Whether you are currently having a bad rental experience or want to prevent someone else from having a bad experience with your landlord after you move out, you should know the right way to approach the issue. There's a simple (free) one stop shop for reporting a landlord in public forum so that others will have the opportunity to locate and use that information to their advantage.
This tactic works whether you are renting from a property management company in a large city or an individual landlord in a rural location. Websites such as ApartmentRatings.com will provide ample user information and ratings for larger cities but if you live in the country and primarily rent from individuals, you will find that there's little to no information available. This is a growing problem because not only does it make it difficult to make a housing decision, would-be slumlords see it as a green light to continue what they have been doing for years: Charging you top dollar for rent, taking your money and continually allowing their property to decline to the point that your living situation is somewhat less than abysmal. This is unacceptable but nothing will be done until tenants take a stand against this type of management.
Most landlords who are reading this would claim that all tenants are problematic and while I know that there's a great share of people out there who will utterly destroy a rental property willfully there are also lots of hard working people out there who struggle to make ends meet and have no other choice but to rent depending on cost, location, etc. For those people who are model tenants, it is not right that you should have to live is squalor because you are spending 30% to 60% of your monthly earned income to pay your landlord who likely does nothing other than sit around cramming your hard earned money into his pockets for his own prosperity.
So, now you would like to know how to deal with the issue of your landlord? There's a website called RipoffReport.com that is a compilation of complaints against various companies and individuals. The reason I mention this website is because anytime anything is posted, it immediately gets aggregated into google search and will turn up somewhere on top every time when that person or company is searched out. Of course, you have to pick the right keywords which will be discussed later. It is free to sign up on RipoffReport.com and you do not have to sign your name to any report if you don't want to. There's also a feature that allows you to upload photos if you have them. This could be particularly useful in backing up points you may make in your written report. It's always good to proof read your report and make sure that it is factual and also uses proper grammar and the right keywords so that you can guarantee that it will show up in a search. When you begin on this website, you will be asked for basic information on the individual or company you wish to complain about. This will include a name, phone number, website if one exist and fax if one exist. After that, you will be asked to provide additional information that is your search terms. This is where good keyword selection comes in. For example, the header of your complaint may feature the name of the landlord, first and last along with the name of his or her company if they maintain a company. It is very important to use their name or company name here because this is what others will search for first if they need information. Make it easy for those who are looking to locate the information.
In further information, you will be asked to provide additional search terms related to the complaint. DO NOT relate these terms to the complaint, instead relate them to the geographic area to which your complaint is relevant and general topics of your complaint and separate with commas. An example would be John Doe, Company Name, xyz town landlords, xyz town rentals, xyz town housing, xyz town apartments, xyz town New Mexico (or other state) you get the general idea. Think as though you were the one searching for information. If you were preparing to rent a home in a certain city or town, you would likely search for "rentals in xyz town" or something similar. Such a search is designed to hit on your keywords and therefore will bring up the information you are looking for near the top of the search.
I would advise against using RipoffReport.com if you are currently still residing in your rental and wish to complain about your landlord. It's entirely possible that your landlord could become irate and react against you for it. Although this is illegal and defined as Retaliatory Action in most states, it happens and it happens pretty regularly. Save this alternative for after you move out and prevent your landlord from renting out their units for a long time to come. RipoffReports are never removed although the subject of your report always has an opportunity to write a rebuttal that will be visible but in most cases, if you provide photos and videos of them in action in your report, they won't be able to rebut anything. They will just lose their precious money month after month...that will hurt them more than anything!
Many do not have the time or funding necessary to bring such action against a landlord or perhaps feel that it is better to live in sub standard, unhealthy housing that presents numerous material health and safety issues instead of facing an eviction or further decrease in service and maintenance. This type of response by a landlord is known as “Retaliatory Action” and is outlined in VRLTA. Perhaps my own personal experience mirrors those of other Wythe County residents. I consistently had little to no heat in my apartment with the indoor temperature averaging between 55-60 degrees at best during warmer winter days, leaks that went unrepaired in the roof for more than a year and a botched ventilation duct both of which contributed to severe and ever increasing growth of black mold. This eventually led to the deterioration of not only the ceiling but also the wall. For over a year, the door to my bathroom had to be kept shut at all times because of the unsettling odor caused by the mold and moisture not to mention the health concerns.
Whenever my landlord was notified verbally and informally several times and even shown what was happening, no action was taken toward correcting the problems. Instead, I was told that the problem was my fault due to condensation from extremely hot showers in the bathroom. When the situation began deteriorating at a more rapid pace than previous, I thought it well past time to notify the landlord with a certified written notice of material health & safety issues and request repairs. Instead of making repairs to the rental, my landlord visited my apartment unannounced one night after 9:30 P.M. to hand me an eviction notice that contained no reason for the eviction. I was put out after two and a half years of on time rent payments, no issues with property destruction or illegal activities on the property.
The Health Department and Building Inspector’s offices offered no assistance. The Health Department informed me that unless there was an overflowing septic tank with sewage visible on top of the ground that they couldn’t take any corrective action that would require compliance on the part of a landlord to make necessary repairs. The Building Inspector’s office can’t do anything unless there’s a building code violation and apparently in order to be investigated, a recent building permit must have been issued. Additionally, if you contact the Wythe County Housing Authority for help, they cannot offer any support unless you receive rental assistance. Some landlords like mine, refuse to accept rent vouchers because this means that they would be required to bring their units up to code and comply with basic requirements that meet and maintain acceptable living conditions.
My question is this—if the county and town employs all of these individuals in their various capacities to serve the public, then what exactly is their job and when do they become useful to the population they are supposed to be serving? Everyone, not just children or elderly or disabled individuals deserve advocacy and resources. One office will direct you to another office which in turn passes the buck someplace else resulting in wasted time and no resolution to the problem.
Not everyone chooses to have children and not everyone is over the age of 65 or disabled however, any individual has the potential to be dangerously and adversely effected when they are in a living situation that they do not have the means to change instantaneously and a landlord becomes a slumlord, skirts their responsibilities and knows that they can get away with doing so until someone happens to file suit in civil court. This point being made: I think that it is time for Wytheville to step up to the plate and improve upon the quality of life through enforceable regulation of rental housing in the area. Lack of resources seems to be a problem that could be solved with some simple action groups such as a “tenant’s advocacy group” or other regulatory group to help both landlords and tenants work toward an improved quality of housing.
I realize that there are both landlords and tenants who are reading this and will both agree and disagree with it. I am not a landlord and quite honestly, I will admit that I have a very unenthusiastic view of landlords in general, especially the ones like my former landlord who only seem to care about how much money they can make versus how many repairs they can evade to save that money. This is not to say that all landlords are slumlords by any means but if you are, you know it and your tenants know it also.
I found myself in a bad rental situation that continued for two and a half years in Wythe County that began unbeknownst to me, with the landlord covering several material health and safety issues in the unit so that I wasn’t aware of them prior to signing a lease. I then faced several issues of non-disclosure involving mold and shared utilities at the building that were discovered later to be routed through my electric meter meaning I paid for those utilities at the building in addition to my own. As you can see based upon my own experience in Wytheville, there are some very serious issues taking place for which resources should be available. I only hope that my experience can help someone else get out of a bad situation without having to endure it day after day, year after year as I did.
- Current Mood:accomplished
The abuse of entry privileges on the part of the landlord is commonly known as "illegal entry" and defined in most states rental laws as such. Normally, illegal entry would apply if the landlord came in for no good reason while you were away just to snoop around or perhaps came by when you were at home demanding access without good reason. Normally these 'good reasons' would have to fall into the emergency category otherwise the law provides that a certain amount of notice be given to the tenant as to when the landlord intends to make entry and for what reason.
The bottom line is that your landlord needs your permission to enter your home for any reason other than an emergency situation that would require immediate repairs (such as a broken pipe) and cannot just walk in whenever they wish.
If you suspect your landlord is entering your apartment while you are out, snooping your things or perhaps trying to come up with a good reason to make you pay for requested repairs instead of them paying for it, there's a few things that you can do quite easily to determine whether or not someone's entered the house or apartment. If you don't readily have a camera to set up discreetly, one of the oldest tricks in the book is to tape a single hair across a door frame and close the door so that if the door is opened, the hair will be broken. Of course, it has to be placed somewhere near the top part of the door or the bottom where it won't be noticed readily otherwise you run the risk of someone catching onto the idea that you have figured out what they are doing.
If you do have a camera, you can quite easily rig it up with a program called DorGem to act like a motion activated security device. The catch is that you will need a computer or laptop that is connected to the internet nearby and also for your setup to be discreet enough so that no one will suspect that they are being captured on video. The program is motion activated. Whenever the camera sees motion, it begins recording video footage to the hard drive of the computer. Additionally, you can specify an e-mail address where still shots from the video clip will be sent at the same time. This will serve you well if your target does happen to realize that they are on video while they are in you house and decide that they need to do away with the evidence. They can take your computer, trash it, burn it, beat it, whatever...kill the internet connection. Nine times out of ten, it will already be too late at that point because you will have enough dated time stamped still shots from the video to positively identify the individual and these will be sitting securely in your specified e-mail account inaccessible by the targeted individual.
It is always a wise idea to keep a digital camera handy both for the purpose of documenting needed repairs, damages and other rental events but mainly for the purpose of shooting video to protect yourself. Landlords are an interesting group of individuals. Most are money hungry and so greedy that they would rather see their rental unit go consistently downhill while they collect massive amounts of your money in rental income than put some of that money back into the unit for upkeep and maintenance. Whenever a landlord realizes that they may have to spend money to make repairs they tend to get upset about that and behave badly. This is what you want on video--your landlord behaving badly. This is where the digital or video camera comes in. If possible, set up multiple cameras in different rooms, disguise them as best you can. These cameras won't operate on standby motion detection so you will have to just keep them ready to switch on and off manually if you suspect your landlord may stop by.
This is always a good choice if you are in a conflict with your landlord or perhaps you have reason to believe that your landlord may engage in retaliatory action. The bottom line is that you need to protect yourself. Do not allow a landlord to ambush you in your own home, harass you and tell you something is your fault when it isn't. Do not let them threaten to raise your rent if you complain about something. You're already paying hard earned enormous amounts of money to this slime for sub par living...keep that in mind.
Placement of your camera is crucial in the plan. A camera should be positioned in such a way so that it has a clear shot of your main entry door. This is likely where your landlord will confront you rather than actually coming inside your house unless of course you invite them in. Next, it's always a good idea if you don't have a well lit room to flip on the interior light BEFORE you open the door. This way, the camera will have more even lighting especially if your apartment only has one window in the main entry way. You won't get that bright spot in the camera for as long if you even out the lighting. This trick should be applied day or night.
Make a practice of keeping blinds closed, at least where the main entry is concerned. This way if you need to place a camera or turn one on, you are less likely to be spotted doing so by the landlord. You do not want the landlord to know they are being taped.
Try to keep yourself out from in front of the camera but at the same time, try to keep your landlord far enough away from the camera so that they cannot grab it and run. This one won't be connected to a PC anywhere and thus will not transmit images to any email account you can access later.
First of all, determine the problems needing repairs or attention in your rental unit--and they need to be things that constitute material health and safety. This means that it has to be hazardous to your health or a danger to your safety if not repaired. This would include things such as a leak in the roof that's resulted in the growth of mold which could result in health problems or a non working heater, broken pipe or other necessary component of your unit. Once you've noted all of the problems in need of repair (they often pile up because these slumlords you're dealing with don't like to repair anything and when or if they do, it's usually done minimally rather than correctly) you should go through your list and determine which ones may have been caused by you meaning these problems are your own fault and the ones that have been caused by normal wear and tear or plain and simple neglect on the part of the landlord. This is the group of problems that you will want to take to your landlord and request repairs.
You might first try a simple verbal request if you are on speaking terms with your landlord. If you don't get what you want there, move to written notices delivered by certified mail. Check your state's laws to find out which ones you may apply in your written notice. They are usually straight forward so all you need to do is read it, understand it and then apply it to your situation. NOTE: If you ask for any repairs and your landlord makes a threat to evict you or raise your rent or acts in such manner, this is considered retaliatory and in most states, this is highly illegal. This is something that could offer you protection in the future if you can pick up on it early and later prove it. Landlords are not allowed to bully you around or force you to live in sub standard hazardous housing!
When you compose a written notice to your landlord, it should be just the facts. This means it should start with a listing of problems that are noted as "material health and safety concerns" in accordance with your state's laws and a simple request for repairs. The notice should be dated, signed and delivered via signature certified mail to your landlord's address where you pay rent. Keep in mind while writing this that you will need to retain a copy of it for later use should you need to take your landlord to court. Compose it in such a way so that a judge will understand that there actually is an existing problem that's a violation of your state's laws rather than just a landlord tenant gripe because your landlord will more than likely have their own version of the story.
You don't have to actually include photos with your written notice to the landlord however, it's a great idea to take lots of dated, time stamped photos and videos throughout the process of complaining and asking for repairs so that you have a visual aid for a judge if you do go to court. Additionally, I find it useful to set up a basic video camera in the house if I know that the landlord will be stopping by for a visit. Some landlords have the mentality that they have every right to come to your house because they own it and you rent it, and harass you verbally, threaten you, etc. whenever you request repairs causing them to have to spend money. This is illegal and if you can catch them in the act, you do not have to tell them they are being videoed in most cases. (Check Nanny Cam Laws in your state for more information on this.) The name of this tactic is to video them in the act if they are a particularly nasty slumlord, let them lie to a judge and then play it back in court after they've already perjured themselves or at the very least, use it to blackmail them into making repairs without issue.
In most cases, landlords don't like to go to court, especially if they know they're in the wrong and that you have evidence against them however, in the instance that you do end up taking a landlord to court for negligence on repairs involving material health and safety issues, the best way to accomplish the goal is to request that the court set up an ESCROW account for you to pay rent into. This means that the court manages the account and the landlord just gets legally screwed out of their rent money until the court decides that they have met the repair requirements outlined by the judge. It's simple, no repairs, no rent. Additionally, if the situation is particularly bad and has involved the landlord consistently ignoring the issue at hand, you might request that a judge allow you to break your lease if you have some other place to go OR you can ask that a judge return a portion of the paid rent to you for your trouble of having to live in such a place. After all, when you signed the lease, you were under the impression that you would be able to use the whole apartment for the price and everything in it.
If you are working from a retaliatory action angle, your landlord needs to have threatened you with increased rent, decreased services, eviction or some other type of action directly because you've requested services that you believe you are entitled to. This would include anything in your lease that's outlined as the landlord's responsibility OR anything under applicable state laws. This is particularly difficult to prove UNLESS you are able to have direct witnesses or video footage of your landlord engaging in the activity. This evidence will take time to collect but I assure you, it can be done. Most digital cameras have a video setting if you don't have an actual video camera. You can also rig up a web cam with little effort. You can even use a web cam to monitor your apartment while you're out--this could result in catching your landlord engaged in an illegal entry which is also highly illegal but hard to prove. Put the camera in a spot preferably where you have a good vantage point of the door. This is where your landlord will most likely enter or stand while he or she engages in retaliatory conduct. Make sure that the camera is in a position to pick up reasonably quality audio and video--although audio is more important in some cases. Never let your landlord see the camera or get near it. Do not indicate that it's even there if you want to catch them in the act.
Please check back later for an additional article on rental surveillance.
So my parents and I moved into this townhome, it was a cute place, looked nice, and was in a great part of town. We liked the house a lot, until a bit after we moved in, we realized how cold it was in the Winter. It was seriously freezing, which made me sleep on the couch instead of my room because of the coldness downstairs. Nothing too major, it didn't really cause a problem.
Well Summer came, and our house became HOT. We could crank the air conditioner all the way, but nothing cooled it down. My parents requested someone come look at the air unit, but the landlords never got working on it. We finally called them, said we are going to have someone look at it and we would send them the bill, and whatever needs to be fixed can be discussed between them. We had someone come out and were surprised at what they found.
So the worker comes up, and tells us we have big problems. There was some part on the unit that was cracked, and was emitting carbon monoxide. He said he had to turn the unit off so we couldn't use it, because it could poison us. He said we needed to contact our landlord because the whole unit had to be replaced, told us to get some fans, but there was no way that he could turn the unit back on until it was fixed. He wrote in sharpie on the unit that it was broken, emitting harmful gas, and had to be shut off.
So we contact out landlord, who then decides to send out someone they personally know, and get a second opinion. It took a few days for that to happen, which we complained about. Our already hot house was unbearably hot.Their guy comes, laughs, and sees nothing wrong with the unit. They turn it back on. We don't use the unit, because I have a small child, a disabled mother, and didn't know who to believe when it came to the gas. We didnt want my Mom or child, who are even more susceptible to the gas, to be hurt. It isnt good for anyone to be around that!
The other company comes out, looks at it, shows us directly where its cracked, and said he has to shut it off again, calls our landlord, and this is where things get messed up. The landlord refuses to pay for repairs, as their friend said nothing was wrong. The new unit was at least a few thousand bucks. The repair guy found out how much we pay for rent (1250$) and says if he was us, he would withhold rent and take them to court because of an unsafe environment. So we contact the landlord, and do just that.
For awhile nothing is said. My parents take a job an hour away, I can tolerate the heat a bit more, so I am cool with no air conditioning being used. Then we get a court letter to appear for not paying rent. Cool with us, we will complain about the unsafe environments.
Well during the court proceedings, we find out that they want to complain about how their guy said they couldnt find any crack in the unit, but our guy did, showed pictures, and explained why its dangerous. The landlord said that the house was okay to live in, we could of just used heaters or bought fans to live in there comfortably. They then complain about me living alone there most of the time, and said because of my age I could throw parties and destroy the house. Um, what? Yes I may be 24, but my kid lives at home with me, I dont throw parties! They said my dog destroyed the carpet, which is crap because the carpets were cleaner than when we moved in, and my dog NEVER has accidents and he doesnt chew on anything he isnt supposed to. Plus, my parents took him with them when they moved, so he wasnt even there.
Bickering goes back and forth, but it was decided that we didnt have to pay them anything, they didn't owe us costs we used in order to move quickly, so basically it was a done deal.
Now we moved across the street from the house, and we found out they had a hell of a time renting the place because they refused to fix the unit, and the house couldnt be properly heated or cooled. Now that its summer, people are living there and I wonder how they will deal with the heat that is going to make their house basically a roasting oven :)
( landlord says slain woman gave insufficient notice...Collapse )
COVINA, Calif. -- The ex-husband of one of the nine people killed at a Christmas Eve party has been asked by a landlord to pay the dead woman's rent.
Broadcrest Foothill Apartment Homes claims Alicia Ortiz broke her lease and gave "insufficient notice to vacate."
Ortiz and her 17-year-old son were killed by her sister's disgruntled ex-husband.
The landlord of her Upland apartment informed her former husband, Carlos Ortiz, that he owes $2,821 in rent and penalties.
Says Carlos Ortiz, "I just don't understand it."
The manager of the property, Candyse Wardlow, refused to comment. Messages left at the company's office were not returned.
Alicia Ortiz, her son Michael and seven others were killed Dec. 24 by a gunman dressed as Santa Claus. He then burned the house and killed himself.
-- The Associated Press
|Descript||1 v. (various pagings) : ill., forms ; 28 cm|
|Contents||Finding a place to rent -- Leases and rental agreements -- Basic rent rules -- Security deposits -- Discrimination -- Inspecting the rental unit and moving in -- Roommates -- Major repairs and maintenance -- Minor repairs and maintenance -- Making improvements and alterations -- Your right to privacy -- Injuries on the premises -- Environmental hazards -- Crime on the premises -- How tenancies end or change -- Moving out and getting your security deposit back -- Termination notices based on nonpayment of rent and other illegal acts -- Evictions: an overview -- Resolving problems without a lawyer -- Lawyers and legal research|
|Note||Electronic reproduction. Boulder, Colo. : NetLibrary, 2007. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to NetLibrary affiliated libraries|
|ISBN||9781413307719 (electronic bk.)|
|141330771X (electronic bk.)|
|Subject||Landlord and tenant -- United States -- Popular works|
|Subject||Electronic books. local|
|Alt Author||Stewart, Marcia|
- Current Mood: bored
This tenant was concerned because the AC was the very reason we were kicked out last year. I had called the landlord from work and told him that I thought the AC needed to be cleaned because it wasn't running properly. His wife said they'd take care of it and when we returned home from work that afternoon, we had a notice to vacate stuck on our door for absolutely no reason. We always paid the rent, etc.
The current tenant is having a lot of the same problems so his question to me was this: How do you get something done without getting kicked out?
My advice to him was to make it sound the least like he had been talking to the previous tenants [us] as he possibly could. Maybe even be sort of evasive about the request and just wait until the next 90 degree day and speak with the landlord about how hot it's getting in the apartment and how the AC doesn't seem to be cooling it off and perhaps he could take a look at it. This wold then prompt him to clean the unit because that *is* the problem.
Obviously, the best way to help someone out is not to let them get into a situation like this and to turn them away from problematic landlords but if they move in anyway and you happen to have the experience of befriending them, you can warn them about their landlord ahead of time.
Said tenant has already had the landlord in once to examine the cause of a shortage of electricity wherein, a remark was made to the effect of 'you'd better not start complaining about things like the last tenants did. They were the worst ones we ever had' I believe this to be the reason that the tenant might be concerned because this was brought on by a simple question of whether or not he would have to pay for something the landlord damaged in fixing the problem.
Bottom line, don't be obvious but try to help people. You know the landlord better than they do unfortunately.
- Current Mood:awake
This little lady would keep us awake all hours of the night usually beginning at 11 PM or shortly after and lasting on and off throughout the night on days that she was at home. It became increasingly more frequent to the point that we were getting no sleep whatsoever. She would also make it a point to slam her door whenever she left the apartment and came home. This door was located right over our bedroom. Once in a while she would also give her trash can a hard kick knocking it down the stairs to land just outside of our bedroom window and often roll into the window waking us up with a bang. Not fun!
To make a long story short, this went on for about the first 6 months that we lived there without any confrontation. One afternoon we came home from work to find that our ceiling had cracked and plaster was laying around the apartment. We heard this horrible banging so we both went upstairs, knocked on her door and nicely explained that our ceiling was cracking and asked her to please stop whatever it was she had been doing because we didn't want to pay for the ceiling repairs. Promptly after this, we made a note to the landlord and photographs that we handed to him with the rent to document this conversation and the present damages in order to protect ourselves. It was at this point that our landlord laughed in our face and blew us off. The noise problem continued until one weekend I had all I could take and called the police. The lady upstairs got a warning and we didn't have anymore problems after that. Apparently this ticked her off and she whined to the landlord about it which in turn caused us to be on very bad terms with the landlord to the point that we were afraid if we allowed any contact with him that he would use it as a chance to kick us out on the street before our lease was up. Therefore we avoided him at all possible cost whether that be not staying at home or pretending we weren't there.
Three months of this went on, letters were left on our door from the landlord about stupid things like trimming the shrubs, location of trash cans and supposedly pestering the lady upstairs (which was the real reason for the letters I believe) until finally we had to ask the landlord to fix the AC unit and returned home to find a notice to vacate stuck on our door.
A few months after we left the apartment, turned over the keys and finalized our court case against the landlord, we found out that someone my husband knew had moved into the apartment. This person has since updated us on a few things. One of those things being that the landlord had to come look at the fuse box a while back and ended up talking badly about us. One of the things he mentioned was that we were bugging the lady upstairs and he just got rid of us because he knew that she would be there forever and we wouldn't. That's hilarious because we were just talking to the lady who lives in the other apartment after seeing her out in town and she mentioned this horrid verbal fight that apparently involved the throwing of objects and a lot of shouting followed by 2 moving trucks over the next 2 days. The lady upstairs moved out of the apartment and has left!
Now the funny thing about it is that this particular landlord is going to have trouble renting this apartment because it smells horrible. The whole building smells bad--and i've done a nice bit of work around local landlord websites to tell the truth about what this particular landlord is like. As far as I can tell, it's been vacant for about a month and he has yet to rent the apartment.
- Current Mood: amused
If you've lived in shared accommodation before, I don't doubt you know exactly what this community is about already.
Dishes left in the sink for weeks on end. Things growing in shower plugholes. Rent, phone bills, power bills unpaid. Dirty underwear left on top of the TV. Ridiculously loud sex noises coming from the next room when you're having an over-the-phone job interview. All these things and more are the perils of living in a sharehouse, flat, dorm... you may have moved in with a friend and thought you'd get along great, only to discover they like to clip their toenails on the kitchen table. You may have moved in with complete strangers in the vain hope you'd have something in common, only to discover they have a penchant for growing poisonous exotic plants in the bathtub. You may have moved out of your parents' house with your brother or sister, only to discover that once out of the nest they spend all their rent money on booze and leave you in the lurch. We understand. We're here for you. WE HATE HORROR HOUSEMATES!!!
Whatever your dilemma, post about it here! You'll be sure to find sympathy from like-minded people who enjoy such things as personal hygiene and not being in debt!