I want to stay, but I want my house cleaned up.
January 14, 2013 9:07 PM Subscribe
What home improvements are reasonable to ask of my landlord ? (Snowflakey details inside)
posted by sb3 to home & garden (10 answers total)
In a pinch, I took a room in a 3 bedroom house in Pittsburgh (neighborhood is Manchester) and signed a 4 month lease. Two of the three renters wanted to move out and were allowed to break the lease if they could find people to replace them. The landlord lives in New Jersey but apparently has family around the Pittsburgh area who can help out with the place. My lease is up in 2.5 months and I have to decide whether to move or not. The house is conveniently .3 miles from my work; I only pay $360/mo., and saving money is a big priority right now. I find my third floor room and bathroom set up cozy. And the thought of moving everything all over again is admittedly exhausting.
However, the house is a bit of a dump. My biggest complaint is that the (originally white) carpets have significant stain marks on every floor. It's embarrassing when I have company. The dishwasher isn't working. The paint needs fixing on various floors, though I'm less concerned here. There are missing rungs on the stair banisters. The blinds in the front room are crumpled....the list of small issues goes on.
I knew that the carpets weren't great when I moved into the place, but is it reasonable to ask our landlord to get them cleaned once they get to a certain point? As a point of function, it's fine to expect a landlord to fix a dishwasher, but what's the rule of thumb about aesthetics such as carpet or paint? My tentative plan is just to call or email my landlord and explain that I would like to resign a lease in March, but only if he is able to make certain basic improvements to the condition of the house that seem fair considering other houses in the area. I believe he'd prefer to have me stay than have to look for and vet a new tenant, though this could be wrong. I'd welcome any etiquette or strategic advice that people have.