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Pleasant River Properties, Inc. James Hanscom Landlord-to-Tenant Harassment, Removal of tenant's primary heat source Windham, Maine
28th of Dec, 2011 by User776058
James Hanscom rented a 1794 Cape Home to us in December 2010 with the notion that more repairs would be performed on the property while we lived there. There were 2 broken windows a several others that needed to be replaced. Upon moving in we only paid half of the security deposit with the rest to be paid when the repairs were completed. It never happened. The day we moved in, the washing machine broke but when we notified Jim he simply said, "Oh, I'm not responsible for the washer or dryer." There was also a piece of glass missing from a propane fireplace making it inoperable. This was the only heat source for that part of the house. It took him 2 months to replace the piece of glass, in the meantime their was no heat in that room; in Maine, in the winter. In January 2011 our cooking stove died. The electronic console stopped working and the stove needed to be replaced. It took Jim 2 weeks to replace the stove. In February 2011 he brought over 3 replacement windows. In July of 2011 I emailed Jim to ask when they were going to be put in, as I was having a baby in September and did not want construction going on with a newborn in the home. He mentioned that we hadn't paid the rest of our security deposit and he wanted my husband (who is a carpenter) to put the windows in and he would apply his labor pay to what we owed for security. In the State of Maine you must be licensed to remove lead paint. My husband is not licensed to perform such work so he refused. We also felt that it was not our responsibility and were under the understanding that our security deposit would be paid in full when the home's repairs were complete by him...not us. As of December 29, 2011 the windows have still not been replaced. This has also left the entire end of the house without siding, making what little heat we have escape much easier. One week before Christmas Jim contacted me via text message to say that he would be removing our woodstove the day after Christmas. The first winter we were in the home we spent over $3500 in heating costs (both oil and propane) and we had planned to heat the home this winter with wood. We had already purchased enough wood for the season. I asked Jim how we would heat our home without the stove and he replied that once his insurance inspection was over he would put it back in, but we could NOT tell the insurance company that we had been using it. I asked Jim how we would explain the shed full of wood to the insurance company and he said, "Just tell them it's from the last tenant." Not feeling comfortable with committing insurance fraud, and not having any money to purchase oil to heat our home, we now were left with no heat in the middle of winter. At this point we are a family of 5: two adults, a 5-year old, a 4-year old, and a 3 month old baby. We scrambled to find another home to rent that included heat and gave our notice to Jim via text message. Text messaging had almost always been our mode of communication. Jim became irate and said that he would be suing us in court for not giving him 30-days written notice and began to "yell" at me via email; i.e., all capital letters, numerous exclamation points, using red font. I asked that he not speak to me again and that if he felt that he needed to take me to court than I would gladly see him there. He continued to message me numerous times, laughing at me for my husband not performing the window replacement saying he "doubts Nathans' ability to perform basic maintenance tasks." I notified my local police station that he would not stop sending me emails and they called him to order him to stop. He then sent me another message telling me where to leave my keys, to tell me yet again that I needed to send him a formal written notice (which I had done the day prior) and to respond to his email to let him know I understood how to give back the keys. He informed me that if I responded in any other way that he would have ME charged with harassment. When Jim came to remove the woodstove he left a giant gaping hole in the wall and informed me he would not be fixing it. He also tried to get my husband to sign a paper stating that we acknowledge owing him for January's rent even though we would be moving out December 31st. The insurance company came out to do their inspection and Jim never showed up at all. The insurance inspector pointed out numerous code violations which I promptly took pictures of. There are 3 staircases on the property and none of them have railings. The home does not have a carbon monoxide detector, and despite new batteries, none of the smoke alarms are functioning. The electric control panel in the basement is all taken apart, making it impossible to tell which switch goes to what, and the back porch has no railing on 3 sides. There are also numerous loose floorboards, several windows that have been painted shut, a serious rodent infestation, and a balcony upstairs with no form of a railing at all. I am appalled to see Jim has already listed this property for rent and is asking $500 more than what we currently pay.

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