Don Cato is the worst landlord in all of Greensboro. He targets college kids and tries to rip them off. He rents out houses that are not up to code and that require a lot of emails for repairs.
My roommate and I have been renting from Don Cato for nine months now. We have always paid our rent on time, and have never had any serious complains other than maintenance issues. When we moved into the house there were no blinds, out of date appliances, and the ac was broken. We put in blinds, painting (after getting permission from him), added a shelf over the washer and dryer area, and my roommate replaced the fan in her room. We are both seniors who plan to move out in June, so that we can relocate to the cities where are jobs are.
This is what caused the major issue I am complaining about. Don is claiming that even though we moved into the house at the end of June, we cannot move out until the end of July. That would be a 13 month lease. He never told us about this when we originally signed the lease and moved in. We even tried to change the lease, and he still failed to mention this fact then. He also had a tenant move out in April 2012, meaning he could have been receiving rent from this individual up to July, when we had paid a security deposit and first month's rent in July as well. If he was not receiving rent from this person, then there is a precedent for us and that proves there is no reason for us to pay for 13 months when this individual did not.
After I called him with some questions about this, he proceed to say I was crazy and that I "was not even in the right mind of thinking." He claimed I knew nothing that I was talking about, and his lease always run from August to August. I told him if that were the case, then we should not have be able to move in until the end of July. When we first moved in we asked if we could wait until August, but he said he could not hold the place for that long. Don makes up rules as he goes and refuses to look at facts. Based on what he has been saying, we should not have moved in until the end of July so that the lease would run for 12 months.
Along with him trying to get additional money from us rent-wise, he has also tried to have us pay him when we had a plumber come out to fix our drains. Don never emails his renters back and is notoriously hard to get a hold of when there is a maintenance issue, so the maintenance man he always uses told us he has an agreement with Don and to just call him along with emailing Don with there is an issue. We did this many times and never had Don say he had a problem with it.
Then one afternoon I received a ranting and raving voicemail from Don that says we are not allowed to do this and that we will personally have to pay for having the plumber come out. After calling the plumber to see what is going on, we find out that Don owes this man $5000, and that he cut off contact because he owes money. The plumber was not going to charge us for coming out, and he never even billed Don for the labor he did. When I called Don and left a voicemail with this information, he never called back and has since dropped the matter. He was essentially trying to get money from us that was not due.
This house has had multiple problems. The ac did not work, then the heat did not work, the water was broken, the hot water was broken, and there is a roach problem. Every time we have emailed him with an issue, it takes him at least three or four days to respond and send someone out here to fix it. He never answer his phone or his emails, even though I have read receipts proving he has read them. We went without heat and hot water for three days.
Don Cato is a crook and a terrible landlord. He will try to swindle you out of money from the day you move in. He is not a trustworthy individual, and owes money to a lot of people so he will try to get as much money from you as a renter as he can. DO NOT RENT FROM HIM!! Avoid his houses and his business, or you will be sorry just like I am.