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"I'm a landlord. A LAND-LORD. I AM A LORD OF LANDS!"

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by T0m88, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. T0m88

    T0m88
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    This is an actual email I recently sent our landlord, spoilered for length:

    Dear Mr XXX,

    I am writing to you to bring to your attention the latest problem we
    have had at 221b Baker Street; specifically, every time the
    downstairs bathroom lights are turned on, the bathroom fan somehow
    interferes with their electrical circuit and blows them. Since for
    some frankly mystifying reason both lights and fan apparently operate
    on the same circuit, it is impossible to disconnect the fan, by
    pressing the "Fan Off" button outside the bathroom, without
    disconnecting the lights as well. As the downstairs bathroom currently
    holds the only functioning shower (the pressure in the upstairs
    bathroom is currently too weak to shower by, nor does it produce hot
    water, which I am led to believe is a pleasant commodity come
    wintertime), not to mention the house's only toilet, this is a matter
    of some urgency. Frankly, while I find candlelight appealing, I do not
    particularly relish showering or answering nature's call by the light
    of a guttering flame, nor do I feel I should have to, given the rent I
    pay.

    As of today, the downstairs bathroom floor, which your handyman has
    surveyed almost a month ago and which we were informed at the
    beginning of our tenancy six months ago produces leakage which has
    seeped into the flat below, has yet to be fixed despite our repeated
    remonstrances on the subject. The windowpanes which were cracked or
    perforated at the beginning of the tenancy, as per the inventory,
    remain in said state. The stairway carpet, which we mentioned was
    loose at the beginning of the tenancy and a potential safety hazard,
    has not been fixed.

    Moreover, I do not know who designed or installed the electrical
    system in this building, but I question their judgment and, frankly,
    their sanity. Aside from the aforementioned faulty circuits in the
    bathroom, the wiring evidently does not take kindly to halogen bulbs,
    as they blow with distressing regularity. The one in the stairwell
    seems to expire on a monthly basis, while the ones in the living room,
    second bedroom and downstairs bathroom are prone to all blowing out
    simultaneously. Others simply give up and die at random, as if the
    stress of being wired into such a system were just too much for them.
    Given that the living room has eight bulbs, the second bedroom six,
    and the bathroom four, and each bulb costs about £3, there is a rather
    substantial chance that doing something as innocent as turning on the
    lights in one of my own rooms may cost me £18, which seems a rather
    high price to pay for the privilege of having light to see by.

    Additionally, as of today, despite having been - repeatedly - politely
    reminded to do so by Mr OtherFlatmate, you have failed to provide us
    with details regarding the whereabouts of our security deposit, which
    I would like to remind you is an obligation both legal and clearly
    stipulated by our contract. Indeed, you were required to "notify the
    Tenant of the details of where and how the Deposit is protected within
    14 days of the receipt of the Deposit" (clause 6.1 of our tenancy
    agreement), which, by my count, makes you about 160 days late. Given
    that the deposit is £3900, a not inconsiderable sum, it would ease my
    mind to know where it is currently being held.

    Taken singly, and resolved with alacrity, all of these problems might
    not be that significant, but when they are left unresolved and allowed
    to pile up on one another, they become a serious issue. After all, we
    both signed a contract with mutual obligations - we to pay you rent in
    full and on time, and you to ensure that the property's amenities
    functioned in such a way as to be reflective of the value of that
    rent. I would like to remind you that, when rent that left Mr
    OtherFlatmate's account on the 20th failed to arrive that same day,
    you sent us an e-mail the very following day demanding to know what
    the cause of the delay was. This is hardly fair. Frankly, if you are
    not inclined to provide a fast response when contacted by us, I see no
    reason why we should provide said service for you. At the end of the
    day, this is not some shabbily refurbished ex-local authority
    apartment. It is, to borrow an estate agent's parlance, a lovely,
    well-presented three-bedroom maisonette, and for the privilege of
    residing within it, we pay a not inconsiderable rent. I would expect
    this elevated expenditure to guarantee us a certain amount of
    privileges, i.e. prompt repair of faulty utilities.

    As I said before this is a pleasant flat, and if these issues are
    resolved I and my fellow tenants would be very happy with it. Given
    that, I hope the aforementioned issues can be resolved soon, in order
    that we continue to enjoy our home to its fullest potential.

    The email does a good job of detailing how badly my current landlord sucks, but if you couldn't be bothered to read, here's a checklist:

    - Despite 6 months and about 20 increasingly desperate requests, he has yet to fix the fact that our downstairs shower leaks into the flat below, and that the upstairs one only produces cold water. Usually claims he never received the emails after he deigns to pick up the phone (generally when he's rung non-stop for a day).
    - Took our security deposit, which is supposed to be paid into an impartial third party's account so it can't be appropriated by either landlord or tenant, and has yet to tell us where it is, despite being legally obliged to do so.
    - Has been kicked off the country's biggest Deposit Protection scheme because he is constantly in litigation with his tenants.
    - Has done nothing about the fact that the electrical system is fucked beyond repair and lights blow out on a weekly basis.
    - Doesn't respond to phone calls, emails or voicemail messages, yet immediately called us demanding to know where his money was when, for once in six months, rent was a whole day late.
    - Let himself and his handyman in unannounced (which is illegal) the one time he actually decided to fix something that was broken, and walked into my bedroom while I was asleep. I had never met the guy, so I almost attacked him thinking he'd broken in.

    It fucking sucks how much power landlords have over their tenants, and what fucking assholes they can be and yet EASILY GET AWAY WITH IT, particularly in cities where there's always a demand for rented accommodation.

    FOCUS: Landlords from Hell. Discuss your worst landlord/landlady experiences.
     
  2. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog
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    Huh... Timely. I officially became a landlord yesterday.

    I'm going to have to teach my Mexicans to write stories in English, as I can't imagine a worse fate that having ME as a landlord.
     
  3. Juice

    Juice
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    There probably wouldn't be nearly as many landlords from Hell if people read their leasing contracts before signing them.
     
  4. Gravitas

    Gravitas
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    Can we all just agree that the tenants are the real problem?

    Your honor, I present exhibit A:

    NSFL
    [rnsfw][​IMG][/rnsfw]

    I tried hard to be a good landlord. But when you are trying to please your bosses, the tenants, and still not run afoul of the law it gets pretty fucking tough. That's why I got fired though.
     
  5. Rush-O-Matic

    Rush-O-Matic
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    WTF? It looks like that light bulb partially imploded.
     
  6. Harry Coolahan

    Harry Coolahan
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    The last apartment building I lived in:

    - was foreclosed on because the landlord had not paid the electric bill in several years. The outstanding debt was something like $300K.

    - when my garage opener broke, they didn't have any replacements so they made the repairman give me his. He always hated me after that.

    - my roommate and I had no heat for the whole winter after sealing off the heating vent because the vents were crawling with bed bugs.

    - our apartment was overrun with cockroaches because maintenance did such a shitty job of cleaning out the garbage chute.

    - about once a day they would clean the hallways with pure bleach, the whole place constantly smelled like fumes. And, when it didn't smell of bleach, it inexplicably smelled of tortilla chips and rank vagina. Oh, and someone took a shit in the stairwell once, it wasn't cleaned up for about a week, by the end it had been kicked a few feet down the hall with streaks across the floor.

    - we called the cops when we found MS-13 hanging out in the stairwell tagging the walls. I guess this is only relevant to the landlord because, in order to save money on key fobs, he kept the door to the building unlocked.

    - oh, we also couldn't communicate with the building manager because we were the only people in the building who didn't speak Spanish. Including the managers.

    - they locked the dryer/washer room after 6pm. This was fine for most residents, who didn't have jobs, but it meant it was literally impossible for anyone with regular working schedule to do the laundry. We had to take our laundry to a friend's building down the street.

    In a strange way, it was also a liberating experience. A while later I moved back there for a few weeks while I was sorting out the new lease for my current house and I kind of missed the place, there was a "nowhere to go but up" feeling about it.
     
  7. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal
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    Just call me Topher

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    The only landlord issue I had was in my first apartment. My psychotic friend El Nino and I rented a condo from a guy that our friends were renting a condo from one floor below us in a tidy four-story building in a quiet part of town. He seemed alright when we first were handed the keys, but I didn't know the guy was a drunk. Not "he drinks at bars", but more like "He's drunk all the time, every day." In a year, THAT was the most pleasant encounter with this guy.

    In the coming months, he would start showing up early for the rent. Days early. Once, he showed up six days early, drunk. But the adventure doesn't begin there. My friend and I were out having a smoke on the patio when he came storming into the parking lot. He drove a wide Econoline work van with a tall ladder rack, so we knew it was him. He slammed over the curb of a grass boulevard, over the lawn, slammed back down onto the parking lot, realized the curb in front of our building wall was coming up, slammed his brakes and popped the entire back end of the van up plowing the front tires into the curb. El Nino and I were dumbfounded. It was hilarious but FUCKED UP and stupid, and we knew we were one minute away from having to deal with this asshole, who was drunk and in an angry mood.

    Knowing that cooler heads prevail, my roommate asks me to deal with him. Not wanting a beaten-to-death landlord on our hands, I agree. Knock knock:

    HIM: WHERE IS IT.
    ME: What's that?
    HIM: The rent. Let's go.
    ME: Rent is due on the first, you said. It's the 25th/26th (can't remember).
    HIM: I'm here, and there's no reason two working guys shouldn't have that.
    EL NINO: (shoving me aside) Listen, you fucking wino. He said we pay on the first. Get out of our doorway and go find yourself a bottle to crawl into. We're paying on the firs and that is how this ends. (slams door)

    KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

    EL NINO: What?!?!
    HIM: I could kick you out of here in a second, you know.
    EL NINO: Well physically, no you could not. Either of us. Also, knock yourself out. Thanks for the free motnh we'll refuse to pay, we'll get another place in a heartbeat and you'll be somebody else's problem.

    One day of every month for a year, it was shit like this. Never came to blows, and FUCK thank God.
     
  8. ghettoastronaut

    ghettoastronaut
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    Had one landlord always ask me questions about whatever various herbal shit he got to fix his erectile dysfunction. I had the same response: they're not going to work, and you've wasted your money.

    Don't know why he kept asking me, though.
     
  9. Bundy Bear

    Bundy Bear
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    The original landlord I had for the place I'm in now was pretty cool. No rental inspections, generally repaired stuff in a timely manner and would call me before they came over. Then she started getting hard to get a hole of and I woke up one morning to the owners knocking on the door who I had met only once before. They ask if I have been paying rent and then if I have been able to get a hold of said landlord. Turns out that she hasn't been contactable by anyone for around 6 months and they haven't been getting any of their money from her either.

    Current rental agency are fuckheads and take too long to do anything but if something small upsets them they are all over you in a flash.

    I rent out my own property and the first tennants were a new family who paid the first 6 months up front then moved out and there has been a little old lady living there for the past 3 years. Ideal tennant.
     
  10. Gravitas

    Gravitas
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    So I just remembered I wrote up a whole bunch of what I would call incident reports. I will share one with you. This is how I spent my weekends.

    Written at 2:46 AM

    At approximately 1:30 I got a call on my office phone from Shanicka in 505 saying that people were being loud outside and carrying on again. I went outside and found 2 people that apparently came out of 501 having some sort of minor argument. I told them to leave immediately and they did so. It was a hispanic man with arm tattoos and a girl driving a silver chevy monte carlo with new temp tags. Two more people then came outside a black girl and a young man to sit on the porch and started smoking. I told them to go back inside and they did so. I went and sat in the cab of my truck. The people in the silver monte carlo came back and they went inside. The cops came from when Shanicka called them. I told them that I had already run everyone off. They told me to call if they needed anything else.

    I stayed up for a little while and watched, but then tried to go to sleep. I woke up when a pick up truck with some sort of mechanical thing went through the parking lot. This truck stopped at the north end chatting with another vehicle. Shortly after a red vw beetle with the kiowa tag XXXX came in as well as a tahoe. A gentleman came out of the beetle and went and knocked on 501. He covered up the keyhole and they didn't let him in. He kicked the door. He then yelled something at the door. I got dressed and went outside. At this point someone from inside the house that I saw earlier and a girl were trying to hustle him back towards their car. He kept saying things like "i don't care nigga, i will fight that nigga, get off me nigga" etc. I called the police at 2:19 am and told them that someone out here was going to fight. When the people escorting him said I was calling the cops he said he didn't care because there weren't any warrants on him and that he just got out of jail. He then tried to convince me not to call the cops and started telling me out how his sister was in there and he was just trying to be real with me. I told him the cops were on the way. At some point he mentioned his name was Bryan XXXX. He is Megan's older brother apparently. He insulted me a couple times for calling the cops and calling me a bitch ass nigga. I got the tag number of the beetle. The cops showed up. They talked to him and the occupants in 501. He then went inside to unit 501. And I came back inside to write the lease violation.

    When I got back to the office someone else had called and said that 501 was partying and there kids were having trouble sleeping and that this goes on almost every night. This is the third such incident in the course of as many months.

    Written at 3:33 a.m

    I just went to tape the lease violation on Megan's door. There was loud music and voices coming from inside. A young man had just stepped outside when I got there and asked if I wanted to see Megan. A few seconds later the music quieted down as well as the voices and Megan came to the door. She had her son in her arms. She said she was sorry and was telling everyone to leave. I told her that was the lease violation and walked away.

    A few minutes later people began to leave. Most of them piled into a red expedition with the oklahoma plate of XXXX. As the expedition sped out of the lot one passenger rolled down the window, leaned out and yelled at me "you need to go to bed damnit, fatass!".
     
  11. goodlife23

    goodlife23
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    I work for an elected in NYC, home of rent regulation. So the vast majority of constituent calls I receive are from rent-stabilized tenants. You will never encountered so many obsessive, paranoid old ladies in your lifetime. They all are absolutely convinced their landlord is harassing them because they want the tenants out. Granted, they do want the tenant out, most most are decent human beings who understand that rent regulation is a part of NYC and do their jobs. I've heard it all: landlord is paying thugs to break into the tenant's apartment not to steal anything, but to "move stuff around," landlord is paying the upstairs neighbor to stomp on the floor, even landlord is having the doorman steal my mail. Now I know having to pay only $800 a month on the east side of Manhattan is a great deal, but sometime I wonder if it's worth all the paranoia and mental instability that seems to infect every regulated tenant.

    Of course, I've also encountered a fair share of legitimately horrible landlords who will use every trick in the book to get the tenant out. As crazy as it sounds, some landlords actually do the things these tenants are complaining about.
     
  12. Dmix3

    Dmix3
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    221b Baker Street huh? So what's Sherlock Holmes like in real life?
     
  13. Kubla Kahn

    Kubla Kahn
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    Yeah had one real bad experience that could have been avoided if we had not been young idiots desperate for a house. We barely did a walkthrough and me and four other guys signed for this college aged shithole house. The old tenants left without cleaning or taking much and the landlord just told us to deal with it. He at least said he'd have the window on the front door fixed.

    -hole formed int the wall next to the cast iron bath/shower comb upstairs. Which leaked down stairs and created some real nice black mold in the room.

    -Window took months to fix, replaced with a piece of plexiglass that didn't fit and wasn't secured in the slot.

    -Ruined carpets through out the house.

    -stacks if Natti light boxes in the last tenants beer pong room

    -downstairs bathroom had a clogged sink drano couldn't fix.

    -fixed the bathroom hole and replaced bathtub with a dura-stall. The fifty dollar plastic stall they use on work sites. It looked like the phone booth from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. My roommate had to translate the directions for the workers he had do it (the only english speaking worker couldn't read).

    -countless health code violations.

    Finally, after the electric company actually read the meter, having not done so for the first 5 months or so, they retroactively billed us for what we really owed. They had just used an average to guess how much we owed. The bill came out to an extra two thousand dollars. My roommate flat out refused to pay. The demanded our land lord pick it up, since the house had zero insulation, and fix the multitude of problems or they wouldn't pay the rent and wanted out of the lease. He threatened us with court for our full years rent, we had the health inspector come out and cite him for 30+ violations. He said he'd take just the last months rent and let us out of the lease. We refused and he stopped answering the health department's calls. Finally when the health department threatened to have the building condemned (or labeled uninhabitable) and it looked like it was going to be foreclosed on he just let us leave. My roommates found a much nicer house on a much nicer street and we moved in after spring break.

    Our next landlord was awesome. Laid back and prompt. We rented that house for the next two years and I rented a single bedroom from him my last year in school. Worlds apart.
     
  14. T0m88

    T0m88
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    I AM Sherlock Holmes, of course.









    ...But seriously, did you think I was going to put my actual address there?