CAYCE, S.C. — The mysterious occupant described in the listing of a South Carolina home on Zillow has been revealed.
In the listing, which was posted on May 9, the agent tells potential buyers “don’t bother asking” about the occupant living upstairs rent-free.
News of the home’s tenant quickly made its rounds online and sparked speculation about who he or she could be.
The listing read:
“Upstairs apartment cannot be shown under any circumstances. Buyer assumes responsibility for the month-to-month tenancy in the upstairs apartment. 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 listing gained attention when Twitter user @valhallabckgirl tweeted about it, calling it a “nightmare house.”
Turns out, the occupant is not that mysterious at all.
The State newspaper revealed the occupant is Columbia, South Carolina native Randall McKissick, 70, a once world-renowned artist who has fallen on hard times. The man, whose painting still hangs in at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, said he now battles anxiety and struggles to find inspiration.
“I lost the spark. I don’t know how to get it back,” he told the newspaper.
A childhood friend allowed him to rent a room in his upstairs home free of charge. But the owner, Michael Schumpert Sr., had a car wreck in December and his family is forced to try and sell the house. Schumpert’s son, Michael, wrote the listing.
“We don’t really have much choice but to sell the house; my parents need to sell it,” Schumpert Jr. 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 house has since been taken off the market and the Zillow description has been changed. McKissick’s two daughters are looking for a new place for the artist to live.