Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 204407 times)

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Lindee

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #645 on: April 18, 2013, 10:47:15 PM »
Years ago when I was living in a furnished flat in London the landlord never did any repairs. He told me how the previous tenants had damaged the coffee table and other things so they didn't get their deposit back but the damage was never fixed. Funnily enough nor were the planned improvements to the lighting and stairs he promised when we were looking at it. I was younger then and didn't realise if it wasn't done by the time you moved into a flat it would never happen.  Later when rain started to come in the bathroom ceiling I realised I could actually see sky through the ceiling and the roof. His response was that it was a rain storm and roofs weren't meant to be storm proof. Well,  yes I thought they were. Further complaints were met with the excuse that he didn't have a long enough ladder. This was a four storey house in a nice part of London, I would have though protecting his investment would be a priority, but no. 

I moved out soon after and since I was leaving the country and didn't trust him to return my deposit even though the place was in better order than when we moved in (he"graciously" allowed us repaint and fix things at our own expense) I kept back the final rent payment as the bond covered it.  He then rented it out for a bigger rent, I often wondered what the new tenants felt when it next rained.

Letting a major asset fall to bits because you are too cheap to pay for the upkeep is not good management.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 10:50:48 PM by Lindee »

reflection5

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #646 on: April 18, 2013, 11:12:24 PM »
Quote
Letting a major asset fall to bits because you are too cheap to pay for the upkeep is not good management.

No kidding.

Many landlords will only spend money to repair or replace something if and when they have to (i.e. when tenant puts rent money in escrow).  They don’t manage their money well, and they keep getting questionable tenants who only stay a short period of time.  Then the unit stays empty for months (empty apartments don’t earn any money).

Years ago I had a cheapskate landlord who, whenever I needed something fixed or replaced, whined about his cash flow problems.   ::)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 11:24:06 PM by reflection5 »

mbbored

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #647 on: April 18, 2013, 11:17:24 PM »
A former roommate and I were fixing dinner for a group of friends, including one young woman who has obsessive compulsive disorder. Roommate was making her "signature" salad which involved sesame seeds. Except when she went to grab the jar, it was filled with moth larvae. She shrugged her shoulder and dumped them in anyways. Nothing I said could convince her to forget the salad that night.

When our friends showed up and she pulled out the salad, I said "Funny thing! We discovered moths in the sesame seeds and Roommie added them anyways!" Oddly enough, nobody wanted to eat the salad and my roommate sulked all night. Friend with OCD since then has never touched a single dish that Roommie prepared, and now that we no longer live together, will only meet her in public places. ("If she was willing to serve me bugs, how clean could her house be?")

Margo

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #648 on: April 19, 2013, 06:43:10 AM »
When I was a student, we had a cheapskate landlord/agent. He/They also had a lot of relatives so when things *did* get done it was always by one of his brothers/sons/cousins, not by a professional. Quite a few of the relatives were recent immigrants and didn't speak much English, whcih made communicating what needed to be done difficult at times.

Some of the highlights:

- A leak from the bathroom, which meant that water came through the living room ceiling and down the wall every time the bath, shower or sink were used. There were 6 of us living in the house - the bathroom got a lot of use. The agents kept telling us we just needed to be more careful and not splash (er, no, this isn't a little splashing, the main down pipe seems to have sprung a leak. I eventually called and told them that I, personally, didn't care f the bathtub fell through the ceiling because they were too cheap to fix it, but that I would sue the pants off them it that happened and I was injured, or any of my property damaged, and that it would really be cheaper for them to fix it before that happened. The came and fixed it 3 days later.

- The house was broken in to. The burglars used a garden spade as a lever to breakthe back door lock off the door. The landlord took over a week to come to secure it (we put bolts on, ourselves, in the mean time) When they did come, rather than replacing the door or the lock, they tried to screw the splintered wood back into place. They ignored us when we explained that the lock needed to be replaced as the burglars had also stolen the keys to the door. (A week later the burglars returned. They couldn't get access because of the bolts which my housemates and I had fixed to the door)

- the landlords had agreed to have an extra power point put into the kitchen, as there was no socket to plug in a washer, and we pointed out that an extension cord running across the kitchen floor was not acceptable. the guy who came to do it had absolutely no clue. Fortunately some of us did, and managed to ensure he didn't get the 'earth' and 'live'  wires wrong way round, but we did end up with a wire which went up one wall, zig-zagged across the ceiling and went down another wall, as running the wire along the skirting would have meant using more wire..)

- We're pretty sure that the landlord was pretty cheap in other ways, too, as we often got bailiffs knocking on the door looking for him.

- the landlord didn't live in the city where the house was. they visited occasionally, and once turned up at the door wanting us to let them stay in the house for a few nights so they didn't have t use a hotel. they got quite shirty when we refused to let them into the house.

- When we moved house, they tried to withhold our security deposits on the basis that there was 'junk in the hall'. Yes, there was a small amount of junk mail which was delivered after we moved out, and before they could be bothered to inspect. Fortunately, I have a nasty suspicious mind and had taken date-stamped photos of every room immediately before returning the keys. I still wound up havingto go to the agent's office and sit there advising *every*single*person* person not to rent through them as they would not return deposits to get our money back. (they had failed to return it 3 months after we moved out. They specialised in student lets, and it was just before the start of term, when every student and their parents are looking for rental properties.  It took about 20 minutes before they discovered that actually, no, my cheque was't in the post, and yes, there was someone in the office who could sign it, and oh yes, I was correct about the amount and the fact that they didn't have any right to deduct anything. I can't help wondering how much money they made every year from the interest on all those deposits,not to mention keeping them / creaming off the top. ( I made them give me the cheques from my house-mates, which I then posted, too. I'm sure they ought not to have given them to me, but I'm pretty sure none of them would have got their money otherwise...)

I reported them to the University housing office. (it wasn't university housing, but the housing office kept details of private landlord and agencies and if asked, would tell students whether there had been complaints or problems with particular landlords / agencies )


Piratelvr1121

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #649 on: April 19, 2013, 06:54:55 AM »
Quote
Letting a major asset fall to bits because you are too cheap to pay for the upkeep is not good management.

No kidding.

Many landlords will only spend money to repair or replace something if and when they have to (i.e. when tenant puts rent money in escrow).  They donít manage their money well, and they keep getting questionable tenants who only stay a short period of time.  Then the unit stays empty for months (empty apartments donít earn any money).

Years ago I had a cheapskate landlord who, whenever I needed something fixed or replaced, whined about his cash flow problems.   ::)

There are some duplexes around here that have sat empty for a year or more.  I haven't seen any for sale signs out front, or any signs letting anyone know it's for rent, so I'm kind of curious.  The house next door to that one has been condemned for a while.  Not due to fire, and I don't want to think about other reasons it would be condemned.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Emmy

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #650 on: April 19, 2013, 07:15:51 AM »
It's weird how a lot of people pushing old junk on you to "save money" end up costing you more if you take them up on your offer. Relatedly, I'm often surprised by how many cheap people end up spending more by being cheap than they would have otherwise.

I think that the two things that distinguish cheap from thrifty are that (1) for cheap people the feeling of getting a deal is more important than actual savings and (2) while thrity people will do with less for themselves, cheap people are all about what they can make others do without to save themselves money.

And for the cheapskates out there, they simply can't fathom that sometimes you NEED to spend a little more to get something that will work or last.  Or something you can't do yourself. I have friends who are appalled that I will actually spend money to have someone put highlights in my hair. In their mind, i shoudl be able to do it myself and save money! So not happening. not unless i want to look like a zebra!

Cheapskates will also go through major inconvenience or put their life at risk to save some money (often because they refuse to throw out expired or questionable food).  It often seems that hoarding and cheapness goes hand in hand.  There was an episode where a woman could not be convinced to get rid of several boxes of chicken broth that expired several years ago because it was an expensive organic broth and replacing it would cost a lot - she didn't take into consideration that she bought way more than she needed if she had that much old broth left over and something that old could make her very ill.  Saving money (no matter how little) is the #1 priority, and if that means the comfort, enjoyment, health, time, ect. of the cheapskate or their family is sacrificed, so be it.  A thrifty person knows how to be smart about saving money, but not sacrifice something more important to do it.

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #651 on: April 19, 2013, 08:09:53 AM »
Quote
Letting a major asset fall to bits because you are too cheap to pay for the upkeep is not good management.

No kidding.

Many landlords will only spend money to repair or replace something if and when they have to (i.e. when tenant puts rent money in escrow).  They donít manage their money well, and they keep getting questionable tenants who only stay a short period of time.  Then the unit stays empty for months (empty apartments donít earn any money).

Years ago I had a cheapskate landlord who, whenever I needed something fixed or replaced, whined about his cash flow problems.   ::)

A lot of people get into the landlord business to "make money".   ::)  They're constantly cash flow poor, which makes them CHEAP.  After the fire at my former complex, the damage was patched together, not really fixed.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #652 on: April 19, 2013, 09:49:46 AM »
Quote
Letting a major asset fall to bits because you are too cheap to pay for the upkeep is not good management.

No kidding.

Many landlords will only spend money to repair or replace something if and when they have to (i.e. when tenant puts rent money in escrow).  They donít manage their money well, and they keep getting questionable tenants who only stay a short period of time.  Then the unit stays empty for months (empty apartments donít earn any money).

Years ago I had a cheapskate landlord who, whenever I needed something fixed or replaced, whined about his cash flow problems.   ::)

Oh yeah. the house I lived in literally is falling apart. It originally was a 2-family, and now has 4 apts. I feel for his kids who will end up having to sell it once he's gone since it most likely a. won't pass any inspections for sale being that I'm not quite sure all those apts are legal, and b. it needs so much work and updating its probably best as a teardown!

faithlessone

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #653 on: April 19, 2013, 10:06:49 AM »
I had a ridiculously cheap landlord in my 2nd year of uni. He was apparently highly recommended by the university, and he owned 9 or 10 houses near the campus. I'm not sure how he got this good reputation though - he was appalling! He was generally quite reluctant to do anything - it took at least 4 or 5 phone calls/emails to get him to respond. He was also really sexist. There were three girls and two boys in my house. No matter who contacted him, he'd only talk to either Chris or Matt, not to us girls.

There were two serious cheapskatey cases though.

The first happened soon after we moved in. It turned out that the microwave that had been in the kitchen was the property of one of the previous tenants - but there was a microwave on the list of supplied appliances on our lease, so he was obliged to give us one. After three weeks, he finally got round to dropping it off. It was obviously old - there was a thick layer of old food and grease, which took my housemate hours to clean. When she finally got through that, she found large patches of rust. We refused to use it, and the landlord accused us of being snobby. He tried to demonstrate that it was "safe", and there were several very loud popping noises before it finally died.

He then pointed out a clause in the lease that said that any damaged appliances would have to be replaced by the tenants, and accused my housemate of breaking it by cleaning it wrong. We would have reported him, but it was just easier to go to Argos and get a new microwave ourselves. When we left, we personally donated it to the next tenants. (I imagine the landlord claimed that it was his, though!)

The second case was ongoing, really. There were two bathrooms in the house, one upstairs, and one downstairs. The downstairs bathroom had been put in by the landlord, and it was... temperamental. The toilet wasn't plumbed in particularly well, and had a nasty habit of backing up at the slightest provocation, so we really tried not to use it. There was also a shower, which leaked like crazy, and had the most terrible water pressure I've ever seen. If you could get it to give more than a trickle, you were lucky. No matter how many times we complained, nothing ever happened about it. So it ended up with all 5 of us using 1 bathroom, which was really less than ideal.

Luckily, we moved into a different house for our 3rd year, with perfectly lovely landlords. ;D

mumma to KMC

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #654 on: April 19, 2013, 10:29:37 AM »
A former roommate and I were fixing dinner for a group of friends, including one young woman who has obsessive compulsive disorder. Roommate was making her "signature" salad which involved sesame seeds. Except when she went to grab the jar, it was filled with moth larvae. She shrugged her shoulder and dumped them in anyways. Nothing I said could convince her to forget the salad that night.

When our friends showed up and she pulled out the salad, I said "Funny thing! We discovered moths in the sesame seeds and Roommie added them anyways!" Oddly enough, nobody wanted to eat the salad and my roommate sulked all night. Friend with OCD since then has never touched a single dish that Roommie prepared, and now that we no longer live together, will only meet her in public places. ("If she was willing to serve me bugs, how clean could her house be?")

This is something my mil would do and the reason I won't eat food at their house.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #655 on: April 19, 2013, 10:54:07 AM »
Okay, all of these bad landlord stories reminded me of my last apartment.  It was in a complex that started out good, but went very bad over the years I lived there.

We had NINETEEN fires.   yes, you read that right.  3 or 4 of the fires were electrical fires, but the rest of them were from an arsonist (who they caught, later).   After the fires started, they started requiring proof of renter's insurance before signing a lease.

But that's not the worst.  I came home one day to find a big hole kicked in my front door!  All those years I lived there, I had no idea that they had HOLLOW CORE doors as apartment front doors!!  I called Maintenance just before 5pm, and someone finally showed up around 11pm, With A Screwdriver.  Because 'There's a giant freaking hole in my door!' apparently translates as 'her locks are loose, bring a screwdriver'.    And while he was thinking about how he was going to fix it, they called him on his cell phone to send him to another 'emergency'.  I stood in the hallway and screamed 'IF THEY HAVE A DOOR, IT'S NOT AN EMERGENCY!!' 
He did come back and boarded my door, but I never slept until maintenance showed up the next day and replaced the whole door, with something SOLID.    Meanwhile, I packed.  I was out of there 2 months later, breaking my lease, and they didn't complain.  I'm sure it was because they knew that I had pictures and could sue.
They didn't take much, and I lost nothing of real value (just 2 antique sewing machines, which have no street value), so it was obviously just kids.  They kicked in at least 15 doors that week, too.  I wasn't the only one.   I never got my deposit back, though, but I thought it was worth getting out of that place for. 
The police never caught the kids.

Shalamar

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #656 on: April 19, 2013, 12:05:28 PM »
Quote
This is something my mil would do and the reason I won't eat food at their house.

You must know my MIL!  I was once at her house and was offered a drink.  My favorite adult beverage is a Bloody Caesar, which is Clamato juice and vodka, so I asked if she had any Clamato.  She said "Oh, yes!" and pulled out a bottle of the stuff - which had been opened at some point and then stored unrefrigerated for who knows how long.   Clamato is supposed to be red (since its main component is tomato juice).  This stuff was brown

I drank it anyway because, at the time, I was too intimidated to say no to my MIL.  These days I'd give her a look and say "Think I'll have something else, thanks."

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #657 on: April 19, 2013, 12:41:05 PM »
Okay, all of these bad landlord stories reminded me of my last apartment.  It was in a complex that started out good, but went very bad over the years I lived there.

We had NINETEEN fires.   yes, you read that right.  3 or 4 of the fires were electrical fires, but the rest of them were from an arsonist (who they caught, later).   After the fires started, they started requiring proof of renter's insurance before signing a lease.

But that's not the worst.  I came home one day to find a big hole kicked in my front door!  All those years I lived there, I had no idea that they had HOLLOW CORE doors as apartment front doors!!  I called Maintenance just before 5pm, and someone finally showed up around 11pm, With A Screwdriver.  Because 'There's a giant freaking hole in my door!' apparently translates as 'her locks are loose, bring a screwdriver'.    And while he was thinking about how he was going to fix it, they called him on his cell phone to send him to another 'emergency'.  I stood in the hallway and screamed 'IF THEY HAVE A DOOR, IT'S NOT AN EMERGENCY!!' 
He did come back and boarded my door, but I never slept until maintenance showed up the next day and replaced the whole door, with something SOLID.    Meanwhile, I packed.  I was out of there 2 months later, breaking my lease, and they didn't complain.  I'm sure it was because they knew that I had pictures and could sue.
They didn't take much, and I lost nothing of real value (just 2 antique sewing machines, which have no street value), so it was obviously just kids.  They kicked in at least 15 doors that week, too.  I wasn't the only one.   I never got my deposit back, though, but I thought it was worth getting out of that place for. 
The police never caught the kids.

That sound you heard was my jaw hitting the floor right before I thanked the heavens I got a good landlord while in college. 

We were living on the second floor of a Victorian house and I personally loved it, but then I've always loved old homes.  This house was yellow with green shutters.  The other roommates thought it was ugly, I thought it was awesome. :)

The only problem was that when it came to heating this house in the winter, the gas bills were terrible.  I'm talking $300 one January and the pilot light was always going out.  The guy the landlord called to look at it taught myself and the other two girls who lived there how to relight it and we never had a problem again or had to call him out.   

Now like I said, three girls were living there and one  must have thought the other two were so cheap.   Jessie and I would come home at the end of our school day to find that Cathy had turned the heat up to 80.  We had a rule that it doesn't go up past 72 and she'd whine "But I was COLD!"  "That's what blankets and sweaters were invented for, m'dear." said Jessie.  I said "Well if you want to be that warm you could pay more than a 1/3 of the heating bill."   

She did find other ways of coping but she'd still whine.   To try and deal with the lack of insulation in the house, Jessie's boyfriend got the idea of getting plastic sheeting and putting it over the windows so at the very least we wouldn't be losing warm air or having drafts and that did work.  Didn't look all that great, but it worked.   

And oh, while we were living there, we didn't have a couch for a while but before DH joined the Marines, his coworker said "Hey I've got a couch y'all could have, it's a sleeper sofa!"  We said sure, we'll take it, we were tired of bean bags.   This couch was in good shape, other than smelling mildly of smoke and dog, but that's what air freshener was for. ;)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

snowflake

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #658 on: April 19, 2013, 01:33:29 PM »
Quote
he refused to pay anyone to do anything he couldnít do

Sounds like my dad.  He's a very  handy guy, and there's a lot he CAN do, but if he finds himself flummoxed by a home repair job, he's convinced that no-one on this earth could fix it.


Wow, are we related?  Because you just described my parents AND my ILs.  The difference is that my ILs do the repairs and have a wonky house. My parents don't do the repairs and just keep adding the potential projects to their list and have a broken house.  No kidding I once visited for Christmas and discovered that they had a toilet that had been stopped up for six months.  Because they are empty-nesters and it used to be the "kids'" bathroom, they just kept the door closed.  A plumber was "too expensive" and they were "too busy" to get it done.  (They protested and complained when my sister called a plumber for them for Christmas.)

My husband and I resembled that for our first year of home ownership.  Then we spent money on a handyman cleaning up our goofs that would have cost half as much (and 1/10 the time) for him to do in the first place.  We've been cured ever since. 

Last year we had a serious repair in our bathroom.  His parents kept freaking out that we were paying someone to fix it.  But they have a toilet that wobbles after they replaced the wax seal.  Seriously, there is a whole generation of grandkids who are all terrified of using the potty there.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #659 on: April 19, 2013, 01:53:20 PM »
I have a buddy that is a great DIY type handyman.  I save up my list of little things and call him once a year or so to do all of the little things that need doing.  If he can't do it, he tells me so and gives me recommendations on who to call for the job.

So for a couple of hundred bucks a year, tops, my house stays in decent shape.
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