Wow! a week has flown by and no posting to the blog. Closing doors on one rental, opening doors on the new one . . toss in DD's surgery on Mon (kept us at the surgical center all day, but she's doing well, now off of RX pain meds). Been working daily on transporting "smalls" from the old house to the new, created a donation pile at the old one so as to just grab and go with it directly over to Goodwill and not bring it back here. My personal deadline is to get the old house cleaned out by tonight, go do a vacuum and quick clean tomorrow, get the Realtor to come out and do a final walk through.
Speaking of Realtors-Realtors showing the rental home while I was there, were making claims that the wood stove is a feature of the home. Nope-had to correct them, sent an email to the listing realtor to update the listing about that as well as the washer/dryer (for sale BTW). Realtor's assistant texted me the other night, telling me that they have a new tenant for the 15th (my lease expires the 14th so I am assuming no painting yet again!), oh, and will you be removing the stove pipe from the fireplace in the living room? I replied, "thanks for the update. The woodstove piping is a permenant modicication for which I had written pemission to have done. It will remain." Fast forward and the LL sends me a rather terse email. cc'd the Realtor:
I spoke with M. earlier and there seems to be a problem regarding the wood stove. I expect all of the piping and anything else that is associated with the wood stove to be removed and the fireplace to be returned to its original condition. It was my understanding that it was to be a temporary fixture until such time that you were no longer my tenant and that it would be leaving when you did. Please make sure that all parts are removed by the 14th of August, the day your lease expires. There was never any mention of it being a permanent fixture, and I would never have okayed it if that was the case. Also please make sure there is a full tank of oil as you received one when you moved in.
Well, the lease is clear on this: I am required to get written permission for any permenant modifications to the rental (I actually had "tenant may have wood stove professionally installed" added to the lease). Any modifications to the structure (example given was tv satelite antenas) if not removed by tenant, become a permenant fixture to the rental and therefor the property of the LL. Fine.
As luck would have it, my new LL had a chimney company out here the other day, installing a new flue pipe for the new furnace. I asked them if a wood stove in a fireplace is considered a permemant modification. An obvious yes. Can it be restored to original condition? No, the cut out fire box plate can not be resodered in place. Can the pipe be removed and the unit retrofitted with a new damper? Yes. It would cost about $1000.
I feel the lease is protecting me on this one, and I don't have to (yet???) contact my divorce attorney who also specializes in landlord-tenant law. It is the responsiblity of the LL to make an informed decision when granting permission to a tenant, in a lease, to have a modification of the property and to do research, ask questions etc. as needed. She gave permission. There is no added language that the tenant will remove the pipe and revert the fireplace to a wood burner (BTW-per the contractor installing the wood stove, the fireplace is shot, wouldn't advise using as a fireplace).
I filed a building permit in the LL's name, as required, paying the fee, the paperwork was mailed to her in FL, by the town building dept. I had a licensed contractor do the work, had two town building dept inspections of the work, had the unit (including the aforementioned pipe) professionally chimney swept/cleaned every year for the 2 years of my tenancy. I have more than met my obligation. Frankly, she should be thanking me for having it fitted for a wood stove and invest in a wood stove herself for the rental. @@ I spent over $5000/year on oil, keeping the house cold, hunkering down to the semi insulated part of the house when it was bad out.
So, I will complete my move out, and then respond to the LL's email. I will be very careful, and matter of fact in my reply. For the record, when I learned that I was moving back on 7/15, I called the il company and made arrangements to have the oil tank topped up, on 8/8-per my instructions. I didn't need her reminder. Thanks anyway.
So, WWYD? I am beyond over dealing with this LL, can't finish the move fast enough!