In the first place, Grandfather Rastin never should have bought that house in Wiston. It happened several years ago, when he was only about seventy-eight, but even so he was old enough to know better. He admits that himself.
In the second place, he should have asked his tenants for references.
He did buy the house, and he didn't ask for references, and that's where the trouble started...
Lloyd Biggle, Jr. (1923-2002) is most famous as a science-fiction writer who used genuine science while emphasizing human and cultural elements, especially art and music (he held a Ph.D. in Musicology.) His detective stories about Grandfather Bill Rastin in the fictitious Borg County, Michigan show this emphasis on the human element in a nostalgic, Norman Rockwell-esque world.