The Problem with Renting

“Hello, Keith. This is the landlord. You have been calling.” When I heard the landlord’s voice I didn’t know what to expect. He is usually leery of his tenants and often fails to respond; but in point of fact, I had been harping at him for some time about the broker water heater in the apartment. I was not about to let this one slide. When small things happen like a kitchen faucet leak, a cupboard doorknob falls off, or a window won’t close, I don’t notify him and try to fix it myself. I am handy, but a water heater should not be an expense I should bear as a renter. On this subject, I don’t think it is fair to expect an argument. The only thing he can do is procrastinate. A new gas hot water system would not be cheap for the apartment, but it is the road he should travel. You expect one in good working order. He could elect to fix the old one, but I have the impression that this has been done many, many times before. It isn’t likely to stop leaking with one final fix-it effort.

I guess broken water heaters are examples of the problem with renting. It costs hundreds to replace thins and you know the landlord is getting a barrage of requests from various tenants daily. I have been so good about not pestering him that I expect some results this time. I plan to tell him that I will do the legwork and research gas hot water systems on line and compare prices and discounts to try to get him a deal. There is a downside to such an effort on my part. If he puts in a really perfect system, he may decide it makes the apartment more valuable and he will raise the rent. Wouldn’t that just be a slap in the face? Now I have a dilemma and am thinking about ditching my volunteer efforts. It really could go either way. What would you do? Now, I need a new water heater and sitting on my guitar-picking fingers isn’t going to get me anywhere. I think I will take my chances, complain about the problem, and just let the landlord decide what to do.

Update: a month later, I have to report that I have a new gas hot water heating system and I am enjoying the upgrade. I did have to wait a bit, but in the long run, it has been well worth it. I kept the pressure on the landlord enough to get him to take action, even if it was late in coming. The system is a good one, not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but suitable for my apartment size and hot water usage. He came through! I am as surprised as anyone. The good news on top of the new heater is that he has not raised the rent.