Home Ownership (misc.consumers.house)

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Jonathan Kamens
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Default walkthrough of rental property

If the kind of "dirty" you're talking about could be easily
rectified by simply paying a cleaning service $100 or so to
come in and do a good cleaning, then if I were you, I'd do
that and write it off as bad treatment from someone who might
turn out to be not such a great landlord. If a cleaning is
all it'll take to solve the problem, then it's probably not
worth the hassle to get into a scuffle with the landlord about

If you simply can't stomach doing that, or if the condition is
really so much worse than when you did that walk-through that
a simple cleaning won't solve the problem, then I suggest you
research what the regulations are in your locality about the
condition in which a rental property must be delivered to a
new tenant. You didn't mention where you live, so we have no
way of knowing for certain, but it's entirely possible that
the regulations where you live require a property to be
delivered to the tenant in clean condition. Call the local
health department and find out.

Independent of that, you could certainly make the case that
you are entitled to having the property wdelivered to you in
the condition it was in when you inspected it before signing
the lease, but do you really want to go to court over it?

If the rental market in your area favors tenants, i.e., if you
could find another property easily, and if you really want to
play hard-ball with the landlord, you could tell him that
either he cleans the apartment or reimburses you for having it
cleaned, or you will walk, and he can feel free to take you to
court for breaking the lease if he feels like going through a
great deal of hassle and probably losing in the end (since he
broke the lease first by failing to deliver the property in
the condition it was in when the lease was signed). If you do
this, you may end up being taken to court, and you'll
permanently spoil your relationship with the landlord, so you
should think long and hard about whether it's a good idea.
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Default walkthrough of rental property

On 20 Nov 2003 20:31:06 -0800, someone wrote:

there any way we can force the landlord to clean it up?

Sure, or at least to PAY for the cleanup. By suing him, and/or
refusing to move in unless it is clean. But not by the move-in date.
And not by any of us telling him that he has to. How could that be
enforced? He's not gonna take my orders. Doesn't sound like a person
you'd want for your LL.

Between now and the move-in date, it's a matter of bargaining power
and position. How bad do you want the place, how hard is it to find
another place, how much of your money does he have, how badly are you
hurting if you have to wait months for a court date in order to get
that money back if you walk?

Sure, he *should*. But he won't (voluntarily). There is your answer.

You would have to sue him. That will not happen before the move-in
date. You will need to pay someone else to clean up, preferably an
established professional, and keep the bill to show what it is worth,
and sue him for that. Otherwise you are not likely to get paid for
your own time.

You might get triple damages and legal fees if the court finds his
conduct willful, egregious, whatever the test and consumer protection
laws are is in your state. Or you might NOT, even after trial, or if
he makes a reasonable settlement offer after formal demand.

But no, either way, it is NOT something you are going to force him to
do in the next few days before move-in. 99.9% of the time, courts
remedy things after the fact by ordering payment of money for what the
wrong was worth in $. It is seldom that 'specific performance'
(forcing somebody under duress to perform a certain physical act) is

There are bad landlords, there are also bad tenants. Oh well.

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Default walkthrough of rental property

On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 18:08:00 -0500, someone wrote:

You could invite the landlord to photograph
the place, so you can be sure eventually to
vacate it in the condition you found it.

What do you really think such an "invitation" would accomplish?

Do you actually think he would do it, hey why don't you just "invite"
him to clean it too.

This is about as realistic as the guy who suggested asking a seller to
let the buyer hold back $10,000 in escrow for "whatever" the buyer
might find over the next 3 to 5 years.

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