Posted by: kentauros | February 7, 2018

Landlords


Here’s a little bit of real life for those of you who haven’t yet moved out to be on your own.

At the moment, I am both pissed off with and shaking my head at the density of my landlords head. Honestly, do they go to a special landlord school in order to learn how to be as dense and clueless as possible? Or does the position simply attract that type of person to it?

Here’s what’s been happening since the end of last month. Electricity issues. In my particular complex, we do have the benefit of something called “All Bills Paid” (ABP) which is that the landlord pays for our water, gas, electricity, and garbage collection. He also has two water boilers for our hot water (instead of individual units for each apartment.)

Now, the first issue was that, due to the City of Houston inspecting the electrical situation coming into the complex, he has had to re-wire all of the circuit boxes on the rear wall of the main building (three buildings here, one big one, and two smaller ones, 16 units total.)

Any normal person would have hired a professional electrician service to do such a big project. Landlords are not normal people. Everything is about saving a buck. If they feel up to it, they often do even electrical projects themselves, even if they aren’t qualified, much less certified for that kind of specialized work. And then they realize that they are in way over their heads.

Next step: hire someone who is a friend of a friend of a tenant. In our case, the boyfriend of a tenant. Nice guy and he is a certified electrician. But the job really did require more than one person to do it. Because when they needed to buy new electrical boxes, the person who went and did that was the landlord. Who then bought the wrong kind. So, the work took much longer than it would have with a crew of knowledgeable professionals.

The lone electrician did finally get it done, though I learned he wasn’t actually getting paid. The landlord was giving his GF a break on her rent. He’s done far more than several months’ worth of rent payments, not to mention lost wages from his day-job. But again, cheap landlord.

So, since last week, we have been told to shut things off (such as computers, appliances, etc.) by 9am due to the local power company (Centerpoint) needing to do a rebuild of the wires and electrical weather-proofing coming into the complex. They were supposed to do it last week, but rescheduled to Monday. I had to text my landlord just to learn that.

Monday comes and goes. Tuesday comes and goes. Wednesday, still no Centerpoint.

Angry text to landlord. Where the hell is Centerpoint??

Oh, there’s a rain delay of 7-10 days.

And you couldn’t be bothered to let any of us know? (No, I didn’t say that, but was thinking it, and still am.)

“Please let us know when they schedule when you find out, so we can make our plans accordingly.”

No answer. I have no idea if he’ll remember or not. I suspect not, and that I’ll be working here on my computer when the power suddenly goes out.

And yet, even with those aggravations, I have become of the mind that I’m fine not living in a house. Apartment living means no lawn to mow, no landscaping to mind, no exterior or roof repairs or rebuilds to do, etc. When things break (plumbing, electrical) you call the landlord, or the apartment manager, and things are set in motion to get things fixed (usually.)

The only thing I miss is having an in-ground garden and compost heap. Other than that, I’m happy enough being in an apartment. Let someone else do all of the stuff associated with living in a house with HOAs, nosy neighbors, property taxes, and so on.

~~~

So, here’s what new tenants can do:
I would suspect that there are now “rate your landlord” sites, which would be a good help to new renters. Twenty years ago, that kind of thing didn’t exist on the Internet, when I first moved here. If it had, I might not have been living here, even with the ABP perks.

Do your homework, and if you can, talk to other renters in a complex before committing. I suspect I have warned some potential renters away from living here because they did ask me what it was like here, and I was truthful with them. It’s not like I’m getting a break on my rent for playing up life here, so I’ve got nothing to lose.

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