Monday, May 26, 2008

Another lovely weekend…. NOT

What started out to be a good start to a Memorial Day weekend ended up to one of hard manual labor. On Sunday, at exactly 12:15 pm as Chris and I were putting on our shoes in our bedroom, we heard an odd scraping sound that seemed to be climbing down our bedroom wall. Then we were left in the dark. The kids came out of their rooms perplexed because the t.v.'s turned off. We walked downstairs to find that the whole house was without electricity. I don't know what made us go to the lanai but when we opened the back doors to the backyard, we could immediately tell what had happened. A huge branch of the GINORMOUS tree in our backyard came off and hit the wires snapping them off at the pole. What we heard from upstairs was the riser from the electric meter coming off the house.

No one heard the branch actually fall. I cannot get that out of my head. The branch did not make a sound as it snapped off the tree, slid down the tree and took out the fence. We had to call an electrician to have him fix the riser because the FPL (Florida Power and Light) could not reconnect the wire to the pole unless that was fixed first. Needless to say we were out of electricity for seven hours. No big deal. Yes we were inconvenienced but we were damn lucky that tree branch didn't fall any other way otherwise it could have taken out the back half of the house including my bedroom.

Chris and Jeff worked very hard today cutting up the tree and getting the debris out of the backyard. When we looked at how the branch fell we could see that it must have been struck by lightning some time ago and it was rotting. This tree stands about twenty feet tall with other huge branches spreading out. We figure if the next one falls it will take out the pole and knock out the power to three other homes besides our own. Chris is going to call the county tomorrow to have them assess the tree to see if it needs to come down.

The thing that really bothers the hell out of me is that we rent this house. When we first moved in here we had to call the land guy to have him do something small. I think it was to bring over the handles to the back doors. Since then when we have called him he has never once returned our calls. We had a leak in the garage roof and a patch of ceiling came down. Chris called him and he NEVER called back. Finally Chris repaired it and we took it off the rent. When we were noticing an infestation of ticks in the house and our dogs have been treated monthly to heartguard and advantix we had asked the neighbor if they were having problems with ticks they told us that our landlord was having a problem with them and he had another neighbor spray ONCE but refused more treatments because he was too busy throwing his wife's clothes out the front door. So the landlord KNEW there was a problem. He never told us. So we had to pay for FIVE treatments to the house and the yard and you bet your ass that came out of the rent. We called him out on that, told him we would have someone treat the house and yard but that since he knew of the problem and since it is in our lease that HE is responsible for pest control we would take it off the rent. This was stated on his voicemail. He never called us back. In our lease it is also stated that his landscaping company would maintain the yard and it was included in our rent. His men have been here maybe a dozen times since we have been here and it is going on three years.

When Chris called him on Sunday to notify him of the situation and that he needed to call back asap… guess what… he never called. That shit burns me up. Yes we got it taken care of and you bet your ass it is coming out of the rent but damn call back at least. So.. if the county says the tree needs to come down… it's coming out of several months' rent. I am not going to sacrifice my family's safety! No way in hell will I do that.


lattégirl said...

I'd be burned up, too... my landlord is almost as useless as yours but at least he lives close by. Never returning your calls is just rude and negligent. Makes me wonder why some people even bother owning rental properties. But I'm glad you are able to deduct those expenses off your rent. Hell, yeah!

Ticks? GROSS!

There is an option to cutting down that tree. I had a very large, old tree in front of my house once and it was splitting down the middle - extremely dangerous. The city came and drove a massive bolt through it to hold it together. It took less than an hour.

Glad nobody was hurt in your tree incident.

Mindy said...

If the county says the tree is dangerous it will be our responsibility to take care of it. I think I would rather have it come down or at least trimmed way the hell back so that none of the branches in question cause anymore damage.
I have yet to meet a landlord with enough common sense or an interest in their own property.

AmyD said...

I think you can complain to fair housing or something where this doofus is concerned. I would be beyond seething over no returned phone calls. That's RIDICULOUS.

Thank goodness the tree didn't hit the house! Can you imagine what it might have been like trying to get the jerk to fix that? Geez!

Mindy said...

amyd: He is a real work of art but the city would not call him negligent because we have been able to take all expenses off the rent. If that weren't the case then we would have a problem on our hands. Chris prefers that he doesn't come around. If we can handle it so be it. But it's just that some people really tick me off when they shirk their responsibilities and priorities. If however there would have been real damage to the house and it was not habitable... we would be in a hotel right now and you bet your ass there would be no rent for him until he did something about it. Or until we found another place to live. But luckily that was not the case.