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Scary landlady...

Posted by slemmers (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 16, 09 at 21:04

I've had some issues with my landlord and I'm not sure if she's allowed to do/say some of the things she does. This is mostly a rant but if anyone has some knowledge about some of the issues let me know....

Some background info: I moved in two years ago with a boyfriend, who became abusive. He was frequently verbally abusive to me and punched holes in the doors, and on two separate occasions we received written noise complaints. On the second written complaint it said that one more noise complaint I could be evicted, but I got him to leave and my landlord said that she didn't blame me for anything he did and understood that it wasn't my fault etc. which is nice. I now have a new boyfriend living with me.

My landlord is very scary some days, and other days she's nice to me. I'm unsure about some of the things that have happened in the last two years:

1. She never did a move in inspection with me, we talked about it and set a day and she didn't come. Then I called to set another day and just nothing happened, I had already moved in by this point and she never mentioned it again. This worries me, don't they have to do one by law? Is she going to try to screw me over for money? I don't know..

2. One instance she agreed to give me a new stove as it was broken, and as a bonus she wanted to give me a new fridge as well - this is her nice side. She complimented my clean white kitchen (I painted all the cupboards with her verbal permission) and said that a new fridge would have to accompany the new stove, it was friendly. The stove came in no problems. The fridge came later, she told us verbally which day it was coming, so we moved all our food out put it in a cooler but it didn't come. We called her after work and she said it was coming tomorrow, again we moved our food into a cooler and after work no fridge. We didn't have time to call her the third time, or thought that she might call us but either way no calls from both parties.

Then the next day she calls up my boyfriend at work and screams and yells at him because our food was still in the fridge! They were bringing it in the next day and she never called to let us know it was coming, later she said we were supposed to assume it was. She yelled at him and said we were pigs and our apartment was disgusting (which it is absolutely not, maybe a little cluttered that's it). She claimed she had put a note on our door, which magically disappeared. They removed all our food and left it on our kitchen counters to go bad, and she left the old fridge inside the apartment because it was apparently "not clean". I had wiped the inside totally clean and the front, but there was a coffee spill stain that was in between the fridge and the counter out of reach, and she said it was disgusting and wouldn't take the fridge away until it was properly cleaned. She left a note that said if the old fridge leaked in our apartment it would be our responsibility to pay for damages. I wiped the one stain off, we called and they took it away.

3. On the first of April this month I got home from school at 5:30, and she called me at 6:00 to ask me where the rent cheque was. I told her that I was just waiting for my boyfriend to get home, she rudely said that I don't need him to come home to give the cheque. I am unsure if landlords are allowed to call or harass about rent money, especially on the very first day, it wasn't late yet. Basically I had forgotten but I was only home for half an hour, why does it matter to her? It states in the laws that the rent is due by 12 AM on the first, so why did she call me?

4. Today my friend came to visit while her car was in the shop for 2 hours. She has a little dog. She visited, after a bit she went to let the dog go pee and she went to the front to buzz up after. Well the landlord went to the front and refused to let her inside because of the dog. She asked her who she was visiting and said that I knew about this rule - Which I don't, can you not have any visitors with pets?? So my friend said that she didn't want to get me in trouble and that she wasn't going in but she had to go to the back and get her stuff, my landlord didn't believe her and said that if she went inside then I would be getting an eviction notice! Can she really threaten something like this, especially to a guest? I know that I'm not allowed a dog, I am allowed a cat with a pet deposit but this is a guest so how am I supposed to know about this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Scary landlady...

I see you're from Canada. I'm not familiar at all with Canadian law. I'd encourage you to google "landlord tenant law" but put your province name in front of the search, or narrow it down and go even more local in your search.

This is all just my humble .02. ;)

1. The technical answer will be in your area landlord/tenant laws and/or your lease agreement. But you mention holes punched in doors by your ex. Was your ex named on the lease? Verbally she might say she doesn't blame you for anything "he did", but eventually the damage will have to be repaired and someone's got to pay for that. You don't want it to be you, your LL doesn't want it to be her. Your ex sure isn't going to pay. If your ex was not on the lease, then legally you are the only recourse your LL has for collecting for those damages. If Ex wasn't on the lease, she has no way to go after him, he wasn't party to the contract and she can't prove he did it. So it all falls on the shoulders of who's named on the lease, because they are responsible, per the lease, for the condition of the unit. So yes, it will be you in all probability that is responsible for paying to repair the door damage or any other notable damages. (Another reason it's not a good idea to have someone living in a place and not on a lease.)

2. A lot of it sounds like it boils down to miscommunication regarding the fridge delivery. And some of it could have been on the delivery people's end, changing their schedule. Should she have screamed and yelled? No, not really, it's not professional. If she's a neat freak to the point of being neurotic and every little spot sends her off, that's one thing and not your problem. But if she's not like that, and what she saw in your place was enough to send her into a tirade, then take that as your red flag to reassess your living conditions. If there's anything going on in your lifestyle that could be viewed as going above and beyond typical living conditions or normal wear and tear, would encourage you get a handle on it. So it doesn't come back to bite you.

3. I am unsure if landlords are allowed to call or harass about rent money, especially on the very first day, it wasn't late yet.... Absolutely landlords are permitted to call, or send letters, to collect rent money. They can even take you to court and have you evicted for failure to pay (guarantee that part is in your lease). And one single phone call does not "harassment" make.
It states in the laws that the rent is due by 12 AM on the first, so why did she call me? Because technically you were late (according to your laws). It's going to sound like I'm splitting hairs, but I'm not. Because it sounds like you're confusing your 12AMs. The last possible minute you could have paid April's rent and not been late would have been at 11:59PM on Tuesday 3/31. Because the next minute, 12AM, rolls into the next day, Wednesday 4/1. So if you pay at 6PM on Wednesday 4/1, technically you're already 18 hours late. 12AM on the 1st of any month is before daylight hours. The 12AM that falls after daylight hours of the 1st day of the month is the beginning minute of the the 2nd day of the month.

Perhaps she wants to get her deposits in before close of bank business day on the 1st. Perhaps she runs a tight ship because she's been burned, and doesn't want to offer an inch for fear of a mile being taken. Regardless of her reasons, it's due when it's due and she doesn't need a reason to collect.

4. No Pets means No Pets. Not no pets living there but visiting pets are OK. She should have taken it up directly with you, but imagine she was taking it up with your guest because she was the one standing at the door with a dog. If you're allowed a cat, then that's it. That's the only animal permitted in your place. That's what you agreed to on your lease.

You ask how you you are supposed to know about this? To understand a lease, you have to take into account what's not written as well as what is written. So if your lease says you are permitted a cat, and mentions no other animals, then you can absolutely take that to mean that it's not OK to go out and get a bird, or a gerbil or a dog. Because if it were OK, it would be stated in your lease that birds, gerbils or dogs were OK.

And you can pretty much conclude that behaviors expected of you are also expected of your guests. And you are the one responsible for monitoring what goes on in your place, because your name is on the lease.

I'm not trying to be harsh to you. But it also sounds to me like your landlord isn't scary. Just like she's trying to enforce the Lease. Maybe she yells too much, but without getting her side of the story it's hard to say if her anger is justified or not. But you've mentioned several lease infractions on your part (damage, late rent, dog), so imagine her patience is being tested here.


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RE: Scary landlady...

your landlord sounds like she has depression disorder. One time she is up the next time she is down. this is a tricky subject to deal with.


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RE: Scary landlady...

Let me see if I can summarize:

* You have allowed guests to smash holes in the doors.

* You have had multiple written noise complaints due to screaming fights with a guest.

* She gave you a brand new stove and refrigerator, for free, and you're complaining about it

* "maybe a little cluttered" = disgusting pig-stye

* Rent was not paid on time on the 1st, and probably not for the first time

* You did not realize that no pets actually means no pets

Wow, your landlady is a real wacko for being unhappy with you.


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RE: Scary landlady...

1. I never "allowed" a guest to punch holes in the doors. He was an abusive boyfriend, he lived here and he was on the lease. I never fought with him actually, he just screamed at me for no reason, and I let it continue for a month or two - obviously it was a mistake to be with him, he manipulated me and he basically went psycho after 6 months which is not my fault - his behavior was the result of drugs. Eventually I got him to move out for good, and got his name taken off the lease. Shortly after this he harassed me for weeks and I had to go to the police, let them listen to multiple death threats on my phone and get a restraining order.

So fredwolf, was I supposed to move in front of us fist? I guess I just allowed it, maybe I should have just gotten him to punch me instead of the doors, that's a great idea. By the way I did not have "multiple" noise complaints, I only got 2.

My landlord is aware of the circumstances, she understands and knows about the restraining order and never blamed me for the things that happened. She dealt with him immediately after punching the hole in the hallway and made him pay for it.

In response to moonshadow, I am not worried about the punched holes because I know that I am responsible for that and I am going to repair them myself. He was on the lease but I got him to remove himself from the lease before he moved out. I would probably not be able to get repair money from him. I'm more worried about the legality of whether or not she will take my whole damage deposit because there was no move-in inspection. She may have made up one by herself, which I never got to sign and that could result in not getting the deposit back, but I'm not sure. However I have improved the apartment quite a lot, I painted all the cupboards in the kitchen and replaced the floor in the kitchen and bathroom.

2. I am not complaining about the new refrigerator, I am complaining about how she moved it in without warning and was so angry about food being in the fridge that she screamed and yelled at us about it.

She didn't call to say it was coming which she previously did, so we are supposed to assume this with no contact from her? We were supposed to go buy ice a third time and move all of our food into the cooler a third time without knowing for sure?

My apartment is not dirty, I have nice furniture and I take care of my things. I'm not a disgusting young male, I clean regularly - I even clean the carpets since I have a carpet cleaner. I bet my place is cleaner than yours.

We were getting ready for a camping trip and had camping equipment on the floor near the kitchen. We also had some clean dishes next to the sink drying, this hardly constitutes a pig-stye. There were no problems moving in the stove previously. She was being rude because she could, and probably because she had a bad day. Later, my boyfriend called and talked to her and she apologized for saying those things. So she apologized because we are disgusting pigs? Sure.

3. Regarding the rent, I said that rent is due by 12 AM on the 1st - what I mean is that rent is due on the first of the month and it can be paid up until 12 AM, no its not due on the 31st rent is always due on the first of the month.

It was not late, and I have never paid my rent late. Either way, it is a cheque and the cheque doesn't get cleared until about 4 days after I give it to her, so why does it matter if it's paid at 3 pm or 6 pm. There was no reason to call as I have never paid my rent late, this was the first time she called about this and it was odd to me. So it was paid after banking hours, that doesn't concern me - the cheques probably have to be sent out to the property management company.

4. I understand that no pets means no pets, and I know that I shouldn't have had my friend come with her dog, but she yelled at my friend and almost made her cry which is completely unnecessary. She could have politely said that no dogs are allowed in the building instead of scaring her and threatening to evict me because of it. My friend even told her that she didn't think I knew that it wasn't allowed, and she said 'Oh yes she does'. Honestly, I didn't know that it was such a big deal and obviously I try to avoid conflict with her as much as possible.

I have lived here for 2 years, yet she sometimes doesn't even know who I am. This is probably because I see her about 3 times a year. I am not a problem tenant, I do not pay my rent late and I do not have a disgusting apartment. Since we don't do anything wrong I don't see her often, but if something is wrong she freaks out. It's not like I'm the only one in the building who thinks she's scary. It all depends on if she's having a good day or a bad day it seems, or she's just crazy...


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RE: Scary landlady...

Hi slemmers,
First, congrats on getting away from the abuse. No matter what, that's far more important than anything else.

I'm still confused about the holes punched in walls.
She dealt with him immediately after punching the hole in the hallway and made him pay for it.
If your LL did indeed deal with ex BF, and got $ from him for damage he did as you mention, then you should be off the hook. But then your next sentence is: In response to moonshadow, I am not worried about the punched holes because I know that I am responsible for that and I am going to repair them myself. He was on the lease but I got him to remove himself from the lease before he moved out. I would probably not be able to get repair money from him. I'm more worried about the legality of whether or not she will take my whole damage deposit because there was no move-in inspection. If there are holes left, no matter who did it, the only recourse I see that LL has is for you to pay for it.

I'm not sure what to offer you here. Basically there were two parties to a lease, technically both are equally responsible for the condition of the unit. If you are charged for what he did, about the only way I can see that you can argue it would be to go to court and try to prove, with whatever legal evidence you have (police reports, restraining orders) that he was violent and did the damage. It's tricky, and basically a lot depends on how your LL responds at the end of your lease term.

Just a tip (and I've had a couple tenants try to use this as a negotiating tool): never assume that because you have made improvements to a place that it somehow negates or offsets any damage. It never does. Holes are not supposed to be there. Holes cost money to fix. Painted cabinets and a new floor will not pay to fix the holes.

3. Regarding the rent, I said that rent is due by 12 AM on the 1st - what I mean is that rent is due on the first of the month and it can be paid up until 12 AM, no its not due on the 31st rent is always due on the first of the month.

I don't know how to explain it any better. But I'll try. ;-) The last minute of any day is 11:59PM. The very next minute that immediately follows that, 12:00 AM (midnight), is the beginning of a whole new day. If you stand at your LLs door with rent check in hand at 11:59PM on the 31st, you're not late. If clock rolls one minute to 12AM (midnight) you're precisely on time. If clock rolls one more minute, to 12:01AM and you haven't handed it over then technically it's one minute late. If you're still standing there an hour later, 1AM the rent is 1 hour late. If you stand there all night, into the morning, through the next day and into the evening, 6PM rolls around, technically you are 18 hours late. Does that make sense?

Either way, it is a cheque and the cheque doesn't get cleared until about 4 days after I give it to her, so why does it matter if it's paid at 3 pm or 6 pm. There was no reason to call as I have never paid my rent late, this was the first time she called about this and it was odd to me. So it was paid after banking hours, that doesn't concern me - the cheques probably have to be sent out to the property management company. Doesn't matter when the check clears, doesn't matter whose hands in lands in once it leaves yours. The only part of the deal you have to uphold is to pay it on time, anything else beyond that is not relevant. And it should concern you it was paid after banking hours on the 1st. By then it's late. Because it was due at Midnight before 3PM or 6PM. Not the Midnight after 3PM or 6PM. The Midnight that comes after 3PM or 6PM is the beginning minute of the 2nd day of the month. (Gawd that's splitting hours, but I don't know how else to get it across! ;-) And I'm betting she called because you're getting on thin ice with her and she's running out of tolerance and cracking down (because of all issues combined).

4. I'll agree, LL should not have yelled at friend. But she did, and it's done. If it makes her scary, so be it. But it doesn't change the pets clause.

I have lived here for 2 years, yet she sometimes doesn't even know who I am...I am not a problem tenant. Guarantee after sending written noise complaints with threat of eviction, having damage (holes) done, having to call you for the rent and catching a visitor trying to enter with a dog, she knows exactly who you are and is watching very closely.

Since we don't do anything wrong... I'm not being snarky, but you have done things wrong. And you signed a legally binding agreement that you would not do those things. Forget about personality differences, appliance delivery and tidiness. There's this: 1)two written noise complaints with threat of eviction if a 3rd occurs 2)significant damage done 3)had to call for rent 4)friend is caught bring in banned animal. Each of those things stand by themselves as a lease infraction. Add them all together and it absolutely does spell "Problem Tenant" to your LL. Because on the flip side, in two years there are other tenants who have never had to be served with written notice for anything, have never had to be called for the rent, have never had banned animals in, and have never had holes punched in walls or doors. So from where your LL sits, all kinds of red flags are being sent up to her, and they are coming from the direction of your unit.

I'm going to encourage you to stop worrying about her personality, and for your own good follow every last rule to the letter. It's time to lay low and stop drawing attention to yourself. Because if these things continue it's not going to turn out good for you.


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RE: Scary landlady...

* "was I supposed to move in front of us fist?" : No, you are supposed to exercise some judgement about who you allow into your home, and if that judgement fails then pay for the repairs immediately. Whatever he paid for (if anything) may have just been for a temporary repair. Do not repair it yourself, as you will do a very poor job that will have to be re-done by the owner when you leave. And keep in mind, usually the entire section of wall will have to be re-primed and re-painted after the drywall is repaired, perhaps even the entire room to get the color to match, which can be expensive when a professional does it.

* "By the way I did not have "multiple" noise complaints, I only got 2" ; single = 1, multiple = 2 or more

* "I said that rent is due by 12 AM on the 1st" : A day starts at 12:00:00, so if your rent is due by 12AM on the first then you are late as of 1 second after midnight.

* "Either way, it is a cheque and the cheque doesn't get cleared until about 4 days after I give it to her, so why does it matter if it's paid at 3 pm or 6 pm. There was no reason to call as I have never paid my rent late, this was the first time she called about this and it was odd to me. So it was paid after banking hours, that doesn't concern me - the cheques probably have to be sent out to the property management company. " : Typical tenant mentality. Not getting the rent on time is an important indicator of a problem brewing. Your behaviour has given her a LOT of reasons to be worried about you, so she is sensitive when the rent is late. Your legal obligation is to pay rent in full, on the date specified.

* "Since we don't do anything wrong I don't see her often, but if something is wrong she freaks out." : So which is it? You do or don't do wrong things?

* I agree 100% with moonshadow: "There's this: 1)two written noise complaints with threat of eviction if a 3rd occurs 2)significant damage done 3)had to call for rent 4)friend is caught bring in banned animal. Each of those things stand by themselves as a lease infraction. Add them all together and it absolutely does spell "Problem Tenant" to your LL. Because on the flip side, in two years there are other tenants who have never had to be served with written notice for anything, have never had to be called for the rent, have never had banned animals in, and have never had holes punched in walls or doors. So from where your LL sits, all kinds of red flags are being sent up to her, and they are coming from the direction of your unit."

Look, your landlord isn't hassling you for kicks, you have been a real pain. If you don't like being troubled, don't be a troublemaker.


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RE: Scary landlady...

First of all I do appreciate most of the comments, obviously this does not apply to fredwolf, who seems to think that he can assess someone's character based on a few paragraphs about tenant/landlord issues and make assumptions from his own idiotic conclusions. You don't know anything about me aside from a few things I wrote about regarding my apartment issues, which I even called a rant beforehand. I am a smart and responsible person. I pay my rent in full EVERY month on time. I am not a troublemaker, I am a quiet tenant who takes very good care of my things and my apartment. I have signed two lease agreements, the second was even suggested by my landlord. Aside from a bad boyfriend almost two years ago, there have been no incidents regarding noise or damage in my place. I have also stated that my landlord does not hold me personally accountable for the things he did. I explicitly said it was background information, which also means that it is not open for your biased interpretations. I never asked for your condescending opinions of my judgement. I don't want or need your comments.

With response to moonshadow, I do agree that going to court is an option as well but I'm afraid I wouldn't have much evidence to support it - but I do agree that the criminal record of his would work in my favour...although I don't think it would be worth it as the damage is just two fist sized holes, one in the inside of the bathroom door and the other on the outside of the bedroom door. There seems to be an already patched hole right near the one on the bedroom door: the doors are really old, hollow and darkish wood and they filled it in with a wood filler similar in colour and sanded it, it doesn't match the wood and it's blatantly obvious. It's possible that she would be okay if I fixed the two holes myself the same way but I'm not sure. The damage that I said the ex paid for was actually a big hole in the hallway when he had moved out and was harassing me, she knew right away that he was the culprit and made him pay her for the damage.

I do know that other improvements I've made have nothing to do with the damage, really it has to do with the fact that she knows about the improvements and knows that we've been taking good care of the place.

About the lease infractions comment, yes the noise complaints and the damage occurred but again those happened almost two years ago on the previous lease. Since my latest lease agreement, the only things that have happened would be the dog incident and her calling me about the rent. I know that its okay for landlords to call, but at the same time I've never been late and it wasn't an unreasonable time yet. The dog thing is mostly about the attitude for me, I should have known better but she was only stopping by and she lives in another city so I don't see her much.

I also don't understand why there is a misunderstanding about the rent payment. I already said that my rent is due on the 1st, its not complicated. We all know that there are 24 hours in a day. I know that at 12 AM it's a new day I'm not stupid. My rent is due on the 1st and I have the whole 24 hours to pay it. When the 2nd hits then the rent is late. When I paid my rent at 6 pm it wasn't late. And really, even if I was to pay my rent at 11:59 PM on the 1st thinking that it was fine according to the law it would still be late because by then my landlord would be sleeping anyway and wouldn't get the cheque until the next day. Obviously paying at 10 PM is pretty bad but it's still acceptable, I've even paid before at 9 PM. Most people probably drop off their rent in the morning before they leave for work, but she can't expect everyone in the entire building to be able to drop theirs off before her office hours end. It's also possible that she uses her office hours to call people if she hasn't gotten the cheque yet which is fine, but it was more the attitude that annoyed me since I've never been late. The bank hours actually don't even matter in this case since the cheques go to the company or the bank the next day.

Really I'm annoyed that even though I'm a great tenant (aside from one bad boyfriend choice) she treats me like some irresponsible nuisance sometimes. Then again, she does forget who I am other times. Mostly I'm afraid of not getting my deposit back when I move in the future.


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RE: Scary landlady...

Hi slemmers,

First things first, an apology. I did not mean to imply you were stupid regarding reading a clock. Sometimes I don't always get my point across well (at least in my own head), so I use illustrations like I did above. Did not mean to offend! Don't want to speak for fredwolf either, just think perhaps he's one not to mince words so much, and so will lay it right out there. We all come across differently ;-)

But, I'm still going back to the time, because I'm confused. You've mentioned twice that your rent is due at 12AM on the 1st. So that would mean it's due by the very first minute of the very first day of the month. (A bit strict, IMHO, but if that's how they want it...). Anyway, from a LL's perspective, if you pay later in the day on the 1st, according to your contract you'll be viewed as late. Not super late, but if other things are ticking off your scary landlady then repeated payment of rent late enough she feels compelled to call you (even if it's later in the day on the 1st) just might be the last straw for her. Again, some LLs are wound tighter than others, and also some tenants have caused so much grief for some LLs they have little patience left for other tenants. There are all kinds of reasons and scenarios. So I'd offer just one last word of caution to you about paying on time, given all you've said here. Don't consider where that check lands or banking hours once it leaves your hands, I'd urge you to not give her the slightest reason to contact you. But it's your call how you handle payment, I'll drop it at that.

This threw me, though:
I have signed two lease agreements, the second was even suggested by my landlord.

I'm curious (and sort of concerned if interpreting correctly). Do you have two different leases in force at the same time? (That's how I interpreted it, and that's not a good situation at all.) Or are you saying you signed a lease, then when it was time to renew signed a whole new lease again? (If that's what you were saying, then nothing wrong there.)


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