Problems With Landlord (Harassment, etc.)

By Raye

In January of this year, I began renting a mobile home from a woman who lived across the road from me.

The first few months were fine.  I’m a quiet tenant, I pay my rent on the third of every month, and abide by all rules set forth on my contract.

I’m not on a lease, just a written agreement between my landlord and myself.

When I first moved in, I did a walk-through with the owner and inspected the home.  It was roughly 5pm, and the electric hadn’t been turned on in the home yet, so it was dark.  She said that a family of 4 had been the previous tenants before myself, they had two small children.

She assessed some damage; a 6" hole in the kitchen floor and severely stained carpets.  She said she would have the kitchen floor fixed and retiled, and the carpet replaced before I moved in, as the carpet was over 5 years old.  I told her the carpeting and tile was fine as is, seeing I own two large dogs.

On the third I paid her my first month’s rent, along with a security deposit and pet deposit.  When I began to move into the home, I noticed that the hole in the floor had not been fixed.  I notified the landlord and she told me she would have it fixed in the middle of the month.

The following day I received my contract, which I signed.  It stated what the home had for appliances, agreements with trash disposal, noise ordinances, etc.  It also said that "If the tenant decides to leave, the Secuirty Depost and Pet Deposit would be refunded within 2 weeks of performing the walk-through."

The damage (which was more than I thought) hadn’t been assessed on the contract, so I wrote down everything that was wrong from what I could see.  This included marring on the walls, holes, even where nails were, and individual stains from a leak in the bedroom roof.  I continued to document damage that I had even done.

3 months later I was in my kitchen, about 2 feet from the hole in the floor, and it collapsed, and I fell through it.  Severely bruising my ankle and breaking a water pipe.  I called the landlord and had her shut off the water.  Her son arrived the next day to fix the break; but not the floor.

A month later, the water pipe in our bathtub broke.  I’m unsure why; but I woke up to hear rushing water. Again I called the landlord, and she was quick to fix it.

The first 6 months were fine, until I received a letter addressed to the occupants at my address.  I opened it to see that the landlord was having her property and mine foreclosed.  I called the landlord and met her that day; and she told me she was unaware of the issue.

Before this letter, she never contacted me regarding my pets, noise, or anything.

Then 2 weeks ago, she called me; notifying me that she was having some people look at her mobile home, and that she was selling it before the bank took the property. I asked her how long it would be before she arrived, and she told me 45 minutes "or so."

My contract with the landlord states "The tenants will be informed 2 hours before a walk-through is performed."

Well, I hadn’t cleaned in a while, and there had been clothes, wrappers, and even bits of doggie kibble around the house.  I picked up most of the home; and not 10 minutes after the call, she was on my front porch with 6 different people.  I let them in, and they performed a walk-through, then left.  I even documented the time she called me, to the time they had completed the walk-through. It wasn’t even 25 minutes.  She didn’t mention anything about the condition of the home; but she looks she kept giving me told me she wasn’t pleased.

Knowing she was selling the mobile home, I had contacted her on the third.  She verbally told me that she had a court date on the 20th, which was when the bank would take the property, and she needed to move the trailer by the 20th.  I agreed, and paid her half a month’s rent as she requested; which for 30 days, half is 15, so I would be fine until the 18th, which would give her time to move the mobile home.

Then; 4 days ago, I had the same call as I did before, and before I could hang up the phone with her, a man and his family came over to inspect the house.
They looked every inch, ignoring my requests to use care when handling objects they decided to move around, and even ignored me when I told them I had a friend over who was in the shower.  The man simply walked in on her and inspected the bathroom as if she wasn’t there.  I said nothing to the landlord, and allowed the family to inspect the mobile home.

2 days ago, I heard extremely loud crashing coming from one end of the home.  I looked outside to see the man and his family tearing off the under-pinning of the house; even rearranging cinder blocks that held the trailer up.  Immediately, I called the landlord to see if she knew what he was doing.  She snapped at me, told me "it was fine," and hung up on me.  The first ever animosity I had received from her.

The man was with his family from 2pm to sunset, I caught him peeping in my windows several times throughout the day, and even had one of his daughters waltz into my home, un-invited, and use the bathroom; not once saying anything to me.

Then today, I called her about her other home a few miles from here; as I have been having trouble with places that accept large dogs.  She told me no, and that the day her "friend" came over to remove the under-pinning on the trailer, had heard me on the phone with the local police department claiming she was harassing me. (I had never called anyone but her.)

She claimed that I was noisy, and my dogs were vicious, running around attacking people.  (My dogs are very affectionate and are leash-trained, kennel trained, indoor only dogs who only go out for walks or to use the bathroom.)  She also claimed my "cats" were every where and she was going to call the humane society on me.  I told her they were her cats, as when I moved in, I had one male cat who was fixed at 6 months old.  She had a stray living under my trailer who gave birth to 7 kittens, and sticks around the house because I had fed her while she was nursing.
She also accused me of having too much trash in my back yard, as it was a health hazard and she was reporting me to the health department.  I bag my trash and set them in a tarp beneath the back porch.  It is taken to the dump once a week as that is my limit.

Trying not to argue, I just asked her if she could perform a walk-through on the 18th, as I would have to go camping until I found myself a place that allowed dogs.  She told me I had until the 14th at 11:59pm to move, and that I should simply put my dogs down as they’re horrible creatures.  When I told her we had an agreement, she told me the rent receipt she made out to me states that it’s for the 14th, and not the 18th.
She also claimed that any interior and exterior damage that was done is my fault and she will be keeping my security deposit, pet deposit, and that I would not be reimbursed for the 4 days I would not be at the residence, although I paid for those days.

She has stated she’s holding me accountable for any damage done outside and inside, even though I have documented all interior damage that I have done the day it happens, and even photographed previous damage. (My damage is minimal, if any, except a hole in the bathroom floor, where one of the beams gave out.)  The damage outside, which she states as (the whole underside of the trailer is gone) was caused by her friend who took out everything on the lower half of the trailer.

She has been calling me since this initial phone call which started this problem, harassing me, threatening me, and even having her friend park his car outside of my house and sitting there for hours on end. (He left around 11pm, arrived around 6pm)

Now I’m faced with this problem.  How do I get my security deposit back if she is selling her home to someone who is not going to let me rent it; but rather live in it themselves?  What about the amount I paid and the 4 days she’s keeping for herself?  She hasn’t fixed the kitchen floor still, and now the flooring infront of the toilet has collapsed.  Even the back porch rotted out and caused me to fall through it.

I am not looking to give her trouble; I just want to get my money back; as I am not responsible by damages caused by previous tenants and herself, and she went against our verbal agreement about the 18th. I know I should have checked the receipt, but after 6 months of zero problems, I didn’t see it necessary.

Can anyone help me?  Thank you.

Edited on: Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 7:20 pm

One Response to “Problems With Landlord (Harassment, etc.)”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)
 

Raye

July 10th, 2012 11:32 pm

On another note, I’m currently resided in North Carolina, and I am unfamiliar with renters rights.


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