How to avoid toxic people?

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WayOutWest

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This is a difficult post. I've come in from the cold and back to a stick-built brick rancher. I wanted to stay in touch with the Mobile Community so i've been offering a cheap campground alternative for small RV's or vans, camping on my property with electric and water. At a price less than a third of Virginia campground prices. The problem is people now...are...just...nasty. In general. Not just this community. You risk real problems when you interact with strangers. Drugs, addictions, withdrawals, meltdowns, mental illness, criminals, thieves, abusive violent personalities. I have failed 3 straight times with people camping on my property. I'm in a gorgeous part of southern virginia, Virginia Lake Country, 50,000 acre John Kerr Reservoir, fishing, boating, kayaking, state park, waterfront parks, dam...gorgeous. But how do you all navigate the meeting of new unknown people??? Tired about people lying, saying they have no drama, no baggage, then dump a truckload on you. This community is just a cross-section of everybody, but how do you all avoid bad outcomes with strange people. I'm giving up trying to provide a safe affordable spot after 3 strikes. What are you guys finding out there?
My experience has been that renting space on your own property to others, whether to live on long term, or stay a short time, is one of the most difficult businesses that a person can get into. I have been doing rentals for 17 years, and I have been in chat groups and communities with others who have many years in this business, and I have written articles on it, and I caution everyone that it is HARD and it's a business that requires many more skills than one might expect, in particular as regards how to decide to whom to rent. Eg skills at screening and recognizing "red flags." As well, you need to know the law in your area about the kinds of rentals you're doing, so that you don't get scammers who use the law against you and create some of the worst problems you may ever have.

People so often get into this business with no idea about how difficult it is to adequately screen renters, and you DO have to screen them. Beginners think you can just ask questions and expect people to reply honestly -- such as asking about baggage or drama. You can't ask questions like that and expect meaningful responses. People who have baggage and drama will quite likely never be able to realize this, or if they do, certainly are not likely to be honest about it if they know that you are looking to screen them out on that basis.

There are a whole lot of nuanced skills that need to be developed, that pertain to communication, and how to get a sense of what someone is really like without asking them questions while hinting to them what answer you are looking for.

As well, I will mention that offering "cheap" rentals, invariably creates problems. The cheaper the rental, sadly, the more problems you're likely to encounter. This is truly sad because I know you are motivated to do this to help people, and there are many good people who would truly appreciate your help. And people do need cheap rentals!! I would say you have 2 choices: (1) either put in a good amount of work learning fairly nuanced skills about what kinds of questions to ask, what to look for in people, how to recognize "red flags", how to assess people's character in a variety of ways, or (2) plan to get out of this business and/or simply rent space to those you've gotten to know well over time, and know well enough to trust. I predict that if you go ahead without learning about how much you don't know, and start trying to learn a lot about the property rental business, you're likely to just experience more and more problems.
 

Morgana

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I think you made the right choice, Mike/OP, to walk away from Plan A. (Not saying that's the /only/ right choice, but I can sure see why you'd choose it -- the cost and effort required to do this safely and happily seems awfully high.)

I know it's disappointing, but you never would have learned all this if you hadn't given it a try. My motto is "if you never have to quit anything, you're not trying out enough stuff." Here's hoping you can parlay all this experience into a more rewarding Plan B (if you even want to do anything new at all, which is up to you).
 

bullfrog !

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No screening system is perfect, even renting to people you know can be problematic. One reason many use AirBnb is they at least review renters ( lots of stolen identities out there though ) as well as the people renting out the properties and provide a means to deal with physical damage through provided insurance. Renting is taking a risk for profit and when you do that you must be prepared to loose occasionally.
 

jasper

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Expecting to live full-time for free on public lands never set aside for full-time living is squatting, not sharing, and seems greedy. Expecting to do so while on social media reviewing products, made elsewhere, mostly by workers living a more impoverished lifestyle, showing off cooking skills with products many working-class people cannot afford, seems opposite the all-about-community/sharing philosophy presented. Could you imagine being a sweatshop type worker, viewing and listening to online videos or reading this site? My first paycheck with tax deductions began at age 14.

Full-time living on public lands is ruining the landscape I've been privileged to witness since the late sixties. That, along with fun toys which literally chew up the land while making lots of noise. The rise in the standard of living since WWII is amazing. I never anticipated this age of consumerism.

When Mike first announced his intentions to provide camping, I hoped for the best, but expected the outcome due to my camping experiences, especially in the last ten years or so.
 

Carla618

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Expecting to live full-time for free on public lands never set aside for full-time living is squatting, not sharing, and seems greedy. Expecting to do so while on social media reviewing products, made elsewhere, mostly by workers living a more impoverished lifestyle, showing off cooking skills with products many working-class people cannot afford, seems opposite the all-about-community/sharing philosophy presented. Could you imagine being a sweatshop type worker, viewing and listening to online videos or reading this site? <snip>

Full-time living on public lands is ruining the landscape I've been privileged to witness since the late sixties. That, along with fun toys which literally chew up the land while making lots of noise. The rise in the standard of living since WWII is amazing. I never anticipated this age of consumerism.
I view it as sharing, not squatting. But I understand your comments about social media and nomads. I've had similar thoughts after discovering CRVL and the youtubers using affiliate links, product reviews and product placement. Not all do it.

Also agree about the "fun toys."
 

bullfrog !

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By law, at least in Arizona a squatter must occupy a property publicly at least 2 years. Most free stay BLM land has lawful limits much less than that. After having an uncle loose a piece of valuable lakeside property which he owned outright and paid state taxes for years on to a developer because of out dated state laws and the federal government taking our family farm to flood and create part of a national forest I am glad to at least be able to lawfully enjoy our public lands. Our government has allowed public land to be taken for mining, clear cut timbering, and military bombing ranges. I don’t think it unreasonable for a certain amount of “public” land to be used by the public whether it be for 14 day camping, Long Term Vacation Areas or off road vehicles trails and use areas as well as wild preservation areas. If you take a close look at our National Parks history you will see a trend towards being built mainly with the very wealthy segment of our population to enjoy. If a person living in a vehicle uses it to visit our public lands legally for years more power to them, in fact the government should use it if it helps solve the homeless situation in my opinion. Many people were housed clothed and given a job on public lands by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the past why not increase the effort today when there are areas that need to be maintained on our public lands? A lot of future toxic peoples problems could be solved by doing so in my opinion. Sorry for getting so far off topic. If we want to discuss this we should start a new thread although there are several old ones already.
 
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RoamerRV428

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remember too what is toxic to one?
to me it is interruption of life and full on in my face or?
if one is say, vegan and yells at me for eating a rack of ribs one can combat, but what is toxic to your 'personal space' you rent out?

dumping black tank on ground?
litter and garbage?
wild parties one never wants but their friends coming might be into big booze and drugs of ? WHO knows, not til ya see it all AFTER ya rent out the site :_)

forcing one into your life when not ever wanting it as in coming home from food shopping and sees whatever in your bag and tells ya you are gonna ruin the earth and how dare ya buy that?

toxic is very personal to each of us but we also know toxic can truly interrupt and become 'something way worse' thru interaction for many.

remember also one 'has liability' issues at ALL times 'on their personal' property so.....you took it in, you allowed it without contact and clear terms so...think long and hard on how ya wanna roll too on what liability you can be dragged into thru the system too. Many who had no knowledge or what ever of what went down are victims of that carnage that 'happened on their property' so.
not sayin' this is all in but darn, think of your liability to it all before ya think, I wanna help some in this way ya know.
 
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