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Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 625035 times)

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siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #630 on: April 19, 2013, 08:49:46 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 #631 on: April 19, 2013, 09:06:49 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 #632 on: April 19, 2013, 09:29:37 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.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #633 on: April 19, 2013, 11:41:05 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.

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 #634 on: April 19, 2013, 12:33:29 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 #635 on: April 19, 2013, 12:53:20 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.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

ladyknight1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #636 on: April 19, 2013, 02:02:02 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.

Exactly how it is for me!

My parents use a hotplate or electric skillet, because their range hasn't worked properly in 15+ years.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Slartibartfast

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #637 on: April 19, 2013, 02:29:39 PM »
This thread has inspired me to track down a handyman on Craigslist and get some stuff fixed around the house - mostly stuff DH and I poked at, couldn't figure out what to do next, and never got back to.  I'm sick of my back door not working properly, for instance  :)

ETA: Woohoo, SO glad I did this!  Found an engineering student who came out and fixed the front and back door (back door screen was stuck closed and we haven't been able to use it in months), fixed a light fixture in the guest bathroom in which the dead lightbulb was stuck in the fixture, and figured out what was wrong with the fluorescent light in the kitchen.  Best $35 ever.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 07:37:06 PM by Slartibartfast »

norrina

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #638 on: April 19, 2013, 06:30:19 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.

Exactly how it is for me!

My parents use a hotplate or electric skillet, because their range hasn't worked properly in 15+ years.

Different strokes for different folks. When I owned my house, my oven broke (the range itself still "mostly" worked, 3 out of 4 burners), and I replaced it the same day. When I rented later the range broke, and I nearly went out of my mind because it was being repaired under warranty and took over a month to resolve. Even though the oven was a separate unit and was still okay, as was the microwave, and we had 2 electric skillets, and electric griddle, and a 2-burner hot plate.

I'm cheap/thrifty in my own way though. I can't think of the last time I spent full price on a pair of shoes or piece of clothing though; it's thrift stores, eBay, outlet shops, and clearance rack 100%. (Actually, I can remember. I paid full-price for my wedding dress, which was an ivory bridesmaids dress, 6 months ago. Then I found another dress I liked better for $20 at Goodwill. Hah!)



ladyknight1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #639 on: April 19, 2013, 07:33:03 PM »
My parent's kitchen, aside from a new refrigerator and a microwave, is exactly the same as it was when we bought the house in 1974. Rust red appliances, barely working oven and broken range. They have been waiting for my uncle to help them redo their kitchen as a favor since 1987. See, my father has helped him, so his brother is going to pay them back by building new cabinets and counter tops. Eventually...  ::)
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

HenrysMom

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #640 on: April 19, 2013, 07:48:35 PM »
My parent's kitchen, aside from a new refrigerator and a microwave, is exactly the same as it was when we bought the house in 1974. Rust red appliances, barely working oven and broken range. They have been waiting for my uncle to help them redo their kitchen as a favor since 1987. See, my father has helped him, so his brother is going to pay them back by building new cabinets and counter tops. Eventually...  ::)

His name wouldn't happen to be Paul, would it?  >:D

ladyknight1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #641 on: April 19, 2013, 08:08:00 PM »
No! Uncle is a carpenter, and AFAIK, my uncle has never volunteered or hinted that he would do the work, much less pro bono as my parents assume.

They did get the second bathroom renovated two years ago. The only part of it that worked before was the toilet and sink, the shower had not worked since they bought the house in 1974. Of course, there are only two people living there, versus five when I was a child.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

HoneyBee42

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #642 on: April 19, 2013, 08:44:45 PM »
Oh, the landlord stories reminded me ...

Back in my college student days, I lived in an apartment in a building which was rented through the student housing office and there were four to the apartment (it was a female only building, except for the apartment manager and his wife).  So, his go-to thing was tinfoil.  Toilet running non-stop?  Wrap the chain in tinfoil.  Fridge not keeping cool? wrap the back in tinfoil. 

Then there was the renter when my now-ex and I were co-managing an apartment building.  She tried to break the lease and still get her deposit back on the grounds that the apartment was "dangerously cold".  Unfortunately for her, the thermostats were controlled *by the tenant* and keeping the temperature down to 55 degrees was *her* choice and her lack of cleaning resulted in mold growths that required a lot of effort to clean.

Zenith

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #643 on: April 19, 2013, 11:28:30 PM »
What about the cheapos who push their trash onto you and then in the 1/100 times it turns out to be something nice or even great, they lose it.  One of my friends got some old games and such from an aunt. She had been pushing her to take them for years, so my friend finally took them and was going to trash them.  I came over and after a little googling and a couple of ebay auctions, she netted a little over $300 selling pieces from the torn up games to collectors who were missing pieces and selling a couple of games intact as hey were barely played with.  Aunt lost it when she found out.  This was in 1995 and my friend still hears about how she "ripped her poor aunt off".

That happened a lot when I was a kid. I would be given things or find things in horrible condition and spend time and money to bring it back to life and function and looking good. Inevitably, whoever gave me the item or decided they deserved it more would want it or want it back back and kick up such a stink it would get taken away from me and given back to them. I started refusing anything my family would give me and be called ungrateful  ::). Meh

The last incident was my aunt had refinished a house and had junked a handmade bar top which another aunt grabbed and she left it outside for 3 years. It was in a very sorry state but due to the solid handmade quality it was salvageable with work. When aunt moved house she dumped the bar top on the nature strip (basically free game) and I made sure to ask aunt if I could have it and she said yes. Luckily I asked in front of an uncle because when I had refinished it and turned it into a very nice coffee table she wanted it back and went screeching to everyone that I had stolen it. Oh the phone calls I got!. Uncle got wind of it and told her to shove it. Said uncle had seen me ask and he had helped me refinish it so he knew what was going on. Still have the coffee table now.


Piratelvr1121

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #644 on: April 20, 2013, 07:55:40 AM »
I remembered something that's eyeroll-y.  One Christmas, while I was still on speaking terms with my parents, my mother had only filled the boys' stockings, which was fine with me.  But then a few days later I went over because she had something for me and turns out it was a paper bag from some place she'd gone shopping, filled with stuff she'd gotten as samples that she didn't want or couldn't use, or had used and didn't want the rest.

Now, this wouldn't be a problem as some of the stuff I did like and could use.  But she called that my "stocking."  ::)  I didn't say anything and did take it (lack of backbone) but she did get my "You have got to be kidding me." look.   
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