Rental Hell

So my daughter from another mother and her fiance have been looking for several months for a place to move. His step brother with whom they now reside is getting married next month and it was decided that it would be better if they sought separate housing.  Rentals in our area are plentiful in number but not so plentiful when you have a large dog to accommodate. They were getting down to the wire–they have to be out by tonight–and were getting very anxious when finally one of the place s they had applied finally got back to them and told them they could have the house.

To say they were ecstatic is an understatement.  The  place the found was one of about 8 little one bedroom houses on a small private road in the heart of town. Her fiance’s brother and future wife also got a place in the same little development. So they are neighbors instead of room mates but that is better for them all.

Last night was their first night in their new place. They noticed some cock roaches but my daughter was not worried about it. she has dealt with and eradicated the nuisances before so was not concerned. That night as they were relaxing in bed a bug crawled across her and her guy squished it. It bled red and she realized it was not a roach. She looked it up on the internet and realized it was a bed bug. Needless to say they vacated the room quickly and ended up back at the old apartment and slept on the floor there. This morning I looked up some home remedies for killing bed bugs while she tried to contact her land lord. When the land lord realized who was calling she hung up on them and blocked their calls. So that tells me she was aware of the issue. The kids are afraid of saying too much however because there is a clause in their contract that states that the property management company can give them as little as three days notice to vacate the premises.

I am furious. Apparently this property management company did NOT clean and debug the home before re-renting it.  Bed bugs are serious problem any more and are extremely hard to kill. My daughter is very stressed because no on top of moving and cleaning the old place she must now buy more products to clean and get rid of the nasty bugs in her new house.  I gave her some diatomaceous earth to help with the debugging process and she also purchased some 20 Mule Team Borax, another natural remedy for ridding a home of fleas, cockroaches, and ants. She got a fogger that is made to target bedbugs and before she left tonight she set it off. Needless to say neither of them will be staying at the new place for a few days while they try to get this problem under control. She and their big Labrador will be staying with us and her fiance will be staying at his brother’s house.

This is sadly a common occurrence for renters. Things will be wrong with the place and when they complain they are threatened with being evicted just for asserting their rights as a renter. I have a friend who is the property manager/maintenance person of some apartments in Minnesota and there is black mold growing behind the toilet in the bathrooms of each unit. When he reported this to the property manager proper he was told to shut up or lose his job and place to live. I told him that he should give me the number of whomever this thing gets reported to and I will be happy to make an anonymous phone call for him.

So the kids are just going to try to take care of the problem themselves. His mom has bought them some stuff and I have given them some stuff to try to help. But is extremely stressful and upsetting to have to deal with this at the same time that they have had to uproot themselves and move to a new place.  Instead of having fun decorating and arranging their new domicile they are reduced to sleeping apart and disrupting their lives even further while they struggle to make their home livable.

Have you ever had a bad rental experience? How did you cope with it? Did you do like they are doing–just shut up and fix it yourself? Or did you take legal action? Or just move somewhere else? They can’t afford to move elsewhere and so they are going to make the best of it.  Let’s hope they don’t live to regret it.