One of the bright spots in selling our house and becoming renters was that we wouldn’t be the ones responsible for maintenance issues in our home. The thought that we could just call the landlord when the disposal quit working or the fence needed repairing sounded really good to us.
There was one factor we didn’t take into account in our thinking, and that was the type of landlord we might have.
Mind you, our landlord is not evil. In fact, they are a perfectly delightful couple – a retired HP software engineer and a surgeon – it’s just that they have a lot of other things going on in their lives and tending to a 1600 square foot condo 100 miles away from them isn’t as much a priority as caring for the horses on their ranch.
When we signed our rental agreement, we were actually dealing with their 19-year-old daughter. At the time, she wanted to go into property management so I suppose having her act as our landlord seemed like an ideal opportunity for some on-the-job training. But there was obviously tension between her and her mother about items on the rental agreement.
After not having my phone calls and emails returned, it was apparent that real estate was a passing fancy for her – she’s now studying to be an EMT – and mom and dad are reluctantly back in the landlord role.
So we’re at their mercy for getting the dryer, all the lights in the kitchen and eating area, and downstairs toilet fixed.
When the washing machine spewed water that dripped from the second floor to the first, they called the contractor they had used a couple of years ago when a similar incident happened. The landlord, the contractor and I all met at our house to assess the damage and when everyone left, I felt confident that I would be hearing from the contractor shortly to get the dryer properly vented and make sure there wasn’t any lasting water damage.
Well, it turns out that the contractor had been holding a grudge against our landlord for the past two years over $400 that he said he was owed but never paid. The contractor said he wasn’t going to do any work until he was paid what was owed him. The landlord has paid the disputed amount but is furious about it. So who is actually going to come and take care of the growing list of maintenance issues is very much TBD.
I haven’t felt so squeezed in the middle since I sat between my two daughters on the Scrambler at last year’s fair.
In the meantime, I have gotten to know all the Laundromats within three miles of our house, we have moved a pole lamp from the bedroom to the kitchen so we have some light downstairs, and we have two other bathrooms that have working plumbing.
A little inconvenient but not unworkable for now. We may be glad we only signed a six month lease.