House Issues: A Rant

So while I was originally going to do another post in my journey into debt, instead, I’m going to do a mini rant about my house.   As yesterday’s post said, part of my ceiling went down in my kitchen.  Thankfully myself, my fiancé and my cat were not hurt as was none of my stuff that was in the kitchen.  Or was my stuff hurt?

Let’s see:

1)                         My mop officially kicked the bucket after being used to mop up the nasty, greasy dirt that fell from my ceiling.

2)                         A bowl was hit with a flying piece of ceiling and now has a crack on its side.  Thankfully I can still use this bowl but it upsets me a bit as this was a gift from my future MIL and was her wedding china.

3)                         My area rug that is under my table is potentially stained.  I need to rent a carpet cleaner from Big Lots or Wal-Mart to see if I can save it but first I’m going to use the 409 cleaner I bought and hand scrub it.  If not, I’m going to see if I can get my landlords to take the carpet cleaner out of my rent as it was their fault for not fixing the “bubble” sooner.

Thankfully, the stains in other small, machine washable rugs came out and it just took a lot of elbow grease to get the fridge, stove, table, chairs and floor cleaned.  Plus the cleaning of the stuff on top of my fridge took some time and a lot of dish soap/baking soda/hot water.

Sadly, this isn’t my only issue with this house.  I’ve posted before about the smell that came with the house (finally gone) and tweeted about a faucet issue—which took him a week and a half to come fix and meanwhile.   But I’ve had issues besides those.  For instance: my back light is not working—we’ve tried a few different bulbs but there is no power to it.  He’s okay with not fixing it.  We have no gutter and there is a run off point right above my stairs—great fun for winter ice buildup.  (And yes we do salt it but it still should probably have a gutter) I have a lake in my front yard when it rains but he won’t let us put in gravel unless we fully pay for it—no deduction from rent.  (And while I may have taken my faucet with me if I had to buy a new one, I’m not going to pick up gravel) And we don’t park in the back because the back light doesn’t work.   Oh and there a few more cracks in the ceilings that aren’t “important”.

Besides that, I know that he didn’t come out to do maintenance on the air conditioning unit in the spring but told us it “should be fine.”  Turns out it wasn’t.  I asked the HVAC guy to show me what to do and he wouldn’t-stating that it’s the landlord’s responsibility.  This is fine if he would actually do it.

When we first moved here, this was what we could afford.  Now, it’s what we can afford until our wedding is out of the way but all these issues are boiling down to me not wanting to be there past my lease end.   I’ve got a few things in the works that might help but I’ll let you know more when I have more details.   Right now they are very vague maybes.

For all you nice landlords out there, want to buy a house in SE Kansas and let me rent it? I promise I’m actually a good tenant!  I don’t bother you unless there is a REAL issue—like the kitchen ceiling falling down.


34 Comments on “House Issues: A Rant”

  1. I actually know someone who managed to convince a friend to do exactly what you’re asking: buy a house and let her rent it out from him! Their situation worked for a few years, but ultimately both their professional and personal relationship went down the drain.

    • bogofdebt says:

      That’s too bad! I usually try to maintain a seperate relationship between friends and money but on occasion, it can work out. I know a few people at work who rent from someone at work and it seems to go well.

  2. Daisy says:

    ugh. Renting. Your landlord has a responsibility to fix this stuff. When does your lease end?

    • bogofdebt says:

      Sadly not until the end of December. I’m trying to rework the budget to see if we can actually afford to leave this house at the end or if we’re going to have stay another year. Of course, if those vague maybes work out I won’t have to worry to much about it either. But still have to stay until end of December.

  3. That sucks! Having a bad landlord has always been the deciding factor between staying or leaving a place, it makes a world of difference and there’s no way to know if they’re going to be good or not until after you’ve moved in (unless you question the current tenants).

    Good luck with finding a new place for December, hopefully the place holds up until then.

    • bogofdebt says:

      The sad part is is we knew the old tenants but they were icky people so we couldn’t figure out if it was a case of bad tenants or bad landlords. And we didn’t know anyone else who had ever rented from them sadly. I hope it holds up too! After writing this post, I was taking pictures of our ceiling (doesn’t everyone?) and noticed there is a hole and crack starting in my kitchen again but it’s near the light. “But it’s okay for now” apparently.

  4. I can’t believe that you couldn’t get out of a lease if your safety is compromised because your ceiling is falling down. And cause damages to other stuff of yours. Is there someone you could ask to see if that’s grounds for breaking your lease? Or maybe there is more to the story, like moving would be way more expensive at this point, especially before your wedding. Either way, I’m so sorry this happened. 😦

    • bogofdebt says:

      It’s the expense part that gets me. Right now, I have those vague maybes and if they become solid, I’m going to talk to the legal department of my company to see if there is a way for me to get out of the lease without losing too much or having to pay double rent. Which I wouldn’t be able to afford.

  5. If you wanted to live in San Diego, I would gladly buy a property and let you live there!!!! I would love that idea actually =) 2 bedroom condo okay? Lol. I am so sorry about that though, but thankfully you don’t OWN the place. Can you imagine paying for all of this if it was your property??? What a nightmare. Is there something in the lease that lets you break it if something like this occurs? It might be worth a shot..I mean you are paying for a place that you can actually LIVE in haha!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I am so glad I don’t own the place–it might be easier to tear the thing down 😉 Too bad my company doesn’t have branches out in San Diego! It’s a long commute otherwise. And I’m going to be seeing about breaking the lease if I can-I need to be able to find a cheap place to live or soemthing else needs to fall through first though. I’m halfway afraid of cheap places but saving up for the wedding means that I can only afford cheap for right now!

  6. mycanuckbuck says:

    Nothign worse than a crappy landlord – my sypmathies. I rented a lot in school, but only one really bad place. And only 4 months at that. Guess you’ll just have to keep on them. No fun having more stress when you already have a wedding to plan.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I’ve rented a few iffy places but this is the first really bad landlord I’ve had. (Besides the one who charged extra because their math was iffy at best but I didn’t read the lease correctly so that was also my fault). I wish I would have known others who had them as landlords but no one I’ve talked to has.

  7. Money Beagle says:

    I would try a 50-50 vinegar/water mix for the carpet. Thats what I use when the cats or the kids make messes and it works a lot better. What I’ve found is that using any other type of cleaner might remove the stain at first, but it ends up coming back. With the vinegar/water mix, you’ll have better luck getting the stain to come completely out without re-appearing.

  8. Sorry to hear about your house troubles. It will just make it that much sweet when you find another place. But look at the bright side, YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED! WOOHOO!

  9. queenlbee says:

    Document everything you’ve written here a long with dates of the grievances. Then send him a certified letter listing all of these and say you’ve been advised by an attorney to not pay him rent until it is fixed. Then don’t pay. Did you know it takes 3-5 months to evict someone, and if he ever took it to court he would lose because he didn’t fix your stuff.

    The other things are minor but your ceiling bursting and ruining your personal effects when it COULD have been prevented? Not ok, and he should realize there is a potential lawsuit on his hands and be bending over backwards to make things good for you.

    People count on the fact that others don’t want to get involved with legal messiness. I’m not saying you should pursue legal action but a little bit more aggressive hassle might go a LONG way.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I’ve been listing dates. Except for the light not working as I wasn’t the one who talked to him about it–my fiance did and it was back at the begining of everything so we weren’t having as big of issues. I am going to be talking to the company lawyer to see if I can get some help with this. It’s rather annoying that I have to deal with it in the first place. He fixed my ceiling yesterday but it’s not truly fixed–it’s got a plywood board drilled over it. Not really fixing it in my mind.

  10. That is truly the downside of renting. Sorry to hear of your troubles. I would be in tears. Sometimes renting from an individual is far more difficult then renting from a management company. The other thing is whether or not there are any government protection programs that protect the tennant in cases like this. In Canada we can turn to the Landlord and Tennant Act which outlines the rules for both sides. As well for situations like you are in we would call the Health and Safety Board which would come out and assess the living situation and force the landlord to make repairs.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I am planning on talking to a company lawyer about some of the things. He has “fixed” my ceiling but like I said, I can see where this same issue is going to happen again. Maybe not right away but when I can see a bubble forming and tell him about it, the fact that it is ignored really sucks.

  11. It is because of things like this that I am so grateful for having bought my house. Yes, it would be my responsibility if something like this happened, but at least I would be the one ultimately benefiting from the fix in the long run. It sounds like your landlord is ignoring you in hopes that you will just fix it yourselves. Some people would in this circumstance, not because they’re obligated to or because they think they should, but simply because some people would rather spend more and work harder just to avoid conflict. I know it’s a pain in the wazoo, but keep chirping, Bobbie! Let him know this is unacceptable for him to not fix. Good luck!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I figure the greasey wheet gets the grease, right? I’m composing an email to them today regarding many of the complaints because at least there would be a record of it. Not that they answer it–I’ll end up calling them again to find out if they have any responses.

  12. I’m not suprised you’re having a rant, this sounds like the house from hell! Don’t let the fact that you’re renting get you down though. We bought our house which needed complete renovation and went through all this and more! To some extent we’ve seen the benefits from owning but due to the market, i’ll by no means be well off if we sell it, especially considering all the hard work we’ve put in! Like L Bee said you’ve got rights as a tenant, exercise them! If you want to move give him the ultimatum of either legal action or giving you permission to rent somewhere else. I know which I’d pick if I were him!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I can’t afford to move yet. But I will be able to by the time my lease is up. Originally, we were going to wait until the January after we were married to move so we would have signed the lease again but I really don’t want to. I’m hoping that there are some decent houses that open up in December/January area!

  13. Sucks that your landlord isn’t very nice and doesn’t seem to care about their property. Hopefully the next place you stay is nicer and is cost effective as well!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I hope so–I’ve figured out the max rent we can afford and still save for the wedding/debt repayoff. It won’t be pretty for 6 months, but is entirely doable.

  14. Caitlin says:

    Have you researched rental rights in your state and/ior city? In Chicago I know that if I request something to be fixed and he does not attempt to fix it after a certain number of days, I can break the lease penalty free and be given full security deposit return. Maybe you can use it to get him to fix the items ASAP while you continue to save for a move.

    Regarding damaged items, if you have rental insurance they should cover the repair/replacement costs. I swear by oxy clean for stain removal.

    Good luck. I know it’s frustrating but hopefully it will all be resolved soon.

    • bogofdebt says:

      We’ve looked into things and I know that he’s not obeying the laws. We aren’t in a position to move out right now so sadly, we’re stuck here until the end of the lease but I still want him to fix things in the house. I am going to be visiting my company’s legal department to see if there is some thing that I can do in order to get things fixed. And as for renters insurance, we’ve been looking into it and the company we wanted to go with is with our car insurance carrier but we’re having issues with them not returning calls at the moment. We wanted this before hand and should have had it so we will be getting it soon. Just to late to help in this instance. The vinegar/water mixtue has been helping but if not, I’ll try the oxyclean.

  15. […] to this week. Just UGH.  First the ceiling issue and then things just kept cropping up.  And not a lot of big ticket items but combine that with the […]

  16. […] just needs to rant about her housing situation. Don’t we all sometimes? Bloody […]

  17. […] House Issues: A Rant by Bog of Debt. Not a great week for poor “Bog”. […]

  18. Wow, I’m behind in my reading, and this just sucks. I’m sorry you’re dealing with such a horrid landlord!

    Save your money and get out as soon as feasible!

  19. […] side, you get the full weekend to go through this reading list of some of my favorite blog posts. House Issues: A Rant on Bog Of […]

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