Loading the slideshow
The slideshow requires script be turned on to function.
related linksRead more about renting
FIND YOUR DREAM HOME OR APARTMENT
must-see on msn
The advice in #6 sounds OK if the rental unit is an apartment in a large complex--there is no need for the landlord or anyone else to know if you are going to be out of town more than a week when they have your cell number on their emergency contact sheet, and you've paid the rent. It would be different if the rental was a house or a duplex, where newspapers might accumulate or the lawn continue to grow.
I live in an area where it snows, and if a landlord were to demand clearing the roof, I would fall back on the local building code. Ours requires that a residential property roof support 3 feet of snow. "Sure, I'll get a contractor out here to clear that when it approaches 3 feet," seems like a good response. For one thing, it's unlikely ever to reach "crush depth," and for another, if he's not sure he's up to code, you'll see HIM hire someone to get it cleared before it can get to that point.
In college, my roommates and I were told to "Man up" and replace the heater blower after it had gone out. In February...In the Canadian Prairies...where -25C is a high for weeks on end...
The problem with your advice here is that landlords can be huge jerks and, unless you have the money to take them to court, you have to play by their rules or get out.
My mother rented a house from a sweet old Japanese woman back in 1992 through a special housing program for underprivileged families. We quickly realized that her son was co-landlord. After 8 years in the house, the co-landlord decided that he no longer wanted to let us have pets so he had his brother show up with a gun to shoot my cat -- Mom happened to be home and threatened to call the cops. The co-landlord had a tendency to show up unannounced, breaking in to the house when his mother "lost" her extra key, throwing away our personal belongings on the back porch because they were "trash," and completely tearing out all the plants when he decided they weren't to his liking (including potted plants).
Every time something would go wrong on the house, he would fix it (he was a contractor) and then up the rent. Water heater broke in the garage, he replaced it and the pipes, rent went up. Week later, the pipes burst on the new unit (turns out he used pvc rather than copper pipe) and he repaired that -- upping the rent again. Gas leak developed on the other water heater (connected to the small apartment off the back of the house his mother had lived in) where the pipes he had used to install it had rusted completely, he replaced it and upped the rent on the tenant using the apartment.
After 18 years of relatively cheap rent (which is why we had to stay, 3bd/1.5bh ended at $1500 in a neighborhood of $2500+ rentals), my mother passed away. Her last request was that I get out of the house as quietly and unobtrusively as possible, she didn't want the landlord knowing she was sick and dying. My sister paid for June's rent and I began packing as fast as I could, tossing out/donating more things than I kept. When July came around, my sister let the landlord know we were moving out and he started showing up... he'd throw out the packed boxes waiting to be moved, he'd wander into the house and go through our things. One day he cornered me and demanded the last month's rent, I explained that the original agreement with his mother had been for $1000 to cover first and last. "That may be the case, but the amount you gave back then is not going to cover this month as it has increased since 1992." He demanded to see my mother and I finally told him tearfully she had died only a few weeks before. His response? "Be out by the end of the month." No condolences. The end was a week away but I was ready. We scrubbed the whole house and left a note of repairs my mother had refused to report for fear that he would raise the rent again.
My only revenge was that, when the gas leak required the gas company to inspect and turn on the gas, they realized our landlord had never reported two units on the property...he owed money for the second unit's gas use for the last 20 years and was fined for not having the proper permits to tap into the main electrical, gas, and water lines to attach the apartment. Last I heard, he had about 20 squatters that wrecked the place a year ago.