CAYCE, S.C. — The mystery behind the upstairs tenant in a now-viral Zillow listing has been solved.
The listing for the four-bedroom, three-bath house in Cayce, S.C., earned a lot of attention after saying the “Upstairs apartment cannot be shown under any circumstances.”
“Buyer assumes responsibility for the month-to-month tenancy in the upstairs apartment,” the listing said. “Occupant has never paid, and no security deposit is being held, but there is a lease in place. (Yes, it does not make sense, please don’t bother asking.)”
The ad became Zillow’s most shared listing of 2017 after social media called it a “nightmare house.”
The State newspaper in South Carolina said the real reason is anything but a nightmare.
The paper reports the upstairs apartment belongs to tenant Randall McKissick, a once world-renowned artist and illustrator.
McKissick lives with his three cats, and is a father of two daughters and is a grandfather.
McKissick has been friends with the owner of the home since junior high school, according to The State. The artist fell on hard times and moved into the upstairs unit nearly 10 years ago.
“He never asked for any money,” McKissick said. “He never mentioned money. I would like to pay him, but I don’t have any.”
The owner of the home said he wanted to rent the bottom floor for money, but it needs repairs he can’t afford.
“We don’t really have much choice but to sell the house; my parents need to sell it,” the current owner said. “But it’s been in the family for so long, we don’t really want to. And we want Randy to be able to stay there.”
The ad has since been removed and the house is off the market. The family doesn’t know what will happen to the home.