DakotaCowgirl asked this question 9 years, 5 months ago:

Need some advice

We have some pretty good landlords. We just have an issue with them and not sure what to do about it...if anything.

Every time something goes wrong in the house (garage door opener doesn't work, Toilet does flush, dishwasher doesn't work, He (the LL) blames it on our kids or it was our fault.

When we asked for help with our window that the outside lets a wind in, he said there isn't anything he could do. When we didn't have hot (or warm) water in our kitchen sink, it took a long time for the water to go through pipes to get there. When we told him the dishwasher wasn't really washing dishes, he said change the soap.

It took after the oil tank not heating and he coming out three times and finally cleaning it and now...Guess what...we have such hot water we are getting burned. The dishwasher doesn't work and they had to order a new one.

What it is coming down to is...is there anything I can do to protect our deposit? The wall paper is coming up and my youngest ripped some of it. I have the stuff to replace and fix it..but, I'm wondering, can I pretty much kiss that deposit goodbye?

Sorry if it is too long and confusing.



Joe
9 years, 5 months ago

Quote by DakotaCowgirl:
Every time something goes wrong in the house (garage door opener doesn't work, Toilet does flush, dishwasher doesn't work, He (the LL) blames it on our kids or it was our fault.


That bolded portion tells me a lot about your landlord right there. All I can suggest is that you document EVERYTHING.

9 years, 5 months ago

We have some pretty good landlords.


Really? You fooled me.

Not only do as Joe suggests and document everything, but you need to write the landlord a letter so you have proof that he was notified. Make sure you have proof that the landlord received the letter by having him sign for it.

Let him know that if he does not fix things in a timely manner, you will fix what is needed and deduct the amount you pay from your rent.

9 years, 5 months ago

Tenants are required by law to take reasonable care of their rental units, as well as common areas such as hallways and outside areas. Tenants must act to keep those areas clean and undamaged.



Tenants also are responsible for repair of all damage that results from their neglect or abuse, and for repair of damage caused by anyone for whom they are responsible, such as family, guests, or pets.


There are many kinds of defects that could make a rental unit unlivable. The implied warranty of habitability requires landlords to maintain their rental units in a condition fit for the "occupation of human beings In addition, the rental unit must "substantially comply" with building and housing code standards that materially affect tenants' health and safety.


I understand that you are in Germany and not in the states so you may want to check with your local housing offices about the technical aspect of your contract. Take a look at the below listed examples.



A rental unit may be considered uninhabitable (unlivable) if it contains a lead hazard that endangers the occupants or the public, or is a substandard building because, for example, a structural hazard, inadequate sanitation, or a nuisance endangers the health, life, safety, property, or welfare of the occupants or the public.


A dwelling also may be considered uninhabitable (unlivable) if it substantially lacks any of the following.


  • Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.
  • Plumbing facilities in good working order, including hot and cold running water, connected to a sewage disposal system.
  • Gas facilities in good working order.
  • Heating facilities in good working order.
  • An electric system, including lighting, wiring, and equipment, in good working order.
  • Clean and sanitary buildings, grounds, and appurtenances (for example, a garden or a detached garage), free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.
  • Adequate trash receptacles in good repair.
  • Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair.

In addition to these requirements, each rental unit must have all of the following:


  • A working toilet, wash basin, and bathtub or shower. The toilet and bathtub or shower must be in a room which is ventilated and allows privacy.
  • A kitchen with a sink that cannot be made of an absorbent material such as wood.
  • Natural lighting in every room through windows or skylights. Windows in each room must be able to open at least halfway for ventilation, unless a fan provides mechanical ventilation.



Source

Native
9 years, 5 months ago

I would say, if you are getting well with him, better not get "official" with writing letters `n stuff.

He as Landlord is responsible for the house, heating, toilet flush, windows, roof, etc.

Dishwasher as part of a built in kitchen might be part of the lease agreement, meaning LL is also responsible for this one.

I guess the wall paper was already in the house when you moved in. These things do not last forever, they might be part of the lease agreement, might be not. The older the wallpaper the better for you. Before I would have to pay for it I would try to fix it by myself. I won`t ask LL for this one... ;)


I would document each and everything, but keep it for myself until there is no other way to write letters.....


I mean, if it`s like, writing a letter and then wait for 4 weeks until LL decides it is his responsibility for the dishwasher after he asked his attorney and his wife if he really has to, or tell him the dishwasher is out of order and it takes a month to get a new one...

9 years, 5 months ago

Native - Until you have had to deal with some of these landlords, you have no idea what it is like.

To begin with, they rent their homes for way more than they are worth because they know Americans will pay for it. We are kind of in a position in which we have no choice. The least the landlords can do is take care of things in a timely manner instead of making tenants beg.

Native
9 years, 5 months ago

I guess each LL is different ;)

And she started with he is pretty good.

I do not know the rent she is paying or know how big the house is.

You pay the rent, so you have to get what you paid for.

I believe some, if not most of them, are pretty much of an anus ;)

To begin with, they rent their homes for way more than they are worth because they know Americans will pay for it.
Sure. Who else wants to live around Kaiserslautern and Ramstein, if not born there. Actually there wouldn`t be that much new built houses if there would be no airbase. Those houses are built for rent, if there is no demand, there are no houses.


All I wanted to say is that it does not necessarily speed up the process of repair and maintenance when writing letters - for garage doors. Warm water is another thing.

Stuff like warm water, heating, windows should be fix ASAP, if not, write him a letter to fix it.



P.S.

One thing for sure: Good documentation rules ;)

9 years, 5 months ago

How often do you guys document things? Do you just keep them around the house or taking them to the housing office with a carbon at home?

9 years, 5 months ago

Quote by DakotaCowgirl:
How often do you guys document things? Do you just keep them around the house or taking them to the housing office with a carbon at home?


Before we moved into our rental home we walked through with the landlord. We took photos of every detail of the house. Not just stuff that was a problem, but everything. That way, when we do move out, if the landlord has any issues we can look at the photos and see if there is actually a new problem, or if it is normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear is expected, and you should not be fined for it. Other than that, whenever we have an issue, we call our landlord. Usually he shows up within 24-48 hours. If it is something like having no hot water, he has someone at the house the same day.

Sometimes I think I want to give our landlord the deposit as a tip.

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