Wednesday 14 January 2015

Landlords v Tenants

We are both.

We are good landlords.

We are good tenants.

But we are fed up of people taking the piss with our homes.

We rent 2 properties. We own one, we rent it out. We redecorated and had the house professionally cleaned prior to our tenants moving in. They trashed our house. We redecorated and had it professionally cleaned. We have new tenants.

We're moving into our 3rd rented property as tenants. All 4 properties have been dirty and in need of repair, we've battled with each and every landlord and had to do the cleaning ourselves, we've waited months for repairs to be carried out. On vacating the properties we've been informed that unless it's professionally cleaned we won't get our deposit back.
It would seem that as soon as some landlords get your money and you've signed the contract, that's it. Put up and shut up. It makes no difference arguing.

We've just received our deposit back from the landlord in South Africa, minus carpet cleaning and tidying of the garden. Despite pointing out that NO cleaning was done prior to us moving in, and that we had the house cleaned on our departure, it doesn't seem to matter. We also handed the keys back to the agent on December 15th, our contract didn't expire until December 31st. The landlord has new tenants and as it is summer and the rainy season, the garden has grown since then and as he had to make it right for the new tenants he charged us for us. I've sent a strongly worded email, but I'm certain it'll just go unanswered.

No wonder landlords in general have such a bad name, but so should tenants.

In my experience it's the tenants that have caused the damage, the tenants that have lived in sheer utter filth, the tenants that have left their crap behind, the landlord may keep the deposit but they certainly haven't carried out any of the fundamental work required to make the house habitable.

The house we are renting has been repainted throughout, including paint on the windows and the tiles. But the house hadn't been cleaned and was in need of some basic repairs.

We choose to rent an older property because of it's location and individuality, the bathrooms are very dated as is the kitchen and in all honestly if we were purchasing the property we'd just rip them out and install new. I can see past the age and the colour. The kitchen cupboards are pink and the bathrooms are avocado, with white tiles and random patterns.

The rental agent, the landlord and the relocation company keep telling me I can't expect anyone to replace them, I know that, that is not my issue. All I want is for what is in the house to work and to be clean.

It's rather simple actually. I expect a light to work when I flick the switch, yes I've changed the globe, that's not the problem. I expect doors to open and close, after all that is their purpose, the same with the aluminium windows. I don't expect to be able to eat my meal off the kitchen floor, but I do expect it to be cleaner than this.

The relocation company used an agent to help with assisting us with finding a house, it was rented on December 7th 2014. A year's rent was paid in advance, the agent took their cut, then everyone apart from the landlord disappeared over christmas. We battled daily to get someone in to do the work and finally it was all completed last week, although the cleaning was of a poor standard but they'd tackled the grime, we were just left to finish it off.

Yesterday the landlord phoned, he is replacing the kitchen doors, no more Hello kitty Kitchen for me.


  1. You know my story, or stories... I've never been fairly treated by a landlord ever! I've owned and I've rented and everytime I have vacated a rented house it was perfectly clean. I had matched and replaced a cracked tile, filled holes of pictures and repainted in the original and exact shade. You actually could have eaten off the tiles. Yet when it came to refunding a deposit, landlords came up with amazing deductions: In Germany our landlord could find no fault but then charged us a monthly surcharge for the lights in the staircase back-dated from the beginning, including 6 months that we were in SA! We got less than €10 back! The painted, tiled and spotless house lady charged us for a repaint of the whole house because she says one can see the walls we painted! Then she admitted she won't actually paint it right then, but after the new tennants leave, because they will also hang pictures!!!!! But our last landlord took the cake! The day after we moved out the house was burgled and copper taps, pipes and window fittings were ripped out. Guess who's money replaced it? He also redid the kitchen and bathroom floors of his 108 year old house after we moved out after 1 year...with our entire deposit. I remember asking him about the 'bouncy' wooden kitchen floor when we moved in and he said, its an old house, the floor has been like this for years! People know the chances are you won't take steps because it's too tiring/ annoying/impossible and the costs not worth it. All I rest in is the knowledge that the wheel turns and what the sow they will surely reap!

    1. i just couldn't take the piss like that as a landlord

  2. Do they not supply the fridge and stove/oven?

    1. no, nothing is included in the house, not even curtain poles

  3. We always try to leave our rental properties in a better condition than we found them. It's usually not that hard haha.