is my landlord being neglectful? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 02-07-2007, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night DH was getting something out of the freezer when he noticed a hissing/sizzling sound, and he looked in the back of the freezer and through the slat in the back/bottom of the freezer back wall thing he saw an orange glow. He pulled the food out, and one of our boxes was charred black on the back. We unplugged the refrigerator and called the landlord who said that that was weird and he'd never heard of anything like that, and that he couldnt make it over tonight (it was about 7:45 pm when we called) but that he'd come by tomorrow on his lunchbreak. No call, no nothing so far. I am LIVID. We don't have money to replace our groceries that we just bought! He actually said on the phone to my dh that he hoped we could 'save our food somehow'. We have the frozen stuff in a box in the back porch/shed thing, and the rest of our food crammed in coolers and its still technically cold, but not as cold as it should be. Is this normal?!? I am furious! What should I do in a situation like this? We've always lived in apartments and they are very fast about coming and checking out problems, so we can't believe this.....granted this was their first home and they bought a new one and are renting this one and they told us they've never been landlords before, but isnt this more of a common sense and common courtesy thing?

argh!!!

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Dd to Ds: "Let's have a snack party! I got us chips, and a hammer!"
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#2 of 19 Old 02-07-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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Well it really depends on the laws where you are, I had a similiar thing happen here in Maine and basically I was SOL as far as my food. Yet in other places I have been the landlord would have had to replace my food.

My experience living in a rental home versus an apt. was that getting repairs taking care of took a lot longer since there was no handy person meaning owner had to call appropriate service person and then wait. I found renting a house good preparation for owning since things didn't get fixed right away.

Hope you don't lose your food.

Shay

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#3 of 19 Old 02-07-2007, 05:22 PM
 
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It took my LL a month to get our new fridge. It *worked* but on the hottest days of the month (we don't AC our house) our milk would go bad.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#4 of 19 Old 02-07-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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In most states the rental laws protect renters. You may try to search your state code for help. I rented a house once in Florida that was sold midway through our lease. The woman who bought it was terrible and needed some education on being a landlord. The state laws were our best friend because they were pretty concrete.

I rented an apartment once from a woman who owned just a few places for rental. One Friday the toilet broke and I was told no one would look at it until Monday. The funny thing is I was young and naive to take that crap!
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#5 of 19 Old 02-07-2007, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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it's now been 18 hours and no phone call, let alone repair visit. I'm really upset that I'm in a situation where I have to have a confrontation with this man while I'm home alone with my two babies........

Sarah- following my bliss, mama to 3 :
Dd to Ds: "Let's have a snack party! I got us chips, and a hammer!"
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#6 of 19 Old 02-07-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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I would consider charging him for any food that went bad if he doesn't make it over on his lunch break as promised. Hopefully he has $400 to buy you a new fridge.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#7 of 19 Old 02-07-2007, 05:51 PM
 
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You may want to call the ll and let them know you are calling a repair person. Where should you send the bill? That is what I had to do. Our lls were new also. So we would get the repair done, then give the lls a copy of the bill and deduct from our next rent. If the repair was super expensive, I call to check first, but that is what worked best.
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#8 of 19 Old 04-06-2007, 11:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by babykaoss View Post
Last night DH was getting something out of the freezer when he noticed a hissing/sizzling sound, and he looked in the back of the freezer and through the slat in the back/bottom of the freezer back wall thing he saw an orange glow.
I'm late to this thread, but since nobody addressed the freezer thing, I'll tell you it's normal.

Most newer refrigerators (10 years old or newer) have automatic defrost function in the freezer, to keep ice accumulation from building up (remember how your mom would have to defrost the freezer a couple of times/year?). It comes on once or twice a day - ours comes on in the evening. The hissing is the melting ice hitting the heater coil (the orange glow).

Now, why your box was charred I don't know. There should be some sort of guard to prevent that from happening. I can see the orange glow in our freezer, but there's a heatproof guard of some sort so nothing can touch the coil.

In any case - hope you got it all worked out!

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#9 of 19 Old 04-07-2007, 01:11 AM
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You deduct the cost of ruined food from your next month's rent
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#10 of 19 Old 04-07-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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You deduct the cost of ruined food from your next month's rent
My thoughts exactly!
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#11 of 19 Old 04-07-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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Well, it's not legal, and fairly dangerous to deduct something like food from your rent. I would put a notice to quit on the door on the 11th of the month if the tenant didn't forward the balance after a discussion. There is a strict protocol to rent withholding, and part of it is establishing an independant account into which you must deposit the full amount of rent on time (and late fees if it's deposited into the account late) each month until the dispute is resolved. At that point, the held rent must be forwarded to the LL in full. I hate to hear when people throw this around so easily as advice, because it can really get someone evicted. And a lot of people have this misconception. If you want to request that your LL reimburse you for food, by all means... Maybe it will work out.

Also, in most states, a LL does not have to reimburse you if you initiate repairs to his/her house. I have even had to charge a tenant because they had someone do something that was against code and totally illegal. : That put us at risk, because we were liable for this - and the very people who had that done could sue us for the violation.

If you discuss it with the LL and they agree to your making a repair - that's completely fine. In this case, if a tenant bought a refridgerator, I would not reimburse them - it's their refridgerator, and they would take with them when they move.

When you own a house, you may not able to get a refigerator repaired or replaced within a week. Homeowners wouldn't get it done any faster than normal LLs. If it's not a large complex with it's own facilities - handyman staff and extra appliances on hand - there is no way to expect that anyone can do that so soon. If they can - excellent. It's really good luck.

If there's been some history with this fridge... like you've been telling him it's a fire hazard or something and he's not done anything after several calls - yeah, it's neglect. So far this is just a guy who is trying his best, unless you find out otherwise. LLs don't owe tenants food when things that break, break. They just owe tenants what is possible in the world we live in. Overnight refridgerator replacement usually isn't.

Not trying to be a downer, just to correct some of the misconceptions I see...


I hope that your fridge is fixed quickly and that all goes smoothly!
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#12 of 19 Old 04-07-2007, 02:34 AM
 
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I guarantee that if my fridge was dead it would be replaced that day or the next if it were too late. I"m not sure how it could possibly take a week. Now if I wasn't sure and it needed a repair, that might take a day. I own though so I'm not at the mercy of a deadbeat landlord.

What ended up happening OP?
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#13 of 19 Old 04-07-2007, 02:37 AM
 
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You must have excellent service in the midwest. I recently waited a week for my own fridge when I needed a new one. It was the fastest we could find anywhere around here. It certainly does not make me a deadbeat landlord to myself.


.
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#14 of 19 Old 04-07-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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I know this is too late for OP, but I know that we have home insurance that covers stuff like this. I'd have to take a look at the policy, but I do know that when something happens in the apartment that can be dangerous/urgent and the landlord isn't able to get there/ignores you, you can call a third party in to get it fixed and send the LL the bill.

I also *think* that in Canada, if you have a problem with your heating during the winter and landlord won't fix it, you can go to a motel and LL pays the bill.
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#15 of 19 Old 04-07-2007, 01:26 PM
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When we were apartment-living, our furnace was extremely wonky. Instead of hiring the furnace guy to come fix it, our totally inept landlord would tinker with it, pronounce it 'fixed' and leave, only to have it shut off again a few days later.


One (VERY COLD!) night the furnace shut off, and he said he would come by Monday. It was Friday night.

We checked into a hotel, and left a message with him that he could call us when the furnace was fixed by a licensed technician and meantime we were deducting our hotel costs from the rent.

He got it fixed properly right quick
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#16 of 19 Old 04-07-2007, 05:09 PM
 
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You must have excellent service in the midwest. I recently waited a week for my own fridge when I needed a new one. It was the fastest we could find anywhere around here. It certainly does not make me a deadbeat landlord to myself.


.
I could go to Costco or Sams and get one right away. We have a utility trailer though and don't have to wait for delivery. But even delivery can usually be arranged within a day in my area. I'm in an urban area though. It probably would be harder somewhere rural.
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#17 of 19 Old 04-08-2007, 02:04 AM
 
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Has it been fixed yet? That really sucks. This is the main reason I decided not to rent our old home. I din't want to have to worry about getting things fixed as fast as possible because I would feel so bad for the renter if something broke.
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#18 of 19 Old 04-08-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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Call your renters insurance company. They sometimes can reimburse for lost food.
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#19 of 19 Old 04-08-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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We've been renting here for 3 years and change. We frequently have a problem where the hot water shuts off. Each time, we would call the land lord and it would take him about a day to come over and flip the switch to start it up again. He wouldn't give us a key to the little room in the basement so we could do it ourselves. When he went on vacation, we had to wait 5 days once for hot water. A few months ago, he replaced the thermostat part of the heater. It was fine for a while, but 2 weeks ago it was off again. Finally, last week, he replaced the whole heater.

When our oven stopped working, it took him about 2 weeks to do something about it.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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