As a tenant, I've seen my fair share of less than desirable landlord experiences. Renting from four different buildings across New York City, each landlord has a different process (or lack-there-of) for collecting rent, handling maintenance requests, and communicating with me. I’ve felt the effects of poor-renter experiences by feeling confused, disrespected, and upset. I’ve also had friends and family that have had similar experiences and I’m certain that the folks reading this blog post may have felt the same. Alas, "Real Stories", a platform for tenants and landlords to share the perils, and often funny side, of modern day renting issues, was born.
Payment options and mishaps are typical issues that come up, as I've witnessed first hand. I had been paying my rent with checks and dropping them into a box in the building’s basement. One day I had received an angry call from my landlord – the management company hadn’t received my rent. I was sure I dropped it off and they were adamant that the management company had no record. We'd reached an impasse and the only way forward was to call my bank and cancel the check. Of course, I then had to write a new one, hoping this time it wouldn't disappear. Not only was it an embarrassing conversation, but because they didn't believe I paid the original on time, I had to pay a late fee and have an awkward exchange.
This is one of a number of issues that come up when there isn't an online payment option. Often, as I experienced, neither landlord or tenant can prove their side, making it difficult for landlords to keep track of payments. Additionally, when payment drop-off is mandatory, it often requires a long walk or drive to do so. And when rent is paid in cash, sometimes required, it poses even a greater risk for the tenant.
The landlord-renter relationship can be complicated and finding an easy and open way to communication minimizes conflict and confusion and promotes trust and respect. We'd like to hear your stories, whether you're a tenant or a landlord. What was your experience and how did you find resolve? Send us your Real Stories at firstname.lastname@example.org