Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Appliances are Against Me

The apartment Roomie and I share is kind of, oh, falling apart. It’s on the older side, so at first I thought it was just that things were breaking down and needed to be replaced. Not a huge deal, right? But now I see no, that’s not what’s happening. My apartment’s appliances are systemically trying to drive me insane.

And they’re succeeding.

First, we have the air conditioning. Over the summer, it broke. As in, it was 89 degrees INSIDE the apartment. Apparently the motor for it is not big enough to maintain the whole apartment. Seems plausible, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. 

We sweated like beasts for a few days and got a repairman in to fix it.

Next, we have the washer/dryer. Since I started living here two years ago, it was causing major problems. It was a really old machine from the 70s, and wouldn’t really dry anything cotton (just got it all wrinkly and clumpy). Then, the dryer would randomly turn off mid cycle, so it would take approximately 6 hours to get a load of laundry dry. God help you if you were washing sheets. Mind you, this was occurring over the summer, when we were sweating like beasts. 

FINALLY, I managed to convince Landlord we needed a new washer/dryer. She’s super cheap, so she left the old, broken washer/dryer from the 70s in our living room for awhile to see if she could see it on Craigslist (yes, you read that right).

But THEN – the new washer/dryer kept making the circuit breaker pop, and we’d randomly lose power in our kitchen. And the circuit box started making a weird buzzy noise.  So we had an electrician come in back on October. To quote a previous post: The electrician told roomie and I not to worry too much, just don’t leave the apartment or fall asleep while doing laundry. Oh and periodically touch the circuit breaker box while the washer/dryer are on to make sure its not hot and there’s not, you know, A RAGING FIRE IN OUR WALLS. 

Yeah, that was an issue. The electrician came like two weeks ago, so we have functioning electricity now. Yaaaay.

But now, the kitchen is turning on us. The faucet is leaking significant amounts of water at its base every time we turn it on and is rusting and is probably going to snap off soon. 

I told landlord, but I don’t think she cares. You know, until it snaps off and floods the place.

Additionally, we find puddles of water outside our refrigerator in the morning. Honestly, I actually feel a little bad for the fridge, I mean its 30 years old and still not potty trained? Embarrassing. I try not to shame it, but for the love of God, STOP MAKING PUDDLES!
The other day, I found a similar puddle in front of the dishwasher. The incontinence is spreading.

Guys, these are just the main issues. I’m not going to go into the fact that the pilot light goes out in the warmer weather so during the random Halloween blizzard we had no heat for the better part of the day, or the fact that Roomie’s toilet only works say 50% of the time, or that she doesn’t really get heat or a/c in her room. 

Clearly, they’re organized, committed, and out to get me.

Wish me luck guys.  Lease doesn’t end til May.

I need a pillow fort.


  1. There are generally renters' rights in most states. If your landlord isn't doing things to, for instance, stop fires from erupting spontaneously in your walls, then you have a pretty good case for a lawsuit. Not say be litigious or anything, but seriously, you are living in a death trap that the landlord has an obligation to fix.
    I fear for you.

  2. I use to live in an apartment like that. I feel for you. On the upside, when we got our perfectly normally functioning one, it felt like the best mothereffing place in the world.

  3. I'm amazed that your landlord doesn't care when things break. Before living in this stupid townhouse of mine, I lived in low-income housing apartments (yes, I was that poor), and the landlord/landlady/whatever was actually so nice she'd come and visit if she hadn't heard from me in 6 months to make sure everything was working properly.

    Now I live in suburbia. No one cares, but for different reasons than your own.

  4. I know how you feel. I previously rented a place where during my 6 month stay there, everything managed to break on me, be it fridge, ac, lights or fire alarm (and not the I'm out of batteries so won't work broken on it, no... it was the "If you breathe I'm gonna go off" kind of broken)

  5. I'm pretty sure you're in NJ, no? In that case, I can factually tell you that you should notify your LL in writing what needs to be repaired. Give her 2-3 weeks to have it all completed. If it's not done you can either A) make the repairs yourselves, give her the receipts and withhold that amount from the rent; or B) break the lease on the grounds that the apartment is uninhabitable (especially if you are having heat isses in the winter).

    Also, don't feel bad. My hot water is literally scalding hot. And my shower requires a 5 minute tuning process to keep the water from either being boiling hot or ice cold.

  6. Oooh ouch, I lived in a house like this once so I feel your pain. Our landlord didn't really care either, until I took to phoning him 3 times a day of course. Then they care, because ou start to piss them off.

    I think the worst thing we had was when the ceiling started to leak under the two bathrooms, I told him and he said it was fine. then the ceiling started to dip, and he said it was fine. Then once day the water started to drip inot or lightbulb, which then filled up with water and fused the house.

    then he cared, but he still had the cheek to say it was out fault, because we wash too often. Stop showering and your house will be fine, apparently.

    Great blog, I'll be following you now :) xx

  7. (sorry about all the typos, I can't spell when I'm excited)

  8. Gia, I agree that you should follow people's tips. Your landlord seems to be breaking some laws, making your place unsafe. In our first apartment the heater caught fire early one morning and when we called down and told them about it, they said "No, you just saw sparks. You didn't have a fire". WTF?? Pretty sure that fire dripping onto the parquet floor, an apartment filled with smoke, and the need for the fire extinguisher counts as a FIRE. So yeah, don't blame your appliances, blame your landlord!

  9. Oh my! Having one appliance go is bad enough, but THAT many is torture! We just had the heating element go on our dryer (it's only 5 years old) and I only had to wait 3 days to get the new part. I couldn't imagine having so many NECESSARY appliances go kerplunk all at once.

    And I'm totally flabbergasted that the LL doesn't want to have them repaired/replaced. The damage they can cause could cost her more than the cost of repairing/replacing!

    Maybe follow the advice of the others and get that LL to do what's RIGHT!

  10. Owch! I hate when appliences don't work and landlords don't care!

  11. Thanks for the good advice, everyone. I know I need to start documenting and whatnot. Le sigh.

  12. My 2 cents: Get your landlord's email address or physical address and make sure you put all of your complains in writing to him/ her. That way you have a paper trail if and when something terrible does happen, which you can point to and keep you from being liable for fire or flood damage.

  13. haha! This post, although I'm sorry you have to go through this, is super cute! I love the cartoons. And now, I, too, feel bad for your not-yet potty trained fridge!

  14. That's terrible... your appliances going berserk remind me of my bad relationship with high tech gadgets. They always attempt to break on me.

  15. Best tip is to be fearless in pushing home your complaints.

    In the flat me and Mrs Cranface lived in for a while, it suffered from absolutely horrendous mould problems. The estate agent tried to blame it on us, but we went straight to the council and got environmental health involved. That shut the estate agent up and it mean they didn't take loads of cash away from our deposit when we eventually moved out.

  16. Gia, you write so well and I love the drawings! So many commenters have made very good suggestions I won't go there again. I have to tell you though, this took me back to when my brother and I were children. I used to make up stories about our kitchen appliances coming to life at night while we slept. He still remembers those to this day - some mumble years later. I think your illustrations would be ideal when I write the book!