General Question

longgone's avatar

Should I try to stop my landlords from taking out the trashcans?

Asked by longgone (17097points) January 1st, 2015

I live in an apartment building. One unit is used by the landlords, the other five are tegular tennants.

My landlords like things “just so.” When they are in charge of taking the trashcans up to the curb, that’s done by five p.m.

I live a less scheduled life. I may be away from home noon to midnight, or home by four.

Trouble is, I’ve forgotten the trashcans a couple of times. My landlords are now convinced I cannot be trusted. For the past year or so, I’ve kept up with when it’s my turn to do the job. However, anytime after five, the trashcans may be out already.

My landlords are angry, but I’m getting pretty annoyed, too. I’m trying to do my share, but I simply don’t have the chance. I can’t very well plan my entire day around some trashcans.

What would you do? Sit back and let them deal with the extra work, or try to keep the peace by joining in the race?

I’ve told them what I’ve said here. They scoff.

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23 Answers

kritiper's avatar

Do your best to deal with the trash cans. Other than that, let them scoff. (Sounds like their personal problem!) Take them out before you go to work!

dappled_leaves's avatar

Are there restrictions on how early you can leave them out? Here, you can be fined if garbage is put out too early. If not, just put them out before you leave if you’re not expecting to be back in time.

Anyway, expecting tenants to take out other people’s trash already seems unreasonable to me. They’ll have had to deal with less reliable tenants than you in the past, and will again in the future – so they need to either deal with their disappointment better or take on responsibility for it full-time. To me, this sounds like a job they should be doing every garbage day.

jca's avatar

So there is a set schedule, what days certain tenants do it and what days landlord does it? I’ve never heard of tenants being responsible for this type of thing, unless the tenant is renting a house. Otherwise, if it is a building, things like garbage are usually the landlord’s responsibility. Is there a reason why they don’t want it done late, like when you get home? Can it not be done at midnight or whatever? It seems like as long as it’s done by the time the garbage men arrive in the morning, that should be all that matters. I agree I would not plan my life around garbage cans, and it’s unreasonable for a tenant to be expected to do so. I take it that the landlord and the owner of the building are two different people? Or are the landlords also the building owner?

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If the bins have to be out by a certain time and your landlord is jumping the gun, let him. It feels like very passive aggressive behaviour. You can’t be trusted, so they must do it themselves. Well go for it dude! Knock yourself out. Just make sure you check and ensure the bin is out each week. Don’t rely on him to do it. Perhaps keep a tab on when he puts the bin out before the required time and then, if he ever complains, you can explain it’s because he jumps the gun and puts it out before the due time.

ibstubro's avatar

Assuming the trash is a short stroll that the landlords don’t mind taking, offer them $20—$25 a month to take over your trash duties. Small price to pay for ‘just so’ peace in the neighborhood.

sahID's avatar

I agree with @jca. As long as the cans reach the curb before the trash truck arrives, who cares when they get hauled out? Sounds to me like the owner & manager are control freaks who can’t stop micromanaging everybody & everything. Instead of getting mad, they should learn to lighten up (fat chance, most likely, of that ever happening.)

longgone's avatar

Thanks for your input!

The earliest we are allowed to take the trashcans out, as specified by the city, is “the evening before pick-up”. Hence, taking them out in the morning might be a risk for me.

The responsibility does technically fall on the landlord’s shoulders, but they’re allowed to pass the job on to their tenants, and it is very common in my area.

The landlords own the building. Yes, there is a set schedule.

As far as I know, there is no reason for not taking the trashcans out at midnight, or even early on the day of pick-up. They have certainly never shared any reasons with me.

I like the idea of keeping tabs on when I should have been taking out the trash, and what time I was home and ready to do it.

I can’t pay them anything, @ibstubro. I’m a student, money is not abundant. Even if it were, I imagine they’d be insulted. I know that’s silly, but – well, they are silly people, in my opinion. Control freaks, for sure.

The solution: As none of you were appalled at my letting them take over, I’m leaning toward not making any changes. Talking to them won’t work. The afternoon race is just too silly for words, and getting ahead of them would mean risking fines. I suppose I will just learn to appreciate all they’re doing for me, and calmly explain myself if they ambush me. Thank you, I think I can be happy with that! :]

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Just keep records. Just in case they try to use your non-removal of the bins against you. You want to have a document that shows, they’d put the bin out by xxx in Week 1, 10 or whatever. Perhaps do a table up and put it near the door you go through to take the bin out. Get your family to note down times when the bin was removed. I think if you do this for a few weeks so you can prove they were jumping the gun and therefore preventing you fulfilling your tenant duties, you can argue your case.

JLeslie's avatar

If I understand, you just have to get them out before the morning pick up, except the Landlords are nervous you will forget altogether. Is that right?

My first thought was to pay them to do it, but I see you can’t afford it. Although, if you can, I don’t think they will be insulted. They are your landlords, you pay them rent, they already are willing to take your money.

Can you talk to a neighbor to take your shift?

I think the Landlords should just do it. They want to calm their own anxiety about it. They are controlling and regimented about it. They probably look at the trash cans every hour after 5: to see if it is done.

I really don’t understand why each person isn’t responsible for their own trash? Is there one central set of trash cans, or does each apartment have it’s own trash can?

Did you talk to them? How did it go?

jca's avatar

I am guessing the landlords don’t work and they’re around all the time, and like @JLeslie said, they probably are always looking out the window to see if it was done every hour after 5. I lived in a building once with a little old lady across the hall that was just like that. She was very sweet, once I endeared myself to her, but she was nosy as heck. I used to say if I was ever robbed, the cops would have a perfect description of the robber!

JLeslie's avatar

They might work. I’ve been a landlord and I still worked at another job. It just appears they are home by 5:00.

longgone's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit I will!

@JLeslie That’s right, yes. Talking to a neighbour would not help, because I am able to do my shift. Willing, too. Just not able to do it exactly when my landlords think it should be done. There are trash cans in the backyard, shared by all. The trash goes in there during the week. Then, on pick-up day, someone has to take the trashcans to the curb so they can be emptied. That’s what the trouble is about. I haven’t talked to them, don’t think I will. I wondered whether a note may work, simply saying that I realize it is my turn…

@jca They are around a lot, though the landlady does work. Nosy fits well. They don’t know their boundaries.

jca's avatar

@longgone: Maybe a short note when it’s your day, explaining that “I know it’s my day, may be home very late and will do it when I get home. In fact, I am often home late and may be doing the garbage very late, when it’s my day. As you know I’m a college student and often have night classes.”

longgone's avatar

^ Something like that, yeah. I think that would work! :)

JLeslie's avatar

What a drag that you even have to worry about taking it out. What I mean is, if it was your personal trash only and chose to skip a day for the next trash pick up it wouldn’t matter, but since it is everyone’s trash it becomes more important.

The note sounds like a reasonable idea. Hopefully it works. I think they will still be a little neurotic about it though. I wish they would just go ahead and do it for you. I would do it for you if I were home anyway.

longgone's avatar

^ Well, @JLeslie, you are a sweeter person than my landlords are. That, I guarantee! ;)

jca's avatar

I am curious if you ever missed putting it out on your day, @longgone. Maybe that’s why they’re paranoid.

JLeslie's avatar

It would be one thing if you are just being absent minded, but that isn’t the case.

My mom’s neighbor mowed our lawn for years (small lawns). We never asked, he just offered because he had an electric mower, and when we first moved in my parents were very tight on money and just had a hand push. Then he actually passed away (he was already retired when we moved in) but a neighbor boy took over doing it. My mom gives him birthday money as a way of thanking him.

@jca yes she did a couple of times, but hasn’t in a long time.

longgone's avatar

@jca Yes, what @JLeslie said. It happened when I moved in, almost two years ago. Of course, from their perspective, I am forgetting constantly. But that really is only because they get there first. I set my alarm on the specific days now, and never forget this.

@JLeslie Sweet of the boy to take over!

jca's avatar

@longgone: My note to them would also specify that you are not able to come home at 5 to put the cans out, but will definitely do it when you get home, but it will be late.

JLeslie's avatar

@longgone We thought it was very sweet of the boy too. His house is actually right next to my parents’ house. They are attached townhouses, the other neighbor was two houses over.

Of course, my mom helps them whenever they need help in other ways.

ibstubro's avatar

I think @longgone‘s landlord may be more like my old neighbor, @JLeslie. He would race me to keep me from shoveling snow from his sidewalk. I was in the middle of the block with backyards on both sides of my house. I would start at the top of the hill, scoop the elderly neighbor’s front, then scoop all the way down the hill to the next street. The downhill neighbor only allowed that once. After that he was out the door shortly after me, starting at my house and shoveling downhill. He was a prick.

JLeslie's avatar

@ibstubro Honestly, all I could think about is the stereotype of Germans. Do as told, efficiently, regimented, no deviations. Obviously, that is not true of all Germans, but I have to admit it ran through my head. It’s why I think my husband was born in the wrong country. He would love Germany I think. America is somewhere in between.

An unrelated story, but this makes me think if it:

It’s like my 2007 Porsche. It had to be a male, German, Engineer (three stereotypes LOL) who decided to make the remote key only have one button to unlock and lock the doors. Same button! If I walk out of my car and click the button out of habit, but then don’t remember I did it and click it again. Ummmm??? Is my door locked? Or, unlocked? It doesn’t honk to signal locked or otherwise.

Walk 20 steps away and—did I lock my door while I was talking to my husband as we got out of the car? If I push the button will I be locking it? Unlocking it?

You know the German, Male, Engineer, let’s add in single, would say, “why would you need to push it more than once?”

Plus, no way to open just the driver’s side with the remote. I know Germany is very safe, but here in America we women are a little paranoid and don’t want all the doors to unlock.

Porsche did change it. The majority of complaints from women from what I was told. No shit.

If you do as you are supposed to you wouldn’t have a problem. Get out of the car, push the button, you hear the lock engage, and then walk away.

If you take out the trash on time then everything would be fine.

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