Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

Tenants seek safeguards against unfair landlords

KU students urge Legislature to prohibit renewal clauses in leases, exorbitant cleaning fees

February 9, 2006


— Tenants led by Kansas University student leaders on Wednesday urged the Legislature to enact safeguards against unfair landlords who assess exorbitant cleaning fees and other charges.

Josh Bender, legislative director for KU Student Senate, provided lawmakers with a copy of a rental agreement that included a long list of move-out cleaning costs.

Bender said the landlord could have picked up a soda can from the patio and charged $45.

"These are arbitrary numbers that have no relevance to actual cost," he said. "That is outrageous."

But landlords said students needed to grow up.

"Universities are teaching young kids how to survive in the real world and part of that is don't sign anything before you read it," said Ed Jaskinia, head of the Associated Landlords of Kansas.

KU junior Mike Moeller plays a video game on a portable PlayStation in his Lawrence apartment. Moeller, who had a bad experience with a past landlord. Other KU student tenants are urging the Legislature to enact safeguards against unfair landlords who assess exorbitant cleaning fees and other charges.

KU junior Mike Moeller plays a video game on a portable PlayStation in his Lawrence apartment. Moeller, who had a bad experience with a past landlord. Other KU student tenants are urging the Legislature to enact safeguards against unfair landlords who assess exorbitant cleaning fees and other charges.

The Senate Judiciary Committee took no action on Bender's proposed amendments to the Kansas Residential Landlord Tenant Act, which are contained in Senate Bill 380, but Chairman John Vratil, R-Leawood, said the panel would probably work on the bill later this session.

"It depends on how much time we have and the interest from committee members," Vratil said. "I'd kind of like to show the students that the legislative process works."

Jaskinia said the list of potential move-out charges provided by landlords is given as a courtesy to tenants to let them know how much it will cost to clean up and repair a vacated rental property.

Bender also complained that some lease agreements contain automatic renewal clauses, in which a tenant must inform the landlord by a certain date that he or she is moving out, or the tenant is automatically signed to another one-year lease.

Bender said he would like to see the law require that the date of notification occur no earlier than 90 days before the end of the lease.

Jaskinia said the Legislature shouldn't dictate to landlords when they can enact a renewal clause.

In Lawrence, for example, he said many rental properties are vacant three months of the year, and then at the start of school at KU there is a tremendous demand. Landlords need to be informed early on whether the tenant plans to stay another year.

"This is strictly a college town problem," he said.

Jaskinia said his advice to college students was "don't rent from people you don't want to rent from."

But Bender said students are under pressure to find a place to live in limited housing markets, and they often can't understand the legal jargon of leases.

Bender also would like the law to require the tenant and landlord to walk through the rental unit a week or two before the end of the lease to determine any damage caused by the resident. But landlords and property managers opposed that, saying that damage could go unnoticed by being covered by the resident's furniture.


theifoncross 12 years, 4 months ago

Money talks! Who has got more? students getting raped on party fines and litter; or wealthy landowners ?

As my legal advisor sez: that is why you got ur left hand: ( I am right handed) to sign contracts!

Is it true all u have to do is cross out parts of contracts you do not agree to? maybe put your initals???

If the theif on the cross could be saved without being baptized, why cannot people today do the same?


Noemon 12 years, 4 months ago

There are certainly predatory landlords in Lawrence. A few years back I had the misfortune of testing the Waters with one particular such landlord (well, a property management company, actually, but it's a relatively small time company headed up and named after its owner), and by George that's someone I'd avoid like the plague. I completely reject the idea that it's okay to screw over people and excuse it as a "learning experience", as Ed Jaskinia does in the above article.

The list of poetntial move out charges, I think, is more of an opportunity to scare tenants into doing a thorough job of cleaning their units before vacating them. For many this is an unnecessary and insulting tack to take, but there are enough problem tenants that I can understand why landlords would be tempted to do so.

The landlords aren't the only ones that aren't being completely honest in this, based on the article. Bender claims that Lawrence offers a "limited housing market". This is true only in the sense that there are a fininte number of rental units in the city. In no practical way is the market limited; new apartment complexes are being thrown up constantly in Lawrence, and if anything there is a glut of rental space in Lawrence at the moment.

The idea of a pre-moveout walkthrough isn't a bad one, as it could help tenants to understand what things were going to need to be cleaned or fixed in order to reclaim their full deposit, but because of the ease with which tenants would be able to conceal problems it would have to be a preliminary walkthrough, to be followed by a final one after the tenant's moveout date.

doc1 12 years, 4 months ago

I remember a few years back I was a new tenant at Tuckaway. I moved into the new building and I was the first tenant in that apartment. That place was spotless when I moved out and it was spotless when I moved out. I rented a carpet cleaning machine and cleaned the carpet before I moved out. It didn't even need it, but I am a clean freak so i did it anyway. That carpet was spotless. I mean really clean. After I moved out part of my bill was carpet cleaning. The person who checked the apartment said the carpet needed cleaning. It wasn't even close. Scratch that, it didn't need cleaned. I got screwed by tuckaway, not to mention the $50.00 they charged me to clean out the microwave, which I did forget. Places like that need to be checked on. Not everyone destroys property.

sweetpeagj 12 years, 4 months ago

I understand that some tenants, young or old, who are living in filth and leave it when they go. Not every renter is like that though. When you have left the residence and have already done the walkthrough and have the report but are waiting for the deposit..they mail that too you, then you get a letter with a much smaller deposit than what was stated. We did a walkthrough after all my belongings were out, turned on every light, the whole nine. I had a signed walkthrough and still ended up with all these bogus charges. It didn't matter that I had the final one with the realtor's signature they still stole over half my deposit on lightbulbs and a bathroom carpet. Even though they were called monthly on the backflow from the end duplex. We got charged for a problem that they knew about right from the start. 1010 e 27th street. I wasn't even the last unit. I wonder how much they got screwed on leaving. How do I have to pay for bathrom carpet when the water problem was under the houses and I have no control over it. The toilet in my residence didn't overflow so what can you say to defend that? The walkthrough showed all bulbs working on exit from residence. There are some very shady landlords out there. There may be a lot of houses or apartments but how many of them are so expensive that families have a hard time with the rent and regular bills.

theifoncross 12 years, 4 months ago

thanks ljreader for the tip: When i have a hundred bags of trash go ahead and save myself the cash and don't bother bagging it up, just leave it in piles. better than having somebody thinking i am a total wastoid by not hauling it out to the curb. WHY TRY? and if the landlord expects me to be a pig then i might as well, that way they won't have to invent issues to keep my deposit.

I love self full filling prophetceys. why? b/c they fullfill them selves.

MUCH Love to anybody willing to make money off renting their property out. even the ladys in RED

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

That'd be great advice, ljreader, if landlords had a reasonable standard for 'clean'.

I left my last apartment nicer than I found it. A friend helping me move out was down on hands and knees scrubbing out the cracks in the bathroom linoleum, and I spent two or three hours cleaning the kitchen to make sure I got all the cracks, cleaned the oven overnight with oven cleaner, and so on. They billed me $75 for 'cleaning' (on top of the $100 for 'carpet cleaning'). I asked what needed to be cleaned, and the manager said, "We clean all the apartments after the tenants move out. They just need cleaning." She couldn't tell me what wasn't clean enough to merit $75.

They charged me $15 to replace the dishes under the stove burners. I understand that they get gunked up; that's why I went out the morning I moved out and bought brand new ones and put them in. She insisted that they were 'irretrievably stained' and had to be replaced, though they were taken out of a package and put onto a clean stove ten minutes before I walked out of the place for the last time.

Every light bulb in my apartment worked when I moved out, and I left all the lights off. I was charged for no less than five bulbs.

As I'd lived there for several years, it was understandable that they might need to repaint. I was tagged for over 150 bucks for a painting fee, but when I called pretending to be a prospective tenant, I was told, "Oh, we paint every unit between tenants. It's our standard practice." If it's standard practice, why charge $150 for it? In the list given to me, the only cost for painting was listed as "Painting beyond reasonable use based on years of residence." I think four years of reasonable use requires repainting, frankly. I hadn't drawn on the walls or poured coffee down them or anything.

Finally, my complex required me to keep the power in my name until the lease ended (about 3 1/2 weeks). Fair enough. I turned off all the lights, set the AC to 75 or 80. I got a $120 power bill, more than I'd ever had for any two months since I'd lived there. According to my downstairs neighbor, while they were cleaning and painting, they turned the AC on full blast and opened the windows (in July) - and left it that way for over a week. They turned on every light in the house (perhaps explaining all the burned-out bulbs...) and left them on for two weeks until a new tenant moved in.

I got cheated out of a couple hundred bucks because of their 'standard' cleaning practices; no amount of cleaning I could have done would have kept them from charging the 75 bucks, and nothing would have kept them from charging the painting fee. I signed a lease and a list of charges that all said that only those things 'beyond reasonable and customary use' would be charged. Perhaps I should have known that 'reasonable and customary use' didn't actually include living in the apartment for four years instead of using it as a furniture showroom.

hockmano 12 years, 4 months ago

I too have cleaned apartments left a mess by college students but there should be a standard rate for cleaning fees. I have also dealt with slumlords who don't want to make necessary repairs but still want to get paid. I think it takes a a little diplomacy on both ends to make a rental agreement a pleasant one.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

You know what is an absurd amount? $15 for new drip pans. Standard amount my arse...ridiculous.

One thing to watch out for...I knew someone who moved out of their apartment owned by a private couple. The landlords accused them of painting the walls white when they used to be cream. Now, I know that they didn't paint the walls, but they had to take the landlords to court. And they had to prove that they didn't paint the walls. It is incredibly difficult to prove that you didn't do something and they lost and didn't get any of their deposit back. So, advice for anyone moving into a place, make sure you write down what color the walls are on your check-in sheet.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 4 months ago

Everyone I know figures when you move in you might as well kiss that deposit're never going to get it back, regardless of how clean the place was when you moved out.

My landlord can definitely pay for repairs...ha. I rent an apartment in a two unit house, so it's not a huge place. My landlord lives out of town, hardly ever shows up, which sometimes is a blessing, but most times is just a hassle.

There are building codes that rental properties are supposed to abide by, but a lot don't. Every time I use my microwave in the summer, I have to make sure I turn off the AC first...otherwise it throws a breaker. Not safe, you say? Try getting the landlord here to rewire the whole house, which is what it really needs. And even if he did, I'd end up paying for the expense, probably. In reality, he shouldn't have been allowed to rent to me if the property wasn't up to code. But they do it all the time.

My toilet was leaking, and I called and let the landlord know right away. He never showed up. I had to call a plumber myself. That cost was out of my own pocket. I was never reimbursed, and my rent wasn't lowered, either.

When one AC unit went out, I notified him...and waited two months for him to replace it, two hot, miserable months. When the faulty AC unit he finally put in went out the very next summer, I said screw it...I went out and bought a new one myself, rather than wait for him to do it. If I move out, will I get credit for that AC? Not bloody likely...

After the last hail storm, his insurance company paid to have the house roofed. He hired some fly-by-night people who took almost two months to get the job done, and in the process took time to peek in the downstairs neighbors windows and watch her dressing in the mornings. I think he hired the same people when he decided to paint the outside of the house a couple summers ago. They kept constantly asking for water, which raised my water bill considerably one month. Didn't take them as long to do it as the roofers, but they did a half-a$$ed job. Only one coat of paint, and they even forgot a few spots. I guess my water bill could have been even higher if they'd done a good job.

When the landlord does decide to do something, I get no prior notification at all. I woke one day last spring to find the garage in the back yard coming down. Good thing it was in bad enough shape that my car wasn't in there. No notification. Why did he tear it down? Because it was in bad enough shape that the city had told him either he had to tear it down, or they would do it and charge him for it. It had started out with small things that could have been repaired, but he never bothered. Now I have no place for storage, which I was promised when I moved in. He said he'd get a storage shed and put it in the same spot. I'm still waiting.

I'm sure there are lots of honest landlords out there who don't try to screw their tenants over...I just have never had the pleasure of meeting one...

OKjayhawk 12 years, 4 months ago

I had the worst landlord in Lawrence (i'm now in Oklahoma). She was this biggest liar and snoop. The woman had no compassion for anyone. When we moved out, we took photo's of the apartment. She sent us a bill listing holes in the wall, but when we looked at our pictures, there were no holes. She also tried to come into our apartment without calling or knocking (we were inside asleep and she started to open the door). She also gave us crap about being late on our rent after we had our baby. Understandable about late fees and such (which isn't true because banks give you a grace period), but if our baby hadn't almost died from heart complications, then we probably would have been there to pay the rent. We were in KCMO at the Ronald McDonald House waiting to see if our daughter would live or not.

The month we were to move out, she put a "for rent" sign outside. We had a few people come in to look around and we told them NOT to rent from her. If you're wondering who she is, I have no problem telling you!

theifoncross 12 years, 4 months ago

they called me a cry baby, a bad spellar. Illiterate (even though i recycled ) a gloomdoom with emotional "issues" ! i can not tell if u are serious or not ljreader are you trying to be a farce of what u think the typical ljreader thinks. I had no idea people were this far out there.
Even if i posted my many negative experiences with owners in this town i think some people would have there heads so far up there rectums that no matter how outlandish some land lords can be about "beyond normal wear and tear" issues that they would still blame the tenant.
I think i have had an unique perspective, having been over paid to do things like replace perfectly good microwaves, Or install toilet floats, flaps, carpet: all at the expence of tenants. I was told the inside on how it works. Charge the tenants just enuff that they won't beable to fight it with out a lawer, and even if they do landlords get ambulance chasing lawers to cover all there needs for a simple monthly prepaid service. And if 1 in a hundred students happens to have a father or family member as an attorney then let it go 99 other Rubes all just doubled your profit margin.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

ottr, if they'd said to me, "No matter what, we're going to charge you $75 bucks for cleaning," I would have been fine with them doing that. I was told, "As long as the apartment is clean and in reasonably good condition, you should get all your deposit back. We only charge for stuff if it's outside normal use." I got less than half back.

A deposit isn't to ensure that the landlord doesn't have to cover the maintenance of the apartment. It's to ensure that the tenant cares for the apartment. Regular painting is part of the maintenance of the apartment, and if they're going to habitually take out of the deposit to cover the regular maintenance, then it's not a 'deposit' if there's no chance of getting the whole thing back, it's a 'maintenance fee'.

If there is NO action a tenant could have taken (like having the carpet cleaned himself) to avoid being charged, that's not a deposit. It's a cleaning fee. The downstairs neighbor paid someone to come in and do a professional apartment cleaning. They were still charged $75 for 'cleaning', though the manager again couldn't say what wasn't clean. They had the carpets cleaned by the same company that does it for the complex (they had a coupon so it was only 40 bucks). They had to fight with the complex to keep from being charged for the same person to come in, three days later, and clean the same apartment for a $100 fee.

On the painting: they were painting for less than a day. Running the AC with the windows open does zilch for the humidity. If it was about humidity, they could give it a day of windows open, then closed the windows and left the AC on. But there is no paint on God's green earth that requires a full week of open-windows drying with a full-blast AC. It was sheer laziness they didn't care about because I was footing the bill. The bill covered from about three days after I left to about three weeks later, and more than doubled any bill I'd ever paid for power. Think about that. It's insane.

And had I switched off the power when I moved out, it would have reverted to their name without losing power, but I still would have had to pay the entire bill, as well as a fifty-dollar fee for 'breaking the lease' agreement to maintain power in the apartment.

I understand that some people trash apartments. But there's no reason to fiscally rape someone who didn't trash an apartment. On an apartment where I paid my rent on time for four years, called in maintenance requests promptly, kept in good condition, followed the terms of the lease, and left spotless, I lost over $450 (120 power bill + 150 painting + 100 carpet + 75 cleaning + 5 light bulbs + 15 burner dishes) to 'customary practices' and their own wastefulness.

If I had known then what I know now, I'd have left a dead fish in the vents, honestly. If I'm to be punished for all the other bad tenants in the world, what incentive am I given to be a good one?

theifoncross 12 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

theifoncross 12 years, 4 months ago

WE NEED TO RISE UP Start by CALLING THE CITY. inspector Brian Jimenez, He will come out quickly to inspect rentals at tenants request. Quickly 832-3111 or 841 7148 i think. has helped me when my landlord had a house of drafty doors and windows and for a single person house had a gas bill of $180 one month with thermo stat set at 58 degrees. let him help sort it out. If we bother the city enuff the slumlords will have to change.

If you have a good land lord let them know often!!! and offer to give references, if we would just communicate with each other instead of bickering and talking past each other (guilty more so than others) and actully taking the time to try to help one another, we can find out who the bad ones are. Peace. I have a land lord who really does provide the rental houses as a service, not some money making skeam. and by being respectful he gets respect. His lease is 9 pages long and not only lays out his rights and responceabilitys as an owner but also yours rights and responceabilities as a tenant. It is great but it is a 2 sided sword ignorance is bliss , but also very expencive with some people.

I apologise if i have offended anybody with my comments. but sometimes you must look at the chip on your shoulder in order grow from it.

Rossp 12 years, 4 months ago

Yep, I moved out of my last apartment and everything checked out ok. When I got the check for my deposit they took out close to $100.00 for the light fixtures needing to be cleaned. They stated on the invoice that I had over 7 fixtures that needed it. I didn't even have 7 in my appartment. I ended up getting my money back when I faught that with them.

theifoncross 12 years, 4 months ago

Great story Rossp. Most "kids" just take the abuse. Let us know who it was so we can put them on the black list of suspect landlords or management companies

theifoncross 12 years, 4 months ago

Badger. That is so harsh maybe you should write to your local state Rep so they know it is a real issue. And please let us know who it was again Say it loud and proud who did you wrong!!!???

lilchick 12 years, 4 months ago

First off, there are websites like that allows tenants to voice their opinions of landlords. Secondly, I have worked for management companies.....ducks and covers..... Where I have worked, tenants have had to complete an initial walk through assesment. Then when they fill out their intent to vacate at the end of said lease, they are given the price list of cleaning/general replacement costs. As for the drip pans, if they are ruined, roughly 5 bucks a pop is the norm for 'some brands'. Some stoves you can go to the store and buy 99 cent drip pans, but others have to be ordered and cost around 5 bucks. I have also seen some apartments that would make you want to puke. I have heard of maintenance men wear gas masks into vacated apartments. If you feel you were wronged on your move out charges you legally have 30 days to contest them to the landlord. If that doesn't work you can take them to court.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 4 months ago

OTTR-Obviously you have never been shafted by a landlord. We are a young married family. We left the duplex we rented in as good condition in which we received. We cleaned, we spackled, sanded and repainted walls and we were charged $200 because we didn't sweep the floor good enough and didn't wipe the counters off. Which is all BS. I am not saying you don't have bad tenants but there are a few of us honestly cleaning and doing our best and still getting the shaft. I could have sued her, I did videotape everything, but I didn't feel $200 was worth going to small claims court. Those of us who are good tenants need protection. Need a few more scary landlord stories? I have more if you really want em.

lilchick 12 years, 4 months ago

Also, most leases in the area state that carpet cleaning will be deducted from you security deposit regardless of its condition. However, word of advice, courts in this area consider 5 years to be the average life span of apartment carpeting. If you are getting charged to replace entire cost of carpeting that is older than that, you are getting bilked. But, if it was new when you moved in, and you ruin it, you will have to pay for the entire replacement cost.

Rossp 12 years, 4 months ago

George Waters.

Do they still have rentals in Lawrence or did they sale out?

Jamesaust 12 years, 4 months ago

""Universities are teaching young kids how to survive in the real world and part of that is don't sign anything before you read it," said Ed Jaskinia, head of the Associated Landlords of Kansas."

Translation: If you are stupid enough to sign an unfair contract, it sucks to be you.

That said: I believe this is an area best left to the parties themselves "to bargain" about. I'm not sure at what point these persons believe that they should begin to be responsible for their economic and legal decisions but it seems to me that 18 isn't a bad choice, and the expense of this learning as describe in the article is fairly cheap compared to others available in life.

The only area seemingly of worth is the mandatory 'walk through'. I understand the Landlords' Association concerns, but this is best understood as a "shifting the burden of proof" adjustment to the Landlord. I fail to see why this would be a significant burden, especially in an age of cheap cameras to document the state of affairs at the 'walk through' time.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

lilchick, despite published Saturday hours, no one was available for my scheduled walk-through the day I moved out (the Saturday girl 'called in sick' about twice a month and the office stayed closed), and they refused to do the walkout before every single thing down to the last box was out of the place and I was ready to lock the door and hand them the keys. As I was leaving the state, there wasn't really the option to 'Just wait and do it Monday,' as the property manager suggested when I had her paged.

I would love to have contested it within 30 days. However, I left town at the beginning of July. I called within a week with my new address, and was told that my deposit check would be cut when my lease expired at the end of July. I called mid-August, and was told that it had been sent. I verified the address again. I called in September, and confirmed my address. I was told it had been sent to the wrong address. I called a week later to see if it had come back from the post office. Weekly until early October, I called and left messages or called and was told, "You have to talk to the property manager. She's not here right now. I'll have her call you." No calls.

Mid-October, I started calling daily. I was yelled at for 'providing the wrong address' when I had given them the right one twice and threatened with legal action if I didn't stop 'harrassing' them. All through this, the person talking to me assured me that 'everything with the apartment was fine, there wasn't anything wrong with it,' and that I should expect most of my deposit. I also complained about the high electric bill, and she (predictably) told me the property manager would address that.

Finally, on the 10th of November, I started talking about lawyers. She assured me that it had been sent, that she'd spoken to the manager and it was being sent registered mail.

I got it just after Thanksgiving. It was sent via regular mail postmarked Nov. 21, and the check in it was dated 8/23 - several days after I was told, "Oh, yes, the check was cut and mailed days ago," for the first time, and four months after the end of my lease. Not one thing they ever said to me was true. I still haven't spoken to the property manager.

I have spoken to a lawyer, who for 300 bucks can get me almost 400 back from the complex - maybe. He's not sure about the power bill or the carpet cleaning, so really he's only sure about that 200 or so for the painting and cleaning. I'm still deciding if it's worth it just for the punishment of the complex.

So, when I hear people like ottr blathering about the poor landlords and how they never catch a break, you'll understand why I'm a bit cynical.

I've given them bad ratings on several web sites, so if you see a story that looks like this, that's me. I won't post their name here, but if you really want to know, message me and I'll tell you directly.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

Oh, by the way, the reason I think I didn't get screwed worse was that I mentioned, offhand, that if they had any questions about the apartment condition when I locked the door, I could send them the timestamped digital pictures of every wall, window, door, fan, and fixture that we took before leaving.

dlhj 12 years, 4 months ago

My roommates and I had the same problems as many of you a number of years ago. When we first moved in, they had not cleaned the carpets, which were so filthy our feet turned black walking on them. We requested over and over that they clean the carpets- they never would, so we finally rented a cleaner and did it ourselves. Of course, when we moved out, we were charged for "carpet cleaning," even though they probably never cleaned it before the next tenant moved in, AND it was cleaner when we left than when we moved in.

We also replaced the drip pans in the stove- and got charged for them. Ironically they charged us less than what I had paid for the pans- had I known that I wouldn't have bothered to replace them.

We were students at the time and went to KU Legal Services- they did get some of our money back for us- like the charge for the drip pans and a screen they wrongly claimed was torn- but not all of it. We left that apt in at least as good of condition as it was when we moved in. Two neat freak girls in a tiny apartment, never had parties, always took out the trash, etc etc and we thoroughly scrubbed the place before we moved out. And yet they still got away with keeping almost half our deposit. They charged us for black marks on the walls, claiming it was from burning candles- which we did maybe twice in a whole year-, when even the apt manager said the marks were from their ventilation system.

very glad I'm fortunate enough to own a home in this town.

OKjayhawk 12 years, 4 months ago

Isn't it funny how crappy landlords just happen to be out of town or "sick" when it's time for a final walk through? Mine was on vacation at the time of our walk through, even though she KNEW we were leaving at the end of August. Her son came by and did it for us, he told us everything looked great. She called us back after she got in town and said there were many things that weren't done. She also tried to get us to periodically clean the outside of the apartment. I wish there was a way to get a deposit from them to make sure they hold up to THEIR end of the bargain.

Godot 12 years, 4 months ago

So many stories to read. What terrible situations.

CrazyKS, why are you staying in that place? There has to be some place better to rent.

Kathleen Christian 12 years, 4 months ago

ALWAYS when communicating to the Landlord - PUT IT IN WRITING and keep a copy (make a file). Take pictures before and after moving in and out. Anytime you sign ANYTHING from a Landlord make CERTAIN you obtain a copy of it ON THE SPOT. If they refuse to give you a copy - scratch your name out until they agree to or write them a letter to that affect that they refused you a copy. This way when any debate is taken to court you have proof. Also NEVER pay your rent in cash - use a money order or check and keep a copy of it in a file.

theifoncross 12 years, 4 months ago

CrazyKS. Call the city inspector Brien Jimenez 832 3111. i think ur land lord might be liable for several months rent to help you move if the place is not suitable to live in. must be able to maintain 60 degrees 3 ft off the ground all over etc

lilchick 12 years, 4 months ago

Since they did not return your remaining security deposit in the time required (30 days after the lease ends) you should have received 1 1/5 the amount of that was wrongfully withheld. Sorry you had such a cr*ppy experience. I am now out of property management. Too much stress, too many people calling you all hours to complain about light bulbs being burnt out and needing replaced and people wanting us to plunge their poo out of their clogged toilets because they didn't know how to use a plunger.

Tony Kisner 12 years, 4 months ago

"Universities are teaching young kids how to survive in the real world and part of that is don't sign anything before you read it," said Ed Jaskinia, head of the Associated Landlords of Kansas.

Ed is correct, Universities should teach all young kids that there are people like Ed out there.

Associated Landlords of Kansas should look for a better spokes person. (could be an association comprised of Ed and his brother Ned.)

Linda Endicott 12 years, 4 months ago

I can't afford the rent at other get what you can...

And at least I have an open lease...says I can move out whenever I want for whatever reason or no reason at all...I'm not locked into a year by year thing...

So if I ever DO find another place that I can afford, I'm outta here in a heartbeat...

dviper 12 years, 4 months ago

I've been on both sides of this as a landlord and tenant and could tell story after story. I sold all my rental house properties a few years ago, got tired of all the hassles and problems. For the most part, I had good tenants and even sold some of the homes to the tenants. All it takes is one bad tenant to cause a lot of problems, and the same goes for landlords.

Bottom line: If the place looks like a dump and or smells like a dump don't rent it, just keep looking. If the rental / lease contract has all sorts of fees included, don't sign, just keep looking. If you get screwed over by the landlord for whatever charges and you believe you have been wronged, take them to court. Many landlords count on students not taking them to court because of naivety or because they know the student has moved out of the area. Lastly, read the law and know your rights. Many of the posts above clearly show that the landlord should have been sued.

As far as cleaning rentals, I had a professional cleaning service clean all my rentals thoroughly (windows, walls, fixtures, cabinets, floors, everything:.) even if the tenants did a good job. Minimum that they charged was $250 for a clean rental and for something really dirty / not cleaned at all, they charged a minimum of $750, and that was 5 years ago. Some professional cleaning service companies will not even clean rentals, especially if they know it was rented by college students. It would usually take a 2 person crew all day, but it was spotless when done.

nightowl 12 years, 4 months ago

Doesn't just happen to Students......I have loss money to Landlords that don't follow the terms of their own agreement...and gotten sick trying to fight them,,,and just took the loss......can't fight them back...don't have the time or money ..when your on a limited budget and starting new place...taking care of a family as a single mom....hope they help us tennants some day

unite2revolt 12 years, 4 months ago

I have been a lawrence renter for over 10 years, some of the places have been great, others not so good. Regardless of where I am signing a lease I assume that I am not getting my deposit back. So I look for places with very small deposits. IF the Deposit on a $600 apartment is $99 then that is most likely not a deposit scamming landlord. If the deposit is a month and halfs rent, then expect to be scammed. Also I make sure that I am getting my deposit money out of the landlord during the time I am there. For example if something breaks even if its your fault, report it to the handyman. Why deal with a broken door for six months, when your going to be charged for it anyway?

bettie 12 years, 4 months ago

For everyone advising renters to "stop crying and rent somewhere else," I would ask you to participate in an excercise. Pretend that you are looking for an apartment in Lawrence. See how many you find that aren't managed by the same four or five property management companies. Those large companies own most of the apartment complexes, not to mention a good portion of the houses either rented whole or divided into apartments in town. From my personal experience (with Property Management Services) and the stories posted here, it seems these companies have the worst record for negligence and gouging. That probably has to do to their size - if even one out of every five tenants complain about being cheated out of their deposits, they're still making a killing off the rest. (I'm sure it's far fewer than one in five that complain, and probably a tiny fraction of those people ever get their money back.)

If, in the course of your excercise, you find a lot of rentals through private landlords or small-scale companies, please let me know. I'm moving back to Lawrence soon and could use the help!

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