Winter Storm Fun

So last night, I left the office early and schlepped it home to work from the warmth and comfort of the couch. The roads were sketchy then. This morning, I woke up and got out the door early. My usual 20-minute commute took an hour and fifteen. There were parts of the highway that hadn’t seen a plow yet (the I-35W/Highway 36 exchange going eastbound), but for the most part, things were fairly open. Except of the short stretch I take I-35E southbound on. That was a pleasant little parking lot.

Commute aside, I have been left wondering: at what point do you start doing work on a rental place on your own dime? We have a “utility” staircase in the back of our apartment (we have the 2nd and 3rd floors of a house that’s been converted to a duplex) that leads down to a basement and out to the back yard. Our door at the top of the stairs is the original wooden (non-insulated) door, and has a gap at the bottom about three quarters of an inch high. That back stairway is poorly insulated, and the door to the outside is not well-sealed either. So we lose a ton of heat (most of it, I’d venture) in that back little hallway.

This morning, when I went downstairs to do a load of laundry, there was snow that had made it’s way under the door to the outside and had drifted in the utility hallway. Mother of crap.

Today, though, I’m happy to be at work. Happy it wasn’t bitterly cold (that comes in February). And happy that it was just a light powder so that brushing off both cars this morning was a piece of cake.

We’re supposed to get another two to four inches today, after somewhere between six and nine inches last night. I’m thinking I should put the Flip camera on the windshield and do a timelapse recording.

Tonight: shoveling the front walk and porch. Find heavy winter gloves. Put the Motown (classic, old-school Motown) Christmas album on my iPod.

3 thoughts on “Winter Storm Fun”

  1. I would bring the drafty door to the attention of the landlord & then ask if it would be easier to just let you fix it & take the cost of the materials off your January rent. Just put it to them like it’s not even an option. Our landlord wasn’t cool with that kind of thing until we started finding all sorts of little odd things like that which we weren’t willing to live with, then they were finally like, “OK FINE just put the receipts in the envelope with your rent check.” Now as long as we approve it with them first we can fix just about whatever without having to wait for them to send someone to do it.

  2. Check on landlord-tenant laws in your state. In some jurisdictions, you can fix things like that and deduct from your rent without asking, but in others you must have permission. Furthermore, in some jurisdictions, you can stop paying rent all together for things like this until the landlord fixes it to your satisfaction.

  3. Your landlord should be fixing this stuff. Weatherstripping is required in Minnesota. Any other repair law questions, feel free to send me an email. You know I love housing law nerdery!

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