Renting from someone can be difficult. But renting from a landlord whose daughter lives in the same house as you can make things a lot more challenging.
Kaydrie Bergner’s landlord is her roommate’s father.
“At times it’s difficult because I never know if I should talk to her or her dad about certain things involving the house,” Bergner said.
Things as little as who mails the bills and collects the money to who deals with the broken window after a friend breaks it.
“I didn’t know if I should talk to her dad about the broken window or just let her deal with it,” she said. “But we didn’t have a window for a solid two weeks at least.”
Bergner’s landlord is very new to renting out a house; she made that clear when she talked about the roof.
“These guys have been working on our house for almost three weeks now; they come on random days and start pounding on the roof at eight in the morning,” Bergner said. “It would have been nice if we had it done over the summer when we weren’t here, but I appreciate that they are doing it now, it looks so much nicer.”
Being a new landlord, there’s a lot of trial and error to go through, and its understandable things go wrong because they have no past experience to go off of, but in Lindsey Lickteig’s case it’s a whole other story.
Lickteig has been living in her house since the beginning of summer. She and her roommates have dealt with plumbing issues, heating/cooling issues, and broken things around the house like windows and doors.
“My landlord has done literally nothing to fix any of the problems,” she said. “He’s not approachable at all, and I don’t feel like we get our money’s worth living here.”
Lickteig continues: “He’s a crappy landlord. He doesn’t respond, he makes promises he won’t keep, he shows up unannounced, and goes through my personal belongings.”
Lickteig thinks if he were to improve on some things it might help her feel more at home.
“In order for him to improve as a landlord, he needs to be more communicative, do the things he says he will do to improve the house, lower the rent because it’s bad location, and in need of repairs, give 24 hours’ notice before coming to the house as required by law, and stay out of my room and don’t touch my stuff,” she said.
Some landlords are so bad at communicating, their tenants have given up even trying to talk to him.
“He shows up unannounced, he won’t ever answer our phone calls, and he communicates with us through letters,” Raegan Wagner said.
She said there were more damages to the house than they thought when they signed for the house.
“There is a leak in the shower, and he just tells us to put a wash cloth over the leak; he says it’s been that way for 20 years it’ll be fine,” Wagner said. “The walls are bowing in, there are cracks in the walls, and he just says they’ve been that way for 20 years it’ll be OK.”
Most students are new to renting, and don’t know how landlords are actually supposed to handle things, or their rights as tenants.
The law states tenants must pay rent on time, use reasonable care and not damage property, properly dispose of garbage, and refrain from taking on additional occupants or subleasing without the landlord’s written permission.
Landlords must make property habitable before tenants move in, make and pay for repairs due to ordinary wear and tear, refrain from turning off a tenant’s water or electricity, provide written notice when ownership of the property is transferred to a new landlord, and not unlawfully discriminate.
If tenants and landlords knew more about renting and owning then maybe things would run smoother and everyone would be on the same page.