Post # 1
Just a vent about our horrible apartment, thank god we are getting a bigger place this summer!
So FI was going to run to the apartment in the back of the house to tell them the internet was down (we pay them to use it) and as he closed the door behind him I heard a big crash. I rushed into the kitched and seen that our door was now without a window!
I of course immediately started crying because the first thing that rushed through my mind is “we can’t afford to repair that!” FI comes back in with both window panes fully intact which was shocking because it is -20 outside and they didn’t land in a fluffy pile of snow.
He then immediately runs to the landlords sons apartment to tell him what is going on and to see if he can help us fix it for now. He of course spent a half an hour (bless him) taping together a cardboard sheet using a bunch of cereal/snack boxes and was going to tape it to the door – but the door was SO cold that the tape wouldn’t even stick! He tried calling the landlord but they are out at a party tonight and can’t come to the house until tomorrow.
So we called my dad and he rushed right to us to help out, within 2 hours he had a nice piece of wood screwed into the door around the window. We had wanted to tape some bags on the inside to prevent the cold from rushing in any more but the tape just wouldn’t hold at all.
The landlords son calmed my worries when he agreed that the door certainly needed to be replaced and we wouldn’t be paying for it because it was long overdue to be pulled out. He did warn me that he thinks his father may not rush to get the new door in right away and it could be as late as later this week until he gets around to it but he’ll push the urgency… I was kind of mad because this should be his top priority considering the windchill outside and the fact we have to live here! I texted the landlord and told him that as soon as that door was replaced that he would be getting my rent cheque (was picking it up Monday) as I am not paying rent until the situation is fixed – a good motivator in my opinion.
I am really pissed right now because it has been a couple of hours and it is still freezing in here! We shouldn’t have to get my father to come and screw some wood to the door when we pay him decent rent every month!!! This should be classed as an emergency in my opinion since it is the middle of winter, if my dad wasn’t able to help we would’ve been screwed because we live across from a homeless shelter – some of which who wouldn’t blink an eye to come and rummage through our stuff when we were gone.
To top things off we are screwed for tomorrow – FI was going to stay home from work for the day but he just got on with this place and we can’t risk him screwing it up PLUS losing a full days pay (which we can’t afford) when the landlord may not even make it. So I had to forward him my cell number because I am in classes tomorrow and I will just leave school when he is ready to deal with this.
Post # 3
@ElayneRunner: I feel bad for you guys! We are expecting cold temperatures, so I can only imagine having something like that happen right now. Is this something that happens frequently when things break? I would start documenting everything just in case he tries to do something shady with your deposit or blame you for things falling apart. When we were looking at apartmets we looked at one from a private landlord. It was the shadiest place ever! Like giant glass windows without screens in a first floor apartment bedroom, and doors to the outside that you could see through the cracks and feel a breeze coming in. I’m glad we went with a complex in the end. I know management can be terrible, but in general we have found that they would prefer to fix things in a timely manner and not try and pull things like you’ve written about just to avoid getting into any trouble. Hopefully things get fixed, and your new apartment is better!
Post # 4
@beetee123: He is useless when things break… the door in question doesn’t even shut properly. With a solid push (or very high winds) it can burst open when locked!!! When we brought it up to him before he just brushed us off about it.
My biggest concern is that we’ll never see our deposit because there is of course cracks in the drywall after 3 years of shifting, there is peeling wallpaper in the bathroom that wasn’t installed properly (and one corner of peeling floor that was a patch job before we arrived), and a bathroom door that is cracking because he painted over the original crack instead of replacing the door! The only thing that is our fault is a chip in the laminate flooring from when I dropped a chair – but I am sure that small hole will come with a huge pricetag!
And nothing is in writing of course because we’ve always been naive enough to just have phone conversations with him where nothing ever seems to be an issue that would affect our deposit, I cringe at the thought of him replacing a door older than the time we’ve been here with our deposit money!
If we could’ve afforded a better place when we first looked we would’ve went with a complex apartment instead but this was all we could afford. We are 100% looking at complex apartments only this time around!
Post # 5
@ElayneRunner: I’m so glad we found the place we did. It was pure luck. We live in the most expensive county in our state, but definitely can’t afford to! We happened upon an updated complex right outside of a terrible neighborhood that is also a gated community. The costs are too high for the people in the city, but low compared to everywhere else in our county. It took us two years to find this place though! Just start documenting what you can. Take pictures of all of those cracks. If he tries to withhold your s deposit just send him a letter stating that you will pursue criminal charges due to the fact that he did not fix things as they broke. In most cases the couple hundred from the deposit isn’t worth risking it. I’ve seen some letter templates online where people said they’d get a lawyer involved and that solved everything. Hopefully he’s honest and doesn’t even try! We have a few things in our apartment that worry us that were obviously due to shoddy craftsmanship: tiles separating, cracks in walls, etc. We even discovered a few weeks ago that they never even painted over the last tenant’s wall primer (if you paint you have to prep the walls for them to repaint), so our whole apartment is just covered in primer! Lol
Post # 6
There are laws about minimum standards that landlords must meet. The biggest one of those is about proper heat. If he doesn’t fix this first thing tomorrow you need to call your police non-emergency line and report him.
Post # 7
@ElayneRunner: have you checked landlord tenant laws in your state? I would be very surprised if there wasn’t a provision about adequate heating, especially if you’re in a northern state. Also ensure that it’s legal for you to withhold rent until minimum standards are met.
Post # 8
@ElayneRunner: I dont know where you live or when you moved in but in MA there is something called “Statement of Conditions” that renters canprovide to their landlords after moving in,. The statement on conditions outlines any issues, cracks, stains, issues etc in the apartment with photos. This is given to the landlors within the first week of moving in so if the landlord tries to keep the security deposit over items that were like that when you moved in they cant. Also landlords in MA cannot keep the security deposit for normal wear and tear, most of them try and renters dont feel like fighting it so they get away with it more and more now. Normal wear and tear is considered a “cost of doing business” for a landlord, just like your doctor doesnt charge you for the paper her prints your charts on, istead the fee you pay to your doctor is used by the business to pay for business expenses, landlord s should keep a portion of rent in order to keep their buildings maintained, wear and tear is a normal item that happens when owning a home and renters are not responsible for it. It sounds like none of the issues with your apartment are your problem.
Make sure to document everything with photos, keep dates and records (especially emails) you have with your landlord regarding repairs. Start writing LETTERS with what the issues and repairs are and that way you have proof of what you informed your landlord of and what the date was so if he tries to keep the deposit you have proof that your requests for important reapirs were regularly ignored and taken care of when he got around to it.
Post # 9
Update: I have been texting my landlord and his wife’s cells since 7:30 when I left to see when the heck they were going to come with a door because I need a couple hours notice to get a ride back from school – no response at all and its been almost 2 hours! If I don’t hear back by noon I’m going to have to call him and tell him that if he can’t fix it by Tuesday we’ll be taking legal action with our landlordtenant board because not only is it a heat issue – someone can just pop the wood off and get into the apartment no problem!
@Footballwife: I’ve always known that the general upkeep was a cost of doing business (accounting student here!) but in our area landlords seem to have the idea that the tenant is supposed to pay for everything and they don’t need to actually save the rent money to make repairs like this – I’ve heard so many horror stories about deposits here. Certainly taking everyones advice and looking into the legality of everything and making sure I take plenty of dated pictures and collecting proof.
Post # 10
@flowercrowns: +1. I would have sent my husband to fix it right away to avoid the headache.
Post # 11
I feel so bad for you! At least you were lucky that your father was available to come and patch that hole, I couldn’t imagine the night you would’ve had with your door practically open!
Your landlord is certainly a piece of work, if I got a call that my tenants (if I had them) had their door practically open to the cold in the middle of winter I would’ve dropped everything or at least arranged for someone to fix it for you asap. No one should need to live like that.
I would make it very clear when he arrives today that this will not be coming out of your security deposit, put it in writing and hand him the paper stating how the door was old and you couldn’t control if the window popped out due to the wear and tear of it.
In my opinion a really good landlord who could not fix it right away for you would tell you to spend the night in a hotel and he’d take that expense off of your rent for you. What would’ve happened to you guys if that piece of wood blew off in the night? You probably would’ve woken up with frostbite!
You certainly need to look into your rights as a tenant here because landlords know their stuff and they know what they can get away with. Never just take his word that he’ll get around to it and even if it isn’t legal to withhold rent I would anyways because in reality if he fixes the door within the next day or so there is no problem collecting rent!
Post # 12
Is it an option to go out,purchase your own door, and turn in a rentcheck less the amount for the door & attach a receipt?
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 2014 - Hotel Baronette Renaissance in Novi
@ElayneRunner: I feel so much for you, darling. If you see a post I had a few weeks back, it was very similar to this. FI and I are currently battling with our landlord to fix much needed things as well. We have sewer problems (our sewer backs up constantly, and our basement repeatedly floods) because the piping in our rental home is so old. He really only pays for the plumber to come and throw some draino down the drains once in awhile. You are absolutely right that he should be putting this at the top of his priority list. Hang in there!
Post # 14
@ForeverAndEverAfter: He apparently wants to buy the door himself, I almost suspect whenever he shows up he’ll try the old “this doesn’t need to be replaced” and somehow tries to put the glass back in – which isn’t happening. We currently don’t have the financial security to cut into our savings to buy a door when we have nothing in writing to be paid back. I just know he’d say that it was our choice to replace the door and we owe him rent on top of it.
Just another update. It is now 1:00 and still no word from him. I call and i get their voicemails and FI is fuming at work that they won’t give us any attention regarding this! It is almost like if he ignores us that it’ll somehow fix itself. I’ve talked to his son again and even his son is pissed off because this is embarrassing for him! He said he’s even told his father to bring the door and he’d install it himself for me today but apparently they need to “inspect” the area.
Plus to make matters better he mentioned to me what his mother said about this. She apparently beleives that I am being abused by FI (we can occasionally be heard fighting but it isn’t bad, just thin walls) and that I was likely thrown into the door which sent the glass flying. She is apparently trying to convince her husband that he needs to get rid of us. This is just like the icing on the dog shit cake for me.
Post # 15
@ElayneRunner: well they’re going to have a lot of trouble proving that your FI threw you into the door especially since the glass just popped out and didnt break. Plus, you are showing no signs of abuse, so you can just ignore that. Honesty, they will have a lot of trouble trying to legally evict you since it can take forever for landlords to go through that process. Are you in a position where you could move to a bigger place like you had planned this summer? If so, I would start making up documents and looking up regulations in your state as to how long you can be left to live in poor conditions before you are allowed to break your lease. I know in my state if we are experiencing extreme temperatures and something happens with the heat, or basically anything that is considered an emergency happens and steps aren’t taken ASAP to ensure they will be fixed the landlord is considered to be breaking the lease, so we can technically leave.
Post # 16
@ElayneRunner: Where are you? I know some areas slum it down to get people to move out so they can raise the rent, because of the tenant favorable laws.
Also, make sure you have great renter’s insurance in case something happens. Cardboard isn’t safe 🙁