Our house, is a very very sick house...
December 15, 2008 3:25 PM Subscribe
Our house is in sad state of disrepair. We'd fix it if we could, but we don't own it. We'd be persistent with the "landlords" but, we don't pay rent or bills. How do I tell them in a forceful, but considerate way that the house needs to be fixed?
SO and I live in a small house built in the 1930s, updated in the 1960s, and then bought by SO's boss/ dear friend a few years ago. It's a cute house in an old neighborhood. It's just sick and needs help. Help that I can't afford to give it (as we are not the owners.)
Boss makes a good living, he and his wife bought the house next door to him as a guest house/office. He then moved SO in to the house after hiring him (they'd been friends and collaborators for over a decade before this.) Then SO and I met, fell and love and I moved in to the house, with the Boss' permission, of course.
When I moved in, I spruced the place up--turning it from a bachelor pad to a home by throwing a coat of paint in every room, buying furniture and reflooring one of the bedrooms. I did this all with permission from the owners.
Now, a few years later, the bathroom has a mold problem that no amount of bleach or scrubbing can cure (it seems to stem from the drywall or behind the tub.) The tile in the bathroom is cracking, the grout is washing away with every shower. The countertops and backsplash are disintegrating, and the house is in need of new windows and doors. There's a roof leak in the back patio.......I could go on. These aren't so much cosmetic issues, as they are general safety and structural issues. I can fix cosmetic issues, in fact, I enjoy it. But this house needs a professional's touch.
Because we don't pay rent or bills, obviously this puts us in a tricky position in asking for the repairs. SO has mentioned to them certain issues with the house, and they never materialize into repairs. I'm sure the electric bill is higher than it should be because of the old windows, doors and floor boards.
Boss and his wife don't really seem to care about the general well being of their property. They did fix the plumbing this year when we had the water pressure of a garden hose in our shower for a couple years, but it took a year from them knowing about the problem to something being done about the plumbing.
They do make sure the lawn is mowed, they built a pen for the dog we rescued (without us even asking), and they are incredibly kind and generous folk. We all have a great relationship and sometimes I don't know if we could ever move because they're so awesome. I just don't feel like our house is going to last another 10 years!
How do I effectively point out the issues plaguing the house, while maintaining the peace and not sounding like we've suddenly become freeloaders and the house doesn't seem "good enough" anymore? Should I just not say anything? (even though that doesn't seem right to me) I'm just trying to be a good "renter" and a good friend. At the moment, moving to another place isn't an option due to my crushing school debt and the current projects SO has with the Boss.
Can anyone lend any advice, anecdotal or otherwise to this situation?