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Slum lord problems
Old 04-27-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
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Slum lord problems

My wife and I recently rented a very small apartment on the second floor of a old commercial building that is quite close to our marina. We wanted the room to spread out when we come to the boat to work on it (refurbing the sailboat) and also a place to cook some meals as my wife is supposed to be on a special diet.

Red flag one when we rented the place was the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom were filthy and full of random old bits (toothbrush, trash, blankets, debris, used paper cups). I almost tore up the cashier's check right then but I have a tendency to overreact in situations. I figured I would just spend a day cleaning out the place with lysol.

Ok, so the next day we notice the refrigerator is not cooling down. It is 45 degrees inside. I put it on high and it doesn't really change, only cools to 40 overnight. I talk to the landlord and explain we will be gone for a few weeks and could he check it out at his leisure while we are gone. He comes over about 10 days later and sends a text of our digital thermometer in the fridge that shows it is 37 degrees and does nothing else. We get back to the apartment today, about a week later and check and the temp in the fridge is 42. The room is warmish, about 75 degrees because of the afternoon sun. We load up the fridge with some bottled water and let it sit 12 hours then check it in the morning and it is 50 degrees.

I spend a little time diagnosing the problem and find out the freezer section is working, freezing water and keeping at 5 degrees. The evaporator fan seems to be running. The problem I think is the damper is stuck or non functioning and the food compartment is not getting much if any cold air from the freezer. It is an old refrigerator, about 25 years I would say. I tell the landlord all of this and he says just freeze some water in the freezer and keep transferring it to the fridge to keep your food cold.

Fortunately we only signed a partial lease that ends July 31. I am now quite convinced from the cleaning and lack of response that the landlord is a slum lord who doesn't really expect complaints at all. We usually try to be very patient and not call about little things but having a working refrigerator is kind of key to cooking.

I am now to the point where I am going to go buy a dorm fridge and just turn this one off. I don't know if I should do anything to take this further or if I have any rights, but I am NOT signing a new lease in July.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:47 AM   #2
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Text him a picture of the thermometer at 50, send him a bill for cleaning and tell him if a new fridge is not installed or repair guy shows up you will buy him a nice fridge and take it out of the rent.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:50 AM   #3
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If not taken care of immediately I would be out the door tomorrow.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:50 AM   #4
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Does the jurisdiction where this apartment is located have anything like a landlord-tenant board, where disputes are initially handled before going to court? Those are usually free and can be a real pain to the landlord. Landlords such as you describe are why those agencies exist in the first place.
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:43 PM   #5
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Is it zoned for apartment housing?
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:53 PM   #6
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Is this the only issue , price and location good ?
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Does the jurisdiction where this apartment is located have anything like a landlord-tenant board, where disputes are initially handled before going to court? Those are usually free and can be a real pain to the landlord. Landlords such as you describe are why those agencies exist in the first place.
Thanks, that is what we need to do when it is not a weekend.

Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gstillson View Post
I am now to the point where I am going to go buy a dorm fridge and just turn this one off. I don't know if I should do anything to take this further or if I have any rights, but I am NOT signing a new lease in July.

Thoughts?
(Does the lease specify that the landlord provides the fridge? If not, he may just be thinking that he does not HAVE to provide one, so if this one works, OK, if not, tough luck.)

+1 for your decision to buy a dorm fridge. Your peace of mind is worth more than the stress of the current situation. You could even sell it in the late summer to a college student or donate it to charity if it is no longer needed. Great thinking-good luck!
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:17 PM   #9
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(Does the lease specify that the landlord provides the fridge? If not, he may just be thinking that he does not HAVE to provide one, so if this one works, OK, if not, tough luck.)

+1 for your decision to buy a dorm fridge. Your peace of mind is worth more than the stress of the current situation. You could even sell it in the late summer to a college student or donate it to charity if it is no longer needed. Great thinking-good luck!
Yep, got one today at Costco. 4.3 cu-ft for $99 ($40 off today). It is already at 35 degrees F, which is kind of how I thought a refrigerator should work.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:36 PM   #10
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Does the rent include heat or A/C ?
When you are are gone for a few days, you could check to see if either of those work well.
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