YOU ARE AWESOME!
Followed a link to an article called Nine Things Your Landlord Won't Tell You on Huffington Post - tried to respond in a comment but the site was wonky and was getting frustrated... so here is my response instead.
Don't know if I'll manage Nine... but lets see, shall we?
However Many Things Your Landlord WILL Tell You:
The rent you are asked to pay is used to pay the bills on the house you live in. I know it doesn't seem like it - but trust me, darling, owning a home costs more money than you think. In addition to the cost of carrying the mortgage, utitlities and maintenance and repair - which, you presumably have some awareness of? - there are things that, if you've never owned a home, you might not be aware of. The insurance, for example, costs us a heck of a lot more on a house someone else lives in that it would on one that we live in... as in close to 3x as much. And then there are property taxes, of course.
Most landlords do charge slightly higher than the bare minimum required to cover the expenses of the unit though - that is because we've learned that almost every single tenant will screw us over one way or another, so we have to build in a cushion to try to cover that.
When you don't pay your rent, we still have to pay the mortgage, property taxes, hydro, water, gas, insurance, maintenance & repairs on YOUR home - even if that means that we don't have anything left to pay for ours.
When you withhold some portion of your rent because of unexpected expenses like a car repair, cell phone bill, medical emergency, bus pass you had to replace... whatever... you are essentially borrowing money from us - without our
consent. We are often sorry about your bad luck - but not so fond of having it visited on us.
Last month's rent is collected not because we are mean, and trying to keep you from finding a place to live but to protect both of us. If you ever actually bothered to give proper notice when you left, you would have last month's rent available for the next landlord, and it wouldn't be such an issue for you. Hey - here's a thought - if you actually gave proper notice when you were moving, not only would you have your last month's rent back with interest, you could probably also have a really good reference. You know...because it is so rare.
When you give notice that you want to move on, we typically wish you well and start looking for new tenants. If you change your mind, you really do need to try to come to some agreement with us - and the nastier and uglier you are about this, the less likely we are going to work out such an agreement.
There are these really big smelly trucks that come by every week to pick up your garbage. All you have to do is get it to the curb on the right day of the week. Storing your garbage in the back yard, or worse, in the house, means the smell stays in the unit and doesn't go away. It really is not that hard, honest. And if you'd just make that little bit of effort, your landlord will love you for it. Really!
Problems that are small are a lot easier to fix than problems that have been allowed to get big and ugly. We really do appreciate it when you let us know about problems before they turn into crises.
The reason you have a hard time finding reasonable landlords is because so many of us have been screwed sooooooooooooooo many times. There is no support for landlords, really. When there is a problem, the landlord is required to pay lots of extra money to the agencies that are supposed to help to solve the problem - but they really don't. If we're really, really lucky, after we pay all that money to jump through all the hoops, all we wind up with is a useless piece of paper, which we have to pay more money to try to collect from you.
We know that YOU would never ever screw us over, make a mess, damage our property, let your kitty and your dog and your children stink up and/or decorate the joint, refuse to pay rent, deal drugs out of our homes, etc etc .... but you know, every single tenant we've ever rented to has promised all those same things you're promising.
So yeah... there are some pretty unreasonable landlords out there...and then there are others, like us, who have decided to just not bother any more. Congratulations... you win. Don't have a lot of reasonable housing options any more? Well gee, I wonder how THAT happened?!