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Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
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Roosh Offline
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Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
So I'm been having a problem with my mountain home, and would like to get your feedback.

I signed a lease on February 1, 2020 with a property management company for a two-bedroom house. My rent is $995 per month. Upon moving in, I noticed an extremely pungent animal urine odor that filled the entire house. This odor was masked with an ozone deodorizer machine when I originally inspected the house before signing the lease (I did notice a chemical smell during the inspection that the agent said would be gone when I moved in).

I notified the property management company and they sent a carpet steam cleaner on February 4. This did not resolve the issue.

Two flooring contractors came to give an estimate, but as of today (March 19), no additional work has been done. The company keeps making delays and saying they are "waiting" for the owner. I suspect he does not want to replace the carpet or repair the subflooring damage because the repair cost is too high. The only way I've been able to tolerate living in the house is to cover 60% of it by area with multiple layers of plastic tarps, but the odor still seeps through. I don't use the living room, spare bedroom, or spare room. I'm confined to one bedroom and the kitchen (where I live stream).

I like the house and want to stay here but not in this condition. I don't want to make any more payments, and April 1 is coming up. What should I do? I have begun talking to attorneys.

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03-19-2020 03:59 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
(03-19-2020 03:59 PM)Roosh Wrote:  So I'm been having a problem with my mountain home, and would like to get your feedback.

I signed a lease on February 1, 2020 with a property management company for a two-bedroom house. My rent is $995 per month. Upon moving in, I noticed an extremely pungent animal urine odor that filled the entire house. This odor was masked with an ozone deodorizer machine when I originally inspected the house before signing the lease (I did notice a chemical smell during the inspection that the agent said would be gone when I moved in).

I notified the property management company and they sent a carpet steam cleaner on February 4. This did not resolve the issue.

Two flooring contractors came to give an estimate, but as of today (March 19), no additional work has been done. The company keeps making delays and saying they are "waiting" for the owner. I suspect he does not want to replace the carpet or repair the subflooring damage because the repair cost is too high. The only way I've been able to tolerate living in the house is to cover 60% of it by area with multiple layers of plastic tarps, but the odor still seeps through. I don't use the living room, spare bedroom, or spare room. I'm confined to one bedroom and the kitchen (where I live stream).

I like the house and want to stay here but not in this condition. I don't want to make any more payments, and April 1 is coming up. What should I do? I have begun talking to attorneys.

Is it spring thaw yet?

When the lower peat starts to thaw in the spring it can have a pretty pronounced 'methane like' smell.
03-19-2020 04:12 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
What are your lawyers telling you? It seems that the service that you're receiving (lodging) was grossly misrepresented in terms of the condition of your dwelling. There was a similar situation in California in an apartment complex last year where the owners were forced to pay $1000 to relocate tenants and refund their security deposits:

https://www.ksby.com/search?q=grandview

I would suspend paying the landlord until further notice.

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03-19-2020 04:12 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
(03-19-2020 04:12 PM)John Michael Kane Wrote:  What are your lawyers telling you? It seems that the service that you're receiving (lodging) was grossly misrepresented in terms of the condition of your dwelling. There was a similar situation in California in an apartment complex last year where the owners were forced to pay $1000 to relocate tenants and refund their security deposits:

https://www.ksby.com/search?q=grandview

I would suspend paying the landlord until further notice.

I hope you understand I don't want to share publicly what the lawyers are saying (but it does involve paying them money!). Smile

I am familiar with the withholding rent option, but then they would try to evict me and I would have to appeal. Then I would be at the mercy of the judge, correct?

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03-19-2020 04:22 PM
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Enoch Offline
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
Given the economic circumstances I don't see him evicting you.

No one wants to lose a customer right now, even one who needs attention.

Your attorney should also file a notice of intent not to pay rent.
(This post was last modified: 03-19-2020 04:25 PM by Enoch.)
03-19-2020 04:22 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
Look at your local tenant landlord laws. Do not withhold the rent, you can legally be evicted for that even if you withheld it for cause. I've witnessed judges eviscerating tenants for doing this. Typically the rent will have to be placed in an escrow account after local laws and protocols are followed. A local attorney or property manager (not yours, try calling another one to see if they will give you any information) should know how to proceed without you paying your rent directly to the landlord. Also a lot of times in these situations the landlord will simply let you out of the lease if they know you are playing hardball.
03-19-2020 04:24 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
I'm no attorney, but I'm quite sure you can break a lease for conditions like that.

Maybe removing the carpet and letting those rooms air out would help.

If you remove the carpet, get a new pack of utility knife blades and cut the carpet into 3'-4' strips, roll it up and place it far from the house. Run a fan and leave windows open whenever it aint raining. Maybe follow up with some type of enzyme type deodorizer.

It sucks to do any work like that to a home that you rent. Especially, when your landlord sucks. But if you want to stay in the house, it may be unavoidable. Tell them, before doing any work, that you want $300-400 of next months payment for tearing up the carpet.

Sorry to hear that. Some landlords suck.
03-19-2020 04:24 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
I think you have a legitimate grievance. As a landlord myself, sometimes your mind is elsewhere, and if you are not there you might not think its a big deal. It could be "oh tenant is saying there is a smell", but the Landlord might just perceive a new whiny tenant and not want to be immediately shelling out on maintenance. I think its especially so for an owner using a Property Management company. He probably paid that company at least 1 month just to find you (standard finders fee in Canada), and probably more as they are actively managing the house and your arrangement. So he might not have seen a dollar yet on his bottom line.

With recent news everyones' mind is elsewhere.

I would consider
- Holding out on the rent until it is resolved or you see steps taken is a good step to get the owners attention.
- Pay 1/2 rent and say you can not pay full price for any month for this place until this condition is met.
- I know you are happy, but you might be able to find another deal. Consider walking too.
- If you are able to get emails from the Property Management Company or anything in text in writing confirming the smell, that will be a big help.

Either way, I would put the pinch on them, and they will likely spring to action especially given the climate.I had a tenant try to tell me he didn't have to pay because of Corona yesterday. I ended up getting 1/2 off him now for the next 15 days (he pays mid month as per lease).

Also just informing them of your consideration of leaving is actually more polite and respectful, they will spring to action. Landlords want tenants in there, not the hustle.

For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Rom 1:22
(This post was last modified: 03-19-2020 04:30 PM by NoMoreTO.)
03-19-2020 04:29 PM
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Kona Offline
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
(03-19-2020 03:59 PM)Roosh Wrote:  This odor was masked with an ozone deodorizer machine

You use those machines to cover up mold smells, you know.

Get one of those test kits.

You've been saying you've been sick. Maybe you got mold in the plywood?

And fyi, everybody that I've ever rented to that withheld money over repair issues I've wound up evicting.

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03-19-2020 04:32 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
I had a pungent smell in my place as well(wet sheetrock beyond the tub vicinity).
Landlord inspected and was adamant the smell(moldy as it was smelling) was of my own fault.

I kept pressing her for a mold inspection, was eventually granted one and although no mold was found they did ascertain the sheetrock was very wet and needed replacing before mold did set in.
Turns out the iron tub was leaking water somehow and was reaching a separate wall and creeping up.
Result: Landlord had to replace as another party was on record saying replacement was needed. Can't neglect tenants and their living conditions as per a court.
Result of the result: Learning that somehow playing hardball and forcing a landlords' hand is necessary sometimes. I lucked out and everything has been smooth sailing for months now. Other landlords might not be so kind.
My goal, knowing my landlord, was to have questions ready to ask when I knew he would have a handy retort to put off going to the extreme of practically remodeling the bathroom. Exhaust their answers and the only choice left is to do what I had done. Inspection from a company that will have it on record in the event you need their paperwork to go to court, if it ever got that far.

I doubt it. Remember that your lower level, millenial leftist isn't good at critical thinking. They're largely like trained dogs who emote in response to programmed cues like the word "racism" and "socialism". Easy_C

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03-19-2020 04:40 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
Did the contractor have any guesses as to cause of the odor?

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03-19-2020 04:41 PM
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Roosh Offline
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
(03-19-2020 04:41 PM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  Did the contractor have any guesses as to cause of the odor?

Damage to the subfloor caused by pets of the previous tenant.

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03-19-2020 04:44 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
I can sub-lease the place, If the smell is the only problem. I'm looking to relocate soon.

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03-19-2020 04:52 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
Ouch - so basically a crazy cat lady with 10 cats or dogs lived there and had them all urinating on the floor for a long time.

I have no knowledge of US property laws so others will advise you there, but I think it's a very important fact that the landlord/property management company not only knew about the odor, but also about its underlying cause (it would be impossible for them to miss such details about their previous tenant). That means that it's one thing to mask an unpleasant smell that just happened when the customer arrived for inspection, and another to mask it while knowing that it will inevitably return.

Unless they want to keep having the same issue with every single customer in the future and potentially losing rent or even getting sued over it, surely it's in their self-interest to invest in repairs because they will eventually have to anyway. Perhaps that angle is worth exploring when talking to them.

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03-19-2020 04:54 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
By the way, what is happening to you, is kinda related to something I wrote on the coronavirus thread today, about (native, and unfriendly) mountain people.

We French people know this very well, as most (middle or upper class) French people rent a house once or twice a year in the mountains (for skiing, in general). And almost always there are problems with the native-mountaineer owners.

Because, generally speaking, these people, native of the mountains, will have zero qualm when they rent bad homes to newcomers. They have zero kindness to holiday goers or newcomers. They are tough and usually come from families who suffered from hunger during one century (before mass tourism brought them wealth). So, expect no mercy from native-mountaineers (and little mercy from islanders), when entering a business deal with them.

I'm not posting again my Noah Arch picture (though I like a lot this movie), but, especially as you wrote a couple of days ago about hearing a voice telling you "there's urgency, move to the mountain", one might think that your calling is, maybe, buying a not-expensive piece of land, and building a wooden house on it (a symbolic arch?).

This way you don't lose 1000 usd per month in rent, and you'd have your own place (though not huge), built with your hands. It's doable, I saw men (even kinda old men, like Eustace) doing it on the series "Alone in Alaska". And that would make you, in the eyes of (tough and a bit unforgiving, but not totally bad) native mountaineers, one of them.
(This post was last modified: 03-19-2020 05:19 PM by Going strong.)
03-19-2020 04:57 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
It's karma. You are smelling your ego and the damage you have done to others.
03-19-2020 05:08 PM
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Nineteen84 Offline
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
(03-19-2020 03:59 PM)Roosh Wrote:  The only way I've been able to tolerate living in the house is to cover 60% of it by area with multiple layers of plastic tarps, but the odor still seeps through. I don't use the living room, spare bedroom, or spare room. I'm confined to one bedroom and the kitchen (where I live stream).

Depends on the odour but in my student days I bought a few bags of cat litter to get rid of a smell from a place I was renting. Took a couple of days but it worked.
03-19-2020 05:10 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
(03-19-2020 04:22 PM)Roosh Wrote:  
(03-19-2020 04:12 PM)John Michael Kane Wrote:  What are your lawyers telling you? It seems that the service that you're receiving (lodging) was grossly misrepresented in terms of the condition of your dwelling. There was a similar situation in California in an apartment complex last year where the owners were forced to pay $1000 to relocate tenants and refund their security deposits:

https://www.ksby.com/search?q=grandview

I would suspend paying the landlord until further notice.

I hope you understand I don't want to share publicly what the lawyers are saying (but it does involve paying them money!). Smile

I am familiar with the withholding rent option, but then they would try to evict me and I would have to appeal. Then I would be at the mercy of the judge, correct?

California laws are going to be drastically different than West Virginia laws.

Do not admit to covering the carpets with plastic after they were cleaned. They'll try to say you damaged them by not letting them dry thoroughly.

Having an eviction on your record will make it exceedingly difficult to rent in the future.
03-19-2020 05:53 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
Put on some old clothes, get under the house if possible, see if there is any obvious damage to the flooring. See if the flooring is a hard wood or some junk plywood.

If it's a hard wood it will be easy to clean once the carpet is off. If it's something that is porous and has soaked up the cat essence then it will be hard to deal with and stink forever unless the floor is ripped out.

That would be my first step.

If it was a hard wood or concrete floor, I would probably come to an arrangement with the landlord to help / pay off / do some work to get new carpet. I would offer to rip it out myself and dump it on the lawn for him to arrange removal.

Recarpeting is not that expensive if you want basic carpet. Its all pre-cut in the factory and the contractors turn up and basically staple it down in a few hours.
03-19-2020 06:09 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
(Also seeing if I can post in the new forum)..

How old is the place ?

I'd be willing to bet that the animal urine has seeped all the way through to the moisture barrier.

Depending on the age of the place, the older moisture barriers were sort of a wax and paper blend (think a grocery store paper bag material with parchment paper stuck to it).

It may be possible (with an oscillating tool) to cut the flooring down to the parchment paper, pull the parchment paper, and replace it with new(er) stuff.

Without seeing it firsthand it's hard to say for sure, but that's what I get from reading your post.

And depending on how handy you are, this could be an opportunity to barter the work in lieu of rent.

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03-19-2020 06:15 PM
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Post: #21
RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
1. Ask for a construction budget from several companies. You´ve already asked some. If someone can referral one to you better.
2. Hire the one with middle price. Add 30% to that price. And more 3-6 months delay.
3. Tell the owner you can advance the price and deduct it from future rents (if this is feasible for you). Or 50/50 you advance 50% to deduct in future rents and the owner pays upfront 50%.
4. The owner accepts the terms.

If you can do this. And he doesn´t accept the terms. Start collecting evidence (pics, witnesses, ,experts) and sue his ass with a real estate lawyer.

The property management company might have someone who do constructions for them and they get a kickback. So ask them if they can referral a construction/rehabilitation company. They might not do a good work though.

Don´t put lawyers (beware of lawyers. They make money from conflicts) contacting the management company yet. It´s too agressive. Try talking personally with management company. Not through emails or phone calls. If you can bypass the management company and go directly to the owner do it.

When dealing with the contractor and landlord acceptance. Put everything in written. Always written. Try to find a company which already did the work. Every contractor will go there and tell you a different story. Pay minimum possible in the beginning of work. You should probably add a rent for you as compensation for the time and headaches.

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(This post was last modified: 03-19-2020 06:52 PM by Troller.)
03-19-2020 06:28 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
Hydrogen peroxide. The stuff that they use to clean clean rooms in semiconductor Fabs.

If you just enjoy your current house, and you do not want to go through the whole process of getting the landlord to fix the issue for you, just hire a professional to clean up the flooring with Hydrogen peroxide, or look up guides online and do it yourself. If that will not work, then the only thing you can do is burn the house and scatter off to another state.

If the owner lets you live in these conditions, he is probably on the verge of bankruptcy, and the house is uninsured.
03-19-2020 06:36 PM
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RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
03-19-2020 06:52 PM
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Post: #24
RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
I work as a property manager and do evictions a few times a year. At only $995 a month for a two bedroom cabin, I assure you that the landlord will allow you to leave. After collecting that small amount of rent, paying property tax, insurance, and replacing a whole floor, it's not even worth it to own that cabin, it's pocket change. Plus property mangers run 10% usually, and people only hire them because they either don't live in the locations or they want tenants to leave them the hell alone.

If you go to court, you're going to be at the mercy of the judge. And I am sure your lease stipulates that the losing party is to pay all court cost. I usually take the side of the landlord because I hear 5,000 excuses every day from tenants, I smell a pet, I have mold, I want my paint tested, I need a support animal because I am sad, I can hear my neighbor, my window are only single pane and I care about the environment, etc.. It never stops.

The best bet for all parties is for you to keep raising hell until your landlord gets tired of it and offers you your security deposit back minus cleaning fees and allows you to leave. Wasting money on lawyers is not necessary unless he won't allow you to void your lease. Which I doubt. He's going to show the judge papers that he cleaned the carpet which goes toward what the courts call warranty of habitability.

I recommend you look around gatlinburg/pigeon forge,sevierville, wears valley. The cabins are newer, just slightly more expensive, but you may be able to make a small living around town as a handy man for property rentals.
(This post was last modified: 03-19-2020 10:08 PM by LINUX.)
03-19-2020 10:07 PM
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Post: #25
RE: Looks like I have to move off the mountain (landlord trouble)
(03-19-2020 10:07 PM)LINUX Wrote:  I work as a property manager and do evictions a few times a year. At only $995 a month for a two bedroom cabin, I assure you that the landlord will allow you to leave. After collecting that small amount of rent, paying property tax, insurance, and replacing a whole floor, it's not even worth it to own that cabin, it's pocket change. Plus property mangers run 10% usually, and people only hire them because they either don't live in the locations or they want tenants to leave them the hell alone.

If you go to court, you're going to be at the mercy of the judge. And I am sure your lease stipulates that the losing party is to pay all court cost. I usually take the side of the landlord because I hear 5,000 excuses every day from tenants, I smell a pet, I have mold, I want my paint tested, I need a support animal because I am sad, I can hear my neighbor, my window are only single pane and I care about the environment, etc.. It never stops.

The best bet for all parties is for you to keep raising hell until your landlord gets tired of it and offers you your security deposit back minus cleaning fees and allows you to leave. Wasting money on lawyers is not necessary unless he won't allow you to void your lease. Which I doubt. He's going to show the judge papers that he cleaned the carpet which goes toward what the courts call warranty of habitability.

I recommend you look around gatlinburg/pigeon forge,sevierville, wears valley. The cabins are newer, just slightly more expensive, but you may be able to make a small living around town as a handy man for property rentals.

In the case they won't void my lease, and I just decide to leave, I'm guessing they would keep my security deposit and ding my credit report. Based on this situation, do you think they would legally pursue me for the remaining 9 months rent?

Roosh
http://www.rooshv.com
03-19-2020 10:16 PM
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