I Thought My Apartment Included Utilities. Now I Have A Zombie Gas Bill

I Thought My Apartment Included Utilities. Now I Have A Zombie Gas Bill

Jesse has turned to Consumerist for help because he is being haunted by a relic from his past. Specifically, he writes that a debt collector has contacted him, claiming that he owes them for having a gas service account that he never used–in an apartment where he thought all utilities were included. What should he do? [More]

Should You Be Let Out Of Your Lease If Your Apartment May Plummet Into The Sea?

Should You Be Let Out Of Your Lease If Your Apartment May Plummet Into The Sea?

It’s nice to have an apartment on a cliff overlooking the ocean — until the cliff decides to stop existing. That’s what is happening to one apartment complex in Pacifica, CA. [More]

Crazy Landlord Fights Heat Wave With Air Conditioning Ban

Crazy Landlord Fights Heat Wave With Air Conditioning Ban

An Oregon landlord refuses to let his tenants install air conditioners because he thinks they “look tacky.” Tenants of the Arbor Creek complex in Aloha who choose to sacrifice aesthetics for comfort have ten days to correct their mistake before facing eviction. One tenant’s kid already landed in the hospital thanks to heat stroke.

Attn. New Yorkers: How To Research Apartments Before Signing A Lease

Attn. New Yorkers: How To Research Apartments Before Signing A Lease

Looking for an apartment? If you live in New York City, there’s an easy way to avoid buildings with lousy track records (peeling lead paint, chronic rodent problems, fixtures that never get fixed, and the like).

"Homeboy Hookup" Scammer Rips Off Renters

"Homeboy Hookup" Scammer Rips Off Renters

Apartment scams are the new hotness. Can’t do housing scams anymore because no one can afford a house, so it’s on to rentals. Insert “Merce,” a guy is ripping off renters saying he’s got the “homeboy hookup” and can get them into a rental cheap and with free gas an electricity, but he doesn’t actually own the properties. Fox NY investigates in this video.

"60 Days Notice Required Before Dying" Landlord Loses Appeal

"60 Days Notice Required Before Dying" Landlord Loses Appeal

The sun has set for Sun Harbour Apartments in their attempt to steal money from a dead man’s family. Court documents obtained by Consumerist indicated the landlords recently lost their appeal in a case where they tried to charge the estate of the late Arthur Zissenfor the 3 months left on the man’s lease, as well as taking his security deposit. The apartment complex have a 60 days advance notice required before vacating the premises policy and not even a swoosh of The Reaper’s scythe could break it, Sun Harbor believed, erroneously. Inside, the local newscast from when the case first went to court.

Landlord And Service Tech Call Tenant A Nerdy Dipshit

Landlord And Service Tech Call Tenant A Nerdy Dipshit

The wireless Internet connection at Ari’s new apartment isn’t very useful. Neither is his landlord, or the support tech who’s supposed to troubleshoot this kind of stuff.

Landlord Asks Mother To Pay "Early Termination Fee" After Son Fails To Honor Lease By Dying

Landlord Asks Mother To Pay "Early Termination Fee" After Son Fails To Honor Lease By Dying

Debbie Eckert cleaned out her son’s apartment after he died in a February fight, but the landlord, CCRT Properties of Brookfield Wisconsin, thinks she should pay several months rent and an early termination fee. The Wisconsin Department of Consumer Protection says that CCRT can pursue the 24-year-old teacher’s estate, but that they have no right to heartlessly badger his mother.

Four Unexpected Situations Where Bad Credit Hurts

Four Unexpected Situations Where Bad Credit Hurts

If you aren’t planning on getting a big loan in the next couple of years, you probably shouldn’t be worried about your credit score right? Wrong.

Landlords Drop Demands For Murdered Woman To Pay Back Rent

Landlords Drop Demands For Murdered Woman To Pay Back Rent

The landlords that sent a demand for unpaid rent and citing “insufficient notice to vacate” to the estate of a mother who was murdered in a Christmas kill-spree say they will not go after the rest of the rent after all. They say the request for payment was just the management company’s standard procedure and they didn’t know the woman was a murder-victim.

Landlord Orders Ex-Husband To Pay Murdered Wife's Rent

Landlord Orders Ex-Husband To Pay Murdered Wife's Rent

The ex-husband of a woman who was murdered at a Christmas party along with 8 other people has been ordered by her landlord to pay her rent. The landlord says she gave insufficient notice to vacate the premises, and broke her lease. Apparently they require 60 days notice before being shot dead by your sister’s ex-husband in a Santa suit.

Sun Harbour Apartments: 60 Days Notice Required Before Dying

Sun Harbour Apartments: 60 Days Notice Required Before Dying

UPDATE: “60 Days Notice Required Before Dying” Landlord Loses Appeal

Fannie Mae Lets Renters Stay

Good news for renters who’ve been dutifully paying their rent while their landlords failed to make the mortgages, and were facing eviction as a result: Fannie Mae will sign new leases with them. [NYT]

When Your Landlord Won't Refund Your Security Deposit

When Your Landlord Won't Refund Your Security Deposit

What do you do if you were a perfectly fine renter, left the place in great shape, but your landlord won’t refund your security deposit?

How "Serial Evictees" Game A System Meant To Protect Renters From Abuse

How "Serial Evictees" Game A System Meant To Protect Renters From Abuse

There’s nothing we dislike more than people who scam a system put in place to protect vulnerable consumers from abuse, but the sad fact is that they do exist. SF Weekly has an article that tracks the exploits of a serial evictee, a “renter” who leases apartments with no intention of paying rent, and then games the system in order to stay rent free for as long as possible.

The Worst Landlords In The World

The Worst Landlords In The World

Suffice to say, landlords aren’t allowed to do those sort of things just to get you to skedaddle. What’s the worst landlord you ever had and how did you deal with them?

Landlord's Crappy Boiler Costs Us Big Time

Landlord's Crappy Boiler Costs Us Big Time

Marcie writes:

I live in a 750 square foot apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Per the lease agreement, my roommate and I signed to pay the heat separate from the rent. The first gas bill we received was $750, and the following gas bill was roughly the same amount. We knew that the price of gas was expensive, but for two people who make great pains to use the heat only when absolutely necessary, and occasionally use the stove to boil a pot of water, this seemed ridiculous. For all of 2007, we owe roughly $2000 in gas costs.

After Weekend Controversy, Wisconsin Landlord Releases Man From Lease  On Murder Scene Apartment

After Weekend Controversy, Wisconsin Landlord Releases Man From Lease On Murder Scene Apartment

This morning, WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin, reported that Wisconsin Management Company had refused to let a University of Wisconsin student out of a lease a year and a half early. What was surprising about the story was that the man had found his fiancée murdered in the apartment last week. Even worse, the company wouldn’t confirm that it would replace the carpet or re-paint the walls until it had completed “further investigation” of the situation. Before we posted the story this evening, the management company had posted a press release on its website saying the whole thing was a misunderstanding and the lease has been dissolved. Download the press release here (PDF), or read it below.