Dealing with Bad Landlords
So, you’re out of your parents’ house and out of the dorms on your way to freedom or starting busniess. Almost. The apartment seemed too good to be true when you first found it, but it no longer is. Unfortunately, it is very common, especially in college towns, for landlords or property management companies to take advantage of younger tenants. I have dealt with many such people and learned the hard way how to protect yourself and get what you deserve.
Start Building Protection Against Future Problems at Move-In.
It almost goes without saying, but make sure you document EVERY LITTLE THING that could possibly be wrong with your apartment – even if it is something that can’t be fixed, such as a stain on the countertop. Use your cell phone to take pictures when you find something wrong. You’ll need these records when your landlord blames you for the problem and tries to keep your security deposit, or bill you for damages.
Let’s start with the basics.
Walk into your living room/dining room/professional space overall area. Check the ceiling for any repaired damage and document.
When you get to your kitchen, test every burner on the stove plus the oven.
In the bathroom, verify that toilet flushes and fills properly, and is leak free.
Your bedroom check is going to be about the same as the living/dining room.
If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony or porch, inspect this as well.
When Something Goes Wrong, Keep Your Cool. Document and take pictures. Then contact landlord. Phone and Fax for your protection. Keep the fax info., log the call.
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