Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sick baby! And house troubles

Last night we took Charlotte to the ER. She was sick and projectile-vomiting (all over me, and even into my hair), and then she started projectile-vomiting bile. Bile crossed the line from waiting and seeing, and having her checked out. Thankfully she only has a tummy flu.

Well, city building inspector is coming out tomorrow. These are only a few of the problems with this house. Screens are missing, the carpets are so old they should have been replaced (I question the sanity of carpets over 30 years old), there are holes in the wall of one of the bathrooms, the laundry room had no way for the dryer heat to escape (we had a licensed contractor put one in so that we could dry laundry without worrying about mold developing in that room that we'd be responsible for), etc.. These are just things about the house that can be photographed (how do I photograph what's not there, like fire alarms?) instead of problems with the landlord calling a lot, having a humiliating nickname for me that's part of the female body, stopping over frequently without giving notice, and lying to try getting us in trouble with animal control. The landlord's made it very clear that she will not be fixing up anything with this house because she thinks she's done enough.

These windows by the dining area are extremely draft and don't close entirely. They open and close like horizontal blinds. As you can see in the second picture, even "closed," there are wide gaps that prevent any sort of seal, plus one is broken.

This is a window by the front door. The landlady said it's too expensive to replace, so won't.

I can't make myself go near this. This is in one of the bathrooms. Not only is there no floorboard, but the wall's outright rotten away. I don't want to think about what kind of mold and nasty stuff is growing. There are a lot of spiders in this bathroom.

This is beneath the in-wall over. The space between the wall is large enough that our cat is in it in this picture. There were boards propped up to conceal this.

Apparently this type of drawer is so special that no one is capable of making a replacement, or so the landlady says. So one wasn't provided. Underneath it is some metal caging stuff that isn't stapled down except for part of one side. Mice come in through this. We had to bring in a mouser-cat to keep the mice at bay. (Don't want poison or snap traps with our baby around.)

No latches at all on the front door. The only way to keep this door closed is to lock it using a lock that doesn't unlock from the outside. This is dangerous as it risks be getting locked outside with my baby inside. My fiance and I have repeatedly called the landlords to fix this, and then finally were going to have someone else do it, but since it requires a new hole being drilled into the door (that type of latch isn't made anymore), we tried to get permission, and never heard back.

This door automatically locks if you close it all the way. There is no way to close this door without locking. With the front door only locking from the inside using a lock that can't unlock from the outside, it is dangerous for me to go through this door for any reason unless I want to risk being locked outside with my baby locked inside or unless I simply don't lock the front door and let it blow open.

This is the one heating unit. It is outside the back bedroom, and doesn't blow very warm at all. Even if it did, all heat is sucked out the windows in the dining area and from around the ill-fitting front door.

I also found out here that all rooms must either have natural light from a window or a skylight, and neither of the bathrooms do. Both of them have windows that go into the laundry/storage room. That room is an addition, and I'm highly doubting now that the guy who owned this house (the landlord's husband's dad) had any permits for it. It it's without permits, then it'll have to come down, and I'm making the landlords pay for us to move. We will be down a room, our place to do laundry and store stuff.

The landlord has made it clear, time and again, that they won't be putting any more money into this house, claiming they did enough already.


  1. So are you guys planning to move? I know if a renter here called the county and they inspected and found things wrong like that they would not allow it to be rented until everything was fixed. The renter would have a 3 day vacate order and that would be that.

  2. As soon as we can. I're tired of dealing with the landlords here. Some of the things above, such as the doors not latching, aren't considered to be violations of anything (apparently a door only has to have a deadbolt that locks at least from the inside), and those windows are legal because they were up to code back in 1959, and the hole under the oven is legal. The holes in the walls in the front bathroom as considered to be normal wear and tear, even though our fingers can fit into them, and that heater, though it doesn't work well, is just fine because at least it turns on. (Soon after we moved in, it was so cold in this place that ice cream left on the counter stayed frozen, and I had to thaw a roast in the oven because nothing thaws when it's literally freezing). But the broken glass isn't legal, and the rot at the bottom of that wall is not legal only because it's an outside wall. I also found out that the junk in the yard that the landlord left isn't legal, we are to have parking in the garage, and it turns out that either the covered porch or the laundry room is an illegal addition, possibly both. All the compliance department has found so far is an incomplete permit application in 1968, but so far no evidence a permit was actually granted. If this is the case, whatever isn't permitted has to come down, meaning we may be without a laundry room.

    Normally a landlord has 30 days to fix violations. With what's definitely wrong here, the landlord will have 60 days. The house isn't condemned, so we can continue to live here. However we may have grounds to terminate the lease and get our deposit back immediately, as well as sue for additional damages for all three of us. Since it's a given that we're going to end up in court no matter what (the landlord has told us that brand new carpet will be coming out of our deposit, and fuck that, this shit is over 30 years old, if not older, and was in terrible shape when we moved in, and she wants us to landscape, which we won't do, and she's hinted at charging us for that too), we may as well cut to the chase, take her to court now, and get the hell out of here sooner rather than later.

    We've got to find the lease and send a copy of it with one of Cody's paystubs to legal aid to get an appointment. We're right on the brink. If we qualify, free legal help. If we don't, then we'll be charged $250 an hour no middle ground. Regardless, since it's going to end in court at some point with us having to sue, we're going to do it, even if on our own.


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