Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My AC went out!

I moved into my apartment a few months ago. I have had little to no problem with the staff and only one problem with the apartment since I moved in. I came home to find a window broken from the outside. It was fixed within hours.

Saturday, the children and I came home to find our air was out. I attempted to check the filter, but it was stuck and wouldn't come out. I was leaving the apartment Sunday morning and noticed a maintenance man. I explained the problem and left. He told me he would take a look at the AC and make sure the apartment was cooling.

I have never had such a positive customer service experience before. In the past, maintenance men demanded that I file a report with the office before they would even speak to me, but this gentleman would courteous and polite. He made me feel like my issue was important to him, which as a tenant is extremely important.

What if your complex or land lord isn't meeting your needs?

  • Document all calls, emails, and other correspondence.
  • Read your lease and find out what your rights and responsibilities are. Some complexes only repair problems over a small dollar amount. Typically, it's to make sure that light bulbs and air filters are your responsibility.
  • Clearly state what your expectations are, the time frame that is acceptable to you, and their responsibilities as stated in the lease.
  • If all else fails, you may withhold your rent, but most states have a special set of requirements for that. In Florida, these are the requirements.

I have had issues in the past requiring that I follow these steps. In lieu of withholding rent, I also had great success once with calling a lawyer acquaintance and having them send a letter to my realtor on my behalf. It is in the the best interest of everyone involved if situations are solved quickly and with as little hassle as possible.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pet Deposits. What's fair?

I have been searching for the perfect apartment at a decent price. One of the things I have to ask about is the complex's policy on pets. I have two female and fixed cats, Obi Wan and Bella.

I have heard $300 from nearly every complex I have spoken to. One complex was so apologetic about the deposit that they offered to break it up over the course of the lease. In most cases, the deposit has been refundable.

Friday, I called a complex that I will not name. The pet policy is that you must pay a non-refundable fee of $300 per cat and $15 per cat for pet rent per month. The fee is much higher for dogs. I asked the Property Manager why she thought these fees were fair. She didn't try to explain or be polite. She said that those were the fees and that they were not negotiable.

I have no problem paying a pet deposit. I understand that a property manager must protect their property. I just don't understand why the amount should be so large that it's completely off putting. If you don't want to allow pets, simply don't allow them.

What amount do you think is fair? I suppose that in a statistical world I would take all the damage done by animals over a given period of time (say 5 years) and charge whatever the average is. I can't imagine that amount being over $300, especially when you factor in the normal deposit that I am already paying for the apartment.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thank You!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the Bake sale for Relay for Life! We are just getting started and I hope to get a lot of chances to wear this hat! I just want to reiterate that EVERY penny that you donate for the cookies goes to the Relay. I am donating the ingredients!

Where can YOU get these awesome cookies for an excellent cause?!
Right here!

Where can YOU learn more about this event?
Right here!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What to do when you've got to move.

The time has come to move. You've found the perfect job. You've found the perfect new place. The lease is up. You've gotta go! How do you break it to them?

  • Make sure you tell your roommate as soon as possible. You have already found the next big thing, but now they have to make an adjustment. The sooner you tell them the easier it will be for them.
  • No matter how bad of a roommate they are this is probably not the time to give them the laundry list. If it wasn't important enough to mention before it's probably not important enough to mention now, unless specifically asked. If they do ask about why you are ending your roommate relationship, be kind. In many cases, the roommate is simply oblivious to thing that bothers you. Try not to make an enemy for the last portion of your time together.
  • Discuss how your accounts will be closed or transferred. You need to discuss dates of termination or transfer and the dispensing of any deposits that you may have jointly. If you are not getting a deposit back discuss the reasons. If his dog chewed a hole in the wall and that is the sole reasoning for the deposit being denied, it's fair to request that he pay your portion back.
  • Make sure you give your new contact information to your roommate. There will be things that are forgotten or misplaced. Don't assume that your moving day is the last day you will ever see your roommate. Life has a funny way of putting us in contact with people we thought we were finished with. Try to end on good terms.
Note: I'll be moving to a new town in about six weeks! Be expecting more updates as I search for my new place. Next update will be about communicating with a potential new roommate and finding your new place in this world!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Roommate reasoning

Why do we have roommates? The giant amount of complaining would suggest that being or having a roommate is a bad experience, yet people do it all the time? Why? This subject doesn't require too much research. The top two reasons that I have found for being or having a roommate are:

1. Financially needing wanting someone to help with your bills.

2. Not wanting to live alone.

I think everyone can understand the financial reasons for having a roommate. Life is expensive. Sometimes rent and utilities can be a lot for one person to handle by themselves. A roommate is a good way to cut those costs.

I am a solitary person. It never occurred to me that some people might choose to have a roommate based purely on the fact that they hate living alone, but apparently, those people are out there.

Recently, I have rediscovered some of the little pleasures of living with another person. I especially like waking up and having tea with my roommate before we both start our crazy and hectic days. I remember not too long ago I came in the house and he took one look at me and knew something was wrong. When he asked about it I just burst into tears. He came over and hugged me and offered me a tissue. I felt like such a jerk. I'd been so miserable about having someone in my house that I had failed to recognize his attempts to connect with me.

I think in order to be a good roommate you must find a way to connect with your roommate. If you find a reason to say something nice and say it consistently enough you will eventually train yourself to think more positively about the other person. This has worked wonders for me. The first thing I think about now is not how there are dishes in the sink and poo in the litter box. The first thing I think about is how nice it is that both of us like cats, men, and good food. In that frame of mind I am less likely to speak harshly or out of anger. This is the first step on the path to roommate success.

Relay for Life!

We, at Rentersregret.com, are proudly participating in the 2009 Relay for Life! The Relay for Life is an event held by the American Cancer Society to raise funds for Cancer research and to support the patients and families of those stricken with Cancer.

Cancer research is very important to me. My mother has had cancer several times in her life. The last time she had it, I was a teenager. If I can keep one child from feeling the way I felt and seeing the things I saw, it will all be worthwhile.

We would encourage and appreciate your support for this event! We're also looking for new team members to join up with us. We have big plans and we are going to need your support! Please check us out at:


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What kind of Roommate are you?

Courtney Schoenfeld
Jerkface at Large.

I'll admit it. I am not the best roommate. I really like being alone. I have a hard time being social at home. I used to call my house the "Fortress of Solitude" and it was. My boyfriend has only been inside my house once and that was because he had to pee really badly. (Of course, he came at the WORST possible time since I had been away for the weekend and the cat box needed to be changed BADLY.)

I know that I was the one who wanted and sought a roommate. I admit that I turned down a few people in favor of a person I knew already and because one of the callers wanted to talk a lot and I wasn't looking for a new BFF. I started all of this trouble. I know also that I would be in a bad position if he wasn't there and that overall it's nice to come home and have someone there.

My roommate is really social and has people over all the time. We have a combination of FOUR cats. We each have two cats. He is a nice person for the most part, just really different from me.

Things I do wrong:
  • General crankiness when his friends are over.
  • Spend 90% of my waking hours on my computer with headphones on when I am at home.
  • Perpetually call the house "my house."
  • I never make dinner for him since I never know when he will be home.
  • I communicate often with grunting and nodding.

Things I do right:

  • I do the dishes 90% of the time.
  • I keep my cat box clean for the most part.
  • I am very polite about his cat box and am considering purchasing goggles so I can empty it myself.*
  • I fold his laundry when he forgets it in the dryer.
  • I sweep and mop the flooring when it needs it.
  • I am attempting to communicate more with both positive body language and actual words.
  • I make cookies that are public property as a goodwill gesture.
  • I am polite when I walk into strange situations and do my best to communicate my scheduling.

*He has a Litter Maid, an automatic litter box cleaner. Basically, it scoops the poo into a plastic bin and later you just pick up the bin and take it out. When lifting the bin the plastic edges flip litter and poo into my eyes, even when I am wearing glasses!