Health hazard homes and landlords without boundaries are just some of the problems these tenants have to deal with.Leasing property is a two-sided affair and while nightmare tenants have received plenty of column inches, maniacal landlords are overstepping the mark as well.Anthony Ziebell, founder of Dontrentme.com, started the site after he was unable to get a landlord to fix his oven for six-months, despite all efforts.“I couldn’t cook any food,” he said.Anthony Ziebell created Dontrentme.com to help tenants avoid problem landlords.When it came time to move he realised that, unlike landlords and property managers who had access to tenant “blacklists”, there were no resources for renters to identify a bad owner.“I thought that if it’s good for them to have this and they’ve already got it — and fair enough, they need it — then it’s good for tenants too.”Mr Ziebell said his site allowed landlords a right of reply, and if they could show a review was false, it was taken down.“There are thousands of reviews on there and maybe only about 20 of them have been removed.“We want truthful reviews on the site. We want its integrity for the tenants … so they can believe what they find on the site and find it useful themselves.”Mr Ziebell said most tenant complaints revolved around three areas — maintenance, bond disputes and unlawful access.UNBELIEVABLEMr Ziebell said his most memorable bad landlord story was from Newtown, Sydney.A gentleman was working in the garden shed when he suddenly heard screams from his wife who was having a shower.“He rushes inside to find her covering herself with a towel and the landlord standing there in the bathroom,” he said.“Basically, he let himself into the house because he thought nobody was home.”Renting from this landlord was like starring in a Hitchcock filmMr Ziebell also came across a tenant who was dealing with an open sewer pipe that would back up whenever the WC was used.The landlord gave the tenant some advice on how to overcome the problem.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours ago“‘Well … don’t use toilet paper.’ That was his solution — don’t use toilet paper and it won’t back up!”Mr Ziebell was so shocked, he filmed the horror house and interviewed the tenant for posting online.Some of the other head-turning, bad-landlord complaints on Dontrentme include:“Mould everywhere. Black mould too, that just grows on everything. I had to throw away almost all of my furniture, books, shoes and towels/linen. Spiders everywhere. And possums! Possums that live in the roof cavity between the house and the unit, Possums that chew through the roof, leaving big holes. You know that feeling when you *know* someone’s watching you? So you turn around from the tv to find a pair of beedy possum eyes staring at you from a roof hole. Unnerving. The possums like to chew through the electrical wiring in the place, so you’d have power outtages and arcing from time to time. The guy from Energex said it was a death trap. Especially for those poor possums. Occasionally one would electrocute himself chewing a tasty wire, and the place would reek for months (sic).”Can we change channel now? “The house is split in half with your landlord on the back half of your flat, but please be warned the landlord basically lives with you, every day, all day and at all times of day that she deems necessary. she will be knocking, tapping and yelling on door and at your windows for you to complete chores for her or simply give her attention and listen to her rant. Unfortunately due to the fact that she has your bond you feel obliged to do whatever is requested and within my first two weeks living with her, she became my second job that I had to tend to every night when I got home. If you do not comply or get back to her multiple messages on phone and handwritten abusive notes left at your front door she acts like an ex girlfriend from hell, only because you haven’t responded to such abuse within a few hours (sic).”“*** privately rents her home out to individual people. It seems like a good deal at first — 160pw for a room with all utilities included, even Internet, but that’s until you move in and she brings you “the contract”. No alcohol, no swearing, no scary movies or movies that involve witchcraft or any form of supernatural activity, no significant others to be in the house without being introduced to her first, and certainly not there late at night or for sleepovers. She also likes to let herself into the property (with her children) whenever she feels like. She once snuck in and stole my computer while I was in the shower because my rent payment didn’t clear on time, before even telling me she hadn’t received the payment … (sic).”“the landlord dropped off a occupancy agreement which if we had signed would of meant he held the rights to enter any room of the house without notice, he could request us to leave our room at any time without notice. even had a point using the term “undesirable person” in terms of reason for eviction. and it said if we had someone stay a single night we could be evicted without notice and our bond (sic).”“My family and i became very sick very quickly and were living with a foul smell coming from ensuite. Upon further investigation in the subfloor our friend found waste pipe with no connection to sewer, a huge swamp and rotted wet timber. We paid for a building inspector, toxicologist and hygenist all to investigate. All 3 took samples and ran air tests the results were unbelievable. House contains very high levels of toxic mould (penicillian) and settled spores all of which has permeated through floor and walls resulting in continuing illnesses inc hospital for pneumonia, cysts, migraines, blistered skin and lots more. Sadly We have also lost everything we own due to contamination (sic).”HOAX REVEALED ON LANDLORD-INSTALLED COIN-OPERATED TOILETFollow Kieran Clair on Twitter here @kieranclair
Scotland’s local authority funds should prioritise investments in regional infrastructure projects, including housing, according to a committee of Scottish parliamentarians.In a sign that local government pension schemes (LGPS) are coming under pressure to invest in infrastructure in all parts of the UK, the Scottish Parliament’s local government and regeneration committee said it was urging schemes to consider increasing exposure to the asset class if they had not already done so.It argued that a number of pension funds had been able to “reconcile” the risk associated with infrastructure investments – locally and nationally – with positive social or economic impact, as the assets were “less volatile” than other investments.“We, therefore, advocate those [LGPS] in Scotland, which haven’t yet considered these types of investment, to challenge themselves to do likewise and give a degree of priority to investing members’ funds more locally and building in elements of public good,” it said. As an example of such a project, MSPs cited the Greater Manchester Pension Fund’s decision to contribute towards the construction of social housing on local authority land.Lothian Pension Fund, responsible for the retirement assets of local authority workers in Edinburgh, has previously questioned exposure to social housing over the associated reputational risks. The committee came out against the UK government’s proposals to force LGPS assets across England and Wales into as many as six asset pools, which UK chancellor of the Exchequer has previously argued would see increased exposure to infrastructure.In the report, MSPs said they agreed infrastructure investment was “vital” for a successful economy but that the committee was “less attracted” to the formal pooling arrangements.It added that informal collaboration seemed the favoured method “because there was a willingness to work together for a shared vision and benefit”.The report also encouraged funds to seek out collaborative efforts to reduce costs.It said proactive collaboration was of “particular importance” in light of the potential for the Scottish government to follow London’s example in scrapping investment regulations in place for the LGPS.MSPs also argued that the Scottish LGPS Scheme Advisory Board should offer a forum to “form working collaborations” for those interested in jointly investing in infrastructure.