my truth: i live next to a scumlord

by mattmcgotty

The culture of a college neighborhood is unlike anything witnessed outside these tiny towns; places rendered otherwise irrelevant without the mass hazing of the students enrolled in private colleges like Champlain (cringe). Here, you can see a wide array of children pretend- ing to maintain a semblance of stability. From shitty parking jobs, porch bong rips, and the ugli- est backyard of all time, the student body that is slowly gentrifying the places their parents called the ‘bad’ side of town is stumbling through adulthood. Thankfully we are accidentally leaving the oven on less times than you might expect. These students, however, are not the only menaces that roam the streets. The land- lords of burlington are on the prowl (along with 5 other kinds of vermin) and are another unwanted addition to the neighborhood. And one scumlord in particular happens to be my next-door neighbor.

It’s not my job to judge the weird millennials that volunteer to live alongside us. In fact, I respect their Bob and Linda Belcher-esque approach to parenting. Allowing their innocent hatchlings to see the stanky sides of the college experience. Here these budding twenty-somethings run rampant, living in mutual indifference alongside the the stagnant accountants and indifferent social workers like some bizarre arranged marriage.

Unfortunately, my next-door neighbors were not a gaggle of coasting “music” “”majors”” but instead a run of the mill Vermont family. The front lawn full body picture of a brace-faced high school kind in a soccer uniform was not, in fact, the self mockery of one college student’s em- barrasing high school soccer stint, but instead an actual fucking high school kid. This immedietly explained so much. The spacious backyard and exquisite balcony that I was planning on schmoozing my ways into was naturally the product of an adult man whos job is to revamp and restore. However, a tenant of his and also friend of mine has clued me into his shortcomings in both of these areas.

I personally have had my own shortcomings with his limited skills. Naturally, the scumlord himself is the connected to landlords across burlington, their little collusion spreading (like a rash) and he is employed to landscape my own yards. For an added charge to the monthly bill of the apartment, our man of the hour can turn an overgrown jungle of a front door into a desolate entrance that calls for a healthy rumination regarding the casual deforestation habits of the modern day.

He is capable of fixing doors too. Not well, my friend would assert. In fact, he’ll even chastise his tenants for not being more independent something I did not realize was applicable to front doors that randomly stop shutting. Nothing that a little lube and vigorous kick- ing can’t fix, as my ex-boyfriend would say. Although I am beginning to remember why we broke up in the first place.

Correct me if I am wrong, but is the job of a landlord not to take care of their tenants? Why own property that you yourself struggle with maintaining? But above all, why live in the same area that which you care for? Through my constant snooping, I have drawn the conclusion that he isn’t particularly in the position to af- ford each and every mishap that pops up in the properties he treats like Sims. But above all, he, as I’m told, refuses to raise the rent for his tenants next year! That of course is not without the constant mention of this fact to his ten- ants, but in a city culture that takes pride in selling closets with live bears for $900 monthly rent, some people will take what they can get. I guess covid is the perfect scapegoat for landlords too.

Categories: around town, matt mcgotty, September 27, wt staff

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