Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Donate to Help Me Move!

My landlord is having some issues. Originally he was an excellent landlord, if a bit reluctant to fix non-essential items (like our gate, which was broken when we moved in and has never been fixed). But over the past few years he's been growing increasingly strange.

He'll be perfectly pleasant sometimes when we call him for a repair -- when our 15 year old dishwasher finally quit, for instance -- and then lose his rag the next time (a clogged drain).

It's not like we call him often, either. I usually manage most repairs myself.

Anyway, yesterday he sent us this bizarre little letter saying that we were "responsible" for the breakages and damages to the house, and that he wasn't going to "unilaterally" pay for them anymore. Also that he was "revoking" our deposit and applying it to the costs we had already incurred.

If we didn't like this, he said, we could move.

He's well into his 80s, so this could be age-related dementia. But he's also a rich white Republican, so it could be just entitled rich guy hatefulness.

In any case, we really need to move to a less expensive place anyway.

Except, as all y'all know, we're stony broke. (A combination of no work all summer and heaps of medical bills last winter.)

If anyone feels moved to donate to the delagar moving fund, this would be the time.

Image result for moving about comic


Anonymous said...

you need a lawyer NOW (or discussion with your local renters rights board) to determine if your lease allows him to allocate your deposit to his normal maintenance expense rather than only to wanton destruction of property by his tenants.
You need to know your rights and obligations immediately.
Every state and location is different.

delagar said...

Right, Arkansas tenant have essentially no rights. Almost all the rights here belong to the rich (big shock).


delagar said...

That said, most landlords are very reasonable, and this one used to be. He's only gone off the rails over the last few years.

But (obviously) this is why we need legal protections. Depending on the benevolence of the powerful is a really bad arrangement.

delagar said...

I mean, under Arkansas law, he is, in fact, not legally required to provide repairs to the property. That's the LAW here.

nicoleandmaggie said...

That seems pretty sketchy. I hope your deposit wasn't that big. Did you have a written lease?

delagar said...

We do. And frankly, I don't think it supports his claims.

For instance, he says we're responsible for dealing with the trees that fall on the house (this is *entirely* new -- previously he dealt with trees that fell down in storms). The lease says that tenants are responsible for lawn care, which up until a few years ago meant we mowed the lawn and raked the leaves. Now he says that means we're supposed to be dealing with tree care too.

And you know, technically the trees are ON the lawn. So I don't know what kind of legal standing we would have. Everywhere else I have lived, the landlords have always dealt with the trees. Lawn care meant mowing the lawn and raking the leaves, that kind of thing.

And we need to move to a cheaper place anyway.

And yes, the deposit was pretty tiny, so fuck him.

Anonymous said...

Having had to leave 2 crummy poorly maintained apartments because the landlords wanted to renovate them and charge more (which is their right but bad news for me), I totally sympathize. But the changed behavior is a big red flag -- do you know other tenants of his who you could compare notes with? If it's dementia or other signs of aging, he may get even more weird and may not even remember what he has said to you (or others). He may become abusive, even physically abusive. And tree removal is not lawn care!!!

delagar said...

See, that's why I think it might be dementia -- because one day he says one thing, like he'll send someone to remove the tree, no problem, and he's very nice about it; and then the next day he's literally screaming at me about the tree, saying that lawn care* is my responsibility, that we're "always" breaking things (we broke the garage door, once), and so on.

Also, truly, he and his wife used to be very nice. When we moved in, they were just so sweet.

We really need out of this place.

*And yes, it's a tree that fell on the roof! How is that lawn care?

delagar said...


Lately he's been sending around repair guys that we haven't requested. Like he sent a guy to fix the air conditioner when it wasn't broken. And he sent this guy to spray the house for bugs, except -- as the lease says -- pest control is *our* responsibility.

I had written this off to just, you know, everyone gets things wrong sometimes, but now I'm not so sure.

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life said...

Yikes, that does sound like dementia or dementia-adjacent fueled behavior. I'm sorry you're dealing with it but hope you're able to get out soon. Is the rental market pretty renter friendly right now (aside from having no legal rights, that is)?

delagar said...

Rental property here is pretty reasonable. Right now isn't the best time to rent -- right after all the students have moved in, but before they all decide school was a bad idea and move out. But we should be able to find something!