Posted by: grantahelms | November 14, 2011

Slumlord or Bad Tenant # 1

Greetings. In the comments of my last blog, a reference was made toward one of my customers as being a ” SLUM LORD”. Though I respect and care for the commentors opinions, I take an exception to that reference. Yes, he’s cheap, tight, penny-pinching, etc. But if there is something that has to be repaired to preserve the integrity of the structure, or to keep the property within HUD guidelines, IT WILL BE REPAIRED. In this episode we will review a rental property that I recently repaired.

In 2007 this structure was remodeled under a COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT GRANT. Bids were accepted and contractors were awarded contracts. When the jobs were completed, they had to pass all local building codes. Unfortunately for this landlord, the contractor died 3 months after completion. 3 months later the tenants began having electrical problems. The landlord tried for 6 months to convince the local authorities to stand behind the 12 month warranty to no avail. So as the warranty lapsed, he called me. The repairs were completed and everyone was happy. Then he asked how many were living in the house. 5 more than on lease. He raised the rent $50.00 per month. Then he explained to tenant that the increase was due to excess people, not repairs.

Fast forward to October 2011. DHEC ( Department of Health) contacts landlord about sewage leaks, mold, lead and others. When asked why she didn’t call landlord, the comment was ” I didn’t want my rent raised again.”

So, who’s at fault? Picture is clear to me. And, once again, THE REPAIRS HAVE BEEN MADE.



  1. And then there are the “corporate” landlords that simply do not care. I had the unpleasant experience of having to live in an apartment for a short period of time while my home was rebuilt after a fire. All seemed good until we had been living there for a few weeks. I developed a horrible cough and it was determined to be mold related. I notify the leasing company. They informed me there was no mold in the unit. I paid for a mold test myself. I was informed that there was nothing they would do. Unfortunately, there were no state or local laws forcing them to take action. I asked to be released from my four month lease due to health concerns. No. I moved back into my house while it was still under construction and was in the apartment less than two months. I left the unit in better condition than when I arrived having made several minor repairs myself. I paid the rent per the lease agreement. I had to take them to small claims court in an attempt to have my desposit returned and despite the courts ruling in my favor, I still have not received my money back. It will be pretty much a wash to persue the matter further and they know it.

    The point is . . . I’ve been on both sides of the fence. Good tenants are had to find, but then so are good landlords. Sometimes the letter of the law is not good enough and people need to step up and do what is right, not simply just what is “required.”

    • Amen Dee. My feelings exactly.

  2. In this case, by all means, tenant. This vile place is the epitome of accepting and maintaining substandard living conditions. Waiting for #2 to see if “slumlord” will be the answer. *Grins*

    • Thanks for the comment. As I have said before, with this landlord it’s always the tenent.

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