Use the Post Office to protect yourself.

bud_wiNovember 22, 2006

Let me relate a bad experience that I had when I was a renter so that others do not fall victim to the same mistreatment.

Where I live a tentent has 10 days after moving in to report any damage or repairs that may not have been noticed during the quick walk through that they were given when the landlord showed the apartment to potential renters.

One of the most common repairs is the oven. I mean how many landlords let everyone who somes to see the apartment turn the oven on and wait to see how hot it gets??? You wouldn't know it did not work until you moved in right?

I moved into an apartment and discovered that the oven did not work. I reported it *immediately* to the owner. He said he would fix it. I kept complaining and he kept saying he would fix it. After MONTHS of living there without an oven (stovetop worked), he finally sent a repairman. He had them BILL ME. He claimed (lied) that the oven had been working all along and "I broke it". He told the repair people that I had asked him to call for the repair "Because I didn't know who to call." Sure. I never heard of the Yellow Pages. The repair people fell for it and sent someone over. I let them in. They billed me. Landlord claimed I never told him the oven was broke until that week so I was responsible for the "damage".

I could have saved myself this grief and expense by mailing myself a written copy of my complaint the first week, and keeping it unopened with it's post mark. Giving a written notice of repairs to the landlord does not work because they just throw them away.

This same landlord pulled another stunt on me. When I looked at the apartment I saw that some of the ceramic tiles in the shower area were missing. I pointed this out and the landlord said he "Would have it fixed before I moved in."

If was not fixed when I moved in. I complained. He said he would get to it. Never did. I reminded him. It never got done.

When I moved out he held part of my security deposit for "The tiles I ripped off the wall."

I'll bet that to this day he has not replaced those tiles and charges everbody for them when they move out, over and over.

I should have put it in writting and mailed it to myself for proof.

I was stupid and naive. You don't have to be.

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Would it be better to use registered mail (although it would cost you money)?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 5:34PM
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Thanks for alerting renters to the crimes landlords commit against tenants. It is good to have a friend along when looking at apts so you have a witness to the problems that exist. Taking pics is also helpful.

Congratulations on being able to have your own house after 30 yrs of paying rent!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 8:15PM
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Yeah,I stopped trusting and taking someone's word for things and I learned to take pics on moving in day and on moving out day. I also put down that day's morning newpaper on the floor in the middle of each room when I took pics.

That would have helped with the missing tile situation but pics wouldn't have proved anything with the broken oven.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 1:35AM
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Writting a letter to yourself proves nothing in court. How would the judge know you reported this to the landlord? Use certified mail, but even that only notifies the judge the LL recieved mail from you, not what the letter was.

Photographs are great, but again it's not known when they were taken. I have also heard of the photo with todays paper. Again what if the paper is old?

Having a "friend" along also does help but doesn't solve all problems. Who's side is the friend on?

I'm a landlord and I do a walkthrough with the tenant when they get their keys. I fill out a check sheet together and leave one that I ask them to return with their next months rent as obviously items will be found after they move in.

We then do the walkthrough together again when they move out. I am up front about any complaints/ issues I have and always give them an chance to correct these without me hiring it done.

Yes many LL are liars/ crooks. Its best to not only search for your new home but a good landlord. Ask the LL for references, or speak with other tenants when the LL is not present.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 3:27PM
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