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tennant issues
Old 02-12-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
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tennant issues

My parents rented an apartment to an elderly couple in NY. He passed and now the woman is there alone. Elderly and some alzheimers. I can go on for a while of doors left open and other issues - but here is the latest.

She left the stove gas on overnight - nothing blew up and no one died.. so now my parents installed fire detectors of the gas sensing type.

She disabled it saying she wasnt going to pay the electricity for it (yes it does plug in) .

Can they insist or offer to credit 28 cents a month for the power?
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:48 PM   #2
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Screw it - is the placed insured against fiery gas-kindled explosions?

Seriously, is anyone taking care of her? Caretaker, children, etc? Memory failure, unreasonable behavior and lapses in judgment won't improve.

Maybe give her $5 on the spot - that should cover electricity costs for a year or two.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:53 PM   #3
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Ah...... the joys of the landlord profession!
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:25 PM   #4
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The building is a two family - my parents live there too.. hence the worry of unlocked doors and explosions.

The city has been called and a state worker visited, and interviewed her and the brother who lives across town. The brother claimed to check on her regularly so case worker says no action they can take.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:52 PM   #5
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Time to disable the gas and install an electric range with appropriate wiring. It will cost a few bucks but I think it's money well spent for not getting blown up.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nphx View Post
The building is a two family - my parents live there too.. hence the worry of unlocked doors and explosions.

The city has been called and a state worker visited, and interviewed her and the brother who lives across town. The brother claimed to check on her regularly so case worker says no action they can take.
Is the social worker aware of the gas being left on all night It's hard to believe someone can't step in and get this lady moved to assisted living if she is doing something this dangerous. Have they called the Area Agency on Aging?
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:55 AM   #7
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This happened to my MIL a few years back. She could have died! Luckily a neighbor came home late and smelled the gas. It's a very dangerous situation because even ringing the doorbell or calling the intercom could set off an explosion. MIL said she was sleeping and woke up with a very bad headache that just got worse and worse, so she just stayed in bed and PRAYED, thinking it was "the end".

We got her a stove that has some kind of device that senses whether the gas is burning or not, and in theory will switch itself off if the flame blows out. She HATES it because it is hard to light (many "snicks" of the piezo things to get the burners going).

Don't know if that kind of stove is avail. in the US. More expensive than the gas sensors, no doubt, but cheap compared to an explosion or conflagration. The electric stove is a good idea, too, but there you risks burns because it's not always obvious the burners are on. With either one something unattended could burn, so make sure no flammable surfaces are around the stove in any case.

Another idea just struck me.. is there a way to wire up the sensors to your parents' electric That way she can't complain. She might not understand or trust that, though, if she's not "all there".. and rip them out anyway. Would she be likely to get at them if they were installed in the ceiling? If it's city gas (methane) then it will rise; propane will sink.

Then, what if the alarm goes off and yr. parents are out? Is she of sound enough mind to turn off the gas, or get outside, call someone? If you want to keep this tenant your family needs to have an emergency plan that she can understand and implement, and you have to make it clear to her and to her brother that her continued tenancy is contingent upon this. I wouldn't want to kick an old lady out, but you have to do what's right to protect both her and your parents. Maybe there's a possibility of her moving in with her brother. Assisted living is not cheap, and I don't think you can just "have someone put" into it.

I wonder if there are alarm devices that can register remotely.. to the FD or police, or to someone's phone #.

You could also investigate an automatic door-closer?
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:04 AM   #8
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Time to disable the gas and install an electric range with appropriate wiring. It will cost a few bucks but I think it's money well spent for not getting blown up.
I agree. If I lived in the same house as the tenant, this route would be first on my list. You can get a stove for 400-600 bucks and pay an electrician maybe another 125-175 to wire in an appropriate outlet (if there isn't one currently). I know I'd sleep a lot better and would consider that 500-750 well spent.
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