Landlords are expected to be hospitable and respectful. They should seek to make the transition and stay in a new apartment or home a pleasant and comfortable one. Over the years there have been several media reports on landlords who do just the opposite. There are landlords who rent at ridiculously high rates and make the lives of tenants miserable. What is surprising is that some of the unsavory things landlords do are quite legal. Here are five of the things landlords do and can actually get away with.
1. No Maintenance of Property
Anyone renting property would expect that it would be well maintained and offer decent living conditions. Renters expect the place to meet certain standards such as being clean with no leaks, no broken windows and doors, no mold, heat during the winter and good plumbing and electricity. Well in the state of Arkansas, landlords are not obligated by law to maintain the property. Tenants can report repairs to be made but landlords don’t necessarily have to make the repairs. The renter has no right to withhold rent payments when the repairs are not made and certain standards are not met.
2. Refrigerators Are An Amenity
In the past, owning a refrigerator was seen as a luxury which only the elite could afford. Today, a refrigerator is seen as necessary in all homes. In the state of California, the importance of a fridge is agreed on; however, landlords view them as amenities and not something the tenants are entitled to. Tenants can have a refrigerator, but only if they purchase it themselves. For the few renters who have a refrigerator included in the conditions of their lease, they should consider themselves fortunate.
3. No Privacy
Renters deserve privacy. Landlords who may want to do their occasional inspections are expected to give the renter between twenty-four to forty-eight hours notice. While this may not be law in some places, it is a common understanding that is respected. However, in North Carolina for instance, landlords are free to enter the property whenever they want without giving renters any prior notice. The landlord can allow plumbers, electricians and other repair guys to enter the property unannounced. This means that they have access to the residents’ home and all their belongings. If anything is stolen or tampered with in the renter’s presence or absence, the renter must have solid proof to take legal action.
4. Payment of “Key Money” or “Reikin”
In Japan, the renter must pay the landlord key money which is a mandatory payment. This money is a non-refundable gift to show gratitude to the landlord for renting out the apartment. Without making this payment, many landlords will not rent the property. The amount to be paid is determined by the landlord and can be in the amount of between one to six months rent. Recently, it has been observed that some landlords in Japan waive the key money.
5. No Cooking
One of the simple pleasures of a home is the ability to make scrumptious meals in the kitchen. Well in some cities such as San Francisco, tenants can rent a bedroom for $1790 with a stipulation that no cooking is allowed. Some listings forbid kitchen use. In many cases the apartments have no kitchens, although a few allow the use of the microwave. The renter therefore has to purchase food daily, which is expensive. In Germany, there are cases where no sinks, countertops or appliances are provided. The space is available but it remains bare.
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