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Needing Advice from Fellow Renters KD [Eli's Mommy] Due August 27 (boy); 1 child; Carrollton, Georgia 858 posts
17th Nov '12

Just a warning:: I might get a little ranty.



Alright, so first off let me say that I hate my landlord...he is simply money hungry, but I will stop there. Anyway, so we have a gas furnace and it has not been working properly since the beginning of fall. First it was the stupid pilot light blowing out every other hour, so we reported it to management thinking that a hole needed to be patched under the furnace. They said it was just the wind and to not worry....so we left that alone. Then the blower motor fan would squeak so loud it would wake up DS, and at times it cause our neighbors to come check and see if we were alright (they live across the street). We figured that it was because the furnace hadn't been used in a year or so, which led to us ignoring it. But as DH and I were bringing in groceries, we smelled something like and electrical fire, and it was coming from the blower motor. So we turned it off and told the management. They sent someone out to clean the motor and put WD40 on it, which worked for maybe a day. Then I wake up one night to the house FREEZING and the blower motor just wasn't working, but the pilot light was on and the gas running correctly. Needless to say after a few hours, I gave up and shut the furnace down.



Two days later, today actually, a new guy comes out and checks things out and replaces the blower motor. Problem solved, right? WRONG! The idiot wired it wrong and will not kick on unless you bump the wires correctly, and then it shuts off again. So lets just say I am not running the furnace now, and honestly I haven't been for a week. We have two space heaters for a three bedroom trailer, thankfully my FIL and MIL (they live with us and FIL has COPD) are away until at least tomorrow, which means the two bedrooms can have heat. The thing is though, our land lord does not want us using space heaters, but I am not going to let DS freeze because the man says we will be evicted for using them...besides, our lease didn't say we couldn't use space heaters, so I would love for him to try and kick us out.



So yeah, a much longer rant than I intended. But if you have made it this far, what can I do to get the blasted furnace fixed and it be safe? Could I call a real HVAC person and have them bill my landlord, or something else? I really don't feel safe with this furnace and its really bothering me that management and our landlord are being so shifty.



FYI:: There are other things wrong with our trailer too, but he said he will not fix them until we move out...so I am beginning to think I am screwed.

angelfaulkner Newton, Georgia 47 posts
17th Nov '12

honeslty i think he should be responisble to fix things wrong with ur house cause ur renting from him.. could call health department and tell them he refuses to fix anything there very serious about stuff like that espically if theres kids in the house.. or tell ur landlord you will fix what needs to be fixed but he has to take it off ur rent..not so sure about that situation but its a lil of advice..

⚓Misty⚓ 4 kids; Keenesburg, Colorado 7275 posts
17th Nov '12

The landlord has to fix the furnace, especially with a baby. If he wont have someone come out you can hire someone then give the bill to your landlord. He might try to fight you on it though. Theres also a place you can turn bad landlords in to. Its like the better business bureau

Alissa McKeighan 3 kids; Vermont 368 posts
17th Nov '12

I'm guessing that in your lease it states that he is responsible for all major repairs? If so, I would mail your landlord a letter stating that if he does not have the issue repaired within a certain amount of time (per your lease agreement) then you will be either: A) Paying for repairs yourself and deducting the cost from rent. B) Hiring a professional to make the repairs and billing the landlord for it directly. Or C) Withholding rent in order to save money and move out since he has broken your lease agreement.

mamastj 18 kids; Ontario 245 posts
17th Nov '12

I'm Canadian, and am not entirely sure of any tenancy laws etc. but here the law is that your landlord is responsible for upkeep (unless otherwise stated) and maintenance to ensure that you are able to live safely and comfortably in your home. This includes heat. Any issues with the furnace should be looked at as soon as possible, especially if it is a gas furnace. If I were you I would make a list of every repair needed in the house, regardless of how big or small and request that the most important ones be done within the week if not sooner and that the rest be done by the end of next month, depending on how important it is to you that those things be done. As hard as it is TRY to be overly nice and act like you understand. Say that you appreciate his efforts so far, however the problem has yet to be resolved. Call a hotline for free advice if you can and request a site where you can find something in writing stating that he has to make the repairs. Print out the info for yourself and for him. Make sure you have a witness to his receiving any and all paperwork so he can't say he didn't know. Keep track of every time you call him so you can say "i called on this day at this time and this is exactly what was said". If you can get him to sign something saying that he received papers, do it. Chances are that as soon as he sees that you're not going to be walked all over he will get his ass in gear.



Space heaters are hard on electricity, probably why he doesn't want you using them. See if you can track down one or two more if needed. The longer he puts off fixing the furnace properly the higher the electricity bill will get.

mamastj 18 kids; Ontario 245 posts
17th Nov '12
Quoting Alissa McKeighan:" I'm guessing that in your lease it states that he is responsible for all major repairs? If so, I would ... [snip!] ... landlord for it directly. Or C) Withholding rent in order to save money and move out since he has broken your lease agreement."


Again, I'm not sure about the States, but it's illegal to withhold rent here and is grounds for eviction. So I would check on the laws regarding withholding rent. Also, landlords are legally required to have the heat on and in working order (although problems may arise) from October to either February or March.

Alissa McKeighan 3 kids; Vermont 368 posts
17th Nov '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting mamastj:</b>" Again, I'm not sure about the States, but it's illegal to withhold rent here and is grounds for eviction. ... [snip!] ... required to have the heat on and in working order (although problems may arise) from October to either February or March. "</blockquote>




If the landlord is not upholding his agreement, you are released from your agreement. Which means that you are absolutely free to save up money and move out. I had a similar issue and that is what the local resources office advised that I do. By sending the letter and having proof that you have done so, you are basically giving the landlord an ultimatum: Pick one of these options. If he refuses to make repairs and refuses to pay for repairs AND refuses to allure YOU to deduct repairs from the rent, then he its agreeing (by default) that the lease is null and void...which means that you are free to save rent and move out within a certain time frame. The time frame differs from state to state.

Alissa McKeighan 3 kids; Vermont 368 posts
17th Nov '12

Allow*, is*... Damned phone.

James Mama 3 kids; Arizona 2845 posts
17th Nov '12

You should move. Sounds like you aren't happy with where you live, find another place!



It is his responsibility though to take care of the place. It might be easier to just move than to get him to actually fix it.

Alissa McKeighan 3 kids; Vermont 368 posts
17th Nov '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting James Mama:</b>" You should move. Sounds like you aren't happy with where you live, find another place! It is his responsibility ... [snip!] ... It is his responsibility though to take care of the place. It might be easier to just move than to get him to actually fix it."</blockquote>




This is what I would (and did) do.

Moses. Due October 27; 3 kids; Texas 16003 posts
17th Nov '12

I would move. You cannot legally fix it on your own then bill him. It sucks, I know. Also, as long as they are "attempting" to fix it then you are fine. And, lastly, unfortunately most states your landlord must provide a source of heat. If you have portable heaters, that counts :( Like I said, I know it sucks. Last year we spent all of winter heating our house with 2 measly portable heaters, in an old, poorly insulated pier beam house. I would look up your state's tenant rights and monday call code compliance.

mamastj 18 kids; Ontario 245 posts
17th Nov '12
Quoting Moses.:" I would move. You cannot legally fix it on your own then bill him. It sucks, I know. Also, as long as ... [snip!] ... in an old, poorly insulated pier beam house. I would look up your state's tenant rights and monday call code compliance."


Would that not mean that the landlord would have to supply the heaters as well? She said they are using portable heaters and that the landlord doesn't want them to. She also mentioned that she only has 2, not enough to keep an entire house warm. Just thought I'd mention it. :wink:

KD [Eli's Mommy] Due August 27 (boy); 1 child; Carrollton, Georgia 858 posts
17th Nov '12

I can't really quote everyone on this, but thanks for all of the advice. I am about to talk to the on site manager and see what she says. We are planning to move with income taxes, since that is the only time we will be able to afford a down deposit. The crappy thing is that he has been trying to find a way to evict us for over a year. First it was because two of our blinds were missing a few of the thingies and then it was because Atlanta Gas and Light took our gas meter for repairs. But I will be calling codes enforcement out to the trailer park sadly we are not the only tenants having problems. I will let everyone know if and how the problems get resolved. Again, thanks!

Moses. Due October 27; 3 kids; Texas 16003 posts
17th Nov '12
Quoting mamastj:" Would that not mean that the landlord would have to supply the heaters as well? She said they are using ... [snip!] ... them to. She also mentioned that she only has 2, not enough to keep an entire house warm. Just thought I'd mention it. :wink:"


I didn't read all of the comments, but two is considered a heat source, unfortunately. I had two to heat a 2200 sq ft house. She still needs to find the tenant rights and speak with code enforcement.

Moses. Due October 27; 3 kids; Texas 16003 posts
17th Nov '12
Quoting KD [Eli's Mommy]:" I can't really quote everyone on this, but thanks for all of the advice. I am about to talk to the on ... [snip!] ... we are not the only tenants having problems. I will let everyone know if and how the problems get resolved. Again, thanks!"


That's really disheartening. I hate people who rent that have no business doing so. I have luckily only dealt with one shitty landlord in my past. I hope this is your last as well.