Don't Be A Slum Lord!

Aug 28, 2000

Some landlords can be real jerks. My landlord is one example. If you are going to charge someone rent for a house you own, you are in charge of the repairs, not your tenant.

Last summer I told my landlord that the floor in my daughter's bedroom seemed very weak. He told me he couldn't afford to fix it. About a month later, I showed him the board that was rotting in the hall. I got the same reaction. Then my son fell through the bathroom floor. He wasn't hurt, luckily, but I ended up patching the hole myself.

No matter what the problem, it was always that he didn't have time, or didn't have money to fix it. I have lived in this house for almost 5 years now, and there have been problems all along. Last winter I borrowed an electric heater because my heat did not work. One window fell into the house onto my son's bed during a wind storm. One hour later and it would have landed on my son.

This house has been one problem after the other, and none are being fixed. My daughter climbed into the crawl space to see if she could find where the pipes are leaking that are causing the floor to rot out, and told me that every beam in her bedroom is cracked or broken except one.

The ironic part though, is that when we move out, (hopefully soon) it will cost him a lot more to fix than if he would have fixed it when we told him. It is not nearly as expensive to keep the house up as it will be to fix it back up after several years of neglect.

Advice For Land Lords

1) If it is broken, fix it before it gets any worse. The leaky pipe in my house would have taken very little to fix in comparison to the leaky pipe, and the water damage. The floors in 3 rooms now need to be replaced, and as time goes on the damage is spreading further.

2) Don't expect that the house will be in perfect shape when your tenants leave. No matter how careful they are, some normal wear and tear will occur in any home. There are also those, however who will do a lot of damage then move on to the next house.

3) If your tenants are not reliable at paying rent on time, be cautious during the winter months. I know of one family who packed up and moved out without a word to the landlord. Since this happened during the winter months, and the heat had been turned off, the pipes were frozen and broken when the landlord made the discovery a month later.

4) Treat your tenants with the respect they deserve. Tenants are people too!

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Member: Kelly
Location: Northern Michigan, USA
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