Thursday, December 16, 2010

Landlord Troubles

When we first started corresponding with our (now) landlord we had quite a few prospects and places we could have moved into. However, my friend Chris went out there and looked at the place for us. The landlord was working on the house and he showed her around the house, she took pictures of everything, asked about the damages and he agreed that he would fix it all up and most importantly have it cleaned professionaly.
We knew that the place was not perfect and well instructed about the damages that she could see (he did not tell us anything about the previous conditions and how the tenants before us left it behind) but we had his verbal and written agreement that he would fix it up. That is why we agreed to rent the place in the first place.

We started corresponding with him back in October. That is how long we've been talking to him before we got to the US.
One of the reasons why I wanted this place was because of the dogs. It's perfect out there and I love the land and countryside. I can open the doors and let them run.

However, when my husband arrived there, the place has not been professionally cleaned, the carpet has not been cleaned. There were still holes in the ceiling, walls, when he stripped down the wallpapers mold came to the surface, our doors can't be locked, we get Ice inside the house. Whenever I touch something I have to worry that it's falling apart, we have cracks in the wall, the mudroom door can't be closed because if we do, we can't get it open because it's shape warped. The entire siding was missing, according to the plumber the insulation is falling apart underneath the house and we should move out ASAP.

We put everything into this move and if we hadn't had that written agreement, we would have never moved in. Plus our landlord used to be an Officer with the Army so we took his word because he knows better than that.

There was hair sticking on the bathroom wall from the previous tenants, mold in the fridge, fruitstaints, it looked like something exploded in the microwave, the wodden panels in the bathroom are rotting.

When I got here from a two day trip... I cried and wanted to leave. I could not believe that our landlord did not stick to what he agreed to. The previous tenants abandoned this place. They were military too. I saw the pictures how they left it behind and I was in shock. I could not believe that the same carpet is still in here. we have cleaned most of the house, made the best of the situation but I couldn't believe that our landlord, let us move into this place, knowing what is wrong with it, not fullfilling his part of the agreement.

We are stuck. We don't have money to pay another security deposit. We were just two days without water because the pipes froze due to the siding being gone. The landlord said he replaced it all, why would you use siding that has already holes in it and is damaged?
How can the wind blow the siding IN if it's going outwards? If the wind blew it in, shouldn't it be going inwards? It did get fixed yesterday, but it's only a temporary fix, at least that is what B. our landlords "handy-man" said who was certain that it wasn't the pipes, that it was the pumps.

We made the best of our situation, cleaned most of the house ourselves because I couldn't live like that. He wanted us to commit to a two years agreement but I did not sign it and I knew why I didn't sign it before I had seen the place with my own eyes. From day one our landlord kept promising and promising and promising and nothing happened. At least I got him to agree to a six months agreement and when I read the agreement I bursted out in laughter. I did not sign it, either. I wanted to give him a chance to fix it up. Six months would give him the time to keep his promises and us the time to look for a new place but I ended up not signing it either because each and every day something else broke and when we went out of water that was it.. I wanted to have a way out of this mess.

When the water went out... it was the final straw. We were two days without water. Our next door neighbors, God bless them for their kindness, helped us tremendously. They supplied us with water, they made the calls, said that they would share everything they have and we could come over and do laundry and shower as long as we were out. They also instructed us about the previous condition of the house and told us that the previous tenants were out of water for a week. The landlord on the other hand said that it never happened before. When I confronted him he was said the previous tenants never told him so he did not know what was going on.

When I made my final decision that we would move out he told us to repair the damage i.e stripping down the wallpapers and everybody was like "Really?" we would have not found out about the mold and even though the painting is not completely done, it's a ten times improvement. It actually looks habital at first sight but there is so much going on with that house and I don't want to walk bare-foot on this carpet anymore, the mold, everything that is falling apart, that we have to use our electricity to keep the pipes from freezing, the insulation falling apart, the doors we can't lock and the ice INSIDE the window, rotting wood panels in the house, all the dirt, that we have to clean it ourselves... even though he agreed in writing, via e-mail and gave us his word that he would fix it all up.

We have no choice but to print it all out, go through legal and find a different place ASAP. Even if we have to go through the local news to find a place.
We made an international move, used all our funds, we held our part of the agreement. We paid the security deposit, November and December. He is in the wrong. He did not honor the agreement and to tell me to put a stick in the door to lock it...
I don't know if I should cry or laugh hysterically. If it wasn't for his agreement to fix and clean it, we would have never went with it and the worst part is that it's pretty much military screwing military. He used to be an Officer, got screwed by his previous tenants who are military as well and now he is screwing us...

Is that how we treat each other?
What about the great Army Values. To be honest, it seems like it's all hot air. It ain't worth nothing...

It's not even two weeks till Christmas and we are dead broke.

I don't know what to do anymore but I had to get it off my chest.
I just can't believe that we got screwed over like that even though we have everything in writing.

Mind you, we pay a 1000 Dollar for this place and my friend blames herself. It's not her fault at all. We would have agreed to the house if it was ourselves being out there since he agreed in writing to fix it all up and have it profesionally cleaned. It is a beautiful place. It could be such a cute house... nobody could have known...

This is the garage door that flew away a day after I arrived

The siding is still missing, it's been missing before we moved in and he agreed to fix it. The bathroom window can't be closed either.

This is the backside of the porch. It should have been fixed. He said it's not a big deal and easy to fix. All I agreed to is to paint it because it would give me something to do.

The following three pictures is the skirt he said he had replaced previously to our moving in. I can't believe that. The missing parts were replaced yesterday and temporarily fixed.

This is what he said, the wind blew "in". Yeah, Right!

You can see the broken sliding door as well as the mold. It's going from bottom to top. I adressed everything and he has promised to fix it. Nothing has been done yet. In fact, he wanted us to do it ourselves and give him the receipt of the mold blocker.
Mold next to the sliding door. We tried to clean it up but it's already coming back through the primer and we can't do it. It needs to be professionally adressed. Also, you can see the staints on the carpet.

Rotting wooden panels in the bathroom, mold and dirty everywhere. More pictures to come.

Ice inside the window because it doesn't close right, is badly insulated and can't be locked either.

Holes in the walls and waterdamage.
Disgusting. The toiled actually overflowed right after we moved in.
One of the bathtubs.
Everything is falling apart.
Rotting bathroom, walls and panels.

Do I have to post more pictures? He agreed, to fix all of that up. He said he cleaned the carpet twice and when I confronted him about it not being clean he said he didn't have it professionally done because we have dogs and he thought there was no need to. The carpet was covered in feces and we wouldn't have known if it wasn't for our neighbors.
He actually advertised the place as a nice countryhome with brandnew carpets.

I feel bad that he got screwed over and that the previous tenants did that to him. I feel ashamed that it was a military family that ran that place down. But he has not the right to charge us a thousand dollars a month and have us live under these conditions even though he AGREED prior to our move to fix it all up and get it professionally cleaned (IN WRITING!!!).

And on top of that he says I'd expect a castle, I am overreacting and unreasonable and I couldn't expect anything since this is a rental and that it is normal that you have to clean a place yourself if you move in.

I do NOT expect a castle. The least we can expect for a thousand dollars is a safe, habital, clean place and to be able to lock our doors and not have to pay to heat the waterpipes so they don't freeze!

It's sad, because I really love this place. It's big enough for two people, it could be a nice countryhome, all the land it comes with, a big kitchen... but I can't live there. I don't know what to do but we can't stay. Even if he was going to fix it all up, we can't live here while he's fixing it. I don't want to stay any longer with the mold than I have to. They would have to take the wall out, the window needs to be replaced and I don't know if they can do that with the weather up here. I don't know where else the mold is growing. Obviously in the bathroom and probably underneath the carpet. I don't even know if the carpet is safe with all the feces and pee that was on there.

Everything would have to be ripped out and replaced and I doubt we could live there while they are doing it. So what are we supposed to do?

This are just some pictures of the kitchen, but how can you live it like that knowingly that your new tenants just travelled two days to get to a new place. After all those hazzles we went through... the least thing we didn't have to do is to clean a rotten place that was supposed to be fixed and clean. I wonder what housing would have told us when they sent an inspector out and our place would have looked like that...


Angela Jackson said...

OMG - I feel so bad that you had to move into this. This is a disgrace and the landlord should be ashamed of himself. He should be punished some how some way.

Anonymous said...

That looks really bad!
I assume you live in a mobile home the way the bottom of the house looks?
I really hope you find a better place!

Anonymous said...

That looks really bad!
I assume you live in a mobile home the way the bottom of the house looks?
I really hope you find a better place!

Me said...

It is and I wouldn't have a problem with it, if he had fixed all of it.

It could be such a great place, especially since it is out in the country where I can go out and just go on a hike with the dogs in whichever direction I please. I wished he wouldn't be like that. Wished he would have sticked to the agreement and get it fixed and cleaned and we wouldn't have to deal with all that.

IceDragon said...

This is a house that really needs alot of repairs. I'm sorry to read this Nelly. Hopefully, you and your husband will soon find a new house or get this one repaired ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Just found your Web Site - so sorry to read about your "nightmare" - hope everything is worked out by now.