Saturday, July 26, 2008


I just want to pre-face this by saying, normally, I LOVE apartment living. Especially when your utilities and rent are combined, like we have (which means for this summer we've had TWO air-conditioning units going 24/7, and it doesn't affect the amount we pay monthly. Same if we left the lights on, etc). I like the convenience of not having a lawn to mow/backyard in general to care for, I love the fact that it's secure entry, that we're on the 7th floor with elevators, that there's an on-call 24/7 person to fix your plugged toliet, etc etc.

But whats really getting me down? If we actually owned this place, then WE could renovate as we see fit.

Right now, we have a nice sized 1 bedroom with carpeting in the bedroom/living room. Because landlords aren't legally obligated to fix anything except what is a) broken and/or b) a safety hazard, they don't. Because they don't have to.

Given the fact that Keith's been living here for 10 years means they haven't renovated (at LEAST) in that length of time. This place desperately needs a new kitchen, new carpeting, and a new tub. And I KNOW that the moment we move out, that's just what they'll do, plus a fresh coat of paint on the walls. But because it's not technically "broken", we can't actually a) DO anything to the place, or b) ask that they do so.

Because they're covered under this clause "20. (1) A landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining a residential complex, including the rental units in it, in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and for complying with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards." (Residential Tenancy Act, 2006.)

And really, this apartment does comply with all those standards. It's just (in the kitchen, at least) PLAIN BUTT UGLY. And outdated. No one viewing the apartment these days would take it the way it is, at the price they would be paying for it (which is 60$ more than we currently pay). And the tub has some funky, black, impossible-to-get-rid-of patches/markings. I'm pretty sure all the protective coating is somehow gone or worn off. So they're definitely going to renovate it once we leave. But that just begs the question: If they're just going to do it ANYWAYS once we leave, why not do it now?

It just really irks me, because if this was legally OUR place? and we could financially do so?
KITCHEN GOES BYE-BYE. And that's just for starters.


Heather said...

I totally think you could ask anyway. Though some of it is too big for you to do yourselves (like remodelling the kitchen), you could totally ask if the landlord could provide you with paint so you can refresh the cupboard doors or paint the walls or something. Especially if nothing has been done in ten years and you're willing to do the work yourself. Why not ask, what have you got to lose!?

sarah said...

If we wanted to, say, paint the walls with a fresh coat of paint (even if its white), we'd be paying out-of-pocket for that ourselves. And while I wish it was that easy to give the kitchen a facelift like that, those cupboards are IMPOSSIBLE to paint over (they're some kind of laminated fake wood STUFF). At least, not with a huge amount of effort, time and money on our parts, and when we *do* decide to move we have to basically undo everything and leave it in the original state or else risk getting fined, not a huge amount, but enough to make a chequebook wince a little (and, also, when you're moving there's already this big huge added expense that month so an extra, say, 75$ on something unplanned hurts just a bit more than any other time/month, you know?).

I remember when moving out of the college apt they provided us with a list of 'finable charges' - if you didn't clean your oven it was 50$, any garbage/furniture left was 100$, ect. I certainly did NOT have money to throw away like that so I did my best to ensure it was all clean/garbage free. Of course, living with the type of roommate I was living with probably should have planned it a bit better, but Oh well, live and learn, as they say.

Okay, so I think that was officially my longest comment ever. Sorry, just got a little carried away :P

/ends ramble.

Heather said...

That's just not nice, especially if you've improved it in that time!Do you have a total arsehole of a landlord or what, most of them would be happy to have a tennant who WANTED to improve the property rather than trash it!

Would you be happy/ok paying more if the landlord agreed to do a few renovations for you?

I still say ask him, you never know where it might get you!

Kamie said...

That is so frustrating!! Grr....