Friday, August 1, 2008

Landlord vs Tenant: Round 1

I'm a city dweller. And in the land of rent control, I've lived in the same place for more than four years now. Do I wish I lived in a bigger place? Yes. Do I wish I had some outdoor space? Yes. Do I sometimes think about living in a different neighborhood? Well sure. Can I beat my rent anywhere else in the city? Probably not.

Exterior of my building--isn't it cute? Very 'San Francisco'

The downside of rent control? The landlord wants you out, because he can rent my place for a lot more. The result? Let's just say, not the most responsive when it comes to repairs.

I've had two major problems in my apartment that I've been living with for the past few months. First. A drippy kitchen faucet. Drippy is going easy on that thing. It's practically running. I called my landlord when it first started happening (not only because I was thinking about all of the water I was wasting, but because drip drip drip is annoying!) He sent his son over to fix it. His son took a quick look, moved the washer inside the faucet a bit, and declared 'That's the best I can do.' Still, all I heard was drip drip drip.

Both my sister and my friend Josh have asked 'Why don't you put a bucket under it and reserve the water?' Ummm, because the bucket would be full in a minute, and then what do I do with all this water??

I called my landlord about it again recently and he came over himself this time. I got home that night, and it was fixed! I called him to thank him and to just make sure everything was finished and fine, he was shocked how much water was leaking from it. Duh. What did he think I was talking about all this time? I think he was mad at his son for not actually fixing it sooner.

Landlord 0
Tenant 1

The leaky faucet in question--the good thing is that it's a really deep sink.

My second big issue? My bathroom sink. It doesn't drain very well. Well, ok, pretty much not at all. I've tried Drain-O and other products. No luck. I called my landlord in, and again, in came his son. He pulled up the stopper thingy and after pulling out some hair (opps, my bad), he declared it was better. Ummm, sorry. Not really.

So after how responsive my landlord was on the kitchen sink, I thought I'd push my luck and call again about the bathroom. Again, I lucked out, and the landlord came over himself. When he saw just how badly it was not draining, I think he felt bad. It was fixed that day. Whoo hoo!

Landlord 0
Tenant 2

I do love my place. You can't beat the neighborhood...I either walk to work or hop on the cable car. I've got quick access to the water, Chinatown (where I do buy some of my groceries!), North Beach, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow, even Hayes Valley and the Haight. In general, it's pretty sunny and warm on the top of my hill. And most importantly, I feel safe in my hood.

Someday, my dream will be to have a small house, with some great outdoor space (for a grill and vegetable garden...and maybe a dog.) I'll have a real living room. And a dining room (I want to throw lots of dinner parties!) And most importantly, it'll have an amazing kitchen. Definitely a good kitchen. And I'll have more than one bathroom. And I'll own the darn place and fix the leaky faucet and clogged sink myself. Or at least have a very good plumber on speed dial.

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