Yesterday (Wednesday) morning when I woke up I realized the refrigerator light wasn’t on. It wasn’t running either. You know how you get used to the hum of things, like appliances. When they are silent then it is suddenly Very Quiet.
Some things in the freezer had already begun to defrost a bit, they were getting a coat of white frost on the outsides of the packages. This makes me think it must have died during the night early on.
I flipped the breaker box just to be sure it wasn’t something wonky with the electricity, even though I was certain it wasn’t. The refrigerator hasn’t been quite right since we moved here and plugged it in. It leaked water from the top of the refrigerator section, just behind the light. Not just a bit of water either. I tried to catch it in a large tupperware container, but it overflowed daily and filled the drawers several inches deep, coated all the food on the shelves, and flowed out into the floor. The refrigerator alternated freezing the leaking water, requiring me to chisel out my food, and then melting which required towels and soggy leftovers.
The landlords claimed it had leaked water since they purchased it, and they had called the store shortly after delivery to ask about it and the store said that it was normal.
Uh, no. Your refrigerator drawers should not completely fill with water on a daily basis, actually.
So anyway, the beast of a refrigerator finally gave up the ghost and died on me.
I had Tyler call the landlord. The call went like this:
“Hey man this is Tyler Amos, how’s it going?”
“I’m sorry, who?”
“I’m sorry I don’t know you.” awkward silence
“Tyler Amos. I live in your cabin, I’m your tenant.” Another awkward silence.
“So we got up this morning and the refrigerator no longer works. Can’t get it to turn on at all. It’s dead.”
“Ok.” More silence…!?!
Tyler was looking at me silently wondering what else to say.
Finally the landlord said, “Uh well I guess we’d better get somebody to look at it.”
Then he hung up.
Really? I’m not sure what they expect from us as tenants. Honestly. I pay them $700 a month and they apparently take that for granted.
About fifteen minutes later I sat down to nurse Henry and opened the Facebook app on my phone. First post was by the landlady. Let me copy and paste it for your viewing pleasure. (And my records? Haha.)
*Need some advice….. our home that has been on the market for 3 1/2 years (and 2 hours away from us ) currently has renters in it. They called this morning and the refrigerator has died. We have absolutely NOT a dime in the budget for something like this. What is the best way to get this resolved? Do I just drive to a store close to there & buy a fridge? What’s the best (and cheapest) way to buy a fridge in the area? Can I go to Lowe’s here & tell them what we want & the store there deliver to the house?
Oh, the joys of landlording….. anybody wanna buy a house?*
(And no, nobody can buy this house lady. It’s not going to be approved by any mortgage lender or home inspector. Apparently this is an impossibly hard concept?)
That whole post is not awkward or anything. We’re renting out the house we own and I would never, ever post that I cannot afford to buy an appliance for my tenants. Especially not if I was friends with them on Facebook! If they needed a repair we for some reason could not afford at the moment then we would silently put it on a credit card and then pay it off ASAP, never letting the care of our rental house lapse. That’s the professional thing to do, is it not?
There were 66 responses to her post on Facebook. Many of them said to check Craigslist or used places, wouldn’t put a new fridge in a rental house, etc. A good number of the responses said that we should have to buy our own fridge. No freaking way. I am paying rent here, it came with a fridge, and it’s in my lease. I got it out and double checked. The lease states that the owners are responsible for the stove and the refrigerator. There is no dishwasher, and we brought our own washer and dryer. (Yes, I found the missing lease! Thank God!!)
So what exactly is an acceptable time frame for your landlords to repair or replace broken appliances? Our lease doesn’t specify this aspect. It just says they have to provide them. As you may be guessing, I am going on my third day tomorrow without a refrigerator.
The landlady said she found a used appliance store here that will deliver a refrigerator for $250. It will be 5-10 years old, but in good working condition.
Yeah, who else is thinking that’s a huge rip off? The refrigerator we bought at our house back in town lasted for six years before breaking, and I took good care of it. The brand spankin’ new basic model we bought from Lowes last year cost me about $345 including delivery. I fully expect to get another 5-6 years out of it, hopefully more.
Landlady messaged me yesterday saying that the used appliance place had a TEN YEAR OLD GE model picked out that they wanted to deliver for $250. I choked on my snacks. She thinks this is a great deal, buying used. Bahaha.
Landlady said they needed $50 in cash to deliver it, wouldn’t let her pay over the phone or let me write a check. So Tyler rushes to the bank before work (a 45 minute round trip because we live far away from everything) and comes back to give me $50 in cash. Ada was still sick with diarrhea and I couldn’t drive that far with her to go to the bank myself. Landlady says to just take $50 off the rent. Ok, great, whatever. Just want all of my food to not spoil…
We asked the neighbor to come over and help us pry open the stuck front door with a crowbar because the kitchen door is too narrow for the fridge to fit through. The front door has been jammed shut for months, we’d given up trying to get it open. Handy neighbor informed us that it was jammed shut because the door is constructed poorly–it’s a handmade door–using the wrong screws, short ones instead of long ones, making the whole thing very unsteady. Geeze, I am so surprised.
More hours go by and Landlady messages me to say they will deliver it at 7 tonight. Oh, this is good. A 10 year old hunk of junk, but at least it will refrigerate my quickly spoiling groceries, and I am shocked she’s actually doing something promptly!
More hours go by. 5:30 in the evening she messages me to say that Crusty Used Appliance Store called her to let her know the refrigerator wasn’t cooling well when they plugged it in to test it and they would need to look for a different one for her. Well, let’s think positively–at least they found out it wasn’t cooling well before it got to my kitchen, right?
I am suspect as to what exactly the phrase “look for a different one” may entail. Landlady says they will have one to deliver tomorrow. (Thursday)
This morning I hadn’t heard anything from Landlady around 10:30, so I sent her a message asking if she’d found a refrigerator. No, she replied. I haven’t heard anything from the store. Hmmm, perhaps you should call them!
12:30 I received another message. Called the store and they said they are looking for a model that will fit the measurements of the space. They think they might have one to deliver tonight.
Ok, again…WHERE ARE THEY LOOKING? Junkyards?
I am quickly losing hope. Why does this have to be so difficult? This is like some kind of stupid drawn out saga. Is it really not possible to go to a regular store and purchase a refrigerator like a responsible adult and landlord?
We live far away from restaurants. I have three kids, one of which is recovering from five days straight of nasty diarrhea. One of my kids is allergic to everything and can’t eat out at very many places safely. We need to cook at home. I had a refrigerator full of food! (Some of which I was able to save by stuffing my chest freezer to the max.)
This is not how I thought renting would go. I’m thinking I am not a fan of renting. And/or my landlords are idiots.
Tomorrow is Friday. That will be day three. Now I would understand if she’d ordered a fridge from Lowes or Home Depot and we were just waiting for the soonest possible delivery. It would be taken care of, and I can wait patiently for them to get it here. But there is nothing taken care of. I’m waiting for nothing. Know what I mean?
And I can’t just go buy one and take it out of the rent because the tenant laws state that you need to give them 14 days notice in writing via certified mail before doing that. Plus the landlady is apparently in the process of looking for a fridge.
I talked to a realtor friend I trust who also has rental properties. She was appalled at the way our renting experience is going. She said we have grounds to break the lease for sure. So I am on the lookout for another place to rent. At this rate I should start asking my future landlords for references proving they aren’t slumlords or complete idiots. I mean, really…!
I do not want to move. I hate moving, it’s so stressful and kind of expensive. I love the land here, the neighbors, and the idea of the cabin. I just had no idea you could rent somewhere only to find there are a trillion small things wrong and your landlords would just decide they can’t fix them.
Oooh, I left out the best part! A few hours after posting on Facebook that they don’t have a DIME in the budget for their rental house my landlady posted that she was looking for recommendations for places to visit during their vacation to Virginia coming up.
She knows I can see that.
Someone help me before I explode in outright violent fits of anger and frustration.