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Those Worker’s Hands Worked Their Magic

, , , , | Right | September 15, 2021

My grandmother and mother have always rented out an apartment they own. One day, the old tenants move out, and my father decides to take an interest in the proceedings because the rent barely covers the property expenses. He personally vets the new tenant, a posted worker, and decides he must be all right because he has “rough workers’ hands”.

Everything goes well at first, but after a while, several flags come up. The tenant asks my father for the deposit to cover a family emergency, and when he returns the sum, it’s not in cash but as two IOUs for the same amount. The tenant’s wife moves back to her family and he’s the only one left in the flat.

Despite this, the neighbours occasionally complain about loud noises. When Italian currency is converted from lira to euro, the tenant decides to “round” the 516 euro of the monthly rent to 500 and cover the difference with… lemons.

The lease contract is made so that the landlord can only end it for very specific reasons, and I need the apartment to go and live on my own. The tenant agrees, saying that he was looking for a different flat already as the rent is too high. But months go by and he stays on, giving excuse after excuse for being unable to move out, and saying that I always have my parents’ house — it’s not like I am sleeping under a bridge, am I?

To cut a long story short, when he finally moved out — half a year after the agreed date — he had two months of rent unpaid, not to mention several instances of “lemons”; he owed over 2,000 euros in maintenance fees which my parents had to fork over in his stead; the power was soon cut, meaning that the bills had gone unpaid, as well; and there were five or six rusty bedsprings (including one in a room with no windows), a sign that the tenant was subletting to immigrant workers. Even if they were paying him 100€ each, they would cover the rent, but I’m told the going prices are about three times that.

As a cherry on top, we were left with “smoked” walls, grease stains around the light switches, and someone’s name carved on a door.

It was a while before my boyfriend and I could make the flat fit for living, and a while longer before the other people in the building stopped giving us the stink-eye in the elevator.

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Convenient, But So, So Stupid

, , , , , | Working | August 3, 2021

I used to volunteer with my township’s all-volunteer first-aid squad. One day, we got a call to respond to a woman who had fallen on the second floor of her apartment and could not get back up. She was alone in the apartment. The complex was comprised of about sixty units. We arrived along with a police officer, which was standard practice for the township.

We located the apartment. Since we did not want to break anything to get in if possible, we started checking doors and windows, hoping something was open through which one of us could climb. There was nothing. We checked the back and considered climbing to the second-story balcony, but there was nothing to use for hand- and footholds. Since the woman was stable and still on the phone with 911, we spent a good ten minutes walking around and around the apartment building, desperately trying to find a reasonable way to get inside. It was then that a neighbor came to us.

Neighbor: “Is [Patient] okay?”

Me: “She’s called 911. We can’t find a way in without breaking a window. Do you know if a neighbor or a nearby relative has a key?”

Neighbor: “Well, actually, I happen to know that every key in the complex works on every door. They’re all the same.”

Cop: What?!

Neighbor: “Yes. Let me go get my key. You’ll be able to get into her apartment.”

I just shook my head in disbelief.

The neighbor got her key and, sure enough, we were able to access the patient without breaking anything. My partner, the cop, and I agreed to never mention this to anyone. It blew my mind that such a thing was allowed to happen. When someone moved out and a new tenant moved in, obviously, the lock was not changed. The new tenant would have simply been given the same. Old. Key.

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Nine Cats Times Nine Lives… Oh, Dear

, , , , | Friendly | May 28, 2021

My spouse and I rent out our basement suite to a tenant. When the tenant moves in, they have an adult female cat and two of her kittens. The tenant says they will be getting them all fixed and giving away the two kittens.

Since you have to get through two doors to get to the downstairs suite, I know the cats are never let outside. I also see all three cats the few times I go downstairs to fix something. And, sometimes, we hear some very, very loud meowing from the otherwise pretty insulated suite. Fast forward several months and the tenant texts me, informing me that her cat has, yet again, had kittens. 

Me: “Oh, how did that happen?”

Tenant: “No idea.”

No, the tenant did not get their now nearly-adult male cats fixed — or give them away — nor was the adult female fixed. Now we have nine cats downstairs. Irresponsible pet owners drive me crazy.

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Should Put Their Energy Into Paying Their Energy

, , , , , | Right | May 5, 2021

I work for an energy supplier. A tenant sends us documents proving he moved out of a property we supply two months ago. He assumed his landlord had already contacted us, but he just received his quarterly statement and wanted to let us know he isn’t in the property anymore. He pays up to the day he moved out and provides the address of his landlord to send the bill for the last two months. The landlord calls us.

Landlord: “Why are you sending me a bill? I never gave you my address!”

Me: “Your address was provided to us by your tenant.”

Landlord: “They can’t do that, and you can’t bill me because I never consented to you supplying me once they moved out.”

Me: “Sir, we were only recently advised of the move-out. We’ve been supplying the property for two months since then and the energy needs to be paid for.”

Landlord: “It’s estimated, though; no one’s living there. How can it be so much?”

Me: “Our system is just estimating the usage based on previous usage. If you can give us more recent meter readings, we can get a more accurate bill for you.”

Landlord: “I don’t have that. I haven’t been there in weeks and I won’t be able to visit until next month.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but without those, we have to go by the estimation.”

Landlord: “Just send someone out to read it yourselves!”

Me: “Sir, we have no way of accessing the property to do that unless you let us in.”

Landlord: “Just use your key!”

Me: “Did you provide us with a key?”

Landlord: “Of course not!”

Me: “Then how would we have a key?”

Landlord: “All you suppliers have keys to the properties you supply.”

Me: “Sir, that’s just not true. You will need to pay the estimation if you cannot provide meter readings.”

Landlord: “I’m not paying it! You had no right to keep supplying the property, and this rate is ridiculous. How can you charge this?! It’s criminal!”

Me: “That would be our standard tariff rate. If a customer doesn’t sign up for one of our other tariffs, then we put them on this.”

Landlord: “That’s illegal! You should always put them on the cheapest tariff!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but our cheapest tariff means agreeing to have a smart meter install—”

Landlord: “I don’t want a smart meter!”

Me: “We understand that some people don’t want smart meters which is why we don’t put you on this tariff without speaking with you first.”

Landlord: “That’s criminal. There are a lot of elderly people who don’t like smart meters. You’re discriminating against them and forcing them to pay higher rates!”

Me: “Sir. Criminal would be forcing you to have a smart meter. If customers are unhappy with our prices, they always have the option of switching suppliers.”

Landlord: “Well, I definitely will be switching. This is disgusting and I will not pay it! You should have called me to ask if I wanted to stay with you.”

Me: “We do not hold a phone number for you, so we would have had no way to do this. We also do not call up people asking if they want to continue with us.”

Landlord: “I don’t care what you don’t do. That’s what you should have done!”

Me: “Sir, even if that was something we did, we were not aware that your tenant moved out until recently. We had no reason to believe someone else was responsible for the bills.”

Landlord: “You. Cannot. Bill. Me. Because. I. Never. Consented. To. Have. You. As. My. Supplier!”

Me: “As the owner, it is your responsibility to advise the utility companies supplying your property of any changes to tenancy. Regardless of whether or not you chose us, you are responsible for this bill.”

Landlord: “I never consented to f****** being with you! You cannot charge me!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but you should have arranged for another supplier to take over if you didn’t want to be with us.”

Landlord: “No, you should have just stopped the supply!”

Me: “Again, we did not know of the move out until recently, and since you did not contact us, we had no way to know you did not wish to continue with us.”

Landlord: “Which is why you should have f****** called me!”

Me: “Sir, please do not swear. We had no phone number and no way to call you.”

Landlord: “I’ll swear if I f****** want to! You’re a grown woman; just deal with it!”

Me: “You’re right, I am a grown woman, and as such, I have every right to ask you not to swear. I also have every right to disconnect this call, so please do not swear at me when I am just doing my job.”

Landlord: “I’m not paying this and I will be contacting my lawyer. You are all a bunch of scammers!” *Click*

It was another two months before he got round to switching the supplier, and yes, he had to pay for the energy used during this time.

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Hi, Still Living Here, Thanks

, , , , | Working | April 24, 2021

The owner of the house my boyfriend and I are renting has decided to sell. This isn’t the first house we’ve lived in that is for sale, so we know how it goes. The only difference is that this house is a duplex and our neighbor moved out of the other side a few months ago.

First, they want us to agree to a day every other week for them to do a showing. We suggest once a month due to the health crisis and not wanting too many people in our home. We compromise and agree to have the place viewable when they call and give us twenty-four hours heads-up.

I wake up one afternoon and my boyfriend tells me someone showed up for a viewing and asked to enter, but we didn’t get a heads-up so he said no. I’m irritated by this but figure one mistake isn’t a big deal. They showed the other side and left.

Then, yesterday, a little before noon, we were both awake when we heard people outside and I heard someone try to open the door. My boyfriend got up to look out the front while I pulled up my phone and dialed 911, thinking it might be a break-in. I didn’t call yet just in case, and my boyfriend cracked the door open. My heart was pounding, and I recognized the early signs of a panic attack.

My boyfriend’s tone in the following dialogue is extremely polite – much more polite than I would have been and much more polite than they deserved, in my opinion.

Boyfriend: “Um, hi. Can I help you?”

Realtor: “Yeah, we’re here for a showing. Is it all right if we take a look inside?”

Boyfriend: “No, sorry, because no one called us to tell us you were coming.”

Realtor: “Oh. Not just real quick?”

Boyfriend: “No, we weren’t told.”

Realtor: “Well, do you ever do showings of this side?”

Boyfriend: “Yes, when we are given a warning.”

Realtor: “Okay.”

After they left, I texted the landlord and told him that this was totally unprofessional and that I had almost called 911 on the realtor. He wasn’t as bothered as I was and just passed along our message to the realtors. I thought he would be more upset since he wants to sell the place, but I guess not. I calmed down but was upset the rest of the day. Who just tries to open someone’s door and then act like they knocked when someone answers?! They gave us no apology or any sign of remorse.

After the second time someone tried to let themself into my apartment, the landlord gave us permission to put up a “do not disturb” sign. After that didn’t work and it happened several more times, each time the landlord saying he’d handle it, I called the broker myself. He assured me all of his realtors would be told not to bother us under any circumstances. But of course, the story doesn’t end here.

The other day we were doing some reorganizing when my boyfriend and I heard someone try to turn the doorknob. My boyfriend opened the door to find a man all by himself. My boyfriend asked what he was doing and he introduced himself as a buyer, apologized meekly, and walked away. He came back and knocked 10 seconds later.

I told my boyfriend and he reopened the door and the man asked if we were planning to stay if the house was sold and asked a few other questions about the property. As they’re talking, I’m behind my boyfriend fuming with anger since this is the SEVENTH time this has happened. I tried to interject several times, but the conversation ended and my boyfriend closed the door. I was slightly annoyed with him but decided it was probably for the best, because I was definitely not planning on being nice and was going to aggressively point out the sign and how rude he was being. The man left and we heard him walking around the other unit.

We had gotten his name and texted the landlord to make sure he was a legitimate buyer. Although he was, he was there without a realtor and without permission. The landlord said next time to take a photo of him and his license plate and call 911 for trespassing. He also ordered us a doorbell camera. While I’m happy something is finally being done, I’m annoyed it took this long.


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