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Am I being a jerk or am I in the right with my landlord?

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  • Jul 5th, 2020 11:55 pm
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[OP]
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Aug 14, 2007
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Am I being a jerk or am I in the right with my landlord?

Ok, first things first, I love the basement apartment I have. It's a 1 bedroom and after seeing about 10 (before moving here last year) I hounded this landlord for about a week saying how I wanted it, you won't regret it, etc.

Now, am I a good tenant? I'd say so, I'm quiet, don't really have any loud parties, pay my rent @ 12:01AM on the first of every month via e-transfer, etc. In my mind I'm a perfect tenant as I pretty much don't complain about anything at all, I hear of tenants that call the landlord if lightbulbs burn out, I don't bother doing that I just replace them myself, little things that I know I have the right to get him to replace I just do it myself because either I'm a sucker like that or I just don't care.

Now, here's the situation, someone above me used to rent the top floor, the landlord was living with his parents to help take care of them. Guy ran into some kind of financial issues and then his car was written off in an accident while I was away on vacation. I believe this was around December 2019 if I'm not mistaken.

Long story short he up and left, it was amazing for me because the top floor was empty for about 3 months, could be as loud as I wanted (and trust me when I say I have a stereo that can easily be heard outside of the house with all the windows closed in the basement, it was great not having to watch the noise level I was making).

3-4 months later the landlord took possession of the top floor around the same time that everything closed due to the pandemic. Fair enough, do what you want.

About 1-2 weeks before this however he raised my rent by a small amount stating that he would drop it back down when he rented the top floor as I was the only one using the utilities. Fair right?

He's now been on the top floor for about 3 months now. I haven't said anything about if he can drop the rent back down yet but I mean come on, it should be obvious since well, you did say you'd drop it down if he had the top floor occupied.

Now, here's where I'm starting to get very annoyed.

He "owns" several businesses, not really sure what they are but he's always working from home, leeching off my internet so he can work from home and I don't ask him to pay half my internet bill because well, I'm nice like that.

There's maybe 3-4 issues with the house on the outside and one in my apartment, no big deal for the one inside but outside one of the water taps doesn't work, he said he'd get his friend to fix it, I mentioned it again last week, said he'd get it fixed, hasn't done that. The entire lawn front and back is dead because I can't water anything. There are 3-4 bricks on the front steps missing that I have to get around to get the mail every day, these stairs have become a death trap and I've tripped once because of the other loose.

Gardening? Out of the fact that I don't want to live in a place that looks like a hell hole, my girlfriend and I spent HOURS pulling weeds. We now have 9 yard waste bags full of weeds. Hell even my neighbour and I are now friends after I asked if I could borrow his weed wacker.

Put the table out in the back and the torches and moved my bbq near that area.

I come home the following night and what do I see? beer bottles on the grass beside the house, beer bottles on my bbq and all over the table and cigarette butts everywhere from him and his friends having a party on the top floor. I shrugged that one off because it was cleaned up the next morning.

What's worse? My gf was working from home and she had the key to the shed as she forgot to put it back where I said, she gave him the key, guy turns around and gets my tiki torch things out that I just bought and filled and uses them... like wtf.

But about 3-4x per week now he has a bunch of friends over partying somewhat loud until 1-2am, it's not a huge deal to me because I work until 11pm at night and I'm up till 3-4am usually most days. If I hear the noise I just turn my stereo on (not that loud lol) to drown it out.

Do I get along with my landlord personally? Definitely, him and I will have a beer once in awhile or just talk out the front and it's fine. But on the other hand, if I'm doing all this work maintaining the property, either reduce my rent back to what it was or pay someone to do it because I'm definitely not pulling weeds like this ever again unless I own the property. I don't understand how someone can be so oblivious of their property. I have my own personal opinions of him so I'll keep those to myself but yea.



All of this said

I decided when I got home one night when he was having his usual drinking party just to check if anyone other than my landlord is on my internet. EVERYTHING I have except my tv right now is wired (and of course my phone). One of these nights I came home and decided to check on the wireless clients within my modem/router and I saw 6 devices connected that I have no clue what they are (most said unknown, one (even right now) is a macbook pro, etc).

Am I in the wrong in say... changing my wifi password and turning off SSID broadcasting (and the network name) so no one will get it and tell him to pay half my internet bill then if he wants to be able to use my internet? I mean, it's not like it's free for me? I work damn hard for my money and I'm not the type of person to give anyone a free ride at my expense, especially a landlord.

Part of me feels this would be the fastest way to get him to rent that top floor again if I take away the 'free' internet access. I would much rather (I think?) have a couple or small family living above me that is much more respectful of the noise (I would hope) and the property as well. Because as far as I am concerned? I'm done with maintaining the property at no charge like I am. Lawn mowing and snow shovelling in winter, fine, but pulling weed and maintaining the backyard in that sense? I don't think so.


Note that my overall plan for my gf and I (who's moving here at the end of July so we can save as much as we can until April) is to hopefully around this time (or before) next year is to buy a place as combined her and I have a decent down payment, it's just that there's not much on the market right now for where we are. That and we're hoping the market comes down a bit over the next 12 months as I've read several sources state that property values (outside of Toronto I think) are expected to drop 9-18% in value)

I'd say next year if everything goes to plan combined her and I could put down about 15% of what our price range is.
Last edited by XtremeModder on Jul 3rd, 2020 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
29 replies
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Aug 11, 2008
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XtremeModder wrote:

Am I in the wrong in say... changing my wifi password and turning off SSID broadcasting (and the network name) so no one will get it and tell him to pay half my internet bill then if he wants to be able to use my internet?


How did he get the password in the first place? At any rate, I take my network security seriously. NO ONE is using my wifi/internet that I am paying for except for my immediate family. I would not even have the option of "paying half the bill". He wants internet, let him get his own.
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[OP]
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Aug 14, 2007
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willdacanucker wrote: How did he get the password in the first place? At any rate, I take my network security seriously. NO ONE is using my wifi/internet that I am paying for except for my immediate family. I would not even have the option of "paying half the bill". He wants internet, let him get his own.
I gave it to him the first time and haven't changed it since. I am of the same opinion and have no idea why I allowed him on it in the first place, I'm just too nice of a person to say no sometimes to be honest. But now that I see there's multiple devices that I know for a fact aren't his (ie, he has an android phone, not an iphone, yet I see an iphone on my network, save for the macbook pro, etc).

So yea... changing that now and if he asks I'll say I don't know what your talking about instead of turning it into a "your giving out my password" argumentitive style thing
Last edited by XtremeModder on Jul 3rd, 2020 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
May 16, 2017
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A few questions and pointers to mistakes you've made:
- Does your rental agreement contain any reference to use of the property other than the suite itself and maybe parking?
- Clearly, the property needs to be maintained with respect to safety for any area you are entitled to access.
- Mistake 1 - agreeing to increase because other part of property wasn't rented - unless you were using more utility why pay more? Set a BAD precedent. Nothing but a verbal agreement - stop paying it NOW.
- Mistake 2 - giving out wifi password. A huge usage and security risk - nevermind uncompensated usage. Change it now.
- Parties and litter by Landlord - you have as much right to peaceful enjoyment as he does. But if you have no right of use to the land then the state of it isn't really your concern.
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Aug 11, 2008
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XtremeModder wrote:
So yea... changing that now and if he asks I'll say I don't know what your talking about instead of turning it into a "your giving out my password" argumentitive style thing
Change it and then change and hide the ssid. If he asks, tell him the wifi on the modem crapped out and you are waiting on a replacement with no eta.
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[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 14, 2007
12126 posts
3087 upvotes
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robsaw wrote: A few questions and pointers to mistakes you've made:
- Does your rental agreement contain any reference to use of the property other than the suite itself and maybe parking?
- Clearly, the property needs to be maintained with respect to safety for any area you are entitled to access.
- Mistake 1 - agreeing to increase because other part of property wasn't rented - unless you were using more utility why pay more? Set a BAD precedent. Nothing but a verbal agreement - stop paying it NOW.
- Mistake 2 - giving out wifi password. A huge usage and security risk - nevermind uncompensated usage. Change it now.
- Parties and litter by Landlord - you have as much right to peaceful enjoyment as he does. But if you have no right of use to the land then the state of it isn't really your concern.
-Yes I am allowed to use the backyard and yes it is in the agreement, it's worked out in a way that the upstairs tenant gets one area and the basement gets one area but even with the last guy I said feel free to use my chairs and he said the same thing to me, I actually ended up buying the patio set off him right before he moved.

How that all worked is if he was going to use the larger area in the back he would just text me or come see me and say "Hey, do you mind if I have a few people in the back?"
I said sure, I'll leave you guys to it and if need be I'll be out the front with my friends. Worked great that way and the other way around.

-Agreeing (by email right @ the start of the new lease) was my way of taking it and if he tries it again I will turn around and say you can't raise it more than once per year ;)

-Wifi password yes I know was a mistake

-As stated in the first, I have the one side of the driveway which gives me 3 spots, and have full access to the exterior of the apartment. I'll put it to you this way, if I didn't have the right to use the backyard, there is no way in hell I would be maintaining the outside in any way shape or form.


Again I Just want to reiterate, I get along with the landlord on a personal level no problem, like I said, I could go knock on his door any time and have a beer with the guy. It's just the landlord side of things I'm on the fence about.
[OP]
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Aug 14, 2007
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willdacanucker wrote: Change it and then change and hide the ssid. If he asks, tell him the wifi on the modem crapped out and you are waiting on a replacement with no eta.
That was literally what I told my gf I was going to say last night if he asked word for word lol
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Oct 6, 2010
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Don't be friends with your landlord. Be cordial and friendly but not friends. You're crossing a line where abuse is much easier when you're considered friends.
DYI difficulty scale:
0-joke
10-no joke
[OP]
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Aug 14, 2007
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koffey wrote: Don't be friends with your landlord. Be cordial and friendly but not friends. You're crossing a line where abuse is much easier when you're considered friends.
Yes, I've come to that realization, I had a previous landlord from 2 apartments ago that was much much worse than my current one is. I don't think my current one is a bad landlord as the very few issues I've had inside the apartment were fixed by his friend (that does that kind of stuff for his job) very quickly.

Wifi has been changed and broadcast ssid off

went down from 3 of my own devices on wifi here (tv, google home, phone) from about 9 that were on it. Crazy.
Deal Addict
Aug 28, 2010
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Hopefully your neighbor isnt into illegal stuff. You would be 100% on the hook if he downloaded illegal movies, shows, etc on your connection. You are responsible for its use.
[OP]
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porchemasi wrote: Hopefully your neighbor isnt into illegal stuff. You would be 100% on the hook if he downloaded illegal movies, shows, etc on your connection. You are responsible for its use.
Yes I understand that, I know he runs his "multiple businesses" from his home, but now he can't. Broadcasting off, passwords changed, 5ghz one turned off. There is basically nothing on my wifi network except 3 devices (soon 2 once I wire the TV)
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Aug 22, 2011
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If he doesn't lower the rent back, use more hydro...lol
[OP]
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Aug 14, 2007
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vkizzle wrote: If he doesn't lower the rent back, use more hydro...lol
My thinking was I would offer him to pay half my internet and give the wifi back, which would be $20/month, but in reality I would say its $80/month (so half being $40/month which would be my full bill, and just slightly over the difference in the rent increase).

But in the end I think I'm just gonna leave it like this the way it is. I'm surprised I actually did give it to him (albeit, supposed to be temporary) since I am pretty security conscious most times.


In the end, I'm paying to live here and not to give people (especially my landlord) free internet service or luxuries.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2013
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Well, I think you take it too seriously.

First thing first, do not share your wifi password! What if he makes illegal downloads under your IP? What if he sniffes what you are doing on the net, banks password, etc? I may be paranoid, but for sure would not take any chances with this security issue

Secondly, when I say you take it too seriously... I understand that you do not want to live in a "ghetto" appartment, but talking care if the lawn is not really your business. Don't forget that you are "just" the tennant. If you want to take care if it because it pleases you, that's one thing, but don't complain.

Third... About the security issue if loose bricks or something... He have to take care of it now that he is aware if the situation before an accident occures.

And, for the rental fees raised up... Don't you have a contract with him saying what inclusions you have with the monthly fees?
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Sep 6, 2017
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Good guys always get taken advantage of. That is just life and should put your feet down.
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Jul 12, 2013
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You are a good guy and should get your own house whenever you are ready. If it's one bedroom or two, you should be able to find something in the market that's reasonably priced? You are too good to be a tenant... Get your own place and enjoy. I can't stand house owners that do not respect themselves and neighbors.
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porchemasi wrote: Hopefully your neighbor isnt into illegal stuff. You would be 100% on the hook if he downloaded illegal movies, shows, etc on your connection. You are responsible for its use.
This is not as black and white as you think (search for "an IP address is not a person", you will see multiple cases with this). Take the extreme example of child pornography, the police won't simply look at the one paying the internet bill, they will want to find the real offender.
But the op will definitely be the one that will have to deal with these issues if his connection is used illegally so he should not share it as you recommended.

OP, you are the good guy. The landlord has a total lack of respect: sharing your wifi info to other people without asking you, having beers on your bbq, using your tiki torches by searching into your shed (seriously?!?)... There isn't anything to do with that type of people. Change your wifi password, keep the relation with him at the bare minimum and nothing more.
Try not! Do or do not, there is no try...
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 14, 2007
12126 posts
3087 upvotes
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DoorCrasher wrote: Well, I think you take it too seriously.

First thing first, do not share your wifi password! What if he makes illegal downloads under your IP? What if he sniffes what you are doing on the net, banks password, etc? I may be paranoid, but for sure would not take any chances with this security issue

Secondly, when I say you take it too seriously... I understand that you do not want to live in a "ghetto" appartment, but talking care if the lawn is not really your business. Don't forget that you are "just" the tennant. If you want to take care if it because it pleases you, that's one thing, but don't complain.

Third... About the security issue if loose bricks or something... He have to take care of it now that he is aware if the situation before an accident occures.

And, for the rental fees raised up... Don't you have a contract with him saying what inclusions you have with the monthly fees?
Rent is everything included, no internet or any of that though, so rent includes all utilities.

He has / had the right to raise my rent since 12 months had passed since the original lease, but he can't do that again until April 2021.

Internet has been completely locked down on my side and no one has access to it now, SSID broadcasting has also been turned off, while obviously not fool-proof, it is just another safe-gaurd.
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 14, 2007
12126 posts
3087 upvotes
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JEDI Force wrote: This is not as black and white as you think (search for "an IP address is not a person", you will see multiple cases with this). Take the extreme example of child pornography, the police won't simply look at the one paying the internet bill, they will want to find the real offender.
But the op will definitely be the one that will have to deal with these issues if his connection is used illegally so he should not share it as you recommended.

OP, you are the good guy. The landlord has a total lack of respect: sharing your wifi info to other people without asking you, having beers on your bbq, using your tiki torches by searching into your shed (seriously?!?)... There isn't anything to do with that type of people. Change your wifi password, keep the relation with him at the bare minimum and nothing more.
Yea I hear you, and I know that about the IP thing, first off, if that extreme example ever happened every electronic device in the house would be taken. I know how it works and it actually did happen to someone I used to work with (they were not the ones doing it, it was one of those old school war-driving cases, but during that time he was not allowed to use any internet connected devices for about 30 days).

And yea I know I don't have to take care of the property, but I'm a good tenant who likes to live somewhere that doesn't look like a shit hole so yea, I'll take care of the grass, will never do the weeds again though.
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Jun 12, 2008
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Ripley
Unless him using your internet costs you money I would let it go.

Have you reviewed your lease? Where my son lives his rent increases $250/month if someone moves in with him. Plus your girlfriend will be using more utilities. I would probably keep my mouth shut so my complaints don't cost me money.

Bad neighbours don't go away when you buy a house.

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