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How Much Say Should the Landlord Have?
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:10 PM
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Default How Much Say Should the Landlord Have?

There is a tree in my neighbor's yard. I absolutely love this tree. It's very tall, in good health, and has grown out far enough that it provides a welcome shade in the summer it even helps generate a breeze that flows into my room.

The tree is causing no damage to the roof. The owner of the property feels it could and wants to cut it back to the fence-line. Legally he can do that as long as he hires someone that knows what they are doing and causes no damage to the tree the neighbors can't stop him.

It made me wonder how much say the landlord should have in how a home is decorated.

This particular landlord allows us to decorate but only up to the door. We may use the yard but we aren't allowed to plant a garden or anything like that. We also aren't responsible for the yard work so I don't have a huge problem with that. Honestly it's the fact my electric bill will go up as it does get hot here during the summers and without the breeze and natural shade I shall find myself in a similar stance as my friends.

Now again the tree is doing 0 damage to the roof and it doesn't affect the landlord at all. Is it fair that gets to determine what our house and yard look like?
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:25 PM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
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The landlord says it might "in the future," which is a distinct possibility since trees, you know, grow. Fixing it before it becomes a problem is all up to the landlord, because if something does happen, it's the landlord's responsibility. Depending on where you live, trees can be a serious liability in storms, and even healthy ones could cause a lot of damage if a hurricane or bad tropical storm comes through. The best thing I can suggest is requesting the landlord, instead of trimming it all the way down, just trim it enough so it still provides sufficient shade.

As for the garden thing, that's a rather stupid rule, although possible reasons for it include not wanting to worry about it when your lease is up and you decide to move, or trying to avoid attracting unwanted wildlife. Also, if you are sharing the yard with another resident, the restriction could even be due to some bylaws (assuming the landlord only owns one unit or something). Same goes for any kind of exterior decorating that is expensive to remove, or may cause damage to the house (e.g. nailing shutters). These kinds of criteria can be difficult to outline in a lease, which is probably why there is a blanket rule against any kind of decorating.

I do think if those things aren't the case (e.g. you're decorating with stuff that's easy to remove afterwards and you prove yourself a responsible gardener) the landlord's kinda a jerk for not allowing that sort of exterior decorating, but it is still the landlord's right to enact such rules.

I've got some past experience being a landlord, albeit it was a condo, so I simply enforce the same rules the condo association puts out regarding yard usage. I have liberal policies on interior decorating that essentially boil down to: "If you move out and everything looks ready for the next tenant, we're on good terms." So, that means I must authorize chosen paint colors (so as to avoid choosing what most other tenants would consider a horrendous color choice that I'd have to repaint afterwards), and absolutely no patterned paint, murals, or wallpaper. Plus, any permanent fixtures must be approved by me. According to my attorney, these are all boilerplate terms that virtually every landlord has.
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:47 PM
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Damn I wish you had been my last landlord. I had lived in their homes for 10 years. Everytime a neighbor of mine would move out they would slap on one coat of cheap paint then tell the person "sorry we had to used your 500$ deposit on repairs"

I have never met the landlord here since he/she uses a mgmt company so there isn't really anyone I can talk to about the tree. I hadn't thought of the other part. We don't get Hurricanes, Tropical storms or Tornadoes but we do still get some bad-ass wind storms that can tear apart a tree. In college I lived in my parents house and the storm tore down our plum tree by the roots. Luckily it blew street side instead of towards the house.
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:57 PM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
Damn I wish you had been my last landlord. I had lived in their homes for 10 years. Everytime a neighbor of mine would move out they would slap on one coat of cheap paint then tell the person "sorry we had to used your 500$ deposit on repairs"
Yeah, that's not cool. If the paint's of a neutral color or otherwise doesn't need a repaint, I wouldn't bother repainting at all. The caveat to this policy I have is the tenant must also repaint at their own expense, so if they want to change the neutral tan to a neutral grey, they must do it themselves, but that also means I'm not going to dock their deposit for doing it.

It sounds like your landlord's probably a career landlord, who owns many properties, given they have a management company. Hell, your landlord might even be a company in and of itself. They tend to be much more restrictive and have more draconian policies regarding this kind of stuff. Me, I'm more a regular guy who bought a condo at the peak of the housing bubble, and can't afford to sell it, so I'm renting it out until I'm above water again.

The fact that you're a ten-year resident should really give you some benefits, though. If I had a responsible and good tenant who showed a desire to live at my place for 10 years, I'd be very lax on my policies, and grant any reasonable request that tenant had to keep them. Except wallpaper. That shit's never good.
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TheHuckster View Post
The fact that you're a ten-year resident should really give you some benefits, though. If I had a responsible and good tenant who showed a desire to live at my place for 10 years, I'd be very lax on my policies, and grant any reasonable request that tenant had to keep them. Except wallpaper. That shit's never good.
To clarify the last place was 10 years her it's been 1.5 years and that continuing is dependent on me finding a job/and or getting a book published.
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