Hiding things from your landlord.

nctrnlNovember 26, 2007

Lets make this a fun thread, ok? No bashing, no judging, ok?

AT the apartment I live in, because I dont exactly live like an average joe, I have to hide things from my landlord. Basically because of how he may think of me (judge me) & then possibly kick me out (I have overheard him badmouthing me to several other people). I have a month-to-month lease.

I have often lived a very humble, frugal life & because i have, people often look at me if there is something wrong with me. I dont decorate my place (in fact my place is pretty barren furniture-wise), I dont heat it or cool as much as most people do, I dont leave it often & I dont have people over. I basically go to my job & then come home (I do my shopping either on the way to or from work so it may look as if I never leave my place). I work nights & sleep during the day. I dont have cable.... I use *gasp* rabbitears!

However I DO pay my rent on time, never complain, dont bother anyone & basically just keep a low profile (those things alone would probably make me out to be a FREAK in today's society .... how messed up is THAT!?).

Crud... I rambled.

Well, anyway back to the point. I have to hide the fact that I dont heat or cool my apartment as much as normal people do. In winter I keep it at about 45-50 degrees & wear heavy clothes. In summer I us the AC sparingly. I "borrow" a wifi internet signal from a neighbor down the street with a homemade antenna I have inside my apartment (I have to hide this any time the landlord comes over). Because my bedroom had no door ... I made a one out of a frame-work of wood & clear plastic.... it is just set in place & not bolted to the doorframe. I made it so that I can keep my bedroom warmer than the rest of my apartment during winter. I have to hide it when my landlord visits.... as I am sure he would not approve.

By not living like everyone else would expect me to (spending lots of money on junk & crap I dont need).... I am often meant to feel like an outcast or someone who is "abnormal".... & it is really depressing at times that I have to live this way, becaue it is the only way i can save up money.... living what I call "a lesser life"

Anyways... i dont want to bring anyone down so post the things you hide from your landlord. And landlords... please post some of the things your tenants have tried to hide from you.

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My question is, why on earth is your landlord "visiting" you, as you say, so often, as to make his visits a problem for you.

None of the things you mentioned are against any lease that I have ever seen. The only things tenants hide are things against the lease (unclaimed pets, secret roommates, waterbeds, weird damage) or things that are illegal to have in any apartment (bongs, dead bodies, cheater boxes, kidnapped toddlers). I don't think anyone is going to out themselves here about a dead hitchicker in their footlocker, or make themselve look foolish and selfish, confessing to disrespecting the LL by hiding a rotweiler and a waterbed on the premises.

I don't think putting a curtain up for a missing bedroom door would fall into that catagory and as far as you tapping onto a neighborhood WIFI signal the laws have not kept up with technology and lower courts have sided with the grabbers.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 10:31AM
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Oh I forgot to add....

I removed a very small single wall panel in my closet to use as a place to hide my valuables. It just involved removing a couple of nails & there was already a void (open space) inside the wall.

@ "Bud wi" : oh, the landlord isnt visting often. But he can show up at ANY time..... which just annoys the heck out of me. ANd when he comes he bangs on the doors like the police! lol. And its always when I am sleeping. And its not a curtain in the doorway... it is a wooden frame covered in plastic that I pull in place... it isnt bolted in like a regular door. Btw.... what's a cheaterbox?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 4:03PM
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1.) Well then tell your LL not to do that anymore. Tell him to stop dropping by anytime he feels like it and refuse entry unless he has given you previous notice or claims an emergency. Start keeping written records of his entries and the reason he gives.

2.) I don't care if you are talking about a curtain on a frame or a piece of plastic on a frame, there is no reason to have to hide it. What ever the reason you have to use it (keep the heat in, keep flies and mosquetoes out, muffle noise, block light from coming in, keep pets out of BR, privacy, whatever) it is of no concern of your LL.

3.) A cheaterbox is an illegal device sold that allows a user to steal cable transmissions. The LL must have the infrastructure already in place in the building to allow tenents to access cable and be billed for the cable service. The illegal box accesses cable transmisssions by tapping into the cable infrastructure undetected. Don't get any crazy ideas about this though, as there are ways to check to see if there is any illegal access to cable to catch the thieves. It just takes a little bit of work to discover the activity, that's all.

If I had a LL who stopped by for no reason anytime they felt like it, I think I would start answering my door in the nude wearing a tinfoil hat and pink bunny slippers. Maybe wear that WIFI antenea on your head next time he comes around to snoop. Maybe telling him that the doctor said you're "still contagious" might prevent extra visits from the LL.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 7:32PM
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^^^^ easier said than done when you are on a month to month lease where ANY percieved grief you give the landlord could get you kicked out within 30 days.

I'd rather hide the things my landlord could concievably have a problem with than take any chance that they would piss him off & subsequently get me kicked out.

I prefer to err on the side of caution.

One thing I have learned in life is that you can be correct & justified all you want, but that doesnt protect one from being treated unfairly. My landlord can up & decide to kick me out if he doesnt like the type of shoes I wear.... is it fair? no, but he is still allowed to do it.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 5:05AM
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But he ISN'T. Just being month to month does not give him the right to treat you like dirt, nor should you be living like a mouse because you think it does! You're in the U.S. (?) and have rights, but you need to find out what they are, and quickly, before he has you completely bamboozled about everything! You have rights to privacy, and notice of 24 hours if he wants to come (and only for a legitimate reason, not just to spy on you!). He has ZERO say in any of your belongings (makeshift door included!) that are not attached to his property and the more you 'hide' things, the more suspicious YOU look, even though you're innocent. Talk to someone at Legal Aid to find out your rights, and what you can do to uphold them (without being at risk for eviction).

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 5:55AM
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"Easier said than done when you are on a month to month lease where ANY percieved grief you give the landlord could get you kicked out within 30 days.....One thing I have learned in life is that you can be correct & justified all you want, but that doesnt protect one from being treated unfairly. My landlord can up & decide to kick me out if he doesnt like the type of shoes I wear.... is it fair? no, but he is still allowed to do it."

You make a good point nctnl. But, I think you may be over reacting. Has the LL ever said anything to you, to give you the impression that he is looking at how people decorate and furnish their units as an indicator of their suitability as a tenant? Yeah, sometimes one has to tread carefully when dealing with an eccentric LL but what are you baseing your fears on?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 7:41AM
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A landlord can give you a 30 day notice if you are on month to month. But from a practical standpoint most landlords are too busy dealing with the noisy, alcoholic and non-paying tenants to care that you are not heating/cooling, and whatever else you seem to be doing that seems harmless to me. Frankly I would rather have low key decorating than the dark blue painted walls and ceilings I just had to repaint.
You seem to be a bit of a loner,and most landlords prefer that to the party-party people. Landlords or managers do need to come by from time to time when there is a plumbing problem--or to let you know that the electricity will be off briefly to fix something, etc. Those are considered emergencies and in our state we don't have to give 24 hr. notice. Believe me, its not an attempt to check the dusting, etc. What I don't understand is when a tenant calls to complain about the plumbing and then complains when the plumber shows up.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 6:35PM
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^^^^ I live in a building that has 3 apartments in it. It is not a BIG apartment complex. So the landlord doesnt have to worry about a bunch of other apartments.

Also... I have looked into tenants rights in missouri (where I live).... they are pretty much nonexistant.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 7:57PM
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Then Google the term *Missouri tenant's rights*. Don't try to tell anybody that tenant's rights are nonexistant in Missouri.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 8:17PM
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I dont hide anything from my Landlords (aka apartment complex)
Although I think it's completely ridiculous tenants are allowed to have cats but not even a VERY small dog.All I want is a little toy dog,which my cat is BIGGER then and we arent allowed here.
I dont get it.In my opinion,cats do WAY more damage to apartments then dogs.Our last apartment we had to pay 300 dollars when we moved out (out of pocket,not security deposit) because our cat dove through the blinds and messed them up.
I have thought about trying to sneak in a dog but it's just not worth it.
Instead,I will just move RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the other apartments that allow dogs and make it clear to my landlords when I move that that is why we are leaving.And we have paid rent on time for 6 years,and have never had a single complaint from anyone.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 10:41PM
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@bud wi

I have already done that when I first moved into my apartment. Like I said.... they are almost nonexistant when it comes to tenant's rights... just the basics about rent/section8, descrimination, eviction etc. etc.. I have looked it all up before (downloaded the booklets etc. etc.) Example.... there is no law saying that a landlord has to give notice before entering. I have even written to the state housing authority & the attourney general regarding this particular subject & recieved no response.
This is missouri, not New York where there are tons of law code regarding landlord/tenant rights.

Most of the laws that ARE on the books are mainly there to protect the landlord. And most landlords have set it up to where they are completely protected & in control , while the tenants are at a disadvantage .... case in point... a month to month lease/rental agreement.

I have valid reasons for worrying about my nutty landlord. I have heard him badmouthing me to several people, he refused to change the locks when i moved in (but said I could do it at my own expense), and gave me grief over me replacing an anemic extention cord to power both a microwave and toaster oven.

And why are you coming off so hostile? From your first post in this thread til your latest.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:47PM
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I would not hide anything from a LL. If you love where you live, making it a home and pay rent on time, why in the world would you jeopardize your relationship with the place and have to move?

Plastic garden..........I agree with your dog complaint. We live in a complex that accepts dogs of any size, just breed restrictions. The only stipulation is you get one warning for not picking up poo and the second time you are out. There are nice park stands with bags and a can so it is quite convenient and we've not seen any laying around when we walk.

I am sure the cat reasoning is they make no noise.

Good luck getting a pooch!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 3:03PM
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Some things tenants have tried to hide:

Smoking (both legal and illegal)
Pets (especially cats)
Additional Roommates
Water Beds
Portable Washing Machines
Portable Dishwashers
Portable Propane, Electric or Kerosene Heaters
Running Laundry Services
Running Day Care Services
Modifications to Structure, Electrical & Plumbing
Damage to Walls, Windows and Floor Coverings
Disconnected Smoke & CO Detectors
Bypassed Thermostats
Changing Locks
Utility Theft
Cable Theft

Between communication with other tenants, neighbors, my property manager and monitoring temperature, water, electric and fuel usage, I generally have a pretty good idea of what's going on.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 3:48PM
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Thanks angel ;)
I'll admit I hadnt really thought of the noise issue.
These walls are pretty thick though.I live downstairs and NEVER hear my upstairs neighbor at all.

It just seems unfair because the apartment next door allows dogs,and they walk them right in front of my porch EVERYDAY (even though our complex says no dogs are allowed on the property AT ALL,they are there everyday whether they know it or not and it's such a tease!)
The other apartment is WAAAY nicer to.They have a pool.

Angel,how can they determine whose dog's poo it is? LOL,unless another neighbor complains...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 12:25AM
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That's the point - they can't tell, which is why they have blanket 'bans' on all dogs.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 4:53AM
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I understand that Lucy,but places such as where I live,Dogs arent even allowed on the property,yet they are there anyways,and I constantly have dog poop in my yard.So how does the ban really make a difference?
The houses across from us,the people have dogs,and the apartments next to us,the people have dogs.They ALL walk them on my apartment's property everyday.So the ban for us is useless.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 5:31PM
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Well, maybe it keeps it to a dull roar? I'm just glad I'm in the country - my dog poops when he wants where he wants (not indoors) and thank goodness I don't have to scoop!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 6:37PM
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Here, if you didn't "scoop". people would know whose it is because it just doesn't happen. I mean if you see dog go by and it poops, everyone picks up. There are too many "nothing else do types" that live here and it would be known who didn't scoop.

I think just the rule alone helps keep people in line. Plus in a small town like I live in, LL tell other LL everything because it is just so small an environment and if you have been evicted because of dog poo, you aren't gettin anywhere, ya know?

I have several friends in other complexes and they all have dog poo problems so I am sure another reason why they don't allow dogs in most areas. None of my friends had to sign the poo addendum like we did.....

That is awful though that people walk their dogs there anyway, but your mgt is probably looking at other issues than the poo, probably the liability issue that comes with dogs on the property. Having worked in the insurance industry, let me tell ya, dogs in apts cause a big liability to be carried with the property insurance.

As long as your place has no dogs EVER posted on their property, they don't have to worry if another complexes dog attacks you, or eats your flowers or what not, you would have to take it up elsewhere. However, that being said, they really should enforce their own codes.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 11:54AM
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I accidently knocked a small hole in the wall when I tried to get a chair out of my bedroom. I called and asked what would they do if someone knocks a hole in the wall by accident. They said they do not fix holes in walls that the tenats have caused until after they have left. They said if I do much damage to their property than I would be evicted. I live in a poor area so they are used to people who abuse their property. I decided not to say anything and just put a poster over the hole. This place is falling apart but it is not because of me. I have to request maintence a lot. Unforunately my apartment complex is going bankrupt. I am moving out in June 2008. I also never use my heat; instead I use a tower heater. My heater is broken but they refuse to replace it! I live in a basement apartment and they are other apartments around me so it always about 60s or 70s even without heat.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 5:34PM
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Go buy a little tub of Polyfilla at the hardware - it's white muck like plaster, and what you do if the hole is very small is use a bread knife (or small spatula) to put a little in the hole, let it dry overnite, then fill the rest in. Let that dry and then spread more over the top (don't fuss about levelling it yet). When that's dry, sand it level with the wall, and paint with those little 2 oz. acrylic deco paints - get one closest to the wall color, plus a white and a darker one, and mix til you have the right one. Use a kiddy brush to apply and relax!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 9:45PM
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Not to hijack the thread, but michellelynn74, if your lease says that your rent includes heat, you can withhold rent until they fix the heat. Check your local laws and check your lease, before you do anything, but your landlord can't just refuse to fix your heat!!

I had a situation several years ago when I was without heat and hot water for 10 days in the middle of January (in Boston). I had to go stay with my sister because my apartment was uninhabitable. I deducted 10 days rent from my monthly rent check and wrote a letter explaining why I deducted it. I did this after consulting with my sister who is a lawyer. I had notified the landlord, gave them a chance to fix it, then I called and told them I was not paying a portion of my rent. Then I followed through.

It just ticks me off when I hear things like "they refuse to replace it!"

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 3:53PM
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I'm a landlord michellelynn74, and I can tell you that refusing to provide you with heat is against the law, no two ways about it. Google your State's landlord tenant laws, example "Georgia landlord tenant laws", and I guarantee you'll see something and hopefully instructions for an agency to contact. It doesn't matter if you're comfortable as is with a makeshift heat source, or that they are going bankrupt, or that's it's a poor area. There is nothing that will get them off the hook. They simply cannot refuse to repair/replace your heater.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 6:31PM
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A friend of mine had a month to month lease from a crazy LL. She literally was crazy old coot who could have been committed if anyone had tried. She would be out very late at night, peeking in the windows when we were at my buddy's house playing video games and drinking some beer. She would dig through the garbage, before it was set to the curb, "making sure no recyclables were thrown out" among other reasons. She really was the pits and would find any reason possible to come over and yell at the tenant. The previous tenant, another friend of mine, had been evicted for being an "Irish womanizer" after three days.

Remember, things could always be worse.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 9:21PM
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When I was 18, I rented from three crazy old coots in a row. That's when I decided to buy and renovate my first multi-family home. Some tenants cringe at the thought of living on the second floor of a residential owner occupied rental owned by wacky senior citizens. Many retired seniors are fussy, miserable, mentally unstable and don't have much to do, so they'll look for problems, find fault and complain about every little thing.

Many of my existing tenants have had very bad experiences with crazy old coot landlords. One of my current tenants was being evicted because she walked around the apartment too much, received phone calls after 8PM and would come home after 10PM. When she'd take a shower longer than 5 minutes, her crazy landlady would bang on the pipes and/or turn off the hot water. Her crazy LL threatened to have the pizza delivery guy arrested for trespassing and used to scream at her when she parked in the mouth of the driveway for two minutes to unload her groceries.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 1:57PM
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I bought my first multi-family at age 32. before that i owned a single house and lived in a trailer park. I never hid anything from the park owner. My tenant I don't think hides things from me he doesn't seem smart enough to do all that.

I have caught him tampreing with the smoke detectors several times, the last time he knew I was going to be in to do work he left the detector cover open and the battery on the end table. then I replaced that with a tamper proof battery unit, he just spun that off the mount and put it on the floor. after that I sent a written warning not to tamper with fire safety equipment or he would be evicted. since he has left it alone, after coming to ask me about what to do if he has too much smoke from cooking.

I told him use the range hod that vents outside. he then told me the fan didn't work for 3 years. I asked if he ever told me or the previous owner, knowing he never told me it didn't work. this guy is a messy bachelor that hardly ever cleans. when I went in to fix the fan all that was wrong was a paper label from inside the fan or vent holding the fan blade. He could have seen and fixed that if he would have ever taken the filter off to clean it.
Next I started checking other things in the kitchen like the sink for leaks and the stove and ovens operations. the stove was filthy and the oven didn't light until I cleaned the safety switch. Then still was flaky. But I'm not going to buy him a new stove since he never reported trouble with it and doesn't take care of what is there. if I have to I will find a used one.

I have really learned that some renters are pigs and others are not but none usually care for the place like you would.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 1:59PM
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