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Landlord staying at my place while I'm gone - should I ask for $$?

My landlords (a lovely 60-something couple who we like and who like us and with whom we have multiple acquaintances) are staying at their/our house for 1.5 weeks while we are on vacation. Can I ask them to knock a few bucks off that month's rent and not be an asshole? [more inside]
posted by tristeza on Aug 10, 2014 - 21 answers

Are there warm apartments in cold climates?

I live in the SF Bay area and I'm thinking about moving to colder climates at some point, but for various reasons I can't handle a cold ambient temperature inside my home, even if I bundle up. In colder areas (specifically New England and the Midwest), how easy/possible is it to find apartments that are well-heated (perhaps buildings with a whole-building radiator system?) or other situations where I can have a warm (68-70 degree) home without paying through the nose for utilities? [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell on Jul 2, 2014 - 49 answers

I want to cancel my natural gas service this summer. Is that possible?

I would like to cancel my natural gas service this summer. Last year, I didn't use any natural gas during June-August. I have a gas furnace and also a gas stove/fireplace. I do not have a hot water heater since that's supplied by the building. I don't cook or use the fireplace. [more inside]
posted by parakeetdog on May 28, 2014 - 5 answers

Am I always going to be asking permission for Internet?

I bought a house, yay. The cable company won't serve me, boo. Why not? They say I have no legal path to get from their utility pole to my lot. The property owner next door is willing to give me permission to cross his lot but balked at an easement. What can I do? (Picture contained within.) [more inside]
posted by fireoyster on Feb 15, 2014 - 16 answers

Meter Reader Craziness

Help me understand why the energy company seems to (somewhat randomly) choose to estimate my energy usage rather than billing me for actual usage. [more inside]
posted by raspberrE on Dec 28, 2013 - 9 answers

Should I switch my electricity provider to ConEd SOLUTIONS?

is this ConEd solutions on the level, as providing more eco-friendly electricity than my regular Con Edison provider? What are the pros and cons? The agent who is trying to sell me this says my bill will go up a little. This is for residential usage in New York City. Any experience or information on this is much appreciated.
posted by DMelanogaster on Dec 21, 2013 - 10 answers

What is this heater, and how much could I expect it to cost me?

What is this type of heating unit? There are two of them in a 600 sq. ft condo I am thinking of purchasing. The listing says it is "Other/Electric." I have only ever seen something like this in a hotel. My memory of them, is that they are finicky and imprecise! I am afraid that the bills are going to get out of control. What kind of utilities might I see from such a thing? Second floor of a low-rise condo, with outside shared hallways. Toronto, so, winter. (The current owner's bills are supposedly inaccurate because they had a newborn, and were keeping it cranked up.) It's helping me decide whether I can afford this condo. (It's by the beach!) Other photos.
posted by typewriter on Nov 1, 2013 - 14 answers

I'll go green once I understand it.

I'm interested in purchasing electricity that comes 100 percent from renewables. I need to understand the costs, but I'm confused. Help me understand the cost of purchasing electricity from renewable sources. [more inside]
posted by Tehhund on Sep 24, 2013 - 9 answers

Anal-Retentive System Optimizer for OS X

I know that system optimizing/maintenance programs for Mac OS X are 90% pointless/useless, but I nevertheless get a pathological thrill out of using them. A person has to have hobbies. There are some pretty crazy ones on the Windows side, with all kinds of "program accelerators" and the like, but the ones I've used on OS X haven't been all that satisfying. Is there a program (paid or free) for OS X that's as insanely anal-retentive as System Mechanic Pro or TuneUp Utilities on Windows? I have used Onyx, Cocktail, iBoost, Magican, and Applejack. It doesn't have to actually accomplish anything -- it can even hose my system for all I care -- it just has to be crazily elaborate.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico on Jul 25, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me get smarter about SmartMeters

We've had PG&E SmartMeters installed at our building for awhile, and our landlord is very concerned about the health risks and surveillance risks he believes they pose. He's sent us a bunch of "literature" to read and it all reads like wackadoodle conspiracy theories with no basis in science, as does everything else I've found online. As easy as it is to just roll my eyes and dismiss his concerns, I feel like I should make a good faith attempt to discover if there's really anything to be concerned about. Are there any good, reality-based reasons to be anti-SmartMeter? Any science-based studies from reliable sources on their safety? Any well-thought-out articles on the subject that don't include the phrases "molecular earthquakes" or "like hundreds of cell phones being on at the same time"? Help a skeptic out!
posted by rhiannonstone on Jul 14, 2013 - 16 answers

What is a good source of Android games and app reviews?

Getting a Nexus 7 tomorrow. I need good review sources for Android app reviews: both games and utilities. [more inside]
posted by One Hand Slowclapping on Dec 24, 2012 - 3 answers

Should I stay or should I go?

My roommate situation is becoming untenable. Should I ride out the storm or leave? What is the best way to bail? Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by munyeca on Nov 12, 2012 - 12 answers

How do I deal with this money related situation with an ex-roommate?

How to deal a money issue with roommate who has just moved out- never contributed to household cleaning/supplies and did not clean after moving out their things. [more inside]
posted by penpenne on Oct 23, 2012 - 19 answers

Force-hide menus and status bar in a Mac app?

A Mac app in which I want to force-hide the top menu bars and bottom status bar (not possible natively within the app): what third-party utilities or UI-hacking tools could help? [more inside]
posted by kalapierson on Aug 10, 2012 - 1 answer

Utility costs for commercial rental space?

I'm working on the business plan for a "Maker Space" we're trying to start in Rochester NY. I'm trying to estimate utility costs (heating, cooling & basic lighting) for different size spaces (5,000, 10,000 & 20,000 square feet) that we might rent. I know that asking what you pay may not be too helpful because utility rates, climate, building construction and use can vary greatly. But that's what I'm asking -- how big is your building or rental space and how much do you pay on the average each month for utilities? I'd also like to know if there's a good rule of thumb to use or if there is some other way to find out what we need to know.
posted by 14580 on Aug 1, 2012 - 10 answers

Roommate from Hell

Roommate has lied about paying her share of the bills and has not paid last month's bills. She's been unreasonable and refuses to talk about bills. Her lease ends in 3 days. She owes hundreds of dollars. Can we pursue legal recourse? (part of the lease posted inside) [more inside]
posted by taiscape on Jul 28, 2012 - 14 answers

My employers need an electrician. I need advice on hiring one!

Hooray! I got my employers' approval to get some electrical work we've badly needed for a long time in our lab/office suite done. I have no word-of-mouth recommendations of local electricians to go on, so I'm checking around online and trying to get quotes. As such, I have a few questions on how to most effectively screen for quality, recognize a fair price for the work, and deal with the etiquette aspects of the quoting process. [more inside]
posted by aecorwin on Jun 28, 2012 - 10 answers

Thinking of switching electrial provider and need some tips.

I am considering changing my electricity provider and I have never done this before. What I want to know are what things should be considered before making a switch such as this. My basics reasons are cost and that Comed, the local provider has treated me like crap over the years and I am tired of their corporate doublespeak and crappy service. [more inside]
posted by lampshade on Jun 26, 2012 - 6 answers

Cheapest, fastest internet in the emerald city?

What are my options for broadband residential internet in Seattle? [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on May 17, 2012 - 15 answers

Windows Speed Demon

I need to be as efficient as possible when using Windows 7, using Office, browsing with Firefox / Chrome, working with files, etc. etc. What are your best tips for being a Windows speed demon? Answers to this question will include keyboard shortcuts, utilities, how you use your taskbar, command-line, whatever. I am looking for how you get the most out of Windows.
posted by jasondigitized on Apr 9, 2012 - 25 answers

What are these pointy, yellow street utility poles?

What is the purpose of these yellow, columnar, pointy-topped utility structures found frequently on the streets of St Louis: [ex. 01 [gmap] || ex. 02 [gmap] || detail]? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Jan 9, 2012 - 14 answers

The electric bill is too damn high

How much are your Con Ed bills? Help me work through some issues with my electricity bill in NYC. [more inside]
posted by dixiecupdrinking on Oct 10, 2011 - 18 answers

What's the deal with ConEd's "Level Payment Plan"?

Are utility company "level payment plans" worth it, or are they a scam? [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 10, 2011 - 23 answers

water meter question

Who should I call, if at all, to get a water meter installed? Our new condo didn't come with one, I have heard it normally sits on top of the hot water heater, and there is nothing there. I got a letter from the water company to the effect that since we don't have one we are being charged a 'high' flat rate in lieu of it. [more inside]
posted by uni verse on Sep 9, 2011 - 9 answers

What's in your virtual toolbox?

System/network/desktop admins, what tools and utilities do you keep in your virtual toolbox? [more inside]
posted by Lyn Never on Jun 1, 2011 - 16 answers

Average energy/water use of adults vs children?

I live in a house shared amongst 10 tenants, including 2 children, aged 12 and 8. We're trying to figure out a fair way to divide electricity/gas/water bills. Specifically, how much less utilities should the children be charged for, and until which age? [more inside]
posted by PardonMyFrench on Mar 31, 2011 - 24 answers

How do I compare rents w/ or w/o utilities included?

Is there a way to estimate the cost of utilities (heat, electricity) in a given city or region? [more inside]
posted by arveale on Feb 16, 2011 - 4 answers

Copying over a large DMG backup

What is the best way to copy files out of a 140 GB dmg file from an external USB drive that is a backup from a previous Mac? [more inside]
posted by antgly on Jan 21, 2011 - 7 answers

Heat in New York apartments--what is the landlord responsible for?

I know New York housing laws mandate that landlords keep apartments heated under certain conditions--does this mean they must keep the apartment at that heat, or does it mean that they have to make a heating option available? [more inside]
posted by thelatermonths on Dec 8, 2010 - 7 answers

I Liked It Better When I Had No Choices

Where can I find clear information about setting up utilities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? [more inside]
posted by amicamentis on Dec 2, 2010 - 3 answers

Who's paying for the heat?

Help me figure out whether the landlord is really paying for my heat. [more inside]
posted by pavane on Nov 6, 2010 - 12 answers

Onscreen Caps Lock/Num Lock/Insert notification for Windows XP?

Is there a utility that runs on Windows XP that will give an on-screen notification when the Caps Lock, Num Lock and Insert keys are pressed? [more inside]
posted by DakotaPaul on Oct 5, 2010 - 5 answers

Negotiating with the water company

Water company is about to chase me for money - it's their fault they didn't contact me about this for a year. Is my strategy for negotiating this issue sensible? [more inside]
posted by xchmp on Sep 1, 2010 - 19 answers

We are sure you will be pleased with this agreement.

What is a fair way to estimate, over an entire year, the proportion of an electrical bill that is being used for electrical heating? (Previously) [more inside]
posted by porpoise on Jul 6, 2010 - 8 answers

Somebody's in hot water (sadly, not us)

Apartment is without water until July 6th due to circumstances described below. What kind of compensation should I ask my landlord for? [more inside]
posted by baxter_ilion on Jun 28, 2010 - 20 answers

Did I get ripped off by a misleading lease agreement?

Vancouver BC Rental Agreement: Heat and Hot Water included. Or is it? [more inside]
posted by porpoise on Jun 14, 2010 - 17 answers

Short in my internet

My internet access is driving me crazy. Sometimes pages load and sometimes they don't. Https pages seem to be particularly inconsistent. I recently had to buy a new Zoom DSL modem which has a Linksys wireless router and Vonage running out of the back of it. What tools and troubleshooting techniques can I use to trace down the problem? I have performed an infinite ping on google and the connection is consistently up. My Bittorrent downloads are working just fine. My Vonage which is plugged into the back of the DSL modem is working just fine. Sometimes I can get Gmail, sometimes I can't. Help me track down this problem before I go and buy a new modem / router combo. Help me become a wireless / connectivity sleuth.
posted by jasondigitized on May 20, 2010 - 13 answers

I Survived - Now What?

If an event of apocalyptic proportions were to occur, which services would shut down first? [more inside]
posted by amicamentis on Apr 14, 2010 - 16 answers

How To Fairly Divide An Apartment re: Rent

Who should pay what among a group of renters, subletters, and others for a summer? [more inside]
posted by hepta on Mar 26, 2010 - 12 answers

When did lightbulbs and toilets become a fact of life?

When did electricity and indoor plumbing first become widespread and commonplace in even the poorest urban first world homes, in the same way that owning a television is unremarkable now? (Obviously rural communities took longer to acquire utilities.)
posted by desjardins on Feb 17, 2010 - 10 answers

Am I a reasonable landlord?

As a Texas landlord, was it my responsibility to make sure my tenants knew about turning on the gas? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 3, 2010 - 16 answers

I KNOW I didn't cook THAT much more.

Did my downstairs neighbor break my gas bill? Or does the meter reader need glasses? [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos on Jan 27, 2010 - 33 answers

Automated corrupt-pr0n detection tool?

Does a tool exist for Mac OS X--either GUI or command-line--that can churn through a folders (or entire drive) worth of video files and detect which files are corrupted and non-playable? [more inside]
posted by melorama on Jan 16, 2010 - 18 answers

Can ubuntu help me diagnose my hard drive?

My desktop crashed, and won't boot windows xp from the hard drive. I managed to get into BIOS and set it to boot from the CD drive, and got a live session of ubuntu 8.10 running. I tried to mount the hard drive in ubuntu, but to no avail. Is there some sort of utility that ubuntu can run to look at or diagnose my hard drive? [more inside]
posted by Shohn on Jan 13, 2010 - 14 answers

Water shut off due to non-payment by landlord. What are my rights?

My landlord pays the water bill for my apartment complex. Today the water was shut off in the middle of the day. When I called the water company, they said that the complex was shut off due to non-payment. Are there any legal requirements about notice or use of rental fees by the property management? [more inside]
posted by slavlin on Dec 16, 2009 - 16 answers

Elegant solution or jury-rigged joke?

Is it common to remove a utility pole but leave a small chunk of it still in use twenty feet up? [more inside]
posted by longsleeves on Nov 28, 2009 - 12 answers

It's not all Ben Franklyn and ENRON is it?

Tell me all you know about electricity markets. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 21, 2009 - 11 answers

My landlord's a jerk, but how big of a jerk?

Does my landlord have to give me advance notice if he's going to shut down the building's water for a few hours? This is in Ontario. [more inside]
posted by Beardman on Oct 2, 2009 - 8 answers

Windows utility to cause all movable windows to be represented in the taskbar?

Is there a Windows utility that will add buttons to the taskbar for windows that normally don't get represented there? [more inside]
posted by odinsdream on Aug 28, 2009 - 7 answers

What tool/program/script can I use to manipulate files based on a list of filenames?

I have a text file containing a list of image filenames and I'd like to be able to point at a folder and have it select, move or label based on the list of filenames. Is there software, script or tool that makes automating this possible? [more inside]
posted by tinamonster on Jun 25, 2009 - 22 answers

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