Friday

10 Signs a Landlord is Having Money Problems

If you would have known in advance about all the ongoing problems at your apartment complex, you would have never moved there! Why is your landlord ignoring you? Why does it seem that every time you tell him or her about a problem, nothing gets done? Chances are the landlord is having money problems.

One. Makes promises to fix things but doesn't.

You have written a letter repeatedly, left voice mails, and even met with the landlord or staff in person, and still nothing ever gets done! So what could be the problem or problems? The landlord could have other properties that are in worse condition then yours. He or she could be tending to those first. Other possible scenarios include: owes back taxes, dealing with ongoing legal proceedings, misappropriating funds, or any other number of issues and considers your requests not priorities.

Two. Tells you about upgrades and brags about maintaining property but you rarely see maintenance on the grounds.

The property owner made promises to upgrade your suite and add new amenities to the units, but nothing has been done yet. Why? Once again, the landlord realizes there is a problem with funding so he or she is putting off the extras.

Three. Claims repeatedly he or she has never received an email, telephone call, or written letter.

You told the landlord about some problems you have been having in your apartment, yet she still claims not to have received this letter, that receipt, or knows nothing about a service call. Don't play this game! Remind the landlord that you are disappointed in the lack of service you are receiving. One good way to get prompt attention fast is to state in writing that you have contacted an attorney and that you will be putting your next rent payment in an escrow fund until your needs are addressed then list again what it is that you need. Send the letter certified so that you have record that the letter was received.

Four. Believes he or she is doing you a favor by not making certain improvements.

So when you first arrive on the property the landlord tells you what he or she will be doing to make residents feel more at ease when walking the grounds and more comfortable in their apartment. Upon moving in you notice the script has changed, “I think we won't be getting that new pool, because we don't want an increase of accidents...I think if we create a new community room it might be a problem...Just think if we don't upgrade your kitchen cabinets, you won't have to worry over maintenance coming in and out of your apartment or the dust.”

Five. Charges you a late fee even when your rent wasn't late.

There is an error that happens once in awhile, but repeated errors and you have to wonder is someone borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.

Six. Cut off utilities.

Water, gas and trash is included in the rent, right? So why then is the water and gas department leaving notices to shut off the buildings utilities?

Seven. No visit from pest control or grounds keepers despite your repeated requests.

You use to see an employee from pest control spraying the grounds, a landscaper mowing the grass and others tending to the grounds. You have left messages about an increase of bugs and overrun grass areas, but no one seems to care. On the staff cares as long as the landlord is paying them to care. You might have to do a good deed, maintain your area as best you can and/or contain the health department.

Eight. No more community activities and freebies.

There was the pizza guy who offered free pizzas, then there was the free refreshments at the management and resident meetings and daily cups of coffee offered to residents, but these days there isn't anything going on out of the leasing office. Unless you create your own resident events, don't rely on the apartment staff anymore, funding most likely got cut.

Nine. Scheduled building improvements and paint jobs are canceled indefinitely.

When was the last time the building was painted? As much as the apartment staff would like to see their workplace improve and your apartment get painted, it won't happen if there are budget cuts.

Ten. New fees are instituted and residents are notified about sharp hikes in rent.

When you first moved you may have received a great deal, but now a year later, you are like, “What the...?” Well it happens, things increase in cost and the landlord has no choice but to past some of those expenses off on the residents.

Anyone who is paying apartment rent expects quality service and when this is not happening there will be problems. As an unsatisfied resident, you will want to record your findings, meet with manager and/or apartment staff, and consult legal counsel if necessary.

N. McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media