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Thankful, but Could Spit Nails

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Mama_of_3_Kids posted 1/7/2014 23:50 PM

I couldn't sleep, so I got up and did some studying. After about an hour, I felt like it was COLD in our house...I came downstairs and the thermostat said it was 62, in our house We keep the thermostat at 72-75, depending on the temp outside (with the -40 windchill, it's been on 75), so this was shockingly cold to me. I tried messing with the thermostat, since I wasn't sure what was going on...nothing! I knew I would have to go get Do3K, because it was going to be dangerously, "I can see my breath," cold by the time he got up at 345. He came down and tried to figure it out, we even went so far as changing the batteries on the thermostat, because we thought that may be the problem. He ended up having to go down to the cellar (where the furnace is located) in the 14 inches of snow and -3 windchill. Meanwhile, our fur babies are in the kitchen shivering b/c they're so cold He was in the basement for about 20 minutes trying to figure out what was going on and he finally fixed whatever the problem was. I am thankful for a hubby who was willing to do this, because this is a rental house, so he didn't *have* to do anything other than call the slum...I mean landlord.

Now for the "Could Spit Nails" part of this...our landlord is a slumlord. We have drainage problems that he has been ticketed for and has been aware of for a YEAR. We have A sump pump that cannot keep up when it rains anything more than a sprinkle and therefore lost some items in the basement, as a result (that's when we found out that the basement floods). We lived here for a year, before I could get them to do anything about the "sewer gas" smell, which ended up being raw freaking sewage under my back porch. Then, when the "fixed" said back porch, they ended up leaving a two inch gap under the back door and we get a bad draft through it...yeah, -40 degrees with a draft is real great I had Do3K hillbill-ify the door way between the back porch and the kitchen with a blanket, which has cut down significantly on the draftiness. So, I know that if we would have called him at 12am, to tell him of this problem with the furnace, it would have been another, "I'll be over in the morning to check it out." BS! It's 100% BS! My husband should not have to take care of a RENTAL like this. We've put so much money into the house, because we know it won't get done any other way. We can't move, b/c there are no houses that will take dogs and all of the apartment complexes in the area limit the number of can usually have two pets per unit and we have four. That is a rant in itself, but I digress. At least, now, my house is starting to warm back up...64 degrees the last time I checked, my husband will be driving his tired and not so happy butt to work in the morning and the landlord will hear about it when I call him in the morning. I.AM.DONE! He can take his January rent payment and suck it! I'm not paying crap until he fixes the problems fore-mentioned! I have rights too, dang it!

purplejacket4 posted 1/8/2014 00:03 AM

That is crap! I hate it when "landlords" do the bare minimum and paper clip/tape repairs instead of having it professionally. Grr! Hope you warm up soon.

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 1/8/2014 00:10 AM

Thank you, PJ. When we first moved in, the landlord who fixes everything was amazing; the outlet was wired wrong and fried my old stove...he bought me a NEW one (my old one was used). He made sure that we were happy with everything, etc. Then he ended up getting very ill (surgeries, hospital stays, almost died, lost over 150lbs, etc) and his "partner" (the slumlord) took over. His partner refuses to fix anything. The original landlord has apologized a thousand times over and I have a hard time being upset with him; it's not his fault. It's been a difficult sitch b/c the first landlord was so good to us, when we first moved in that I don't want to burn that bridge, but now I'm feeling a lot of frustration toward the partner landlord.

Jrazz posted 1/8/2014 02:08 AM

We have a significant ant problem right now. They are going for non-edibles, like medicine and lotion. We've tried traps and locked down all the food.

Our landlord has suggested we scatter poison pellets around the outside of the house.

Knowing we have 2 pugs and a 3 year old.

I totally feel ya. Props to Do3K for saving the day!

TrulyReconciled posted 1/8/2014 08:41 AM

Jrazz - have you tried Terro Ant Baits? They work really well.

Ascendant posted 1/8/2014 08:49 AM

I'd look into your local code enforcement laws. Sometimes there are odd things in there about landlords and what not.

For example, in the city where I live, if the police are called to a property 3 times within 90 days, the city can seize the property from the owner.

Ascendant posted 1/8/2014 08:51 AM

Slumlords are the worst, though. I manage the building I live in, and the owner does a fairly good job. However, my dad used to manage the business side of properties for some landlords who just patched, patched, patched and never fixed anything completely.

k94ever posted 1/8/2014 09:45 AM

Before you withhold January's rental payment, check what your lease says about late/non-payment of rent.

Are the Landlords looking for a way to get you out of the house?

What legal route do you have to get re-imbursement from the repairs you have made?

Do you still have raw sewage problems? Have a friend make an "anonymous" call to the city/county offices about raw sewage issues at your address. This can result in the authorities getting involved and forcing the owners to permanently fix this along with a fine. (I know this because my former MIL didn't fix the septic problem with her rental until an "anonymous" phone call to the county was made and she ended up with a big fine and mandated fixing of the system)

Talk with the first landlord and see about getting a written agreement where you can deduct the cost of repairs from the rent.

Good luck.


ajsmom posted 1/8/2014 09:59 AM

I agree with the others - be careful about withholding rent.

These conditions sound abysmal. Why are you still living there?


ETA: Just re-read the info on the sorry for you!

[This message edited by ajsmom at 10:45 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)]

Undefinabl3 posted 1/8/2014 10:47 AM

Before you withhold January's rental payment, check what your lease says about late/non-payment of rent.

First check with your local laws. If the issues in your house are laws/rules being broken..then:

1. Get a binder and dividers for each of the seperate issues (i.e. the door, the sump pump).

2. Take pictures of each area with something that can determine the date - like a news paper. Then put that in the binder. Also, make a time line for each instance of each issue. Get any emails you sent for the issue.

If you have the time - scan all of this and put it in a safe location.

3. Then you need to set up a seperate bank account and then when you get online to 'nickname' the account - put on it "Rent withheld". There is a BIG difference between witholding rent and not paying it. When you with hold it, the money is there - you are just holding it until your rights are met/the judge has told you you need to pay. This will also show the judge that you are not trying to be an ass, you are just trying to stand up for yourself.

4. When the order of eviction comes in - then you counter sue (you can find all the documents to fill out online, otherwise you can probably talk to a lawyer to see about which documents to file and when) you will probably have to pay a court fee (between 50- 100 dollars i think) and then boom - your landlord just took his ass to court.

It will very depending on the state, but if you can prove that you are not living in a law abiding abode, then the judge will look at your landlord and say 'fix it' - the judge may also look at you and say 'pay a percentage of your back rent, since you know....the guy needs money to fix it now."

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 1/8/2014 11:50 AM

The sewage issue was "fixed," but the other problems have not (sewage and tile/drainage issue are two different things). I don't think the landlord is looking for a way to get us out of the house...we pay our rent every month (it has been a couple of days late, but it's gotten paid) and we're good tenants (we keep things clean, don't cause a ruckus and fix stuff that needs to be fixed). I am going to be forwarding him a list of the things that need repaired, along with copies of the pix that we have (oh yes, we still have the pix of the raw sewage). I am a photographer, so it's very easy for me to date stamp pix. If he doesn't remedy the problems that can be fixed right now...obviously, the tile cannot be fixed since we currently have 14 inches of snow and the ground is FROZEN (his reason for not fixing the problem LAST winter ). I will also keep a date stamped copy of the letter...possibly notarized, in case we have to go to court. I'm just done with this crap Oh and I forgot to mention that we have an unlined fireplace and he said that he was going to block it off, so it didn't blow air into the house. Yeah, not fixed either

Clarrissa posted 1/8/2014 16:46 PM

I agree, Mama. Find out about putting the rent in escrow. You'd still be paying your rent but partner landlord won't see any of it until repairs are made (usually within a certain time). I've had a slumlord myself so I know how you feel. Spit and baling wire repairs and having a "relative" do them instead of professionals. For example, a waterfall in the living room is nice. If it's planned. We got one every time it rained. You can imagine what it did to the ceiling and walls. "Uncle Bob" comes in, slaps a piece of cardboard over the exposed slats and plasters over it. That lasted until it rained again. That's just one example. I could give you at least half a dozen more.

Find out what your options are about getting the repairs done *properly* and in a timely manner and go from there. It's obvious to me the partner landlord is only interested in getting the rent.

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