Monday, May 21, 2007

If you rent you must be stupid

I recently sold my home in Norway and am now renting. I've been a home owner most of my adult life so I'm not used to being treated like a second class citizen, but here I am…

I’ve owned income properties when I lived in Seattle, and all rental owners can tell you renter stories. Now here is a story from the renters side. My landlord here in Norway thinks I’m stupid, most probably because I’m a renter. He provided me with a riding lawnmower to cut the grass which I was told was part of the rental agreement. When I tried to use the mower for the first time two weeks ago I found it was broken. He sent it to the repair shop and sent me the bill!

It states in the rental contract that I am responsible for maintenance. I took that to be tune-up, oil change and cleaning which is reasonable.

The rental agency representative contacted me yesterday and said the owner would like us to sign an addition to the contract binding us to fix any future damage that might occur and send the mower in for a standard overhaul at the end of our tenancy here. I said no, I will stand with our original agreement and will not sign any additional. She threatened to have the riding mower removed and a push mower delivered in it’s place. It was a threat, it’s a big lawn!

After reviewing my rental agreement I found that there was no part of the contract stating that I was to mow the lawn. She said she simply forgot to include it, but that it was her intention to and I would be held to the obligation none the less. The law says otherwise.

It seems that the landlord believes he is free to interpret the meaning of maintenance to suit his needs, forcing us to pay for damage done before we moved in, but we are not free to exercise our rights when it comes to the language of our contract. Sure it is partly a Norwegian thing, but you don’t get this kind of guff if you own your property here. I think the bias against renters is universal however, we must be stupid or why would we rent right?.

By the way, the housing market has begun to slide here after five years of record breaking gains. You can probably guess why I sold in January and am now renting. My landlord can’t.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all hate landlords. They are abusive. They lie, they keep your deposit, they claim you wrecked the apartment when you did not. It was in perfect shape when you moved out and then they go in and wreck it and blame you for it. One guy got even, he put tons of cockroaches in the apartment after he was evicted. Some start fires by leaving pans on the stove to get even with the rotten landlords who lie and steal. Landlords get away with everything. You can't even win in court against them. The judges and lawyers are all for the rich landlords. The cops are in on it too and they stick up for the landlords. Some of it is gangstalking. Some doctors and police are starting to talk and you can go to "doctors who know" and "police who know" to see what they are saying. There are many victims of this gangstallking and we are fed up with it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Vern Wichers said...

Intesting term, ‘Gangstalking’. I’ve never heard it before. Where does it come from?

As far as lying, cheating landlords, I have met some who openly bragged about screwing over tenants. They were the minority however.

The part about police favoring owners over renters, I have experienced this first hand when I had a dispute with a renting neighbor. The officers who answered the calls on different occasions always asked if I rented. I knew from their reaction that it gave me the upper hand as an owner.

Not all landlords are bad eggs though. It is more even handed to say that they tend to paint renters with the same brush, unfortunate as that may be.

As renter demographics change due to the increasing number of ‘Bubble Sitters’, being careless with attitudes could lead to trouble as renters will inevitably display the ways and means by which to strike back. I don’t see the next few years as being favorable to landlords.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007  
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Friday, May 25, 2007  

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