Renting a home; landlord question

myfampgApril 21, 2012

Hope I can get some help here

We are renting a home from a private owner. Our landlord is very nice and although we have not had any maintenance needs, when we rented she said that she was wanting to do some updates to the house over the next few months and would just let us know in advance as she gets to them.

We were promised these things:

New sod in front yard

New landscaping in front yard

Brick work on fireplace

Replace vanity in both bathrooms

Paint exterior of house and fix some wood damage

She wanted to wait until the weather was nicer to do the paint and landscaping.

When she did the sod in the front yard, we woke up to noises at 8am on a Sunday morning and voices near our window. When I looked out it was the landlord and two of her friend's laying sod. No notice was given but they were outside so no big deal.

She gave notice that the mortar guy was coming out to do the fireplace so we gave her permission a week in advance to enter the home on a specific date while we were working. All was fine there.

She called a week in advance to notify us that she was sending a friend and a carpenter over to measure for the vanity in both bathrooms. We wanted to be home for this but since we both work, it was not possible. I was uncomfortable having people we didn't know in our home. But not anything we could do about that. When we got home the vanity had been replaced and there was a note saying landlord would be returning the next day to paint the wall in the bathroom and would be back the following week to install the vanity in the other bathroom. The paint was actually left in our living room on our carpet, which we thought was odd but I just moved it to the bathroom, no big deal. (it frustrates me when people don't put things back where they got them). The next day, it was not painted so I assumed no one had been back to paint. The following day, which was a Saturday as I'm drinking my coffee In my pj's and robe, my doorbell rings and to my surprise it's my landlord. I didn't open, I wasn't dressed. She sent an email that she had tried to come by to finish painting but we didn't answer so she would come another day. My problem with this is that 1. She didn't come the day she said she would 2. She came so early my family was still sleeping and I was not dressed.

In our lease, we are not allowed to have any pets. We wouldn't have pets any way because my husband and son are allergic to dogs and cats. I have found dog feces in my enclosed back yard. I asked her if she thought the workers had brought a dog and put it in the yard while they worked. She said no it was her dog and she doesn't see the problem. I have not responded because I don't want to have a battle but my frustration is 1. We cannot have animals bc we are not permitted to 2. She has brought a dog into our home where two family members are allergic to dander 3. I know have to pick up after her dog that was locked in my back yard.

Am I wrong for this?

I also want to know, is it wrong of her to just show up on a weekend and expect to be able to do work on our home. We work full time and would prefer to have our weekends to ourselves. What if we had plans to have company or had something going on that day? The day that she decided to do the front yard was the day we were having our family Easter gathering at our home. She worked all day long in the front yard while we had guests. Then she took my husband aside to explain the water sprinkler, then interrupted again to ask for water and aspirin, then interrupted again to let us know that she was going to check the air filter because she had an extra one. This was frustrating for me.

Is she wrong or am I just being sensitive? I just want to live peacefully in my home. This is our home. We pay rent. Sure she owns it but we should be able to not have to wonder every time the doorbell rings if she is wanting access to do something to the house. Literally when the doorbell rings I'm wondering if it's her. I don't feel like I can just have a messy house one day because I'm being lazy. I feel that since she is always showing up unannounced, I have to keep the house spotless because I don't want her thinking we are trashing her property. I feel like I'm living on eggshells. But I love this house. It's So nice here and I know we want to keep her happy so she will renew our lease at least a few more years until we buy our own but at what cost? I have to let her do what she wants so we can stay?

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Not much left to do; so just grim and bear it until all work is done. Only thing life is exterior painting and patching all on the outside. Well, she gave you advance notice and maybe your landlord is an airhead. But it about 3/4 of the way done the list; so why make waves now! Just make sure everything works that you want it too. And then you are set to enjoy the house!

But if there are other repairs to be done; make sure you have them done during the week - - - since your weekend are your quality time together!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Ok I agree with what you are saying but what about her just 'stopping by'. Our lease says that she will do random drive bys to check on the house but nothing about actually ringing the bell. And what about the dog issue? Isn't that wrong? I'm not talking legally wrong but we aren't allowed to have pets but she can bring one in and then leave its mess in the yard? Front yard wouldn't bother me because neighbors dogs could do that and we can't really control it but the back yard is private and we send our kids out there to play. I honestly don't want to say anything else until it happens again and maybe it won't happen again. I really don't want her bringing her dog in my house either. We are pet free for a reason.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:32PM
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If this is the first time your landlord has been a landlord, she may not know or completely understand the laws and rules and regulations of being a landlord. You may have to do a bit of educating.

First, check your state laws (google "yourstate tenant landlord law"). Find out if landlords need to give notice before they enter a rental unit for inspection or repairs. Most states require at least 24 hours of notice. Most states also allow the landlord to enter without notice if there is an emergency, like broken pipes or a fire or something similar.

Second, talk to the landlord. Tell her nicely that you need (not want, *need*) 24 hours notice before she comes over, even if it is to work outside. This is your home, you need to be able to plan family celebrations and lazy days off and the like.

Tell her that the Easter Sunday work party on the lawn was inconvenient, because you were having family over. If she had called and asked first, you could have told her not to come that particular day.

Second, explain that there are residents who are allergic to dogs, so her dog can't come inside the house, as it will cause allergic reactions. And she is free to leave the dog in your backyard, if she is willing to pick up its messes. Since you don't own a dog, you don't feel you should have to deal with that.

Don't do the "ask her nicely" bit about not bringing the dog inside. Tell her flat out that bringing the dog inside could make people sick and she can't do it.

If you think you would have a hard time telling her not to come over without notice and not to bring the dog inside, perhaps your DH should be the one to contact the landlord.

It sounds to me as if she's a pretty good landlord, but a new one. Someone who hasn't quite figured out that while she owns the house, it is someone else's home, and that she needs to respect that she can't just come over and do things whenever the heck she wants to.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:39AM
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I would tell her she can't just show up some notice or a call would be nice. you need to tell her these things in a polite but firm way. about coming over on weekends I understand that you work and that is your time off but she may work during the week also and not be able to always do work on weekdays when you are not home. You may need to compromise some in that area to be fair. I am a landlord and I have a job Monday - Friday, I don't know why people assume that because you own a rental property that you are independently wealthy and don't need a job.

Just explain your issues and try to come up with some solution together that is fair. She seems like a good landlord, she is fixing and upgrading the place for you.

things like the dog maybe she can't have someone let it out if she is away all day so bringing it is the olny way she can work one your place all day. If it stays in the yard and she cleans up after it that should be a fine compromise for both parties.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 1:28PM
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