Monday, February 14, 2011

Slumlords Beware!

The house next door to us has been for rent three times since we have been here.  That is not saying much because we have been here maybe seven months. 

The problem?  The company (which is just two men) that owns that miserable looking house doesn't want to have to fix anything that goes wrong. The man that just left with his wife, two daughters and a grand baby left when the roof started to leak for the third time in a third spot.  There is no heat (which by Florida tenant/landlord law, the landlord must provide heat) the tenant had to go out and purchase space heaters to keep his family warm and the landlord refused to reimburse him or let him take it off the rent, Also, the front door was coming off of its hinges, plus numerous other problems that he could not fix himself because he is disabled.  Chris took a look at the door for the tenant and there was no way that it could be repaired.  It needed a new door period.  The screws were stripped and the door itself was cracked and warped. The company refused to put any money into their house and told the tenant to fix it or live with it. How safe and secure is that?  There were numerous complaints from the tenant about the house and he did document everything and sent more than three certified letters to the company to either fix it or they would be terminating the lease since it would be deemed inhabitable. Knowing that the company would lose if it were taken to court they allowed the tenants to leave without any repercussions.

One of the landlords had the gall to toss out a bunny (that the first tenants left behind) into the backyard without any regard to the bunny's well being. Luckily we spotted it when we were out with our pups and brought the little one in. It had been raining and he was soaked and shivering. Needless to say both Chris and I were beyond livid. Sure the tenants were morons for leaving it behind, but the landlord should have taken it to a shelter. Two wrongs do not make a right. There was no excuse for what he did and Chris let him have it the next day when he saw him preparing the house to be rented. The landlord didn't seem to think what he did was wrong and ignored us from that day on, until... he came to our house today wanting to know if he could set up some kind of bullet security cameras surveillance thingy onto our house so it could look directly onto their house for surveillance purposes. Chris told him no and he did warn the jerk that setting up spy equipment without the knowledge of his tenants is against the law. The man told Chris that what they didn't know would not hurt them. Really?! 

I looked up the advertisement on Craigslist for the house next door and about rolled off my chair laughing.  They have it listed as a large affordable home with 4 bedrooms (I looked at the property info online and it is listed as a 2 bedroom, the other two rooms used to be a utility room and a walk in closet, they are not bedrooms by any stretch of the imagination) it also states it has new kitchen counter tops and so many upgrades.  They are so full of it.  The house is less than 1100 square feet.  Not large by any means and they want $865.oo for it but the for rent sign on the front lawn says $850.  For that amount of many is in not an affordable house for the house they are getting.  The "new" kitchen counter tops are not new.  They came from a salvage yard that the previous tenants had put in because the old counter tops were falling apart. The balls that these two men have are humongous.  Their screened in lanai has no screen at all.  It has posts and the door is hanging by one hinge.  You would think that they would at least do something about that but nope.

So for the last two weeks we have watched families look at the house. We tried to make ourselves visible by being outside with the dogs or just hanging around the front yard, in case the prospective tenants wanted to ask us questions about the house and so forth. We did not hold anything back. We filled them in on why the previous tenants left, the problems that the house currently has and what kind of landlords they would be dealing with.  Chris actually talked with one family while one of the landlords was there.  The landlord could not deny problems and when the people told them that they would want all the problems fixed before they would consider renting the house, the landlord actually told them to leave.  That gentlemen that actually considered renting it then told the landlord that he would be publishing an advertisement of his own rebuking the landlords advertisement as a scam.  And he would be right to do so.  They are scammers but more importantly they are the epitome of slumlords.  We don't need that kind of filth in our community and more of us should look out for one another.  That's my goal at least.

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