Broke-Ass Financial Coaching: Landlord Problems

While being young, broke and beautiful is all well and good, some people’s finances are more jacked than others.  That’s why we’ve invited Betsy Crouch (aka Coach $izzle) to come onboard and dole out some much needed advice.  She is a professional financial coach after all.  If you’ve got a question you’d like answered please email her atcoachsizzle@brokeassstuart.com.  Maybe your question will be the next one answered.

“My landlord is totally unresponsive, what should I do?”  – ba

Navigating a relationship with your landlord can be tricky.  Unfortunately there are plenty of slumlords out there and many tenants do not know their rights.  I learned a lot about tenant rights after I had a crazy landlord in college.  He called from Brazil and asked me to wire him the rent a week early.  I told him to shove it.

You may be experiencing a delicate balance with your landlord of not bringing up needed repairs in exchange for not exposing your illegal over-occupancy/activity.  Let’s be honest, that situation is not ideal but you will decide when the drawbacks outweigh the benefits.  When you are at the point when you do want to do something and ask for the help you need, over-occupancy or not, educate yourself about your rights.  If you plan on being a renter for a year or 40 years this information is extremely valuable.

If you have experienced challenges including but not limited to habitability, safety, or harassment, reach out for help.

Be sure to sign a lease.  A lease is a legal agreement meant to protect the landlord and protect you.

Want your landlord to love you?

1. Pay your rent on time

If you cannot pay your rent on time, communicate with your landlord.  Are they open to you paying half of your rent on the 1st and the other half on the 15th, to help you through a tight month?

2. Give small gifts and thank yous

Grease the wheels a little with some baked goods.  You do not need to spend a lot of money on this.  Few people make these types of gestures and they do influence responsiveness in most people.  When your landlord fixes something for you, keep it classy, send them a thank you card.

3. Treat the house/apartment/yourself with respect

Don’t smash your head through a wall trying to show how you can crush a beer can against the wall.

Before you sign a lease check out these sites and read about some of the tenant laws in your area.  If you are already experiencing problems with your landlord reach out to one of these organizations for help and support.  There is help out there and knowledge is power!

New York:

NYC Affordable Housing Resource Center

Rent Guidelines Board, this is a great resource site with information.. lots of reports, fact sheets, guides, and guidelines.  Love it.

San Francisco:

Tenant Rights, Laws, and Protections for California

Housing Rights Committee

Tenants, do you have an empowering tenant story?  Share!

coachsizzle@brokeassstuart.com

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About the author

Betsy Crouch - Coach $izzle

Betsy hates to brag, but she grew up in Michigan. An unhappy materialist/rabid consumer turned minimalist, Betsy feels right at home in the warm socially responsible arms of San Francisco. With an Economics degree, a basic financial certification, and a range of personal experience, she has developed a unique financial coaching philosophy. She wants you to feel a sense of serenity with your finances and she shares what she has learned from coaching almost 200 people one on one. Betsy wants you to embrace your "sizzle," and for you to become a more confident and empowered Broke Ass.

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