The Honking Goose

something to honk about

it’s hard to get respect: as a renter

In our eleven years of living together, my husband and I have always rented our homes. We’ve lived in a grand total of six different places together and had a variety of experiences with homeowners, landlords, and property managers. The one thing, across the board, that I’ve noticed about our experiences with all of them is that homeowners and property managers have little respect for the people that pay every month to live in their homes.

home in the country

Not our actual home. Image source: Flickr

Some tenants are better than others, I’m sure. And likewise, some landlords are better than others. We have always taken good care of the homes we have rented. We keep a clean house, we don’t pile junk up in the yard, we mow the lawn and tend the plants and trim the bushes. And as per our rental agreement, the homeowner and/or property manager is responsible for more extensive maintenance and repair. Some are better than others about responding to requests of that nature.

Here’s my thing: we are the ones living here for years at a time. We know the house. We know its quirks. We know its strengths and weaknesses. And we don’t ask for a whole lot. Renters put up with plenty of imperfections. We only ask for help if something really needs to be fixed. We are a good judge of what those things are because we are the ones living here.

I just want a little respect and appreciation for that. Homeowners have a vested interest in maintaining their house. The own it; they have equity in it. We are helping them toward that end by letting them know about the things that need work over time. So they should pay attention and take our advice a little more seriously. And they don’t have to wait until we call and say something is broken. They could get in touch with us once in a while and ask if there is anything in the home we are living in that could use some routine maintenance. I would be grateful for that.

What do you think? Do you have experiences either as a renter or as a homeowner who has tenants?

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51 comments on “it’s hard to get respect: as a renter

  1. Lynz Real Cooking
    August 13, 2015

    Very good points and yes I have lived in many different places and I agree the people renting should be respected and are really taking care of the property so treat them accordingly Nice post!

    Like

  2. chris ludke
    November 5, 2014

    omg. I just moved into an apt in the old hood. It’s been renovated and I thought the model looked good. On my moving day some kid puked in my numbered parking spot. I thought it was a bad sign. As soon as I sat down in my only chair without boxes on it in the bedroom fleas hopped on me. I raised holy hell about the fleas. 2 different employees told me they don’t spray unless they see fleas. How you going to see them unless you sit down and they jump on you?! I think it’s corporate greed that they don’t spray when a pet owner leaves. They gave me a $486 credit and the manager told me they did spray but I don’t believe her. I set up a flea trap and caught 20 in the bedroom. I think I got all of them upstairs. They want to spray now but I said no. The fleas would go under the boxes on the floor. And I don’t want the poison in here.

    I wish I could get out of the lease and move again. I h8 it here now. And I got a bitch reputation already.

    Dyrn it. The apt I had before this one kept trying to bill me for electricity on one of their empty apts. Every time I went in the office they fixed it because I pay my bills every month. Then the last time they made me PROVE I’m paying my electric bill. Then I knew it wasn’t just dyslexic office workers. They know the company is trying to rob me and they’re in on it.

    The one before that had some angry young white boys and one of them bashed in the roof of my car for no reason. I popped it back up but it’s not all even. Then they had a fire in another apt and I realized the old apts don’t have firewalls. So I got out of that place without too much damage since the fire was in another section but 12 units had to vacate.

    I might put my stuff in storage and live out of my car next time so I can leave easier.

    It ain’t easy being a woman alone in this world and the apartment companies are out to get you one way or another. It’s making me feel not good today.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 5, 2014

      Wow, that is really rough. I have more stories along these lines and you are reminding me that I might want to write about them. Thanks for you comment and thank you for reading the Honking Goose! πŸ˜€

      Like

      • chris ludke
        November 6, 2014

        Thanks for giving me the chance to complain. hahaha
        Your blog has a lot of posts I can relate to.
        I have weird good luck too. But I often wonder if this is some kind of test. I’m not a big religious or superstitious person, so why does all this happen to me? What apartment you get put into is the luck of the draw. all your stuff could get burned up by some careless smoker or you could get the end unit with fleas. Or you could get out while the getting’s good. I have to deal with it by myself and I don’t have the TV hooked up so I’m reading and commenting.
        Feel free to use my stories if you can.

        Like

  3. dfolstad58
    October 21, 2014

    I like your blog. I like the layout, the different categories, and you write coherently, with a dry wit.
    The little “honk at me” instead of a comment box is case in point. I live in goose country in Canada and watch them fly overhead, and waddle out of the way along the lakeshore.
    Your rant about tenant respect is fair. Sadly there are some tenants who are really atrocious, speaking from experience and owners get screwed over. There are good tenants also and those people are golden to owners and deserve to be appreciated. But for the tenants who don’t pay rent, and trash houses in the most disgusting manner – I sure hope karma is fact.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 5, 2014

      Ack! I forgot to respond to your comment, although I did read it before. Thanks for the compliments. There will always be some good and some bad in any group of people, tenants and owners/managers, for example. Karma WILL haunt the bad ones. πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. IdealisticRebel
    October 17, 2014

    IN many places across America, there are housing developments where you can rent a house. For instance, I live in a cluster home. I have all the amenities and truly love no mowing, plowing or repairs. There is a full time compliment of maintenance people. I would never rent a house from someone for the reasons you mention. Hugs, Barbara

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 17, 2014

      Well, we lucked out this time with good property managers, which I recognize because we’ve been through much worse. Thanks for sharing your perspective. πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. The Daily Blabber
    October 16, 2014

    I own and I rent. So yes, I have experience as a homeowner with tenants. I don’t mind getting info on things that are going wrong which is why we have a guy that we send by the house to mow the lawn from time to time. However, I also have a property manager who is supposed to be the middle man. I do try to stay on top of household repairs, but sometimes that isn’t possible. I am currently in a snowball state at our house in NC. As soon as we fix one thing, something else breaks. So it’s not that us homeowners don’t care. It’s just that sometimes we can’t manage it all. No property manager is going to have time to call and check in with each individual renter and no homeowner is going to be willing to open themselves up to random calls from a tenant if they don’t have to. Not to mention we have our own lives. It’s almost impossible to stay on top of everything.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 16, 2014

      I kind of disagree. We don’t ask our property managers for much, so I think they could make time to call or email once in awhile (like twice a year). And for a lot of the types of things I’m talking about, making a small inexpensive repair today would save the homeowner from having a larger more expensive problem in the future.

      Like

      • The Daily Blabber
        October 16, 2014

        I understand completely, and honestly your property manager should be doing an annual inspection anyway. I thought you were talking about more often than once or twice a year. I was thinking about it from the property manager’s standpoint. Sometimes they can have hundreds of properties they oversee. It’s hard to sit down and find the time to call and check in when you are juggling that many properties. My last three tenants have been PITA’s. The current one doesn’t like to pay her rent on time and the two before her were slowly destroying the house in hopes to bring down the property value and get me to sell it to them. So I am a little bitter about my tenants. But as a tenant myself I see it from your standpoint as well. Hell I am still waiting for our maintenance man to come and put the laundry room door back up. (It fell on top of me about a month ago. I did a maintenance request. I ended up having to get my husband to do it a week later)

        Like

  6. ljaylj
    October 15, 2014

    I rented out my house for a time a few years back (don’t have it anymore)…all tenants are not the same. I sent one tenant specific instructions on how to winterize the outside water faucets…the repair job cost me over a $1000–he was a bit miffed when I asked him to leave. While another tenant asked me if she could use the raspberries and blackberries for canning. I told her that they were her’s as long as she lived there because I wasn’t going to drive 1100 miles to pick them. Well, she made a few hundred dollars selling jars of homemade jam at the county fair and I received several of each. Mmmmm…good. It’s all about relationships.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 16, 2014

      My parents had trouble with tenants, too. I can understand how it would be really unpleasant to have a renter compromise or destroy your property.

      Like

  7. sachiki44
    October 14, 2014

    My parents rent a house, but the contract is going to end soon so we’re trying to find new tenants. Maybe I should ask them to do the same, check in once in a while to see if anything is wrong

    Like

  8. Content Catnip
    October 14, 2014

    I suppose it’s all about their attitude right? It’s hard to change if they have a crappy attitude. But I guess just know your rights as a renter/occupant and don’t let them overstep the boundary. I know what you mean though. I find the newer the apartment or place you’re renting, the less hassles I’ve had. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 14, 2014

      The property managers here at our current place are some of the best we’ve had so far. I’m happy overall. Party because I’ve been through much worse. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yoshiko
    October 13, 2014

    But respect is needed between the landlord and the renter.

    Like

  10. Yoshiko
    October 13, 2014

    Sorry, I don’t have a house to rent and don’t know how to answer your questions.

    Like

  11. franhunne4u
    October 13, 2014

    Living in Germany I have always been a renter as most of us Germans are. Renters in Germany do have way more rights than in the US or the UK. I would hate to be a renter in the US or the UK, with next to no rights. But here it is ok.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 13, 2014

      In my experience, renters here have adequate rights, but not much recourse if those rights are violated.

      Like

  12. amommasview
    October 13, 2014

    I think I could write a book about this!!! We rent as well and there are plenty of stories. Especially re the place we are in now. I agree totally with what you are saying.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 13, 2014

      Yeah, I think there is at least one follow up relating to this topic if not more. I didn’t even get into any specifics here.

      Like

  13. Norbert Haupt
    October 13, 2014

    My girlfriend and I both own houses, and are therefore landlords. However, we have rented the homes we have lived in for the last 10 years, 4 of them. I couldn’t agree with you more. I could have written your post word for word to indicate my opinion and experiences.

    The management company should be grateful when I tell them when something needs work. But it’s like pulling teeth.

    Dumb.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 13, 2014

      Right? Don’t they want to know before it become an even bigger problem that causes a domino effect of maintenance issues?

      Like

  14. Robert S. Eilers
    October 13, 2014

    Except during a couple years when we owned a single wide my wife and I have been renters, though we did rent the lot where the single wide sat. We’ve been through seven different locations and nine landlords in 18 years. One apartment we had three different landlords during the seven years we were there. I can attest there are good ones and not so good ones. Luckily we haven’t had any terrible ones. It can be aggravating, that’s for sure.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 13, 2014

      Some people might assume that tenants are flaky for moving around so much, but the majority of the time when we have moved it was because we were forced out for a variety of reasons. One of our homes went into foreclosure and we had to move out ten months after we’d moved in. Not fair. But life isn’t always fair.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: It’s hard to get respect: As a renter | BloggerMom.ca

  16. dotcablogger
    October 13, 2014

    Interesting question πŸ™‚

    Well, we’ve so far have been renters. And my observation is that landlords and property management expect more than a few tenants to do the following bad behaviour:

    1) The tenants are bar stars. So these people party at dance clubs and bars a lot. They also break into their own apartment when they’re confused and not able to find their keys in their own clothing to open their apartment door. (My experience once included a chick in her 20s, drunk out of her mind, mistaking our apartment as her own apartment. So I was in our kitchen when she was at our back door and trying to break that door open to get into what she thought was her own apartment.)

    2) More than a few tenants party loud in their apartments. So noise is a constant problem.

    3) More than a few tenants don’t have manners or civil interaction with a landlord or property management. Some tenants believe they’re entitled to be being abusive. And those tenants assume they are always right.

    4) Some tenants are difficult to rely on for consistent payment of their rent. So some tenants are consistently late with their rent payments.

    5) Some tenants try to do grow-ups for Marijuana. Or some tenants try to make their rental home a drug den.

    And the above is only a sample of the social problems that tenants have caused in the rental buildings.

    πŸ˜›

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 13, 2014

      More than a few, but less than most, right?

      Like

      • dotcablogger
        October 13, 2014

        I’m likely a cynic on this question. So I don’t see a consistent majority of renters being okay and reliable.

        So my “More Than A Few” case could be a minority within the demographic of renters. But I have seen this minority more often as a majority πŸ˜›

        I think what has put me off is that I’ve lived in ratbag apartment housing that are made ratbag because of the tenants’ decisions to party, and activities like that.

        Oh well.

        Like

  17. prior
    October 13, 2014

    well we rented for a short while in San Jose and we heard that at our place, it was pretty much a joke to expect the full security deposit back. We heard they intentionally have stuff ready to be charged – and well, it really is more empowering to leave a place as the homeowner.

    anyhow, not all tenants are as cool as you sound. In fact, we have a few friends with such nightmare experiences that we decided to not become landlords when we had the opportunity – we walked away from it as an income source because it just signaled a headache – but we also would have been out of state landlords and that was not ideal. But if we would have had cool tenants – well then I would have done it for sure – but it is such a risky thing because not all are are respectful. and likewise, not all landlords are good and well, you said it best “Some are better than others about responding to requests of that nature…”

    peace…

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 13, 2014

      I don’t think I would want to be a landlord either, unless there was some really capable property managers involved. I will say the property managers at our current place are the best we’ve experienced so far and I am very thankful for that.

      Like

  18. swo8
    October 13, 2014

    Hi, That has been our experience at renting. A lot of the landlords just don’t care as long as you pay your rent on time and don’t destroy the place, that’s all they care about.
    Leslie

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 13, 2014

      Right? You’d think they’d take a little more initiative. After all they are the ‘successful’ homeowners.

      Like

      • swo8
        October 13, 2014

        I think some of them are just hanging on by there finger tips. Nobody is having much of a picnic these days. Hang in there, things will get better.
        Leslie

        Like

        • thehonkinggoose
          October 13, 2014

          Yeah, that has been true, from what I hear, of the homeowners of our current house and our last one, too.

          Like

  19. butchcountry67
    October 13, 2014

    we are renting to own , our landlord is great, generally I do all the maintenance on the property and get reimbursed for any expenses on my part, our landlord gets right on the things I myself can’t repair on my own. we have been here 7 years now, just another 12 years to go until we own the house and property.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 13, 2014

      Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. How much land is around your house?

      Like

      • butchcountry67
        October 13, 2014

        almost 40 acres

        Like

        • thehonkinggoose
          October 13, 2014

          Oh! Nice! That is a lot of work though. My parents lived on 40 acres when I was born and my dad always says it was a money pit, there was always so much work to do. They started from scratch though, building our home and two ponds and a water system, driveways and gardens and so on. πŸ˜€

          Like

  20. adventurejennie
    October 13, 2014

    Oy vey. During my divorce, I moved into a little farm just south of the city where we lived. By the six degrees of separation, I actually kind of knew my landlord. I loved the place like it was my own. I grew up in a rural area and it was almost like therapy for me to live there. It went down hill a couple months after I moved in. Big storm rolled through. Uprooted trees and fallen limbs everywhere and there was damage to the roof of the house. He was notified immediately. That was in June. The roofer showed up in late October. The same storm caused us to lose power for several days, that caused the pump in the well to burn up and stop working. I got screamed at for this. Wasn’t MY fault. No idea. He was pissed and stressed out I am sure, but I got literally screamed at by this man.
    The basement was leaking. The foundation was cracked. I didn’t actually expect him to fix any of that since the house was a rental and it was built in the late 1800’s. Whatever, his house, his loss right? It wasn’t molding at the time ( it probably is now though ) BUT THEN, one day a circuit blew. So I went down to the basement to discover that there was water leaking onto the electrical box!!!
    2 months later, after not having power in the upper level of the house, I put in my 30 days that I was leaving. He lifted not one single finger to fix that problem. It was a fire hazzard!!!!! .
    This guy is still mad that I moved out. I was there for almost 4 years. I put up with a lot and took amazing care of that property. It took him over a year to find another person to rent the place to. I’m still friends with the neighbor and he checks in from time to time to gossip and he says that the new people barely take care of the place and it will probably fall into the earth eventually.

    Property management companies are the way to go I think. Since they work for the home owner and have a team of construction workers and handy men, it seems like stuff got taken care of a lot faster and you didn’t end up playing games with anyone.
    You’re right though, I think that not only is it hard to get respect from the landlord but then you’ve got the neighbors who think they can do and say whatever they want to because “you’re just a renter”. We have a lady in our neighborhood that harasses people like that.
    I should blog about her AND the woman that live across the street from me. Hilarity. When the guy moved in next door from me, the harasser across the ally actually drove down our street and creeped on this mans’ new house! I drove up behind her and forced her to move.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 13, 2014

      Yikes! I think we all have stories that this, but that one is a whopper! I’m happy to say that the property managers for the house we are living in now are the best we have had so far. They actual send people out to fix stuff and don’t complain about having to do so.

      I didn’t tell any specific tales here, because I like to keep my posts short and sweet, but maybe I’ll do a follow up for that.

      Like

      • adventurejennie
        October 13, 2014

        I was totally chatty just now. Oops. You totally should. I do “long reads” sometimes. lol.

        Like

  21. Opinionated Man
    October 13, 2014

    I had only one victory against an apartment complex and I still gloat about it. πŸ˜‰ lol, they are very rare.

    Like

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