We’re having disagreements with our landlord.
We just got a new basement apartment, and even though we’re not moving in until August, after we’re married, we still have some time to move stuff in and fix the place up a bit. So why not? We asked our landlord, Brandon, if we could do some repairs on the windows, spackle the walls a bit, and paint one of the rooms. We’d also like to fill in some of the (enormous) pot holes in the dirt driveway. Just typical stuff we want to change before we get all our furniture in.
The disagreement isn’t whether Brandon will let us make the changes – we still haven’t really gotten a yes or a no from him. It’s that every time we ask, he comes back with, “Why would you do that?”
Well, because it’s broken. That’s why you fix things, generally. But he just says, “You don’t have to do that. It’s not in your contract, so you don’t have to. I wouldn’t recommend it.” It’s like it never occurred to him that you would ever fix up a place simply because you want to live in it. Has this man never fixed a thing unless he was forced to?
I think one of the reasons he’s so perplexed is probably a college town phenomenon: since nobody ever stays in one place longer than a year or two, there’s no sense of permanence, and no sense of responsibility. Why would I take good care of a place I’m only going to have for a year?
Although, that logic doesn’t make much sense to me either. It’s like treating a friend poorly just because you never plan to marry them. Maybe I just feel like the place is a little more mine once I change something about it. Or maybe I feel more responsibility for it. But people get mad when they get a crummy hotel room for one night; why wouldn’t I want to fix up a place I’m going to stay in for at least a year?
I’m not really sure what it is that keeps people from taking care of their own place. But I think Ethan and I have already fixed the place up more in the past two weeks than our landlord expected in a year. (We pulled some weeds and replaced the porch light.) Yesterday, we bought some gardening soil and a whole bunch of vegetable seeds. Maybe we won’t stay long – but we’re going to make it clear that we were here, at any rate. ♥