Category Archives: renting

House blues…

I hate renting the house in Red Bank!

It sucks. We have paid almost $30,000.00 in rent this year. This for a house that has no insulation, is expensive to heat, and is horribly laid out. A house we do not like. This paid to people who have failed to make the majority of the repairs we have requested, listed the house without telling us a week after the baby was born, and sent me an ALL CAPS angry email today. Why? Let me tell you:

Lee went on a business trip. He mowed the lawn before he left, and tried to mow it when he came back. (Grass grows like gangbusters here, so it is already nuts after a week.) When he tried to mow it, the mower failed. We emailed the landlord to have it repaired. A week later, they decided to drop by, but “were unable to get to the lawnmower because the fence blocked entry to the yard.” Granted, they have a key, the garage code, and our permission to come into the house any time they need to make repairs on the weekends, but somehow the fence gets in their way.

So what do they do? Send me an all caps bitchy email about how they are going to have to hire a service and take it out of our security deposit. This after failing to repair things like:
The bathroom door handle, which locks on its own every time you shut the door.
The laundry closet doors, which are now in the hall closet, having fallen down, again.
The front screen door, which sticks and is next to impossible to open, every single time you try and enter the house.
The bathroom drawers, which have no pulls, and can only be opened by pulling on the sides of the drawers. (I have broken my nails several times, painfully.)
Monkey’s room door handle, which also locks on it’s own. (I had to turn the handle around when she locked herself in her room, lock inside, and couldn’t get out. It is so much fun to remove a door handle when a freaked out child is screaming on the other side.)

Yes, after failing to make these fairly essential and inexpensive repairs for the entire tenure of our lease, they send us a threatening email after the mower breaks, and the lawn isn’t mowed. This after I have washed the floors in the living room with special wood soap to increase their shine so the house will show better, have cleaned and organized before each showing while caring for a brand new baby, and Lee has re-seeded the backyard so the lawn looks nice!!

I hate renting! These people are unbelievable! They have already violated the terms of our lease by failing to make timely repairs, and are now really pissing me off. I swear, if they try and take anything the slightest bit extra out of the security deposit I am going to sue them. NJ charges double damages to landlords who charge too much on the deposit, and I am so ready to recover.

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Back in the saddle again…

We are back in NJ, land of beaches, soft fuzzy pets, and rude drivers. We really enjoyed being home, my only regrets being that I was too tired to visit everyone. I am planning a return trip this summer for several weeks, so I am hopeful that I will have time to visit those I missed this time around.

It was a very calm visit, mostly spent with Mom and Dad and a few others. I had lunch with a good friend/former professor of mine, and have gotten the exciting opportunity to work on several environmental law cases. I am happy that I can work in Colorado from here, it is a rare gift to have a career that allows one to commute from 2000 miles away.

We had a lovely baby shower, lots of friends and good food. Everyone was so sweet and I am so thankful to all for the lovely gifts.

I think we need a different house. The one we are in is so annoying that it is hard to imaging staying in it for long. I believe this contributes to my desire to return to Denver. It is often the small things that make or break an experience. For example, our bathroom door randomly locks itself about half the time in a completely inconsistent manner. Therefore it is often the case that I will reach for the handle to leave the bathroom and find myself locked in. Sigh. Monkey’s bedroom door locks from the inside when slammed. (A fact I discovered during an argument and remedied with a screwdriver and several minutes of cursing.) Our dishwasher turns off whenever you reach for a dish in the cabinet above it, the front door sticks shut, and it’s colder than a cellophane wrapped whorehouse in the klondikes in both bedrooms.

I believe if I lived in a house where none of these things were daily issues, I might find my life here more pleasant. However, there is something about the Rocky Mountains being in plain sight as you go about your daily business. It seems to provide me with a sense of home that is absent in this mountainless land. Maybe I will get a similar feeling from the ocean, or the mass of trees abound here, but for now, I miss my lady in the mountains greeting me each time I leave the house.

Monkeyis excited to get back to school, and I am pleased to be able to return to the office, so there is a sense of getting back to it. Please keep emailing and calling though!! I need to hear voices without jersey accents if I am ever going to avoid getting one myself!!

The carpet strikes back…

The Carpet Strikes Back… a thank you… and more…

To begin with I would like to thank all of you for your outpouring of support in response to my last blog. I really feel loved and supported, which is more helpful than just about anything else! My absence from posting was due to a combination of the final chapter of the carpet saga and planning our wedding/honeymoon.

So, we were told at the end of last week that the icky, yucky, blucky carpets would be gone at the end of last week or the beginning of this week. Weeell, they came out today. Sadly, all of our stuff has been in the family room all week while we waited, and we had to sleep in the living room last night in order to insure the furniture was out of the rooms. (By the way, we will be finding an alternative bed for guests, our futon sucks!! I heartily apoligize to any friends who have already learned that. Sorry Luke!!)

But today the carpets were removed to uncover a decent, though heavily stained, wood floor. I have spent the better part of the day mopping, sweeping, and steam cleaning the wood. I have also removed little pokey things (staples and nails), and tiny remaining tufts of carpet that were stuck to the wall. The rooms look better. They do not look great but they are no longer covered by stinky, ugly, dirty, lavender carpet. (YAY!!) I am now completely spent.

Our landlord came by today to haul away the carpet. He missed some, of course. One of his biggest arguments in this carpet debate is that we have pets who will simply ruin any new carpet that comes in. Now our pets are good. The girls have occasional accidents, but given that we are fencing the backyard and I will be able to let them out whenever they need to go, there should be no issues here. My cat, Chloe, has never peed anywhere. That is until this morning, when she objected to the carpets remaining as long as they have by peeing on the one in the hallway. So the carpet removal crew informed my landlord that the carpet was wet, and he gave me a very triumphant look. I responded by stating the obvious. That pets, no matter how well trained, will spray when they encounter another pet’s urine smell, and that poor Chloe had restrained herself for over two weeks. Happily for me, the carpet removal crew agreed that it is nearly impossible to stop your pet from peeing on a carpet that is covered in a different animal’s scent. My landlord grudgingly agreed, but I am positive he expects my pets to ruin the carpet in the family room. Sigh.

I am settling in a little better, the challenges of the last two days have kept me from feeling quite so “desperate”. I vacillate between wanting to stay at home and wanting to work. I really would love to write an article for publication, or maybe even a book. I would love to do crafty stuff, and volunteer for some good environmental causes, learn to cook Indian food. I would also love to take on a new legal challenge or several, and earn some money after years of incurring a massive debt. It is really hard to figure out what I want to do.

Luckily, I have some time! Tonight I am making chicken curry for the first time ever! Off to counquer the kitchen! Thank you all for your helpful suggestions and love! I miss you!

Denver Girl, signing off!

It’s just another manic Saturday?

Monkey has strep throat! Yes indeedy. She chose the 8 day period of time where we are not in Colorado, yet still insured by Colorado companies, to get ill. Yay! So, we end up at the relatively efficient emergency room waiting for most of our Saturday afternoon. I had them check me out too, and let me tell you! Getting two people with two seperate names and two seperate insurances registered is a pain in the A*$!!

But we were seen and medicated, so we are on the mend.

On the house side… Our landlord is dealing in bad faith with us and I want to smash him like bug!!
Many of you may have heard about the carpets. For those who haven’t, here is a summation. When we moved in the carpets reeked of cigarette smoke and animal urine. We called the landlords, who arrived in person to talk about it three days later. They stated clearly and unequivocally that they were always intending to replace the carpets, and the guy, John assured me that rather than make us pay to remove them, he and his son in law would remove them personally that week.

Nearly a month later, we have cigarette smelling, animal pee carpets.

Even worse, he stopped by the other day and asked me if we were paying to remove the carpets!! I find out from Lee that he had asked him the same thing several days before, and got a strident NO!! So why is he asking me? Why? Luckily, all I said was “we can talk later.” And he said, “yeah, we can work something out.”

Now I am furious, he is dealing in bad faith. I am going to research like mad to discover all I can about NJ law and renting, so I can smash him like bug. This is crap.

So he is coming Monday with the guy from Lowes to handle the Family room carpets, and I am going to hand him a letter informing him that he is acting in bad faith, not honoring his previous agreement with us, failing to repair the premises in the required reasonable time, and that I will be hiring someone to remove them, and will deduct the cost from the rent. Then I will see what he does, but I would feel very comfortable fighting his two-faced butt in court right now, so I really don’t think he will say anything.

Argh!! Send me strength! Send me calm! And if you are a law school friend, send me statutes and cases that will support or harm my position!!

Your Denver Girl, rolling up her sleeves and getting ready to fling some cow patties.