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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
Reader Steve’s little sister has a problem. She keeps getting attacked by her roommate. She called the police and now there are charges against the roommate. The psycho roommate’s parents say that they will only pay the “lease break” fee if she finds a way to get the charges against the roommate dropped.
How do you get your landlord to require the upstairs neighbors to put down carpets? A lawyer who “has practiced in the landlord-tenant arena for more than two decades” has been answering these sorts of questions on the New York Times’ “City Room” blog. The advice he gives, while helpful and specific, is mostly based on what we imagine are NYC-specific problems and cites New York statutes, but it still might be helpful for renters elsewhere with similar problems.
Huzzah! Dan’s quest to not live in an icecube has succeeded. He writes:
The boiler’s been replaced and I’ve had consistent heat and hot water since xmas. Now i just have this unholy clanking coming from the steam pipe every morning b/t 3 and 5 am which jolts me from my bed in fear that its about to explode and take me with it. The super says hopefully it will get resolved this week.
On Monday, I returned home from work to discover an unexpected message from the city building inspector tucked under my door, stating that he had come to check on my heat and hot water, but that, since I wasn’t home, he’d check things out in a neighboring apartment.
After ripping down the almost collapsed ceiling and the neighbor’s kitchen floor, the guy discovered at least three different leaks, all converging on my ceiling.
Here’s a big list with links to landlord-tenant statutes by state. Know your rights. Good for renters to bookmark in case you’re ever in a dispute with your landlord, or just because you’re a smart person who likes to have useful information relevant to your life on hand.
The roach situation has improved, but Daniel still has to call the super every time he wants to take a shower. Also, on Sunday, when it was 21 degrees in New York, he didn’t have any heat until 6pm.
2 weeks ago both my wife and I got a summons, that let us know that our landlord was being sued by the bank he financed the house through, for not paying his mortgage since July of this year…
A reader writes:
A major NYC real estate corp [Dermot Management] is seriously fucking its tenants, myself included, and I just signed my lease a week ago and am now stuck with these bastards.
“>Metroblogging Los Angeles]
…In which a reader learns, through the power of IM, the definition of the contractual clause “As-Is,” and how it applies to the damaged apartment he subleased…
Stealing a page from “The Super” screenplay, an Ohio judge ordered a landlord to live in one of his decrepit buildings until repairs are made.