Friday, April 25, 2008

USCG Documentation renewal

I had the boat documented with the US Coast Guard as part of the requirements from the bank. They ask that you renew your registration every year, so that they can be sure that nothing changed about the boat, and that you still own it. This is a free service. They do not charge you for this. Infact, its one tiny form to fill out. If your address doesn't change, all you do is sign it, write "owner" and put the date on it. Then fold it, tape it, put a stamp on it, and go sailing.

Optionally, you can use Specialized Yacht Services awesome renewal service. This is a private company which will take all the hassle out of signing your name, writing "owner" and applying those cumbersome stamps for a one time (a year) low, low fee of $75!

For this very low $75, you get to sign your name, write "owner", put the date on a form, write a check (including another date, another signature, write the number twice, and tearing it out of the book) and put it into a provided envelope. Granted... you don't have to affix one of those stamp things... nor deal with tape... but you do have to lick the glue.

Act now, and they will sign you up to receive other awesome free offers via the USPS, and email.

Seriously... $75 fee to fill out twice as much info, but save $0.41 on a stamp.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Tenants... yay for being a landlord

Buying a duplex, and renting out half of it seems like a good idea. I mean... when rented, the one side pays for most of the house... which is a good deal... when they pay.

I bought the house with a couple living there, with a few kids, one being a baby. They were late the first month... I forgave them the late fee, to set up a nice relationship. That wasn't smart.

They were late the next month, and the month after... eventually having to wait till they got a tax return to pay off all that they owed me... they paid for December's and January's rent at the end of January... and then... they paid February on time! One month on time, out of 5... not so good, the rent is cheap.

March rolled around... and they gave me a song and dance about how they can't pay the rent, and would have the money in "3 weeks, or 2 weeks... or maybe one week." I gave them 3 days... and then evicted them. I am not running a charity.

It took a month to get them finally out... and lawyers fees, and other costs. But, finally, I locked them out the other day (in the presence of the bailiff). With the rent the owe me, and the other fees I had to incur... and now the cleaning of their stinking place... I am out about $1500!

They left me a nice little note before they finally got all their crap out... saying how I am a nice guy, and how they are sorry, and how they have new jobs which are going to pay alot more... and how there were "no hard feelings." Well... there are hard feelings... 1500 of them. I planned on taking them to small claims court... partially to see if I can get some money back, and partially to learn how the process works. Problem is... they never left me a forwarding address. I tried all of the 5 or 6 numbers I had for them... and somehow every one is disconnected... go figure. I started gearing up to have to search for them... calling their references, calling their work, calling the post office, or the utilities company....

Sunday morning... they called me! Apparently, in their stupidity... they left a box of important papers, in the unit. They asked that I leave it on the porch for them... which I said we had started to go through and clean, and threw some of their stuff away... but if I had their address, I could forward some mail they had, and send this box of stuff to them... they gave it to me!

Instead of a box of papers they needed, they will be getting a summons to appear in court.

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