(Closed) Oh the woes of Roommates and Renting…

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What do I owe my roommate/landlord?
    Pay her the $400, you are responsible for putting that room back in tip top shape! : (6 votes)
    10 %
    Pay for only the window, closet, and pans : (41 votes)
    66 %
    Pay for nothing, everything you mentioned is normal wear and tear. : (12 votes)
    19 %
    I have another suggestion : (3 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    3265 posts
    Sugar bee

    @Happilyevaafter5:  You do not owe for wear and tear.  That is part of being a landlord, and she should include in her price the cost of basic maintenence. 

    Did she approve or suggest you plastic the windows?  If so I’d say you don’t owe for that either.

    The pans you should replace since that was something outside of the ordinary.

    She is being unreasonable.

    Post # 4
    Member
    431 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @Happilyevaafter5:  Fixing the window, closet door, and replacing the pans is fair IMO. SHE wants to update the room with her taste so IMO, SHE can pay for that. There is no reason you should have to. 

    I wouldn’t worry about your rep at work, what she is asking for is a bit ridiculous. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    4194 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

    As landlord, she is completely responsible for painting, not you. (Some states have requirements that they have to paint every few years, in between tenants, etc.) No way should she try to pass that cost onto you- the only exception would be if you painted, you might be required to paint it back to the original color.

    Everything else is normal wear and tear, really. If you could help replaster around the window, that would be nice, since your actions caused that damage- but if the window hadn’t leak, you wouldn’t have had to put the plastic up.

    Don’t pay her anything for the paint!! I was on the opposite side of this until April- a friend lived with me for a year, no lease, no deposit, and I think she’s being ridiculous!

    Post # 6
    Member
    2065 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    I’d say closet door and window and pans, yeah you’d be responsible for. But have her get a real estimate for the repairs instead of just throwing a dollar amount at you. She needs something to back up that total.

    As for paint and cleaning and such, she’s probably out of luck there. That’s generally what a security deposit is for (well, for above and beyond normal wear and tear) and since she didn’t charge you one, there’s not much she can do.

    Post # 7
    Member
    214 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    Most (if not all) state spefic leases (I know you did not sign one) state that the landlord is responsible for wear and tear. This means that she is responsible for the painting and cleaning. Since you never signed anything you are technically not liable for anything. In that world if there is no written proof of it, it does not exist and you are not responsible for it. I recently went through a similar situation. My landlord was trying to squeeze as much money out of me as they could to pay for things that were their responsibility. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    14306 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    If you’re fixing the plaster, door, and pan (which I wouldnt have even thought of doing) that is plenty.  For shits and giggles, how about a $50 gift card to home depot for a can of paint of her choosing.  🙂   Its the landlord responsibility to paint and prep rented space.  I thought security deposit is for EXTREME damage requiring repairs.

    Post # 10
    Member
    4465 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    See I guess that’s what a deposit is for, to cover the charges of things like a broken closet door and plaster around the window if those things are damaged upon move out. Really, I think it’s her loss for not requesting that when you moved in if she is now going to demand money from you. I think you should try your best to fix those things, replace her pans and move out. I dont’ think you should give her $400 to update the room considering that it doesn’t seem as if the window and closet would cost $400. And also, paint – unless you heavily damaged it, which you didn’t – shouldn’t be something that you pay for her in her home. 

    Post # 11
    Member
    4194 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

    @Happilyevaafter5:  why is she bringing this up now then? Makes no sense… a lot can happen in 9 months!

    You might want to look for alternative housing then- I assumed you were moving out in a month- sounds like this could quickly become be an uncomfortable living situation.

    Post # 12
    Member
    6745 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @Happilyevaafter5: Just tell her:  “I thought about how you asked me for $400 and I looked it up and asked around and painting the room isn’t supposed to be the responsibility of the tenant.  I want to be totally fair and I understand that I damaged the window by putting that plastic up, even though I wouldn’t have done that if the window didn’t leak air.  I know the closet door also broke and that I messed up a few pans.  I’m willing to fix those things and replace the pans for you, but I don’t think it should be my responsibility when it comes to cost for you to paint and clean the room.  Why don’t I fix the window and the closet and replace the pans and then if there’s more that you want done, we can discuss it then, but I think that should about cover everything.” 

    Post # 13
    Member
    159 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I would definitely replace the pan, as you are planning to do, because I would do that for any roommate if I damaged one of their personal belongings. Everything else, though… not so much! 

    When you put plastic on the window, did you ask first and/or notify her of the cold air coming in? It’s her duty as your “landlord” to fix this for you. If her suggestion was either (a) nothing, to deal with it or (b) to put up plastic, then it’s on her to fix. If she didn’t want you to put plastic on the window, she should have dealt with the issue directly. As a landlord, that is her job. 

    As far as the closet, cleaning any carpets/floor, and painting, that is normal wear & tear, and as such, the responsibility of the landlord to take care of upon the tenant moving out. If you had done something crazy, like, punched a hole through the wall or spilled a bottle of red wine on white carpet, it would be acceptable to ask you to pay for those SPECIFIC issues to be fixed. But normal wear & tear is the responsibility of the landlord. One of the perks of owning & renting property! 

    I would approach it as a polite, professional conversation. Maybe even give her a bulleted list of what you will and won’t cover and format it as so:

    Tenant Responsibilities 

    -Damaged pan belonging to Roommate’s Name

     

    Landlord Responsibilities

    -Normal wear & tear, to include cleaning, painting, etc.

    -Replacing plaster around window, damaged due to wind-proofing in winter (or whatever)

     

    Once you give this to her, ask her if she thinks it is reasonable. If not, have a discussion. You may want to point out that in certain cities (like Chicago, for instance), it is the Landlord’s responsibility to keep the dwelling within a certain temperature range, i.e. to provide heating, insulation, etc. in winter. You can likely find something to back that up in your city/county/state as well. Because she didn’t handle that for you, you had to fix the problem on your own. Therefore, it is now her issue to deal with.

    I feel like if you remain calm, there’s nothing for her to get mad at you for. And let’s be real, fixing those issues won’t cost her $400 anyway. That’s a completely arbitrary number. If she does get extremely mad, maybe you can compromise on a reasonable number ($100?), so as to keep your professional relationship alive. 

    Sorry, I realize that was incredibly long. Good luck dealing with your landlord/coworker/roommate. I hope this all works out easily!

    Post # 14
    Member
    3583 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Cleaning would have been in your deposit, which you didn’t pay.  At some point, you’ll need a reference and I wouldn’t want to burn a reference.  I think what you have damaged, plus a cleaning fee is fair but you should not need to paint.

    Post # 15
    Member
    159 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @WillyNilly:  I disagree. I have always gotten all of my security deposit back, and I assume that the landlords have cleaned my apartment after I left. The security deposit covers damage or extensive cleaning (i.e. you brought a dog in and it peed everywhere, thus they have to replace carpets), but normal cleaning/wear & tear is covered by the landlord, not the security deposit.

    Post # 16
    Member
    3583 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @LillyLover:  Must be state by state, then.  I have usually had ~$150 taken off my deposit every time I have left an apt and I do not trash the place.  I have lived in CA, WA, NV.

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