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Old 02-09-2015, 09:25 AM   #3851
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I know I feel the pinch of utilities now that I'm retired. My income went down, but the utilities have gone up so much remembering back to what they were when I was still working. My income is not low enough to qualify for any assistance, and I'm not really complaining. I know that many others are not so fortunate. My brother-in-law is very low income but won't apply for anything because of the red tape. He just turned 65 and is eligible for a rent rebate of $500 per year. He is afraid to ask his landlord to sign the form because he thinks if they know he is getting that money they will raise his rent. He does not have a lease. He is month-to-month.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:57 PM   #3852
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I know I feel the pinch of utilities now that I'm retired. My income went down, but the utilities have gone up so much remembering back to what they were when I was still working. My income is not low enough to qualify for any assistance, and I'm not really complaining. I know that many others are not so fortunate. My brother-in-law is very low income but won't apply for anything because of the red tape. He just turned 65 and is eligible for a rent rebate of $500 per year. He is afraid to ask his landlord to sign the form because he thinks if they know he is getting that money they will raise his rent. He does not have a lease. He is month-to-month.
I know things are different over there but surely he has some sort of tenants rights? Is there an organisation supporting older people where he lives? We have a charity called Age Concern over here which looks after the interests of the elderly. If there is something similar over there they may be able to advise him of his rights and help him with his form filling. They may even be able to stand up to his landlord for him
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:38 PM   #3853
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Excellent advice MC. Most cities and towns now had an Elderly Care office. It took a while but America finally woke up to the thought that Baby Boomers are now retiring and need help.

Here in Massachusetts, we have a great law that if for any reason you need to report the landlord for any violations or they refuse to assist an elderly to receive benefits due them, they face a very large fine. They also cannot raise the rent or take any adverse action against the tenant for a year. Hopefully they have something similar in Pennsylvania. In Massachusetts, it is great being elderly. I love it. I finally qualify for something and I take full advantage of it everyday.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:37 PM   #3854
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I know its easy to think landlords are evil, but in 99.9% of the cases they are not. Granted their are some "slum lords" out there but not many, the laws and regulations put on rental properties is very tight nation wide.

I retired very young {mid 30's} when I sold my business, I still own a lot of rental property {high mid to high end so by no means low income} and I treat my tenants very well, I have an office they can go with any issues 5 days a week 9-4. They have access to 24 hour building service, {I pay 2 contractors to be on call and if one of them can not make it I will personally go}. I also take care of all snow removal and landscaping. I include gas grills with every single unit so in a 3 family I have 3 gas grills installed, also video recording systems on all corners of the outside of the properties with wired alarm systems for each unit {I have had people not want to move in because of the cameras, lol, but figured it was for the best}.
Them are the good things, now the bad. Rent is due on 28th of every month and late after the 1st with a penalty {depending on the amount of rent and how late it is, it could be $500 if its late enough}. Condition is video documented and any damage including holes in walls for pictures costs money to fix {out of security deposit}.

I have had some angry tenants over the years, mostly because of security deposits, I recently had a woman have to pay over $900 of her security deposit because she painted a room {we had to repaint a neutral color she painted it lime green}, had a hole in a wall, a broken door handle {must have locked her key in, which all she had to do was call us and we would have opened it for her}, had a broken tile in a bath room, "lost" a mirror in the bathroom, etc... We actually got a lawyers letter demanding the entire deposit back, which we responded to with the 2 video inspections pre and post as well as invoices for the repairs and they never replied after that.

I go through every apartment between tenants, I have NO carpets {all tile and hardwoods}, all granite counter tops, paved driveways, etc etc etc so its basically a thorough cleaning, repaint where needed, fix any defects at all from light bulbs to discolored plumbing fixtures, new toilet seats, new shower curtains, new blinds {depending on age} etc... So its easy to see any damage after a tenant removes all their belongings...

ANYWAY, I would be surprised if your brother-in-laws landlord would raise his rent because he was getting a discount, if that is the case he should look elsewhere for shelter. A tenant landlord relationship should be strict and civil, I try my best not to get too involved in their business, I make it a point to meet with them at least once to introduce myself, then I let my office manager deal with everything else, I know I am way too easy on them and a softy, so if someone comes to me crying about money, I know I have been very fortunate in life so always help. I have one tenant that my office manager threatened to evict because I gave him 3 months free rent, he was in a custody battle for his kids and paying lawyers and I knew his exwife {not a nice person} so felt bad for him and told him not to worry about the rent until after the holidays, my office manager was NOT happy, {profits reflect on her bonuses}...

I would tell you bro in law to mention it to the landlord, if he is current and a good tenant I wouldnt think that signing a piece of paper would be an issue...
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:28 PM   #3855
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooking4to View Post
I know its easy to think landlords are evil, but in 99.9% of the cases they are not. Granted their are some "slum lords" out there but not many, the laws and regulations put on rental properties is very tight nation wide.

I retired very young {mid 30's} when I sold my business, I still own a lot of rental property {high mid to high end so by no means low income} and I treat my tenants very well, I have an office they can go with any issues 5 days a week 9-4. They have access to 24 hour building service, {I pay 2 contractors to be on call and if one of them can not make it I will personally go}. I also take care of all snow removal and landscaping. I include gas grills with every single unit so in a 3 family I have 3 gas grills installed, also video recording systems on all corners of the outside of the properties with wired alarm systems for each unit {I have had people not want to move in because of the cameras, lol, but figured it was for the best}.
Them are the good things, now the bad. Rent is due on 28th of every month and late after the 1st with a penalty {depending on the amount of rent and how late it is, it could be $500 if its late enough}. Condition is video documented and any damage including holes in walls for pictures costs money to fix {out of security deposit}.

I have had some angry tenants over the years, mostly because of security deposits, I recently had a woman have to pay over $900 of her security deposit because she painted a room {we had to repaint a neutral color she painted it lime green}, had a hole in a wall, a broken door handle {must have locked her key in, which all she had to do was call us and we would have opened it for her}, had a broken tile in a bath room, "lost" a mirror in the bathroom, etc... We actually got a lawyers letter demanding the entire deposit back, which we responded to with the 2 video inspections pre and post as well as invoices for the repairs and they never replied after that.

I go through every apartment between tenants, I have NO carpets {all tile and hardwoods}, all granite counter tops, paved driveways, etc etc etc so its basically a thorough cleaning, repaint where needed, fix any defects at all from light bulbs to discolored plumbing fixtures, new toilet seats, new shower curtains, new blinds {depending on age} etc... So its easy to see any damage after a tenant removes all their belongings...

ANYWAY, I would be surprised if your brother-in-laws landlord would raise his rent because he was getting a discount, if that is the case he should look elsewhere for shelter. A tenant landlord relationship should be strict and civil, I try my best not to get too involved in their business, I make it a point to meet with them at least once to introduce myself, then I let my office manager deal with everything else, I know I am way too easy on them and a softy, so if someone comes to me crying about money, I know I have been very fortunate in life so always help. I have one tenant that my office manager threatened to evict because I gave him 3 months free rent, he was in a custody battle for his kids and paying lawyers and I knew his exwife {not a nice person} so felt bad for him and told him not to worry about the rent until after the holidays, my office manager was NOT happy, {profits reflect on her bonuses}...

I would tell you bro in law to mention it to the landlord, if he is current and a good tenant I wouldnt think that signing a piece of paper would be an issue...
Oh, yes, I agree with you, Cooking4to. There are good and bad landlords as well as good and bad tenants. Unfortunately, one has to know where to go for help if one has the bad landlord. It may be that Carol's BiL is worrying unnecessarily but needs help in dealing with what to him is a very frightening situation.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:57 AM   #3856
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Quote:
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I know things are different over there but surely he has some sort of tenants rights? Is there an organisation supporting older people where he lives? We have a charity called Age Concern over here which looks after the interests of the elderly. If there is something similar over there they may be able to advise him of his rights and help him with his form filling. They may even be able to stand up to his landlord for him

He has had social workers contact him trying to explain to him what to do, but he won't listen. His landlord has never refused to help him...it's just in his mind that they will raise his rent if they know he is getting additional funds. The landlord probably has a lot of tenants with the same issues. He does get assistance with his heating oil, but then he refuses to turn it up to a normal setting. Before he was old enough to get these things he learned to scrimp and he won't change. We try to explain to him that if doesn't use the oil, they will think he doesn't need it and his allowance will go down next year.

It's the same with the doctor. He didn't have insurance before. Now he has medicare so he started going to the doctor. She tells him what's wrong and tells him what to do about it but he doesn't do it. I asked him why does he bother to go if he's not going to do what she advises? I guess he goes because his mother always used to go, and she didn't do what the doctor advised, either. LOL

There are organizations to help him, and they try. It's him and his attitude.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:07 AM   #3857
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No water!

It's amazing how the loss of "water on demand" can send my little world into a grimy tailspin so fast!
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:52 AM   #3858
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Aunt Bea, didn't you pay your water bill. ;-) Seriously though, what happened? I hope your pipes didn't burst.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:29 AM   #3859
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A couple of weeks ago I printed out two copies of a document that The Pirate needed. He kept one and decided he didn't need the second one. So it was lying on the desk waiting to be tossed. Spike decided it was still good for printing on the back side. I had to print out a couple of copies of his driving record and sure enough it was on the back of that form.

If Spike had been here, I would have throttled him. I took all the printed pages out of the computer and tore them up. Put in fresh clean paper and printed out the copies that I needed. The urge to kill some days is really strong!

Second Vent! I noticed that I needed to plug in my new phone for charging. So I got the cord and found the plug opening on the side near the bottom of the phone, right next to the ICE button. I must have hit it accidently, as right after I plugged in the phone, it rang. It was 4:30 a.m. My heart dropped. I thought for sure that something had happened to one of my kids. No, it was Poo calling me from where he was working. He was just returning my call that I didn't even realize that I had made. Note to self: Be careful when you plug in your phone. And don't hit the 911 button by accident either.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:42 AM   #3860
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Aunt Bea, didn't you pay your water bill. ;-) Seriously though, what happened? I hope your pipes didn't burst.
I live in the city of burst pipes!

Our city water system was installed in 1889 and some of the pipes are from that original installation. The city had 391 water main breaks last year and approx. 50 so far this year. Our old gray mayor thinks it will cost $726 million to replace the system and she has gone off to Washington with her tin cup to beg for a federal grant.

Why is it that politicians always kick the can down the road and then expect someone else to pay the bill? It seems like setting aside a few bucks to maintain, repair and replace parts of the system every year should be a mandatory part of any infrastructure project.

It's time to wake up America!

P.S. The water is back on! It's a lovely shade of brown, but it's on!
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