Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The Landlord Blues
We are moving . . . . again. We live in Cupertino in a house that is not habitable and are moving after a year and a half due in part to being told we have to move and also having a serious mold problem. When we moved here a year and a half ago, I did not like the house and I still do not like our house. I actually hate it now that we are being forced to leave and hate the way it smells. It smells like clothes that have dried inside, mildewy and sweaty.
The landlord called me and told me that he was going to move into the house and so we needed to move out. He said that he had been advised by his "tax attorney" that he needed to move in due to some kind of tax law that said he didn't have to pay property tax as long as he lived in the house for 2 years. To which I jokingly replied, "so I guess we will be roommates?". He then told me that we had 30 to 60 days to find a place, he wasn't throwing us out but since the heater had never been fixed and the mold was becomign an issue, it was probably a good thing, we didn't want kids around that.
Backup, backup, backup, we have 2 kids. I had called the landlord at least 3 times previously about a mold problem that we had discovered and that needed resolution. Originally the mold was isolated to a closet off the dining area but has also been discovered in other parts of the house since then. I also have been in dialogue with the landlord for a year and a half (2 winters) with regard to a wall heater that doesn't work and has never been fixed. As a result, we run a space heater in the kid's room on really cold nights and have bought really warm feather quilts for them to hunker down under.
We found a house, in under 24 hours. We even filled out all the paperwork and got approved and met our new property manager in under 24 hours. So I went back to the landlord and told him we were moving out in 2 weeks and we would like our security deposit back since we had to move so quickly so we can put it towards our new place. He totally balked and started to backtrack. Here is how it went "Oh, well I'll be out all that rent if you leave early, I had no idea you would be so quick, where are you going to, what will I do for rent, what good luck you had, I had no idea the market had so much availability . . . " and the kicker "by law you have to give me 30 days notice, so you can't move out early".
It is safe to say that I'm mad as hell. I'm madder than hell. I'm mad that everytime I walk from room to room, our house smells moldy and mildewy. I'm pissed that every day I spend in this house I have to pay even though it is probably not safe and a total dump. I am creeped out that after a year and a half of living here, everytime I come home from being gone for several hours, I'm struck by how stinky the house is when I first walk in.
We lived in Davis before moving to Cupertino and we rented for 3 years from a nice lady there. We rented 2 different houses from her and thought we had a great tenant/landlord relationship. The first house had cockroaches which were never cared for. When we moved out of the second house, she took $400 dollars of our deposit to cover a tree in the front yard that died, a TREE!
Someone wise once said, "Don't get mad, get even" and that is what I'm doing. I'm getting even. I'm tired of being a renter that gets taken advantaged of by savvy and cheap landlords. I'm tired of having my hard earned money taken from me to cover trees that I supposedly killed. I'm tired of living in houses that have mold growing in them and heaters that don't work and paying through the nose for it.
It is called Renters Insurance. If you don't have it, look into it.