Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I think this is the last straw

When I went to the freezer to get a small package of ground beef for lunch today, I noticed some water on the floor by the windows. As I feared, we have an ice dam over the uninsulated, L shape porch. Sigh. I contacted the LL, whose reply was that I (tenant) am responsible for day to day maintenance. This would be like having the snow plowed or grass mowed. I contacted a roofing company that will remove the ice dam, he's here now checking it out. This is pricey . . .-where's the dislike button?

Definitely pushing me out the door. LL has me as the lease states "tenant is responsible for snow removal." It doesn't specify driveway/walkway/stairs. The heavy snow melting on the roof caused the ice dam (most likely melting more as there is not enough or in good enough condition insulation in the attic).

Really doubt she'll reinsulate to prevent a reoccurance. I figure it's best to remove the problem, save the newish roof, which would be even more $$$$ to repair/replace. Ugh! Really bad timing.

Not a happy camper today.


Softie said...

Wow I would have never thought something like that would be a tenants reponsibility. I always thought renting meant thouse repairs were up to the LL. What a pain! I hope there are no more problems for you.

slugmama said...

LL is an idiot(can you tell I am in a mood today?lol).
You would think she'd want to take care of a problem that will compromise the condition of her roof and cause further repair costs in her future.
Ice Dams are above and beyond simple "snow removal" on a property.

CTMOM said...

Since the lease states snow removal, I doubt I'd win in court. Next lease will be quite specific. I actually called the realtor, hoping to get a roofer reference, meanwhile, I found one myself. She called me back, and I told her that we remain interested in moving, told her that I need 3 bed, 1 1/2 bath, smaller is better for utilities, ditto a short vs long driveway and smaller acreage over larger. Don't need a dining room or a separate family room, we are saving our pennies, a modest home is fine, got pets, gave her my price point, keeping in mind that we are saving for our next purchased home.
While this is costing me some serious money, it is cheaper to do this, get it done, keep records and avoid having the LL stiff me for any roof repairs/replacements when I move out. I have 2 months rent as a security deposit, hope to get every penny plus interest back when we do leave.

CTMOM said...

I call it penny wise, pound foolish. She won't cover this? Ok, piss off a good tenant, who actually cares about this place. As I told the realtor (see reply to Softie), I won't live in a dump, I do have certain requirements. So assume we do move. I anticipate that this would be a turn key, as I have had improvements done prior to moving in, and have continued to get repairs done by the LL: new D/W, replacement fridge, 2 new toilets, new kitchen faucet,replaced leaking pipes under kitchen sink, bathroom sink, cellar etc. Her handyman has even commented several times that we have taken great care of the place, it has never looked so good, etc.
Moving forward this Winter (that doesn't seem to want to end), I'll pay to have roof raking done if we get another monster storm, hoping that'll avoid a repeat situation.
I have crippling oil bills, now this. I'm also now in a mood. Grrr

M Ripples said...

I would think that some of that repair would be able to be covered buy LL insurance. Ice damage due to winter storm? Idk if it would or not. We have a rental and I wouldn't try to pass this off on the tenant. But we also have a condo association that is supposed to deal with all ice and snow removal.

CTMOM said...

I am paying for ice removal, and they are also removing 4 feet from edge of roof, any loose snow. Obviously, I feel this is the LL's responsibility. Shame on me for not having specified snow removal on driveway, not roof!

Lily said...

a few years ago my moms house had horrible ice dams that lead to water eventually running down the inside of one of her bedroom walls. we had had some serious storms and all of the "ice" people were booked up. a friend told me to put either calcium or snow salt (i dont remember which) in a cut off pantyhose leg and tie a loooong string to the end. toss several of these on your roof and they melt the snow/ice and form channels for the rest of the melting snow/ice to drain off. we did and it worked like a charm for her. afterward i told a few folks what we did and they all did it too. a couple of them told me they remembered their grandparents doing that long ago. just a thought. but please do google to see which substance to use before you try this if you're interested. one will work and the other will damage your roof!!

Mary Lou said...

I don't consider an ice dam the same as snow removal. Snow removal is plowing, snow blowing or shoveling.

Does this landlord consider snow removal to be raking the roof to prevent ice dams? Crazy if you ask me.

I think it might be a smart move for you to move all things considered especially when I see how often you get oil.

Good luck with this latest issue.

DW said...

Oh geezz ... I'm sorry. Talk about lousy timing.
I hope you can find something and get out of there ...

CTMOM said...

Mary lou
We agree. The lease, however only stipulates that the tenant is responsible for snow removal, doesn't specify WHERE. Agree, that one would typically think of steps, porches, walkways, driveways and not a ROOF! Granted, unusually snowy season this year. Still, if roof is included, then I would be negligent for not roof raking, which COULD* have prevented the ice dam from building up. From what I've been reading, it's the heat escaping through the roof that causes ice dams. So, I'll get the roof raked next time we have a big storm. I'll keep my receipts. If another ice dam situation occurs, I'll advise the LL that I DID take care of snow removal, yet the under insulated attic that contains too little insulation, and what is there is no good/water damaged (probably why the roof was replaced a few years back) is the cause NOT TENANT NEGLECT OF RESPONSIBILITY. This really burns me. If the realtor can find us a new place, that will fit my requirements, I'll move. I've asked the roofing company who did the work, to mail me an invoice, as I am keeping records on everything. No way in H*** will I be jipped my security deposit, which is thousands of dollars.

ND Chic said...

This is outrageous. The LL home insurance would cover the damage done. I would look onto moving also.

CTMOM said...

LL's position is that tenant is responsible for snow removal. True, I didn't have the snow removed from the roof edge after the second recent storm which dumped another 12 inches, so we've had about 2 feet out there. Driving around, I've noted other homes with the same issue-perhaps 5 % of homes; all are older homes, assume are also poorly insulated. Based on how the lease is written, I don't think I'd have a legal leg to stand on. OK, I'll play the game, have the roof cleared of snow w/ a roof rake and document it. Should an ice dam follow, LL wouldn't have a stand on. I would have taken care of snow, so the ice dam? and any possible damage would be on the LL. I paid to avoid any more damage beyond some drips coming in. I can document how bad the insulation is, the condition of the attic, the water staining, the mold up there thru the Nov 2012 energy audit done, which includes photos. Based on the condition of the paint on the ceiling on the porch, this has been a chronic issue, touched up with slightly different shades of paint over time.
LL had better return all of my deposit; I have no issues about taking her to court. My divorce attorney also specializes in LL-tenant law.