…she’s going to be doing more posts about books and she’s a really nice person to boot! Comment here for your chance!


I’ve already mentioned it’s BAFAB Week, and I have done this in the past, actually bought a friend a book (in real life!), but book tastes are very subjective, and who am I to say what you should or shouldn’t be reading? On the other hand, I can’t resist telling you that you should read this:


Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis. I mention the book here. If you like words at all, and if you’re reading then I assume you have a passing interest, you should read this book. Since I’m too lazy to tell you about it here (my wrists are starting to hurt), go read about it here.

But since I can’t tell you what to read, I offer you two books:

  1. I will buy Word Freak and only Wordย Freak for one person. As I would just as soon give up one of my animals as give up any of my books, I will purchase this for you through Amazon.
  2. I will buy you the book of your choice on Amazon, but it must be under $25. You can choose a cookbook, a romance novel, literature, a children’s book for your snotty kid…I don’t care, ’cause you READ!

How to enter? Comment on this post and tell me which you’d rather have: the book of your choice or Word Freak. That will get you one entry. For a second entry, post about this on your blog (email me at trish(dot)browning(at)gmail(dot)com to let me know you’ve done this). For a third entry, do one of those stumble-y things or de.lic.ious or digg it. I’d like to know what it’s like to have one of my posts stumbled upon, so I’m going to bribe you. I hope no one’s above a little book bribery. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Edited to add: GAH! I knew I’d forget something!! I will pick a winner Tuesday, April 8th. Comments will close at 5:30pm. Good luck!

| Tags: , , , 53 comments »

53 Responses to “Break-ins and Giveaways”

  1. RoseAnn

    I would like to have a book of my choice please ๐Ÿ™‚
    I also will be posting on my blog, I’ll e-mail you.


  2. Christina Geller

    Hey Trish. I would love to be entered in for the book of my choice. (We’re actually reading Word Freak in my English class right now.) I posted it here:


  3. Stephanie

    I’ve though I’m not a big scrabble player, Word Freak sounds like a fun read! Please put my name in for that one!


  4. amateurdelivre

    Would love a book of my choice please – great contest. Will post about this on my blog at and am going to stumble it as well. Yippee – that should be three entries!


  5. jeane

    I’m a big fan of scrabble. Strangely, I never thought to look for a book about it! I would LOVE to enter to win for Word Freak.


  6. Swapna Krishna

    I’d love to be entered for a book of my choice! Thanks for the generous giveaway!


  7. Karin

    I’d like to be entered for the book of my choice. Thank you.


  8. chartroose

    Hey, yeah, count me in! I’ll post about it right now. I’ll take the book of my choice if I win. Go check out my giveaway too!


  9. Dew

    Thanks for mentioning my giveaway! As for yours, please enter me for choice 2. I’ve read Word Freak, and although it was a fascinating book, I’m not ready to reread it yet!

    As far as your renter: I would say that you don’t HAVE to give back his full deposit, or probably any, as you were greatly inconvenienced by breaking in, moving his stuff, probably cleaning for the new girl, etc. You could charge him an hourly rate for that. But since he’s so broke anyway, you might just be soft-hearted and let him have the money if he has the nerve to ask for it. My ex told me a story once, all indignant, that sounded like yours. Only he was the renter whose stuff was moved into the landlord’s garage. At the time, I was appalled and didn’t know how to tell him that his landlord was the one who should be indignant.


  10. Megan

    I wouldn’t give the renter his deposit back. I feel like he was very disrespectful to you regarding the whole situation.
    Dewey is being too nice to your renter. But you can be soft hearted if you want to be. Or you can just send me the money. Or $200 worth of books. Either way…

    I think I would like the book of my choice, but the book of your choice might end up being the book of my choice. I haven’t fully decided and since I am being indecisive….

    Okay. Have a wonderful day!


  11. Amy @AParkAvenuePrincess

    Hi Trish!

    First, the renter, I think he should’ve been out by the last day of March. Is he paying you for the days his stuff is still there? NO. Is the new person able to move in now so that you can get a full months rent? NO. Are you all done paying off your upcoming fabulous wedding that you have waited for all your life (my guess is) NO. Are you made of money? NO. My answer if he should get all of his money back….
    NO! No! NO!

    Because it’s BYFAB Week and because you are my friend and I value your opinions, I’m going to take your suggestion and go with number one. : ) Count me in! I will go back to the blog and put you in the with contest post so that you will be linked up.

    As for the stumbly…I’m lost…I don’t know how to do it or I would. I’m just lucky that I stumbled upon your blog : ) It was the second one I read here in our book blogging community. That’s true you know…the very second one. Then, I found YOU : )

    Best of luck with the contest, my contest and your renter who doesn’t seem to move quick enough to get his $#*^ out! I be he stumbles a lot … ๐Ÿ˜€ LOL

    Love ya


  12. Amy @AParkAvenuePrincess

    Oh and Trish ? I have you as “Last but not least” under my post “Why I’m giving away a book of your choice”.

    Luck & Love,


  13. Jessica

    Word Freak!! I am a work freak. Have you seen the documentary Wordplay? If not, you should.

    [No! But I want too! Maybe after the wedding…can someone remind me? ๐Ÿ˜‰ –trish]


  14. mellymel

    ooh, while wordfreak is tempting, i’m going for the book of my choice. ๐Ÿ™‚ and i’ll link you up shortly.

    glad the rental situation is working out – i’m a big sap and would probably just give the deposit back as long as he wasn’t a total butthead. granted, the storing of stuff is annoying, but i was a room renter once…


  15. ravenous reader

    How can I resist a book of my choice? Consider me entered ๐Ÿ™‚


  16. Sticky Post « A Striped Armchair

    […] and to kick things off she’s offering the winner any book s/he wants. ETA: more giveaways! Trish is offering Word Freak or any book under $25 at Amazon, Natasha of Maw Books Blog is offering four winners picks from a big bookshelf to celebrate the […]

  17. Ilissa H.

    Word Freak does look like a great book but I think I will have to pick the book of my choice. There are a ton of books I would like right now!

    Thanks for a hosting this great contest!


  18. J Scott Savage

    How can you refuse a book about words? I’d drop by a local bar of ill repute and ask a couple of shady characters what the going rate is for a B&E. If it’s over $200 don’t return the deposit.

    [ROFL! Haha…if the going rate for a B&E is over $200, then I’m quitting my day job. ๐Ÿ˜€ –trish]


  19. Corinne

    Oh, oh! A book of my choice would make me so happy ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a great idea.


  20. bunnyb

    Cool, Trish! I’d love a book of my choice! Thanks so much!!


  21. gautami tripathy

    I too love a book of my choice! And I have put up this link here!


  22. katrinastonoff

    NO! Don’t give him back his deposit! Or at least not all of it. Your new renter can’t move in on the first, so you’re going to have to pro-rate their rent for the month, right?

    Oh, and how sad is it (but totally understandable) that it would be “embarrassing” to have him find out you moved him out of his room. I think it should be far more embarrassing to ask for the full deposit back when my stuff was still in the room after my paid time had ended!

    Oh, and I love the title of your blog! As for the book giveaway, I’d go for Word Freak.


  23. bunnyb

    Hi Trish, I’ve emailed you my post link and I stumbled your blog. My id: bunnybox9. Thanks!


  24. Karen

    Although I’d probably enjoy Word Freak and will read it one of these days, I’d choose something from my own Wish List! Thanks, and feel free to enter my contest too.


  25. tanabata

    I’d love to be in the draw for a book of my choice. I just added a link here on my giveaway post. Oops, supposed to email you that..will do that now.


  26. Deborah

    i would love to be entered for a book of my choice, there’s like a 100 i would have to choose from though!


  27. bkclubcare



  28. bkclubcare

    Oh, and I’m not trying to get another entry here, but THANKS FOR THE BLOGGING about my BOOK & A LOOK contest! get your entry in (I got yours Trish… I’m talking to anyone newbies here…) DEADLINE is tonight! Thanks, Care


  29. Lit-Ra-Chur « Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?

    […] me your two cents on this, folks! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway, and please tell me if you think he’s hot or […]

  30. Marisa Samuels

    Dear Trish,

    Word Freak sounds very interesting — I don’t play Scrabble (I am not good at spatial relations and I think that has something to do with my problem) but I love reading about interesting/obsessive people. Have you ever read David Sedaris? Very funny, and he’s a real character. My daughter in Lebanon just sent me a wonderful book by David Lodge; if you haven’t read Lodge, do — he’s great.

    So I’ll put in for Word Freak, because I am an inveterate remover of commas where they don’t belong (lemon’s, 5 cents) and misspelled words crawling across the bottom of the TV screen — not to mention biographers who get the names of their subjects’ books wrong . . .

    I will email you, too.


  31. stephanie

    I love words!! Guess that’s what makes us all readers. I’d love to be entered in your drawing!


  32. janelle

    ummmm……i think i’d like to try word freak out ๐Ÿ™‚ sounds fun


  33. Heather

    I planned to enter this yesterday and I don’t think I did… I would love to be entered in either drawing! (put me in where I have the best odds of winning… haha) Thanks darling!


  34. shereadsbooks

    I’d like to have Word Freak! I love books about words, and about letters, and things. And as a recommendation in return, I will say that you ought to read Letter Perfect, by David Sacks. It’s about the history of the alphabet, and it’s absolutely fascinating!

    [Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve added it to my (ever growing) BookMooch list. –trish]


  35. Literary Feline

    I don’t think you should give him back his deposit either.

    I’d like to put my name in for a book of my choice, if that’s okay. I’ve added a link to your giveaway on my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚


  36. Teresa W.

    I’d like to be included for the book of my choice, thanks for the opportunity!


  37. trishtheconqueror

    Thanks for having a giveaway. I am interested in a book of my choice. I also posted a link for your giveaway on my blog:
    Great name, by the way.


  38. Ivan Girl

    about your renter, my parents encountered the same thing. we wanted them out of the house and they kept us all waiting. we wanted to open their apartment to move their things out but we didn’t have the courage to do so. they were kinda feisty and we didn’t want to run any trouble with them. hehehe. we’re kinda afraid. ๐Ÿ˜†

    soon they’re about to leave and believe me, it was a hassle to do such that and watch them as they did that at 12 midnight. goodness!


    i would like to be part of this giveaway of yours. if ever, i prefer the book of my own choice. ๐Ÿ™‚


  39. danica

    I swear to god, I hate internet explorer. I tried twice to comment here and both times it waited till I was almost done and then mysteriously closed the tab, saving nothing! I have now moved to the computer with Firefox… and I am going to try again!!

    I am on the side of all your other readers who say not to return the deposit – with a caveat.

    This strikes me as a situation where you need what people in 12-step programs call “principles before personalities.” Like, we tend to want to put personalities first, as in: I feel bad for him because he’s broke all the time, I want to be a nice landlady, I don’t want to get into a big confrontation…. All the stuff about what we feel and what we fear. But if we have some clear principles, clear boundaries, then we can avoid all the vagueness and the confusion.

    So my first question would be, did he sign a lease? And if so, what does it say about:
    1. what the consequences are when he doesn’t pay rent, or doesn’t pay it on time
    2. what his deposit is used for and when he gets it back if it’s not all used up
    3. how much notice he has to give you to move out

    Some of the “principles” stuff is going to be in local laws, too. Like, my lease says that if I don’t pay my rent by the 10th then I have to pay a certain amount in late fees per day, but also, in California, if I don’t pay my rent on time the landlords can give me a Three-Day Notice To Pay Rent Or Quit. And if I do pay it within those three days, the whole thing is dropped and nothing more is said; if I don’t, and I don’t leave, then there is more legal action they can take to evict me.

    Your local laws can probably tell you whether him saying that he was going to move out by the end of March is legally binding, and what to do now that he hasn’t. It seems to me that the question isn’t really what to do with the deposit, because he hasn’t moved out, right? Unless something has changed since you posted this (which would be nice!) your biggest problem is probably how to get his ass out of there….

    I think in your position, this is what I would do:
    1. Get a key to the unit! Probably by getting a locksmith to come make a second key for the lock.
    2. Check the lease and the local laws and see what they say about all this stuff. If there are areas they don’t cover, figure out what my own personal rules as a landlady are going to be from now on.
    3. Possibly call up a landlord organization or housing lawyer and ask a couple of free questions about what the appropriate next step is.
    4. (Based on whatever they say, but this is what I am guessing): Hand the guy a three-day notice and a letter restating the situation, like: “On x date, you told me that you could not afford April’s rent and would be moving out by the end of March; it is now April 4th and you have neither paid rent nor moved out. As a result, the next tenant I have lined up cannot move in. Therefore, I am deducting the pro-rated rent from your deposit at a rate of $x per day ($x monthly rent divided by 30) until you have moved out. You have 3 days (until midnight on x date) to vacate the premises….” and consequences if he doesn’t, and so on.

    (It’s also possible that the deposit wouldn’t cover any cleaning/repairs AND the rent, in which case I’d probably give him a bill for the rent, with late fees (if the lease allowed for late fees) and prepare to take him to small claims court if necessary, and take the cleaning/repairs out of the deposit by themselves.

    I really identify with this whole question because it combines a lot of issues I’ve been working through myself in recent years… boundaries, challenges with landlords and housing stuff, and collecting debts, especially from other people I live with!

    Here are some resources that I think are really powerful for this stuff:
    – Codependents Anonymous … for anyone who wants better relationships with themselves and others. FABULOUS for boundary stuff.
    – Debtors Anonymous … especially Business Owners’ Debtors Anonymous groups, because landlording counts for that… it’s good for all kinds of money issues, and BDA (or some people abbreviate it as BODA) has awesome guidelines/principles for use in business that I think can be really helpful with problematic tenants…. sometime in the next year I look forward to using them for that myself!
    – NACA … it is a really great organization that helps people at all income levels buy homes, and it encourages them to become landlords and offers classes on dealing with all kinds of landlordly issues, so that you get to be fair AND safe.

    hm, I thought I could think of more, but I’m sure that is enough ๐Ÿ™‚ Wow, I hope it lets me post such a long freaking comment.

    While I’m at it, I would love a copy of WordFreak… I think! I am having a hard time deciding between a copy of WordFreak and A BOOK OF MY CHOICE, which is ridiculously tempting. But then, you made WordFreak sound so good! Lordy.

    And if it’s ok with you I would love to repost this comment and your question in my blog… or I can just post the comment and a link to your entry (well I’d link to it either way) or I can leave well enough alone if you want! I just had a lot of fun writing it.


  40. anne

    I would like to have a book of my choice. thaks for this wonderful giveaway. I don’t have a blog but I do appreciate this lovely chance.


  41. Donna

    Please enter me for a book of my choice. Wow! What a give-a -way. By the way it won’t be for snotty nose kids either. I only have fur-kids. Your blog photo header is awesome. I totally understand how you feel about giving away your own books. Not going to happen from my stacks. M

    My blog is under new construction….when up I hope to add your blog…interesting. Thanks, loves2read (librarything)


  42. Facing Abuse » Blog Archive » Principles equal ground rules equal boundaries

    […] boundaries, tools, codependence, relationships) Trish over at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? shared this problem in her blog the other day. Basically, she has a tenant who said he couldn’t make […]

  43. Nicole

    I’d love to enter for a book of my choice, please, as I’ve already read (and enjoyed) Word Freak.


  44. raych

    How have I not jumped in on this yet? I must have blacked out, or something. I kept scrolling down the list of comments, incredulous that I hadn’t already added my name. I mean, I read this post. I remember the bit about the renter. But I LOVE giveaways and I LOVE words and I LOVE books about words. If I win, you will buy me Word Freak and also you will be my new best friend. My current best friend is a guy named Trevor who I used to work with, who I would do crossword puzzles with in the bus stations when our tables weren’t harassing us, and who bought me Cruciverbalism, a book about the history and process of crossword puzzles. I’ll be empting my change purse into the wishing well for this one.


  45. booklogged

    Add my name to the drawing for a book of my choice. Thanks so much for this great offering.


  46. Melody

    Please count me in, Trish! Please add my name to the draw for a book of my choice, thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚


  47. Jessica

    I am a high school English teacher and I would LOVE to read Word Freak! I read about it a while back, and I am very excited! Please enter me! Thank you!


  48. Aaron

    After watching Word Wars (a documentary about Scrabble) I’ve been interested in word games the people that play them. So, I’d really like Word Freak. I’ll be sure to mention this on my site. Thanks for offering the book.


  49. wordlily

    I’m guessing you’re still accepting entries? Your post didn’t say what DAY that end time was effective …

    That’s a tough choice; I’d love to read Word Freak, but I’m also making my way through this list of 100 books, and I need to add some more to my stack (The local library doesn’t have very many of them.)

    I’ll go with Word Freak, that’s easier.

    Off to stumble …


  50. J. Scott Savage and Roger Rabbit « Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?

    […] talking about breaking into my own houseย and wondering whether I should give me renter his $200 deposit back, J. Scott Savage (let’s just call him Scott, m’kay?) left a comment saying, […]

  51. Simran

    I think the entire BAFAB thing is really cool. It reminds me of the game 24 questions but this is truly unique.
    Just something I cant resist sharing coz its got me super-excited is this series of books I’ve been reading.. The books I am referring to are The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. They are simply fantastic and caught me awestruck at the man’s creativity and imagination.
    AND NOW, Disney and Walden are coming up with the latest Narnia movie-Prince Caspian, this May 16th!!! It promises to be awesome by the looks of the trailer.


  52. lisamm

    Shoot, I totally missed out!! That’s what I get for being too busy to read my favorite blogs for a couple days ๐Ÿ™


  53. Nasty Message « Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?

    […] 13, 2008 by trish Many people weighed in on whether I should give my ex-renter his deposit. On Thursday I called him and left him a message explaining why I didn’t think I should give […]

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