Be Cautious When Renting from BWECK Properties

 

In 2014, I was looking for a house to rent in St. Petersburg, FL. I looked at a property on 24th Ave. N., handled by BWECK Properties. Although I adored the fact that it was close to Crescent Lake, I was initially put off by the house. I do not have high class tastes. However, the house seemed a bit iffy: a funky paint job, nasty pantry and linen closet, fairly gross tub, and badly stained wood floors.

So I continued to look for other rental property. However, the timing was bad, and the only other small places available were further away from my work. I came back a week later, offered the landlord $25 a month less than he was asking. He quickly took me up on the offer.

I had lots of throw rugs to cover the funky flooring. I bought paint and painted the inside of the panty and linen closet, and I purchased and put up five blinds on the house windows. I also had to scrub the tub so that I felt reasonably decent about getting into it.

Then I noticed two things I had not seen when looking at the house.The light fixture in one BR closet was hanging by the wires down into the closet. There was a hole in the other closet wall. (See pictures below.)

The landlord did fix them relatively quickly. However, the bare fact that he would rent a house with such a fire hazard put me on notice: I should not expect much from this landlord. I was right not to expect much. Oh, he wasn't dreadful. I certainly had worse in the early 70s. But he was not anything to write home about. Well, that's not quite right. He wasn't anything positve to write home about.

Oh, he usually addressed the few problems I raised (I fixed most problems on my own). It sometimes took him a while. Because he liked to do repairs on the cheap (understandable, of course), I went for a week and a half without a functional stove (after 4-5 days he brought me a hot plate). When I had a leak in the roof, I had to play a significant role in covering it . . . and even provide the tarps. After he finally got a roofer to fix it, I was left with a hole in my porch ceiling for a week. When he finally "repaired" it, you could tell by pushing on the ceiling that the repair was less than robust. I always had a worry that the ceiling would collapse on me when I was sitting on the porch.

Still, because I liked the location, and liked my neighbors I didn't complain.

When I moved from there after two years, I had severeal items I left for the new tenants: two chairs, two fans (one, admittedly funky), a toaster, toilet paper, paper towels, and some cleaning supplies. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that they would want a number of (probably most of) those items. They could toss the few they didn't want.

 

I owned and used my own washer and dryer (his were on their last legs); before I left, the landlord said he wanted to purchase them for $300. It wasn't fair, but I didn't want the hassle. I suspected at the time, he had no intention of paying.

My suspicions were correct.

After I moved, he told me that was going to deduct that $300 because he had to toss the items I left and had to clean the house.

Two points. One, if he did throw away all tems I left, then, pardon my french, he is an idiot. Since I do not think he is an idiot, rather than leave them for the renters as I intended, I suspect he found other uses for most of those items. Two, his claim that I left the house in worse shape that I when I rented it is marlarky. But he knows it would be difficult (and expensive) to try to recouperate that $300. It wasn't worth the headache.

It was, however, worth the 45 minutes it took to construct this page to caution prospective renters. I cannot say that renting from him would be a disaster. I can say that you should not expect someone who will hop to fix problems . . . and fix them well.

Some relevant pictures: Click on the pictures to enlarge and zoom in.