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The Landlady Didn’t Land This One

, , , , , , | Working | December 27, 2021

I am currently apartment hunting, but it has been a long and time-consuming project trying to find something within my budget. I only have two requirements: it must allow my cat, and it must have a balcony I can grow food on. I don’t think that’s insane criteria, but in my city, it sometimes seems like it is.

I found one unit that was slightly above my budget. It was tiny and ugly, and it would mean almost an extra hour on the bus to visit my girlfriend or my doctors, and I knew the layout would make me want to scream within weeks. But it allowed cats, and the ad had several pictures of a balcony large enough to support enough of a garden to make gardening worth it, so I figured I could make it work. I fired off the email I had tailored to introduce myself and explain what I was looking for, and after a couple of days of chasing them down, I finally set up a time to view it.

The day arrives. From the outside, the building is in a nice quiet area, close to stores, and would even have something that could be considered a half-decent view. I’m starting to feel better about potentially living here — excited, even. I meet the landlady, and we head upstairs to the apartment.

She unlocks the door, and the first thing I notice is… there’s no balcony.

I stare at her.

Me: “There’s no balcony.”

Landlady: “That’s correct.”

Me: “I specifically told you I was looking for a balcony.”

Landlady: “Well, I never said there was a balcony!”

I turned around and walked out without another word. I still have no idea what the h*** she thought was going to happen.

I’m also baffled by the builder that would bother putting balconies on a building, but only for half the units.

The Renters From Hell… And All Their Relatives

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Curious_cat0070 | December 16, 2021

My wife and I owned a two-bedroom, 660-square-foot condo some years ago and, when we moved to a single-family home, we rented it out. One of the applicants was a young, enlisted service member and his fiancée. We felt we should give them a chance since they were just starting out. They paid up front and we halved the rental deposit to give them a break. That was a huge mistake.

The second month they were there, they were late on the rent as they were on the third month. We finally had to charge them the 10% late fee. Into the fourth month, I got a call from a friend who still lived in the condo.

Friend: “There are twelve people living in your rental, and they’re taking up all of the assigned parking! They showed up from one of the US territories and never left. They built a cooking pit on the walkway in the common area and they’re roasting freshly killed chickens and pigs.”

Mind you, this is a suburb, not a farm. I went down there to talk to them.

Me: “You cannot have all your relatives living here as they’re not on the rental agreement. They have two days to move out. You also need to repair the common area where your firepit is, or else I’ll get fined.”

Renter: “Our relatives came over and they had no place to stay, so we let them live here.”

Me: “They can stay in a hotel.”

It was three generations — twelve people plus the couple — living in a 660-square-foot, two-bedroom condo.

Into the fifth month, I had to charge them the late fee again and call the service member’s commander to get him to pay. Finally, at the end of the sixth month, he got deployment orders, so we let them out of the lease.

On the day of the exit walkthrough, I found that the curtains were gone, and the carpet was stained with grease and soot from them roasting chickens and pigs in the living room. The dishwasher was inoperable because the drainage tube had eight ounces of rotting fat lodged in there. There was grease and soot all along the walls of every room. They lost the keys, so we had to change the locks. They tried a makeshift repair of one of the toilets, using… concrete.

I confronted them on all of this and said we would be keeping the security deposit, at which they got angry. They thought that, since they lived there for six months, they owned the curtains. They were going to challenge us on the rest for their security deposit, but I wrote a detailed letter — with photos as documentation — to his commander and they backed down. It cost us three times the rental deposit to repair all of the damage and to get all of the chicken and pig grease off of the walls.

This Request Is So(fa) Unreasonable

, , , , , | Friendly | November 29, 2021

I rent a room from [Woman]’s mom. She is okay as a landlady, but [Woman] is just a horrible human being. I could write a book on the things she does without a shred of regret or remorse. The worst that comes to mind is when she pretended to be disabled and then started a fundraiser for herself for said fictional issue. Thankfully, few people fell for it and it didn’t go through.

Something happens to [Woman]’s job, benefits, or both, because I see her at the house with a load of her things. While I don’t listen in, it is clear that money is an issue and she can’t afford her flat.

Immediately, [Woman] wants “her room” back and wants me to sleep on the sofa. I say no; I pay for the room. [Woman]’s mother offers a discount. I say no; I have a contract. It’s my room while I’m paying for it.

Landlady: “Well, you don’t give me much of an option, do you?”

Me: “We have a contract, I always pay on time, and I keep the room tidy, so I’m not sleeping on a sofa.”

Landlady: “I’ll have to evict you!”

Me: “Fine, once you give me sufficient notice. That’s six months.”

Woman: “I can’t sleep on a sofa for six months!”

Me: “I’m a paying tenant, not a guest. I have rights to be here.”

They try to bicker with me, but I tell them to just check my contract. Fearing some sort of revenge, I photograph and video my room top to bottom, just in case they try to lie and evict me early.

Nothing happens until a month later when I hear the smashing of glass. I find [Woman] in the kitchen, glass all over the floor, and a wall cabinet hanging off the wall.

Woman: “Oh, no, what have you done? Tenants who damage their room can get kicked out.”

Me: “‘Room,’ exactly. You know this is the kitchen and not part of the rental agreement? Your mom was quite clear on that. Any damage is yours to fix.”

Woman: “What? No! I… Mom!”

I could hear them shouting at each other through the walls. I only wished I could hear them better.

I soon found another room to rent with a family that spent most of the year abroad. I paid the same rate but I had the house pretty much to myself.

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.

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.