looking around for a new place to live.
all in all, as much as my landlords suck, the fact that they're not outright breaking the law really places them in the upper echelons of landlords. the fact that they lie and manipulate and are excitable... small trade off for not having to deal with the hassles of owning property.
still not ready to buy, don't know if i ever will be. it is an INCREDIBLE pain in the ass.
so part of my plan is to rent until the kid goes to college, which is in five short years.
found a really cute place that not just accepts dogs, but welcomes them. much more quiet and private. much bigger. more money, but we'd not have to pay for our extra storage and the utilities would be a fraction, so it's probably about the same as we're paying now.
here's the thing i notice when i do these searches. owners word ads and conversations in a way that makes it out like they're doing us a favor, rather than entering a business relationship. particularly if you have dogs, they act like there's such a huge liability associated with it when there really isn't, and it's basically an excuse to charge more money and give the tenants more shit. ads say shit like "excellent credit required," and "we ALWAYS check references," and "MUST provide AT LEAST THREE references."
meanwhile, talk to anyone who's rented and they will tell you horror stories about squirrel/bat/rat/cockroach/bedbug infestations, coming home to find their landlords in their kitchen, theft of property, theft of security deposits, neglect of property...
i'm not being a wiseass, when i say i want references. prove to me that entering this relationship with you will be to our mutual benefit.
there's some notion out there that tenants are burdensome scumbags.
i've found the opposite to be true.
my current landlord, who NEVER touches the common areas of the property for maintenance, outright lied and told me they hired someone to do it and were shocked that he hadn't been (not knowing that i know the guy they claim to have hired), lied about extermination, installed coin operated laundry machines to squeeze a few unexpected extra bucks out of tenants, refused to remove a satellite dish that was teetering over the edge of the roof threatening to injure my child (or any of the dozen or so people who regularly walk under the eave) till i took pictures and put it in writing, refused to fix a boiler that was non operational all winter....
these are the best landlords i've had. well, second best. the best was an irish guy who sold the building to a scumbag slumlord, the one who evicted me when i was 7.5 mo pg and knew we didn't have the time to assert our rights.
past landlords evicted me illegally, stolen my money, stolen Mr Filth's tools, sued me to pay for repairs they couldn't afford to make, tried to have the township bill me directly for their water/sewer bill for the entire building (scarily succeeded initially), entered my home without cause or notice, call me at 7 am, send me nasty emails...
so, it goes both ways. i'll prove to you that i'm reliable and quiet and trustworthy, if you do the same for me.
how ya think that'll go over?