Slum Lords

What goes into buying a house is so much different than renting. When you buy a house, you have it inspected, appraised.. you thoroughly critique every little thing that’s wrong with it, and most of the time it’s either fixed or taken off the price of the house before you close.
Not so much with a rental house. While there are some things you can let slide because you’re not actually PURCHASING the house (as in size, bedrooms, scratched up floors), you don’t want to be moving into a total crap hole.

This is what we’re dealing with at the moment. As you know, we can’t afford to BUY a home right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rent one. There are plenty of affordable rental homes in the area.. the problem seems to be the rental AGENCIES themselves.

We looked at one house tonight that was listed as a 3 bedroom. I guess.. technically.. they can get away with saying that, but honestly it was really only 2 bedrooms, and a formal dining room they were passing as a 3rd. The thing didn’t even have doors on it, and was attached to the kitchen. It was obviously not meant to be used as a bathroom. The rest of the house was pretty decent. The floors were sort of messed up and it needed to be cleaned, but I could live there and be pretty happy. Like I said, it’s not like we’re BUYING the house (because that’s not a house I would buy), so there are things I would just let go because we wouldn’t be stuck there. Then again, it’s pretty expensive for the size.

Another house we’re looking at is a tad cheaper, in a decent area, and BIGGER. Bigger is nice. We haven’t gone to see the inside yet, we want to.. but there’s one thing stopping us.
Today while getting the phone number, I came across some reviews for the management company renting the house out.
Words like “slum lord” and “shady” were used. People claim that the company never fixes anything in the houses.. they’re infested with bugs, etc etc.
All things that would make you think twice before signing a lease with this management company.
It LOOKS like a pretty nice house, but is that just because the company slapped some fresh paint on to hide all the flaws?

We already live in a rental unit that is incredibly neglected by management. Hell, last night our bath tub leaked through the kitchen ceiling downstairs. So bad that the ceiling is literally soggy. Thomas called the office this morning and they claimed they’d have someone out to look at it ASAP, seeing as it could be potentially dangerous. 4 o’clock rolls around and no one has shown up, he calls again.. she says she’ll talk to maintenance. Does anyone show up? Of course not.
These are the types of rental people I do NOT want to deal with again. To move out of one crap hole into another? Makes me very very nervous.

Then again… I have to think of it this way:
How many times does someone go onto a rental website to write a GOOD review? I would think that people really only write reviews when they’re pissed off about the crap shack they’ve been living in. Maybe it isn’t all of their properties?
If I were to write a review about where I live now, it would be scathing. I’m pretty sure not everyone that lives here would agree with me.

So do we give them the benefit of the doubt? I’m not really sure. We still want to look at the home, but cautiously.
I think Thomas is even planning on printing out all the negative things we find written about them and showing it to the agent who shows us the house and see what he/she says. It will most likely be all denial, but maybe they’ll know we aren’t screwing around and will take them to court if necessary (IF we take the house).

Still, i’m nervous. I don’t want to get burned again. We moved into this place without doing a whole lot of research and ended up getting pooped all over for the past 2 years (even though I loved the property manager who just got fired when the new asshole owner took over).

What would you do? Pass on the house altogether? If you LOVED the house, would you take it and just keep on their asses?

Meh. What do to.

Posted on December 30, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 3 Comments
Holdin' Holden

About Holdin' Holden



  • If it’s better and you like it, I would do it. I would also be ready to fight for the decent living conditions. Make sure you read the rent agreement three times over and whatnot before you sign it. Wishing you the best of luck.

    Sorry I’ve been slacking on the comments lately. I am reading and stuff, promise!! 🙂

  • I would just go see it. You will be able to tell right away the shape that is in but also take someone with you that might be able to spot things you might miss.Also go through there twice. I noticed so much stuff on a house I recently looked at that I did not see the first time.Also never trust a rental agency that you have never heard of.

  • Good advice.

    Sadly me not hearing of a rental agency doesn’t mean much haha. I have only heard of the HUGE ones, and all the houses through the big super well known agencies are too expensive.

    I researched the “slum lords”, they’re all over the net, and the only reviews I could find were negative.. very VERY negative.