Landlord is having a cash flow problem…or so it seems to be.

Probably slow on the draw thanks to the mind being boggled by recent current events…but hey…I finally got it. Ain’t I smart.:(

I have a toilet tank that needs adjusting (the water needs more oomph so that it flushes all the way; the same problem happened in April and it was fixed in 2 minutes).

There is a leak near the kitchen window. He sent a guy to investigate, then told me somebody would be there in about an hour….and nothin’ happened. That was December.

My kitchen window creaks and buckles in a strong wind. I told him that in January 8th…he said okay…and nobody came to fix it.

And the kitchen radiator does not work. I told him about 5 times that there is no heat in the kitchen….no repair.

3 days ago, a little notecard envelope arrived in the mail. Didn’t recognize the handwriting. Didn’t have my glasses but it looked like Landlord’s wife was on the return addy.

Uh…it was.

In long hand on the inside is notice of my rent increase. “$1318”??? what an odd odd number. And effective next month. Dude — I have not been here a year; it is a year April 1st.

I wonder if this guy is behind on back taxes — I wonder.:( And if he’s not behind on back taxes, why the odd amount for rent? Wouldn’t you think he’d make it an even number??

The garage roof is leaking. In that garage is nothing but odds and ends — old table, furniture, boxes, etc. Funny how he feels the need to rent out that garage — it’s like he’s trying to make ends meet in a hurry.

As it is he has tenants do the repairs…haha, this is like Litchfield; he hires his tenants to do the repairs that a pro should do. He probably has no money to pay anyone…or maybe he simply doesn’t want to pay anyone.

If he has a cash flow problem, I find it worrisome. I am trying to get out of here and find a dig friendly apartment. I am leery of this neighborhood and I find it unsettling that Neighbor next door is not permitted to have a phone. What if there is a fire? Landlord had the answer: There are alarms.

Alarms? A fire can spread in minutes! Suppose she can’t even get to the fire escape or the door? We all go up in flames???

(he also claims he has no idea who pays for Neighbor’s apartment. c’mon…somebody’s name is on the check. or does that money show up on his doorstep in an envelope with “For J.” written on it? Who ya kiddin?

Getting back to the rent increase:

I cannot believe how silly he and his wife are. You mean to tell me she can’t type up the notice and mail it in a business envelope?? She hasn’t got a typewriter? You put it on a silly notecard??? This isn’t how business is done.

If there is a major breakdown of the furnace or the roof heads south during a storm — what happens?

6 thoughts on “Landlord is having a cash flow problem…or so it seems to be.”

  1. The toilet may be able to be fixed by bending the arm that holds the float upward slightly, which will allow the toilet tank to fill more completely. If it is a newer valve, there will be a clip that can be moved up (fills more) or down (fills less) on a vertical arm.

    New Jersey law requires landlords to keep security deposits in an escrow account. Whether they do it or not is another question. You might ask for the name of the bank where the escrow account is.

    Were I in your shoes, I’d be documenting his failure to make repairs , and sending future complaints certified mail with a return receipt requested. A summary letter of repairs not made to date, and when they were promised to be made is in order.

    I don’t recall your lease arrangements. I believe, but am not sure, that you are entitled to 60 days of notice prior to a rent increase. If they are doing this in the middle of the lease, this may give you a way to break the lease early by declining to accept the new terms. According to New Jersey law, a landlord may increase the rent ONLY at the beginning of a lease period. Here is some possibly useful information.

    1. Holy wow.

      I just had a hell of a day and night.

      I am still upset and all wound up.

      To whit, this is Day 3 and he was not sending anybody here to fix that john. The john is teeming with germs and this isn’t healthy to breathe or be near — I don’t have to spell it out for you or go into specifics or give you a microbiology, mycology or bacteriology lesson.

      Let’s just say the toilet’s interior was beyond a disgrace — All of this began on Monday.

      I would flush the toilet and, only a little bit of water would leave the bowl and then the tank would fill the deficit of the fluid.

      So I had quite the mess here.

      I called Monday. he said okay, he’d send somebody. Nobody showed up.

      I called at 9:30- yesterday morning and said nobody showed up. he told me he was sick in the hospital and so is the guy he uses. And that he was waiting to see who else he could round up. “I didn’t say it was going to be yesterday.” That is what he told me.

      Today, still nothing at 2 pm. I described the problem to him several times, long before Monday’s mess happened. I told him several times since I got back from California. So this is 3 months in the works.

      I got so tired of telling him, I stopped.:( Never the less he was told several times that somebody had to fix that john.

      When I had him on the phone at 2pm, I told him that it could be a clog or anything else. “The lease does not allow for clogs so that will be on you.” I said “So I can call a plumber?” he said yes.

      They got here at maybe 6:30. They told me the whole tank was shot — they said it was a very old toilet — the inside of the tank is all rusty. The parts do not look new. They also said nobody makes those tanks anymore.

      I told this to Landlord — he said “Before you moved in I gave you a new tank.”


      Anyway, turns out that a pipe was corroded and rusted and so is every pipe back there. They had the water shut off here and when the guy went to do what he had to do to that pipe, the whole thing gave way and water everywhere.

      To top this off, Landlord padlocks the basement! He also never said “the basement is locked; let me get somebody to shut the water off for you.

      The plumber gets down to the basement to shut off the main; he can’t find the pipe and somehow or other, the basement got a good dose of water too.

      I called the fire department anyway to have a look at what went on here. I said “Will these floors be okay? id on’t know how it is configured or if he’s got wires in there.” I was stammering and gibbering and I was so steamed up and effed up I didn’t even know where to turn or which way to go or what to do.

      All I know is every towel I have and a quilt is now soaked in about 50 pounds of water. Plumber couldn’t even lift it.

      I don’t know if I was wrong or if that plumber was wrong — he told me they never shut the main off when it comes to a repair like replacing a toilet. This whole cost to replace the tank is on me and to top that off, they were charging me $650 more to add a longer pipe and attachment!! I told them NO! The HELL I will.

      I am all wound up. Landlord is telling me I’ll be liable for a leaky apartment downstairs — I rang the guy’s bell and he was not home. I don’t think he’s been home. (The guy around the back — the one who shut off the water — told me that the front apartment on the first floor got doused. No it did not, because I asked. The guy who lives there told me no — there is a wall between his downstairs apartment and my living room.

      My floors are fine and didn’t come up; the shitty tile he put down in the bedroom is fine. So no, I don’t think that guy downtairs on the side of the building got any damage. I will check tomorrow. As I said, he was not home tonight.

      And earlier today, he told me he was going to send somebody at 6pm — this was somewhere around 2pm, before he told me okay to call a plumber and I would pay for it. I said to him, “Is he a licensed plumber” and he said “He’s worked for me before…” I already am sick to my stomach from that toilet and we know how dangerous that kind of refuse is. It breeds mold and many other bugaboos — I don’t need that health risk either.

      I risked MY ass calling a plumber. It is a real catch 22: do you let 2 of his monkeys fuck around with that toilet — or do you call a plumber at your own risk even with his okay???

      The plumber also told me that the pipe could have let go at any time on its own recognicance and caused a flood. He left me the corroded pipes — let Landlord see for himself.

      Bro called a plumber 10 years back for something that happened upstairs; the toilet had to be replaced and it was about a thousand dollars back then. So I know I didn’t get ripped off.

      And all through this — Landlord kept calling throughout this whole catastrophe — and told me those plumbers lied to me. “You don’t need a new toilet.”

      So upset and so wound up. and I am exhausted.

      And it is a funny thing — a week ago Landlord was here. He said to me, “Did you get a washing machine?” I said no.

      “My water bill went up and I don’t know why. Do you have pipes running?”

      I hear a wsssssssssssssssst and a shhhhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrssst every so often, coming from the walls but I have no idea whose pipes they are. Remember, there are 9 apartments in this building.

      Looks to me like the leak came from my toilet. And that is probably why the water bill went up.

      That toilet was not working right since I got here. It would be good for 4 flushes and then I’d have to plunge. He sent somebody in june, the guy did something to the interior of the tank and then the john was okay, until end of November. The whole problem started again.

  2. This thing has turned into a frigging Frankenstein monster.

    Landlord shows up today. Now that there is something in this for him, he wants the number and people to talk to at the plumbing company.

    I got annoyed. “Wow, that kind of money? Wow, did you get robbed!” sounded like he was gloating on it.

    And of course he wants to see the toilet. Haha.

    He wants to know why the old one is on the landing on the back porch. Told him I kept it there so he can see how old it is.

    Today it went from “I replaced it right before you moved in” to “I replaced it 3 years ago.

    I said, “Look at the rust. This is NOT a 3 year old toilet” and boy did he scream.

    The plumber manager wants to know is he nuts — I got a phone call from landlord (I was at the Laundromat, washing 50+ pounds of soaking wet towels and a comforter, thanks to wot happened last night) and he tells me I needed a permit from the building inspector. And that the building inspector was supposed to be on his way over (???) that’s what I swear he said.

    I got home and called the BI. He says he isn’t even sure there is such a rule on the books and he’d check and call me back.

    I spoke to the plumber again: I said “Did you say the basement got flooded or was I hearing things?”

    He said yes — because all the pipes there are old and they gave out somehow.:( Funny how Landlord isn’t saying anything about the basement.

    The female manager there said to me “He can’t seem to make up his mind what he wants — he didn’t even come across clearly on the phone when he called. Those pipes were old, the guys told me — and they said you were so nice about everything.”

    I am not calling Landlord back. I am done with this mess; I will reimburse the guy around the corner for his mattress.

    I had a very interesting conversation with that guy whose apartment below me got water damage: he told me the nearly identical thing happened in the other side of the building, awhile ago — the woman who was there called a plumber and a flood happened — the pipes had to go bad there too!!

    The guy who had my apartment was also blamed — by Landlord — for a flood. Landlord told the guy downstairs that the tenant who was here (occupant before I arrived) left the water running. I will bet you any amount of money or somebody screwed up a plumbing job. Probably one of his hacks — he does NOT send pros to take care of big problems.

    So that is old water damage on that ceiling, courtesy of who screwed up a plumbing job before I got here.

    What a mess. All of It.

    Update: Landlord took the name address and phone number of the plumber and called about insurance and reimbursement.

    Today is Saturday. Not one insurance adjuster from Plumber was here…which means they must have told him “Old Pipes: Dude, that is not on us….” and there went his claim for great big damanges. Hahaha.

    The basement is flooded; I think I told you guys that — Plumber told me the pipes gave way in the basement. Guess what: the landlord has not stepped foot into that basement at all, not once, on Thursday or Friday or Today. The door is unlocked. He probably forgot to replace the lock.

    Wouldn’t common sense dictate that you leave the door OPEN so that the place can dry out????

    And that’s not all…at quarter of 11, I hear Landlord in the front hall, hollering for Next Door Neightbor.

    She did not answer. He tried the door; it was unlocked and he and some guy went inside.

    I heard water running, then a few unintelligible sentences and “Wow…” More water running…. and then “When you get there, pick up a new toilet seat for her, too….” The 2 of them tinkered around in there for a bit more, some more phrases here and there and then they came out. As they headed down the stairs, Landlord said to the guy “I’d throw her out but the county is paying her rent.”

    He brought another absolutely unqualified worker in there to “fix” something toilet….again???

    Didn’t he learn anything from Wednesday????

    1. I will reimburse that guy directly for his mattress.

      Landlord is one rotten SOB. Everything he says has to be ‘right” and no matter what you say, it’s dead bang wrong. The Christ himself only knows what Landlord himself is like at home. I feel sorry for the wife.

      This building has 9 tenants. There is a commercial suite that holds a chiropractor. I will guess — and modestly — that that suite generates at least 3 grand a month…so his monthly take for this rotten building is at least 180 grand. He is a multiple property owner. OUTLAW it — and out of 180 grand a month, why hasn’t he got the bucks to send PROS??? What’s going on here???

      He lets everything break or go unfixed or whatever it is is simply left fallow to go bad. OR what was bad was never rectified, like my john.

      And the gall to insist “I had that toilet installed before you moved in.” He changed it to “3 years ago” yesterday.

      “That toilet is not 3 years old; look at the interior and how much rust has stained it” and I got “AAIAYWEAWEWADEGWEDDDFGGRRR” as a reply. Go ahead and yell. You have done nothing but lie to me from the start.

  3. I’d call the building inspector. If he can’t guarantee a supply of potable water, the property is uninhabitable and could be condemned.

    Do you have renter’s insurance? You should.

    1. The building inspector won’t do anything.

      The county told me this is now all after the fact.

      I was given a state office number but I think that will be a waste of time too.

      Unless he is sanctioned with a monetary fine to pay this mess will go on. What a hell of a Catch 22 situation: either I let whoever do whatever and who knows what the outcome will be — or I pay for it myself and it’s a risk being these pipes are kaput and shot to hades.:(

      The only way you can win is if you buy a home.condo or some other dwelling, even if it’s Top Cat’s garbage can (haha, remember him) and pay for it yourself. Then it is your ball game and you have peace of mind.

      If I move, I am obligated until next May and that’s if I find something starting May 1. Then I am on the hook for a whole year and that throws off what I want to do, come fall. Shit.:( This is like being stuck with every crummy job I have ever had. Know it?

      And the egregiousness to repeat what he has done: sent somebody unqualified.

      I heard a knock at next door neighbor’s door — this was 3 days ago — he is sending that same guy to fix the sink next door, the same one who showed up on Wednesday without any equipment in tow — minus a wrench, minus a bag full of anything “plumbing repair.” The man has COPD and barely made it up the steps!

      And how do you show up to fix anything without any equipment?

      I am stuck here until the fall. And I am shaking my head: how, indeed, does he let me take “ownership” of this dump with the plumbing the way it is?

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