A Renter’s Nightmare: SLUMLORDS!

We’ve all heard the saying for as long as we can remember “Renting is a Waste of Time and Money” and while that is very true, not everyone is ready to purchase Park Place or the Boardwalk. I’ve been a renter for over 15yrs now and there have been many ups as well as downs. In the process I’ve learned quite a bit about myself as well as the individuals I rented from and I can tell you, all landlords are not created equal.

While I have had some landlords that made me feel as if I never wanted to move, I have also had my share of others in which I couldn’t wait until the lease was up. As a tenant there were many mistakes that I’ve made along the way but with experience comes knowledge and due to those previous rental mishaps, I now know what to do before I signed the lease (those tips later)…but it was through my most recent rental experience that I did fully came to know what my rights as a tenant really meant.

A couple months ago my dryer started acting up, it got to the point where it wasn’t drying the clothes as it should. The first thing I thought of was the heating element, maybe it was timing out. I purchased both the washer and dryer brand new in 2012, so 5 years later and this being the first problem, was well worth the expense. In the meantime I was contemplating on maybe purchasing another dryer but before I made that decision I decided to get the dryer checked out first…and, I’m so glad I did. To make a very long story short, the repairman came out and told me that the dryer was in good condition, however; my dryer hose was clogged. He went on to say that the hose was so backed up he was surprised that it hadn’t  started a fire.

Shocked face

OMGOSH? Like, Really??

He immediately told me to contact my landlord and let him know of the situation because it was very serious. My mind at that time went on flashback mode – the landlord hasn’t been that responsive when I’ve asked him about things in the past or let’s say, he’s acted but not in the way that I felt like he should. But this situation was very serious so I did as the repairman asked and called him right away.

Once called, I was informed that he would get someone on it right away. Two days later, I ended up sending a message to confirm if something was still going to be done. I was then informed that I could still use the dryer and that someone would be out to the house as soon as they can. Fast forward over a month later – no response, I sent a message explaining the situation again and asked if someone was going to come out, Once again, I was informed that the person was too busy and that they would find someone. Fast forward another month and a half later…..still no word. Tenant vs. Landlord1I was in shock that my issue had not been taken care of quicker than I had hoped, after all – a clogged dryer vent is a fire hazard that could have caused major damage within that time period and it did, especially to my light bill. So, I did my research and took matters into my own hands; I hired whom I needed to come out to the house and fix the issue in which got fixed the same day. There was a bird’s nest in the vent along with globs of lint; talk about a disaster waiting on a match. I was appalled at the landlord but after doing my research, I found that as a tenant I had rights and therefore could take those expenses from the rent payment and that is exactly what I did.

So given my experience, I wanted to leave you a couple of tips showcasing what I did and mistakes I made in the past regarding past rentals….

I. Document, Document, Document…

In order to withhold some of the rent money to pay for the necessary expenses needed to be fixed, I had to document and keep record of the times in which I contacted my landlord. I would suggest that if you have a problem, right down or keep track of the date, time and conversation discussed. It’s the most relevant piece of information that will come in handy should you need to take such action as I did or even take your landlord to small claims court.

I also would suggest telling your landlord about the situation a couple of times (3) to be exact with time in between to give them time to take action before you take action. You don’t want to jump the gun, because it could hang you later on. Always make the landlord copies of receipts of the items that you purchased, you keep all the originals and if you do get someone to handle an issue or problem that the landlord has failed to do. Make sure you try to get a reasonable person that offer reasonable prices; you don’t want them to think that you’re trying to take more off the rent than you need to and if you have to take them to court, you might receive questions from the judge asking “Why you didn’t go cheaper”– Remember, you’re not trying to stick it to them. You’re just trying to spread awareness that you won’t be run over.

II. Read Your Lease to the “T”

The number one mistake I’ve made in renting is not taking out the time to read my lease in it’s entirety. Getting the keys to your own space can be very liberating but costly if you don’t take out time to read your responsibilities vs. the landlord’s responsible actions. People automatically assume that if they rent then the landlord is automatically responsible for everything…not true. You may be responsible for taking care of the yard or fixing things that become dented, broken or messed up during your stay. Every lease and landlord is different so make sure you read what you’re supposed to take care of during the duration of your lease. And No, the landlord is not responsible for replacing light bulbs nor air filters…sorry. *sidenote* If there’s something you don’t understand or need clarity on, please talk to the landlord about it first before signing…once you sign, you are bound to whatever the lease states you are to do.

III. Inspector Gadget to the Rescue:

Once you’ve read your lease and got all the formalities out of the way and before you move one single item into your humble abode. Go alone or with a trusted friend and inspect your new place. Take out your phone and take pictures of how your place looked before you moved in. Check the wall sockets, the carpet, the bathrooms, sinks, under the sink, wash area even outside. You’re checking to make sure that everything is in good condition. If you notice the carpet is torn or a light fixture is broken or knobs or lights are off or out, take notes and write it up for the landlord, make sure you date it and keep a copy of it for yourself. You want to make sure that the landlord knows about any and all discrepancies before you move in, this makes him or her aware that there is an issue. If they choose not to fix it, then they will not be able to hold that against you once you move out…that’s where your copy of the letter comes into play.

IV. Credit Jeopardy:

If you rent from a private owner, they may not necessarily report your monthly payment to credit reporting agencies, however; most management companies do. If you ever have hopes of moving out to obtain better digs or have a desire to own your own home one day, then paying your rent on time is the meat that will get you there. This brings me to my next point…

V. Be Upfront about It:

If you live in this world, then you know accidents and misfortunes do happen. If you get laid off, have surgery or suffer any other life crisis that will affect you paying the rent, please be upfront with your landlord. I don’t know what type of relationship you may have with him or her but keeping them informed about important matters, will help build a trusting relationship with them, one that could indeed get you into your next place. You never know who they may know or who may know them.

VI. Leave it There:

There was one place that I moved into years ago that had pictures, curtains, shower curtain liners and other miscellaneous things in it. I was under the impression that the owners had just placed it there to stage and dress up the place when they showed it. It wasn’t until I moved out and was expecting to get my full deposit back that I noticed their list of reasons why it was cut short, they had listed all those little trinkets right on the detailed list. So please, if you move into an apartment or house and there are items left there either by the landlord or someone previously; please let your landlord know and ask what you need to do with those items. My suggestion would be to take pictures of where the items were or hung before you take it all down, put them in a box and save it for when you move out. Once you move out, refer back to your pictures to see how those items were placed and hang or place them back where they were. If the landlord says that you can have them, document the date and time of that conversation and refer back to it when you need it.

If you live in North Carolina, Listed below are a couple of links that offer great information on your rights as a tenant as well as the landlords. If you don’t live in NC, then you can replace the NC in the link below with your state acronym. Different rules apply for different states, so make sure you’re following the correct guidelines outlined for yours.

Overview of Landlord Tenant Rights in NC

North Carolina Residential Tenant Rights

renters-rights-for-website

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

 

Feel free to comment or email us @ justsuminspiration@gmail.com

For Daily Inspiration, you can follow us on one or all of the social media sites below:

Facebook:   JustsumInspiration for the Mind, Body & Soul

Instagram: justsuminspiration2u

Twitter:      jus2inspireu

Advertisements

OH SNAP! Look Who’s The Leader…

I’ve been working since I was 15 years old. I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to work in the fast food establishment for these very important reasons:

1) I’m not a great cook.

2) I’m not that fast or efficient.

3) I would have been terrible at the cashier station. #FreeMealsForEveryone = )

My first job actually was at a nursing home, I was a Nursing Assistant. I helped take care of ailing and/or sick veterans, Cool Right?? Yes, I thought so too. While that was a pretty heavy task for a 15yr old whom really never gotten exposed to such things; I really loved it. I was the type of person whom put everything into my work, I learned a lot and while there were many ups and downs in my long working career, the most challenging job for me was when I was asked to take the lead on certain projects within my job history.

You can say that I’ve always had a great opinion about things in which probably lead to an individual’s reasoning’s for wanting to place me in “Leadership” Roles. While the term “Leader” is quite an exhilarating word; full of empowerment and boldness, I have to admit – I didn’t take it seriously and probably let down the many people whom felt I would be good at it. In order to be a great leader, you first have to be a successful follower and listener. In my early stages, I had the attitude of “You can’t tell me anything, because I know everything” – I wanted to be the chief and lead the pack, but I didn’t have the humility to take out the time to become an Indian first.

“If you think you’re leading and no one is following – You’re just taking a walk.” 

If you can’t be a good Indian, then you’ll never become a great Chief. You see, I never took the role of leadership seriously because I didn’t understand what a leader really was. I had no prior knowledge or role model that paved the way before that was fully knowledgeable or could have given me advice, I pretty much winged it and went for what I knew. Listening and being fully committed to the leader role were my downfalls. I can’t possibly tell you how many good opportunities I’ve had that I totally bombed on, because I was using leadership in the wrong way. Now that I’m older and have supervised and had other leader roles, I’ve learned quite a bit and would like to share some of those tips with you, in hopes that you don’t make the same mistakes as I did. I’ve also included some of my favorite notable quotes from John C. Maxwell & Byrd Baggett.

Leadership Tip

Tip #1: You Gotta Have Love!

“You can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead people without loving them.”

In order to lead, you have to possess a great love for a diverse group of people. When you become a leader, you can’t focus on the people whom think, act and/or talk and walk like you. When you become a leader, you’ll be leading many people from all walks and circles of life. Having a Love for all types of people, is the first step in leading effectively.

 Tip #2: Turn the Power OFF!

“Managers hold on, Leaders let GO!”

Most people love leadership because it gives them power. Power in which they feel they can use to control other people and make them do what they want. You can’t have a power trip while being a leader. Instead, choose to lead because you want to make a difference in someone’s life. When you lead out of “power” you’re actually hurting the people that are looking up to you to make good, valuable, fair and honest decisions for their life and/or career. Think of it this way, the people that you lead, will eventually become leaders themselves one day; so you want to make sure that you’re putting forth a positive effort to be a good one, because they will need to look back on your leadership abilities to help them lead others. – So, what type of leader are portraying?

Tip#3: Shut Down Second Hand News

“Leaders bring out the best in others.”

I’ve been in leadership roles before where people brought me news about my constituents – it wasn’t good news, but riddled with negativity. Being new to leadership, this made me feel terrible, I went into my job with mixed emotions about whom I would be leading all because of news that other people were bringing to me. While it’s good to listen and take notes, you do have the right as a leader to shut those conversations down before they get started. When you become a leader you want to go into your new role with a blank canvas about everything. Trust me, in due time you’ll be able to form your own opinion about others which will be due to you getting to know them and not because of what someone else has already planted in your mind. Everything is not always what it seems, sometimes it is – but most times it isn’t.

Tip#4: Keep Your Cool – Everyone’s Not on Board

“Good leaders are like baseball umpires, they go practically unnoticed when doing their jobs right.”

As stated in Tip#2, your employees and/or followers are looking to you to make their work life easy, not hard. If you’re constantly on a power trip and not giving them the substance they need to be better, do better and etc. then you’re failing them (now I know everyone is not a receptor of learning and growing or wanting to do better) but just because they have that attitude doesn’t mean that you have to fail at your role. While they may not be a model employee, you still have to be a model leader.

Tip#5: What are you Learning

“Leadership is an action, Not a Position.”

As a leader you may feel as though your job is to always teach, instruct, or guide and yes, that’s true but a great leader is always receptacle of learning as well. Just because you’re a leader, that doesn’t make you perfect; we all have to keep our mind and heart open to learn from our employees or followers. Leadership is a two way street; you invoke learning with the expectation of learning and gaining the necessary nuggets you need to become an even greater leader. Be willing to have an open heart to receive knowledge from everyone. From the Doorman to the Janitor to the CEO, there’s great wisdom and knowledge that we can get from everyone, no matter their status or rank. Learning is a tool, that goes round and round but is only available to those whom are willing to accept it. So, what are you learning in the process?

** ** ** ** **

Lastly & Most Importantly. Keep your focus! – Leaders listen more than they speak; they choose their words carefully and they’re not afraid to admit when they’re wrong. They don’t get caught up in gossip and they don’t choose sides, they are fair and honest. A good leader is hard to find but shouldn’t have to be as we’re all leaders in some form, shape or another. You just have to choose which leader you want to be.

50-motivational-leadership-quotes-12-638

 

Was this post helpful?, Let me know at justsuminspiration@gmail.com

MAY! I Interest You in a Few Topics?

MAY IS HERE AND THE HOT TOPICS ARE TOO!!

Whoop Whoop

Doesn’t it seem as though April just came in like a whirlwind and left without even saying “Goodbye?” It came and went so fast, I feel as if I got whiplash….Oh April, April where didst thou Go?? Well, as we say Bon-Voyage to April – We have now greeted May whom seemed to have just popped into our lives from no where.

But, the good thing is at least the sun is shining, the weather is getting back to normal and everyone seems to be enjoying that. Speaking of enjoying, Self-Help April’s Blog Posts gained such a success in readership, that I thought I would drive that train right on into May. So, starting next Thursday 5/11/17 and every Thursday morning after that, I’ll be posting more topics and tips. Since no post will be posted this week, the last post will be posted on Sunday 5/28/17.

So, as we pray that May slows down enough for us to catch our breath – Take a Peek Below at the topics we will be discussing during the month!

HeresWhatsHappening

TOPIC FOR 5/11/17: WHOSE CREDIT?, THAT’S NOT MY CREDIT!

credit-score

I have always been afraid and or avoided looking at my credit score, that senseless act has not helped my situation but has worsened it over the years. In this post, I’ll help you get out of denial with reviewing your own score and face the truths in reviewing your own credit report. I’ll also give links to sites that can help you manage your score.

 

TOPIC FOR 5/18/17: OH SNAP!, LOOK WHO’S A LEADER…

Superhero-Leader-JPG

Not many of us like to take the lead, but did you know that we were all born to lead in some capacity or another. A Leader is not characterized by how you look but in how you act. I’ll share my experiences on leadership and offer you tips to be the best leader, you can be.

 

 

 

TOPIC FOR 5/25/17: TRUSTING YOUR HEAD, GUT OR YOUR HEART

Head-Heart-Gut

Sometimes its hard to distinguish which body part is saying what; especially when it comes to our emotions. We don’t know if our heart, head or gut is leading us in the right direction. We’ll discuss tips on this subject and how to distinguish one from the other.

 

 

 

TOPIC FOR 5/28/17: KEEPING GOD AT THE “BAE” LEVEL

Bae

Who is your #1 BAE right now?, But, what does BAE even mean? Well, if your BAE is anyone else other than God then we might need to switch some things around. We’ll discuss what the word really means and give tips on how to keep your true BAE First, no matter whom you’re rolling with at the moment!

 

 

 

 

So Here We Go Again! Come back each Thursday and see the full post, get tips and suggestions. Feel free to share any post, comment, like and subscribe.

 

LET’S LIVE, WALK & BE INSPIRED TOGETHER!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Being A Friend To Have Friends

You’ve heard the saying, “Life can give you Lemons” and that is very true; but what happens when you need to turn those lemons into lemonade and have no one there to help you do it. That’s where a true friend comes in at to help us navigate through life’s hits, boomerangs and punches. Finding a friend that you can relate too can be difficult and while this isn’t an easy feat, due to our different personalities, backgrounds, hurts, habits or hang-ups we all need someone to lean on when life throws us curve balls.

I never had friends growing up; I could remember maybe one or two in 5th or 6th grade but otherwise, I was mainly a loner. I wanted to hang with the popular kids, but wasn’t popular enough. I wanted to hang with the smart kids, but wasn’t smart enough. I wanted to hang with the pretty girls, but wasn’t pretty enough. Everywhere I looked; I wasn’t enough for anyone – not even the kids whom were just like me; thing is, they had at least one friend. I didn’t have any.

So I put up a wall which lead to resistance and anger. As I got older I began to acquire friends but noticed my attitude towards them was mean, harsh and downright rude. When they wanted to hang-out, I always found a way to bail out and when they wanted to talk; I found a way to dismiss them. What had I become? The girl who couldn’t get a friend because of how I looked and etc. was now the bully in a friendship. I treated those friends exactly how I had been treated. Past hurts and the negativity that stemmed from it was keeping me from obtaining the friendships I had once desired. So, if you truly desire to have friends or become friendlier, then listed below are four tips which will help you get over the hurdle of unfriendliness?

Tip #1: Forget the Past

Forget the Past

Most of the times the reason why we can’t move forward in life or relationships is because we are still stuck in the Past, thinking about what happened before or who did what and why only keeps you in a ‘negative’ state of mind. If you truly want to move forward you have to forgive your past and the people in it.

Tip #2: Tell Hurt – Goodbye!

Charlie Brown Goodbye

Another thing that keeps us in the past old wounds or previous HURT; that word alone keeps us from opening up to other experiences – I’ve heard people say ‘Once Hurt, Always Hurt’ and they hold on to that mantra throughout every relationship. Remember, hurt is an enemy and as long as you hold on to it, it will hold on to you.

Tip #3: Open up the Doors of your Heart

Open Heart

Once you decide to move forward, then you have to open up your heart again; this is not easy but it paves the way for new things to enter and old things to exit.

 Tip #4: At Least Try

try try again banner

Before you decide that you don’t want to deal with the anxieties of opening up to something new, at least give it a try. As the saying says, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, Try and Try Again! Sometimes the third, sixth or eighth time can truly be a charm.

The Bible says “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Prov. 18:24 NKJV); Starting today, determine to let go of whatever hurts you’re holding onto from the past and choose to be the kind of friend that you’d always wanted or desired for yourself, for someone else. I promise you’ll be glad you did and as you begin to open up – you’ll begin to see your life shape into something beautiful, something great and something positive. But only if you open up and allow it to seek new possibilities and relationships.

Elephant and Dog

Because Everyone Needs a Friend…

All Photo's Courtesy of Bing 

 

5 Common Mistakes Women Must Give Up, To Get the Man of Thier Dreams

Relationships are hard work alone & Dating with all of its rules, guidelines and catch phrases is another monster, all it’s own. So, how do you obtain a good relationship, less known get a date?, I mean what is it that you could be saying or doing that seems to not be attracting the right person. If you’re wondering if your looks or appearance could be the reason, think again! Most dating mistakes happen the moment we open our mouths, Yes! our mouth could be the very reason most of us, Fall short in Dating and Fail at Relationships.

clingy_woman_relationship_mistakes_1

In my early dating stages, I can tell you – I was a wreck and my mouth posed to be an even bigger risk. I felt as if I had to tell a guy everything about me, my past, my future, my expectations along with my goals, dreams, fears, hurts, habits and hang-ups and this was just on the phone; we hadn’t even gotten to the first date yet. I used to wonder why I would either never get a call back or if they did call back, it wasn’t talks of going out on a date, it was because they were bored and I just seemed to be tfish and hookhe person they either wanted to vent too or just talk too. Yes, I was a good friend; but not a good partner for a relationship. I even had one guy to tell me that I reminded him of his grandmother – LIKE, REALLY???, I had to take a good look in the mirror on that one – was it my words of wisdom that had him traumatized?, whatever it was; it  didn’t garner a date and then again, I don’t think I would have wanted one with him after that comment. I also had an issue with not totally being myself; I tried to fix myself up to be whom I felt like the guy wanted me to be, I lost weight; dyed my hair; bought creams to make my skin lighter and even wore hair extensions to obtain a longer length of hair and I’m not going to even talk about other crazy things I would do and/or did just to obtain a guy’s attention….Trust me, as I’ve gotten older, those things weren’t worth my sanity nor time. I never fully let my hair down to be me, because I was trying to be with them. Over time of not “catching too many fish on the hook” I realized that there was one thing that was holding me back from getting a chance of having a date;  outside of not being myself,  I realized that MY MOUTH! was the ultimate hammer that nailed the coffin shut.  Yes, here I was talking marriage, babies, future and goals to someone whom I didn’t even get a chance to see if they were that interested in me or not; however, they knew I wasn’t’ the one for them.  So as a woman who was in limbo with dating, those experiences have garnered me to write out a couple of mistakes I made and that you may be making too. So, let’s get started with a couple of Do’s and Don’t s:

Dating TipsTip #1:  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THYSELF: I underlined & capitalized this for a reason. Please ladies, let’s show love to ourselves first. Love your curves, your mind, your choices. Just love you. I can’t tell you how many times, I jumped into a relationship looking for love but didn’t love myself. When you love you, then you take the pressure off of a guy having to force himself to love you back. When you love you – then everyone else will love you too and even if they don’t; guess what! Who Cares! because you love you and that’s the first and only thing that matters anyway.

Tip#2: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself:  Yes, that was a popular song in the 90’s but it’s even popular for us ladies. Listen to your gut, we know if we’re really ready for a relationship or not. Most of us still need a little fixing on the inside of us first before we are able to invite someone else in. If you have low-self esteem or are not comfortable with your weight, then I would suggest you try to fix those things  before entering into a relationship. Men like confident women and if you’re not displaying that, then the relationship will plummet before it takes off the runway.

Tip#3: No Need To Pack The Bags: When you’re on a date or before you even go on a date determine to leave the bags of the past in the past. A guy doesn’t need to know that you were once depressed, was suicidal, was married (unless it’s a topic of discussion) he doesn’t need to know about baby daddies and all those issues. Shh!, Keep those things to yourself (at least until you feel like the relationship is going somewhere after you’ve had enough dates with the person) A first date should be about you, career goals and aspirations. Not Drama! So keep that bag at home.

Tip#4: Knight In Shining Armor…Not!: Okay, so sometimes we ladies tend to get a little movie struck. We sometimes look at how relationships are played out in a movie and desire for that to happen in our own lives, let’s get real. It’s a Movie with actor and actresses whom are or were paid to act that way. They were reading a script. Just because the guy comes in with a cane, doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy or just because he doesn’t look like your favorite actor, doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. Give everyone an opportunity. They just may surprise you.

Tip #5: Keep The Cookie In The Cookie Jar: Make sure your hormones are in check before you go on a date. There’s a number of people whom have sex on the first date and what’s even more common is the fact that it’s unprotected. Let a guy fall for your mind first, not what’s in your pants. Building a relationship based off of sex; usually does not last. When sex supersedes a conversation and becomes your first foundation; it’s hard to get back on track with a good convo. So keep the cookie under lock and key. Whatever decision you make regarding the individual you want to make sure it’s based on true emotion and not a sexual one in which could cloud your judgment immensely concerning the person, especially if he has a lot of red flags that require your full undivided attention.

And guys, I didn’t forget about you – the same effort you put into getting the “cookie” can also be the same effort you put into having a good, healthy relationship. Here are some tips for you to look over in order to get the Woman of your dreams and keep her long enough than a one-night stand: 5 Things Men Must Give Up, To Be With the Right Woman!

Do you have any dating tips you would like to share? List them in the comments so we can get a conversation going.