Rental Woes

I’m incredibly irritated after receiving an email from our property manager. He said the landlords “have indicated that the yard isn’t being mowed regularly” and they asked him to remind us that it should be done weekly. I wrote back to tell him that Charlie has actually been mowing twice a week and recently purchased a week wacker that he’s used to get the harder-to-reach areas.

When we signed the lease, we negotiated $100 off per month for doing the yard work. I’ve seen one of the landlords (it’s three siblings who share the income) at least four times, just hanging around out front. The first time, I was outside watering the lawn, nine months pregnant, with Bea “helping” when the woman introduced herself. She brought up the fact that she’s never seen a tenant water the lawn. I laughed and said something like, “Well, we kind of have to.”

In my reply to the property manager, I wanted to point out that during the week of the 24th, I was in the hospital for three days having a baby, so maybe Charlie only had an opportunity to mow once that week as he was taking care of our other child; that we haven’t harped on the fact that we can’t use the linen closet upstairs because the previous tenants’ cats peed all over it and it makes our stuff smell; that we also haven’t said much about the moldy, wet, soft spot on the dining room ceiling resulting from years of an apparent toilet leak; we also haven’t brought up the shitty backyard that’s all patchy and has a seven-foot-tall pile of mulch that no one has touched in almost two months, or that we have been planting and watering grass seed for weeks.

Of course, Charlie is even more irritated than I am because he’s the one who has been doing all the work, so he immediately called the property manager (and got voicemail) to ask if we should contact the landlords every time we mow, or perhaps send them a photo as proof?

It’s a ridiculous, nitpicky thing to harp on and for only $100 a month. I’m sure they had to pay their “landscaper” more than that to do almost nothing around the yard, but my guess is one of them (the woman who’s been driving by) didn’t want to negotiate lower rent, and perhaps the others weren’t that concerned about it. So she’s just going to keep coming by and finding things to bitch about until she can raise our rent.