*bangs head on desk*
So... the water to my house got shut off this morning, on what may well turn out to be one of the hottest days of the year. Have I mentioned the landlord is an idiot?
I share a two-bedroom apartment with my ex-husband on the first floor of a duplex in an inner-ring Cleveland suburb. (Gotta love that economic "recovery".) The rent is cheap, but the place isn't even worth the amount we're charged. The landlord owns some unknown number of houses in this 'burb, and when something breaks, either takes his sweet time fixing it or argues that it isn't really broken -- like the time he tried to convince us that it was perfectly normal for a refrigerator to go into auto-defrost mode and pump warm air rather than cold into its interior for 24 hours straight and that if this was a problem perhaps we just shouldn't buy perishable groceries.
The house has a single water meter, serving the piping that feeds both rental units. This is SOP around here, and the vast majority of landlords include water as part of the rent.
Not this guy. He's paranoid that tenants are going to abuse the water if they're not paying for it themselves. "They'll have all their relatives over to do laundry or take showers and I'll be paying for it, or they'll leave the water running all the time and I'll get stuck with the bill," he says. (I don't even want to know what kind of people do that, but it isn't us. Hell, I don't even *have* more than a handful of relatives left to speak of, and none of them live in this state.)
So instead he charges what he considers a lower rent, eschews leases in favor of verbal month-to-month rental agreements and then expects his tenants to split the water bill, with each unit paying a portion depending on how many people actually live there. The bill, however, goes to his father's home in the next 'burb over, and he never once has shown it to us, mentioned it to us, asked for $!amount toward it or anything, in the 10+ months we've lived here. We asked once or twice, and he said not to worry about it just then, as he would take care of it and get back to us if it was high enough to warrant doing so. I'm not even going to pretend to understand that, but my ex is in charge of this stuff, since technically it's his apartment.
As it turns out, the landlord hadn't paid the water bill in five months. I learned this when, this morning, I stepped out front to find a water department truck parked at the curb, and a guy shutting off the valve in the treelawn in front of the house. He was very apologetic and gave me a number to call. When I did, the water department informed me how far in arrears the bill was, and how much would have to be paid to get the water turned back on.
I called the landlord, who at first claimed to have no knowledge of why our water should've been shut off. I recounted to him my conversation with the water department, and cited the fact that by law HE is responsible for the bill since the account is in his name as homeowner and the rental units do not have their own meters. He said, "You guys need to be paying that bill."
"How," I asked, keeping my voice as calm as possible, "are we supposed to do that when we never even see the bill? The city says they send it to an address in [redacted]."
"Oh, yeah, well I have that go to my dad's place."
"Not our problem."
He agreed to get the bill caught up and have our water turned back on today [update: which as of this writing it has been]. I'm actually glad I was off today and could be here and on top of the issue, because otherwise tonight would've been very annoying... but dear ghods, what is up with this guy? And now he wants to put the water bill in my ex's name -- for the WHOLE house -- and let us wrangle splitting it with the neighbor upstairs, whom we almost never see because she is out of town about 75% of the time. (And when she is home, it frequently sounds like she's making amateur porn up there. Just the thing you want to knock on the door during... but that's a whole separate issue.)
So, um, no.
Is it any wonder I want to get out of this place, this town and this whole area?
- Current Location:Planet Coffee, waiting for the first shuttle into orbit
- Current Mood: enraged