I hate my landlord

He is old, crotchety, and nosy. He speaks to us in a disrespectful way (I assume he thinks he has some right to be chastising and condescending, since we're young). He complains that we don't stay in communication with him, but he doesn't have e-mail, and in order to get in touch with him we have to leave a message with his answering service (which is supposed to field calls from ill patients - he's a doctor - man, do I feel sorry for those patients), and when he calls back it's from a "blocked" number. When he leaves us voicemail, he merely states his name and his number, never the reason for his call. When he needs something, he calls incessantly, when we need something, he takes his sweet time.

When he finally does send someone over to fix something, it's clear he picked them up from the street (as he is cheapcheapcheap). 90% of the time the "handymen" don't speak English, and he will try to instruct them how to do their repairs (which is comical, as he tries to raise his voice to get them to understand). 90% of the time the repairs are shoddy, but since they have all been minor, we have lived with them.

Why today have I decided I "hate" my landlord? We've been having problems with our electricity in one room. The electricity works for a moment, and then it flickers and all goes out. We've actually been having these problems for a year, but we rarely use that room, so we didn't pay much attention until a few weeks ago, when my bf decided he was going to buy a new desk and put his computer in there. We sent a letter and spoke to the landlord on the phone about the problem a week and a half ago. Suddenly this morning (while we're sleeping) he leaves a message that the electrician is coming "soon." A few hours later, the doorbell rings. It's our landlord, by himself, wanting to come in and be shown the problems. Apparently, he doesn't think he needs to abide by the 24 hour written notice rule. I was still in bed at this point, because I assumed the electrician was the only one coming and that I didn't need to be present. Then I began to hear the landlord's voice, chastising my bf, going on and on about how we have "too many wires", "too many electronics" and that's what's causing the power to go out. We have NEVER had any computers in that room, nor have we tried to plug in more than a light, which my bf explained. However, the landlord is also extremely stubborn, and so he repeated his theory several times, saying that we would have to pay for it if the unit needed to be rewired.

This building is at least 20 years old. If there are wiring issues, it's because of normal wear and tear. We have 1 tv with 1 computer in the living room. We have 1 computer (with 2 screens) in our bedroom. And if the electricity worked, we would have 1 tv, 1 computer, and 3 monitors in our second bedroom. How in the world is that TOO MANY ELECTRONICS?? And where does he get off dictating to us how many electronics we should or should not have, especially when we previously had NONE in the room that's giving us problems? He is looking for someone/something to blame, so he doesn't have to pay for the normal wear and tear in his building!

I also have to point out that, in my opinion, we are perfect tenants. We always pay the rent on time. We are quiet, we rarely complain (we prefer not to deal with him).

Anyway, back to the rant... the "electrician" finally shows up. The landlord tells him to go look at the plumbing (we've had a small leak in our bathroom), and my immediate thought is "why is the electrician looking at the plumbing??" But of course, it's because he's an unlicensed, uncertified handyman. At least he spoke English this time, and he seemed at least semi-competent. His young son was trailing him around the house, which really made me scratch my head. He got finished with whatever he was doing in the bathroom and goes over to the fuse box. The landlord then proceeds to tell him to get a screwdriver and take off the fuse box cover! Handyman refuses to do it, says it's "dangerous", and the landlord begins arguing with him, telling him it's "easy" and then attempting to do it himself. Handyman walks out, and the landlord says "ok, we need to get more tools. we'll be back later." That was 2 hours ago.

I'm actually hoping that the handyman either doesn't come back or he comes back and screws up, so we can hire a real electrician, get the room fixed, and then deduct the amount from the rent. And then I would love to see the landlord try to sue me.


DogAteMyFinances said...

Does he pay the water bill? Just leave the water on 24/7 until he fixes it. Sounds like you need to move when your lease is up.

H.E.A. said...

Sounds like you have a SLUM lord, not a landlord. I had one of those in college. It was a married couple (they were from the middle east) and they oversaw like 40 properties. They had no handyman service cause she always made her husband do it. When you have 40 properties thats a LOT of potential problems. It usually took MONTHS to get things fixed and he would just let himself in whenever with no notice really PISSED me off because I am a young woman and its just WRONG.

In the end they ended up keeping almost all of my deposit because they said I smoked in the apartment (I have never smoked a cigarette a day in my life) but I don't have the money or time to take them to court.

Good luck with yours. I would advise you get outta there as soon as your lease is up!!

Miss M said...

OMG, that is unbelievable. Is there a Dept of Building and Housing or someone you can contact? Unlicensed shoddy repairs could put your safety at risk. I would start seeing what your rights are so you can get it fixed yourself.

mysticdomestica said...

My landlord has also kept us waiting for weeks for repairs and sent over clueless handymen (necessitating repeat visits)... but he's so nice and pleasant to deal with, I really don't mind. Our rent being below market rates helps too. ;]

But seriously, it's amazing how much people will put up with if the people they're dealing with aren't jerks, like your landlord. But I hope you can work things out--at least until your lease is up!

Serendipity said...

I agree with the folks, you might need to look into other renting opportunities once your lease is up. Thats such crap he makes you go thru.

Abigail said...

Yeeesh! I think you need to get in touch with your local tenants' group. First off, to warn them of this landlord. Second, to find out what you can do about his constant intrusion.

And what is this complaining that you don't stay in touch? You're not penpals fer cryin' out loud!

Sunflowers said...

@Dog: LOL... I really like that idea.

@Miss M: I'm going to see if I can file a complaint. I was considering filming what the handyman does... but maybe that would just make him nervous and cause him to walk out.

@everyone: I want to move. :( It's sad though, other than the landlord, this place has everything we wanted, and I don't know if we can find something comparable. Our rent is reasonable for the area (though every year he raises it as much as he can -- he'd probably like us out, so he can raise it for the next tenants even more). But once it gets closer to June (when our lease expires), I'll start looking.

Thanks for your comments and support!!

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