My Landlord’s Henchmen

    Have you ever rented a property and had a bad experience with the landlord over simple maintenance issues such as a leaky pipe or perhaps, rodents? Guest blogger, Mallory Thompson describes her 2-year ordeal as a tenant in a privately owned rental unit and how relieved she is to now be living in a unit maintained by a professional management company.

    Guest Blogger, Mallory Thompson

    We called them our landlord’s henchmen. They were the repairmen who would come unannounced, at all hours of the day, to our property. They always seemed to be tinkering around without making any real repairs, and this was just as my landlord wanted it. I remember one Saturday morning waking up around 9 a.m. to the sight of a man in my bedroom doorway, claiming to be there to “take a look at my outlets.” Right…completely normal.

    You see, henchmen like this one, tracking mud through our apartment one month after the next and disturbing otherwise sound slumber, were just one of the many charms that came with my then-home.

    I write today as the former tenant of a “historical property.” I put that phrase in quotation marks because there was nothing historical about the place, except that it was built in (and hadn’t been maintained properly since) the 1930’s.

    As a twenty-something, I see a lot of benefits to renting rather than buying right now. For one, I don’t have that little thing called a “down payment” for a home—and that makes the decision pretty simple. I also see perks to renting like having maintenance assistance and no lawn to tend to.

    However, when the property you’re renting has 1) mold that the landlord refuses to acknowledge 2) chronic pest issues 3) pipes older than your father 4) no central heat or air conditioning, and one measly window unit from 1978 to “cool the place down,” you start to question why you signed and initialed all the pages from that lease your landlord probably stole from the internet.

    As I spent some time last winter, wearing (indoors) a six-layer outfit modeled after Ralphie’s little brother in A Christmas Story and praying the feeling would return to my toes, I considered what I would want when I finally moved out of that forsaken place.

    I wanted the things a basic human being desires: air conditioning, heat, minimal pests and drains that did what their name implied they should. I also wanted a landlord that could see when he or she was utterly incompetent and would hire a property manager to give tenants and the property the time and energy deserved.

    And now, after two years of nightmarish living conditions, I’m happy to say that I have all of those things. I’ve learned that finding a place with a good property manager is critical. Renting, y’all. It’s not for faint of heart.

    About Mallory
    If you’ve ever met Mallory Thompson, you’d know she’s never met a stranger! A free-spirited and gregarious go-getter, Mallory is adventurous about almost everything in life. A 2014 graduate of the University of Florida, Mallory makes her living by day as the Events Manager for the Gainesville (FL) Area Chamber of Commerce. In her own time, however, she can be found hosting trivia around town at joints like Mother’s Pub, sending snail mail, watching “New Girl” or driving with the windows down and the radio up.

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