So we just had an exciting week!
After multiple confirmations over the months that we can continue to rent our house until the end of the school year, our landlords decided to kick us out anyways, despite how pregnant my wife is or the slew of promises that we had planned our life around.
And let me tell you – if you ever wondered how to piss off a pregnant lady, this is how to do it ;)
What changed? Their realtor said they have a better shot of selling it for more money if they list it in the Spring vs the Summer (we knew they wanted to sell, but only after we moved out in June), and hours later we got the boot without much room for negotiation whatsoever. And because we were on a month-to-month lease (oops), they had every legal right to do so.
Now ethics wise it’s a whole other story, and we’ll get to that in a bit, but the GOOD news is that we miraculously found a new place within days of looking – even with a slow rental market and it being in the middle of winter!! So crisis averted for now, but what a whirlwind of emotions, wow.
And I know you home owners right now are just shaking your heads thinking this is exactly why you own, haha…, and rightfully so, but it’s still not enough to get me to switch back quite yet ;) I’m just chalking it up to finally being my time to deal with some of the nastier sides of renting after years of bliss!
Anyways, here’s a look at some of the perks of our new place, just to keep things a bit positive up in here. And now that the chaos is over, I’m actually starting to get a bit excited about it!
- We’re going from 1,100 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft (which is a welcomed change, not gonna lie… I thought I could do small-home living with a family of 4, but it’s a lot harder than it sounds! Haha… We got through okay, but I’ll be glad to have some extra space again…)
- Has 4 bedrooms instead of 3 (maybe room for an office finally?)
- 3 bathrooms vs 1 (<– my wife’s favorite part)
- Bigger backyard and play room (<– kid’s favorite part!)
- Much more open and SUNNY! (<– cat’s favorite part ;))
- Private driveway vs street parking
- And then MY favorite part –> It’s right down the street from the school so I can WALK MY SON THERE every morning!! Which is something I’ve always wanted to do! We’ll have to move him out of his current school since we’re now gonna be in a new district (literally couldn’t find one house under $2,600 in his current district – crazy!) but it’s just as nice a school, and fortunately he’s great at meeting new friends…
So by and large we’re turning lemons into lemonade here, and will probably enjoy our new home even MORE once we’re settled and everything calms down… And it will be nice not having to deal with moving *after* the baby is born too. As for price, it’ll cost us about $100 more a month now ($2,300 vs $2,200) which is still ridiculous, but we did manage to negotiate it down by $100 which is something?
(A funny aside to that btw – I had originally put down our *entire net worth* in our application thinking that it would showcase how solid we were, however after my wife scolded me for “showing them our cards” and wiping away all chances for a discount, I scaled it back by a good 80% and sure enough it did the trick :) First time I’ve ever had to lie in *that* direction to get something I wanted! Haha… And another win for stealth wealth too – BOOM.)
I still can’t wait to move back to my beloved Virginia though, but Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy promises this is our last year here in the DC area, so 16 more months to go and then it’s back to the promise land… The things you do for love (and career!).
House stuff aside though, I’d love to get your opinion on the *ethics* part of the equation here. And it’s something that affects so many different parts of our lives too, and is good to draw the line NOW before future situations arise and you accidentally choose the path that goes against your true values.
And the question I’d like to pose to you is this:
At what point do you choose what’s best for YOU vs what you’ve promised others? Or more specifically to this situation – when does the *money* outweigh your *integrity*? Or does integrity not even matter in such business deals?
Personally, I know myself well enough that I couldn’t ever screw ANYONE over even if I wanted to regardless of the financial benefits, because I’d just be too riddled with guilt! And that’s before even bringing a pregnant person into the picture, haha…
Now of course, if we’re talking about a lot of money here that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try to work *something* out to be more beneficial to everyone, because it certainly doesn’t have to be so cut and dry, but at the end of the day if it put my people in a $hitty situation I’d have to draw the line there and just suck it up.
Because after all, as the landlord *I* was the one who made the bad call earlier for not figuring out this stuff in the first place! These jokers had alllll the time in the world to research and consult with realtors, they didn’t have to wait until the last minute and put everyone in a tight spot?! We’re not mad because we have to move out, we’re mad because of the way it was handled and the fact they were such dicks about it all. Which you know is bad if *I’m* the one calling someone that as I love everyone, haha…
So yeah – that’s where I stand, anyways. But of course I’m probably biased ;) What about you though? What would you have done if you were our landlords? Kicked us out because business is business, or shown a little compassion and at least tried to work something out for everyone?
On the flip side, how would you have handled it if you were US – the renters – getting the boot? Would you have fought back and challenged it, or just do your best to move on and make the best of a crappy situation? In the end of course that’s what we chose to do as we were glad to just be done with them once and for all (it wasn’t the first time we’ve had a bad experience with them), but curious to hear your thoughts and maybe even learn something today… Especially if you side with them on all this! :)
We’ll see how it plays out in the end, but hopefully it’ll be a blessing in disguise and we can look back at it later and just laugh at it all :)
Now time to get to packing and be thankful for all the decluttering we’ve done over the years, boy… The one nice thing about living in a smaller house is that it forces you to get rid of all the fluff! And we’ll now have to make sure we don’t regress and expand again moving into a place double the size too…
Thanks for listening and letting me vent a little today, guys… Always nice to have an outlet for that :)
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If I was the landlord, out of me not wanting to rot in hell, would probably at least let you take over a nice big room in my house and I’ll find somewhere else to live. That, or a bribe/pay out of some sort. Pay for the moving fees too.
This isn’t an argument for pro home ownership though. It’s more one of the big fat downsides of month to months. The environment doesn’t facilitate much for long term relationships, that’s all that is.
The new place sounds amazing!!! How is it only $100 more for all that? Awesome!
Haha yup – month to month can save you or break you in the end :) We started with a yearly one first, but then neither party was quick to renew it for another year so it converted to month-to-month which ultimately screwed us in the end. Hoping it was all a blessing in disguise, but we’ll find out over the next couple of months haha…
(Oh, and the place is cheaper than normal because it’s in a different community which we’re downgrading from one of the best ones in the area… There wasn’t a single place where we live for less than $2,600/mo – crazy)
Sorry to hear about the forced move, sounds like it could have been handled a lot better. I’m more like you, if I was the landlord, I’d sit down with the tenants and explain the situation to see if some agreement could be made.
I’m curious what you’d do, if you found a new place for half the rent, but had promised the landlord you’d stay? Do you think tenants have the same responsibility to the landlord as the landlord has to the tenants?
Glad it all worked out in the end, a positive outlook tends to resolve a lot of life’s inconveniences.
I think a promise is a promise so it works in both directions, but just like this situation i would have tried my best to work something out w/ the landlord if I really wanted to break that promise :) Maybe offer to help find a suitable replacement and/or paid for an extra month or something? Since you’d be recouping it super fast? Really just comes down to communication and integrity at least in my opinion. Which unfortunately seems to be a lost art these days…
Totally agree! Maybe you can give them Henry Cloud’s book on Integrity as a parting shot, I mean gift.
That’s a hard one for me to answer! We recently looked at properties for rental investment and one of them was one that was being rented out monthly (not in NYC). I thought it was bizarre. In NYC I don’t think I’ve ever seen an apartment of structure.
I guess it has its pros and cons for both of you? You could have left with a month’s notice as well? Though I feel like they should have decided sooner for you guys and given you more time to move out! Not great karma kicking out a pregnant woman! But seems everything worked out! The market is incredibly soft here too, glad you found a place that’s TWICE as awesome for just $100 more!
And yup – very much could have worked in the opposite direction if we wanted to leave sooner than later, but of course only if we didn’t promise to stay for X # of months too :) That’s the only part that really got me – confirming over and over again we can stay until the end of the school year and then changing their mind at the last second. Without verbal agreements it would have been a totally different situation.
That SUCKS, but I’m glad you found a new place!
A few years ago my husband and I had our apartment flooded when the sprinklers from the fire alarm went off across the hall. Water went through every room in our apartment. It was a condo building and turned out our landlord didn’t have insurance. He waited almost 3 days before getting ServPro in, and then they had to rip up the hardwood floors, cut out the baseboard, and put 6 industrial size dryers in our apartment that had to run 24/7. Not to mention the landlord wasn’t sure if/when he could afford to fix it. He tried to tell us it was “liveable” and that he wouldn’t let us out of our lease. We had to get lawyers involved to get our deposit back. Such a pain.
Sometimes I miss renting with homeownership woes, but then I remember things like this. Both sides have their pros and cons I guess!
As for your question – I think integrity always rules in business deals. No amount of money is worth sacrificing your reputation.
Yikes!! Never ceases to amaze me the things landlords (or tenants too, in some cases) do.
Glad it worked out for you in the end, but what a whopper!
Yes, it goes both ways. During the great recession, we couldn’t sell our home so we were forced to rent it as my husband took a job 1800 miles away (prior job had massive lay offs & salary cuts so it was good we moved). We’d received offers $100,000 below our purchase price, way below our mortgage balance. We had done $30,000 renovations. Tenants took off in the middle of the night but not after doing $10,000 worth of damage. We vowed never again to be landlords. It’s especially difficult doing it long distance with a crappy property manager who only cared about his commission.
Your landlord should be ashamed of himself promising you could stay until June but unfortunately, without something in writing, you’re stuck. He has to live with this for misleading you.
I’m glad it all worked out for you in the end. Just curious. Does your new place come with a 1 year lease or did you negotiate it for 16 months to avoid a rent increase? Or are you continuing with a month to month lease?
we’re signing a 16 months one to carry us over until the end of the next school year :) If there’s one thing I learned from this one, it’s to get what you want in writing! And we’re fortunate this new property manager is super communicative and flexible.
(sucks about your past tenants and landlording times btw – that’s harsh!! I’m willing to bet there are way more bad tenants out there than landlords for sure, ugh…)
Yes, that’s what I was going to suggest. When the old landlord told you that you could stay, you should have called the bluff by asking for a short-term lease that would have lasted until the end of the school year. It’s playing with fire to move into a place where you know they are selling, and once you go off lease, you are fair game. But because they were so nice and sweet, your guard was down. That’s why people become cynical–because of a-holes like that. And that’s why in business (and a landlord/tenant relationship is a business relationship), you have to back up “promises” with documentation. Unfortunately, I’ve learned from being in the military: if it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist!
They should have tried to work it out with you. I mean, c’mon, like you said. What a dick move. Sounds like you’re landing on your feet but still, not cool in my book. And the pregnant wife only make it look that much worse.
I’m confused, you’re here int he D.C. area but want to come back to VA? You could just live in VA now. I’m guessing you’re from a non-D.C. part of Virginia. Knowing how expensive things are around here I don’t even wanna know what you’re paying for a 2500sq ft. house in rent.
We’re up in Maryland right now and Va is just too hard a commute for my wife :( But at least the prices here are cheaper than DC-DC, although not drastically. (We’re paying $2,300/mo for the new place, which is a “steal” compared to $2,600 and up over $3,000 just miles down the street)
Come baaaaaaaack to VA, J Money! Virginia misses you! (And you know I’ve been living in the DMV too long when I go “Oh, $2,300 for a 4bed/3bath? NICE!”)
Oi- I was not a happy pregnant lady so this would have driven me crazy! I’m sorry you guys had to go through the stress, but I’m glad you found a solution quickly!
While I see the “it’s just business” side, I don’t think I could have gone back on a promise with a tenant if it was clear and thoroughly discussed (as it sounds like this one was). Granted, I’m not a landlord, but it just seems a bit rough to ensure someone (especially a family) of a place to stay for a certain time period, only to flip it shortly after.
I’m excited for the additional space for you guys! As someone who works remotely, I can vouch that a dedicated home office is the best thing ever! Helps to separate the office from the home and vice versa :)
Selling weapons to warlords is just business, too…
I prefer staying a SAHM and live frugal than working for armaments industry.
Sounds great, but I have to admit, there is one point that wasn’t for me:
It is too big.
You have to clean a giant house.
And you have to heat a giant house.
We have about 140 square meters and I hate it that the house is so big. I would prefer a bigger yard and a smaller home.
Too much clutter, since my husband says: “Hey, why shouldn’t we store some (some, haha) just-in-case-items, we have the space”, too much to clean.
But we bought our home, since we had 2 times (my husband 3 times) awful landlords in a row and didn’t want to deal with them any more and this house was in a good shape and affordable in a good location. As soon as our children move out, I insist on renting out a part of the house.
Oh, believe me – without kids it would be a totally different story! I love me some small living, but with babies I just can’t do it haha… Especially when they’re sick and/or crying at night with no where to go :( I will have to make sure we don’t bring home *too much* stuff now though w/ the extra space… We’ve gotten SO GOOD about decluttering these last two years and would be pitiful if I digressed.
We have two children. And two cats. But here in Germany houses usually are far smaller.
Dude that stinks!!! Who kicks out a family of four, with another on the way, without a little more notice? I don’t think as a landlord I would have done that but that’s just me.
Hopefully moving into a new house roughly twice as big hopefully is a nice consolidation :)
Yikes! Sorry, you and the family had to deal with this. I think these landlords suck. Who does that to a family with a baby on the way after committing to letting you stay?! In those situations, I think it’s always best to just move on. Karma.
Love that you’ll be able to walk your son to school. :)
Unfortunately ethics seem to be dead in today’s world. Especially when it comes to maximizing your own self interest. If I had promised you you could stay,that’s what I would do. Possibly the most I would ask is to show the house earlier than expected, but only if it was agreed on. I’ve moved 13 times and owned 8 houses over 33 yrs so I am fully aware of the inconvenience of showing a home. DC is an interesting area (I currently also live there) and I believe people are taking their social and moral cues from our current presidential administration.
You got that one right…
I made sure on multiple occasions to let them know they can show it anytime and we’d do our best to be super flexible, among other ideas, however they just skipped over it all and went right for the kill. Oh well, at least we’ll have everything done and settled before the baby comes vs after which is nice!
Ethic is dead in todays world?
No, civilization always was very small crust that broke easily.
Don’t tell me, people were nicer in former days.
Look at the dark ages where they burned people alive.
Look at Nazi Germany where they made experiments on human beings.
It is awful to break a promise this way.
But history is full of assholes.
They definitely could have handled it much better. Tossing out a family with a pregnant mother doesn’t bode well for them karma-wise. I would have done the same thing as you did and move out as quickly as I could and put it behind us, realizing that as you sow so shall you reap ( or words to that effect).
Much luck on the move and looks like you actually improved your situation. Careful not to grow into all that extra space, materially speaking that is, especially if another move is in the cards in a year or two.
What?! So sorry you guys had to go through that though it sounds like the new place is a much better fit for your growing family. :)
I have actually been in a similar situation (as the owner) and wouldn’t be able to do that to my tenant…especially a pregnant one! Harsh!! However, I did have to kick out one tenant on a month to month after she didn’t pay for a few months. That was a bit sticky but it was necessary. Other than that, I pretty much stick to people over money. Good luck with the move!!
Oh yeah – kicking out a deadbeat renter is a completely different, and acceptable, thing haha… I would have kicked my own ass out if I wasn’t paying rent! :)
Congrats on finding such a great place! That’s wonderful. Okay, the ethics question:
From the reading, it feels like your issue is that they told you one thing, and then did another. You’ve already acknowledged that a lease would have bound both parties in a way you didn’t desire, so that takes guarantees off of the table. Your argument seems to rest on your feeling that the reason they’re having you move isn’t really fair (as they could easily have known that Spring markets are better). That’s where I think it gets fuzzy. I’m not sure it’s fair for you to judge their reason. If they had you move because someone were dying of cancer, you wouldn’t have been upset (I think). It’s because the reason was too flimsy. That seems to put you in too judgmental of a role – meaning setting you up as judge of their reasons. This is ultimately a business relationship, so they don’t actually owe you any explanation and could have given none. Perhaps they didn’t realize the actual difference it would make. Perhaps one partner finally persuaded the other. Perhaps they are in financial difficulty they don’t feel like they want to talk with you about. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps… Okay, so my bottom line ethics thing is that you’re both wrong: the landlords for promising and then not following through, and then you for being angry that they exercised their legal right without a reason you agreed with.
It’s interesting (from the perspective of someone totally a fan and on your side) that then you go on to talk about fudging your worth in the post where you’re talking about ethics. Was that intentional? A little trick to see if we were paying attention? :-)
I, too, am curious about the admission of a ‘lie’ to ‘get what you want’ in a post about someone else’s lack of ethics where they broke a promise to get what they wanted. Size matters?
All good points! Hadn’t thought of it that way before, but yes – I see where you’re going with that… I guess to me it’s more about *how* they handled it than the actual fact of getting kicked out. I.e. they could have been nicer to us and talked it through than just being dicks about it (and the worst kinds – the “fake nice” dicks who just try to be nice to get what they want), but yeah – it’s in their every right legally so def. can’t complain about that one.
I guess to me if you do something to someone else that upsets them but you don’t try to rectify it, whether intentional or not, then there’s probably some sort of problem there. Maybe “ethics” is the wrong term to use, but it’s called something… And as you know as a reader of this blog I don’t get mad at people very easily :)
oh – regarding the “omission of $$$ lie” – another good point! definitely was not trying to see if y’all were paying attention, haha… so yes – I very much see the irony there :) And I’m not sure I have a good answer for that, other than I guess I suck at times too? (which I def. do – I’m not perfect! – but it is unfortunate that it happens in the same post I judge others, yes, haha…)
Having been a landlord, definitely would have offered an incentive to get you guys out earlier like pay your first month’s rent at new place, or $1000 towards moving expenses, etc.
Sometimes you have to make a really hard decision and you leave some carnage in the wake. Doing something to acknowledge the other party can help soften the blow.
Regardless, the going back on your word is a dumb move. People talk. Personally, I’d publish landlord’s name to ensure no one in my tribe winds up doing business with someone of that caliber. Public service announcement.
Offering to help in *any* regard would have smoothed things, yes!! Doesn’t even have to be $$$, although that def. would have been nice. I’d feel too bad publishing someone else’s names despite my feelings towards them, but you’re right that it was def. a dumb move and I very well could blast them if I wanted! At this point I’m just ready to move on and be done with them which will happen as soon as we get our rent deposit back… Another reason to suck it up and do our best to ride it out as smooth as possible so we don’t have to fight for that one in the end, ugh…
Hopefully you took “before” pics of your current place before you moved in. Then make sure you take “after” pics when the place is empty the day you’re moving out. This will prove you did no damages. Some landlords will make up damages to avoid returning your deposit. Been there, suffered that in the past so I learned the hard way & always took “before” and “after” pics when I rented after I got gouged the first time. Do this even if the landlord agrees to do a final walk thru. Obviously you can’t take his word for it that he’ll return 100% of your deposit. Pictures speak 1000 words or better yet, take a video of every room if possible. Gotta cover your butts, especially with a landlord you can’t trust.
Damn good idea!!! We jotted down every single thing we saw during our first walk through here, but no – no pictures I’m afraid, but TOTALLY going to do it in the new place!! Love that idea!!
Its a simple matter: if you make a promise you keep it, regardless of how it might affect you financially. You were dealing with the morally bankrupt plain and simple.
I have over 100 tenants. When I make a promise to my tenants that is what they get, no ifs,ands, or buts.
Karma will kick your old landlord square in the balls one day. Hope you can witness it.
I’m just gonna do my best to forget about them once we’re out, but I do like the mental visual there ;)
Sad to hear this, but it definitely sounds like a blessing in disguise. It is pretty interesting that I got pissed off about an identical situation a week or so ago.
Our friend’s friends moved into the neighboring flat to them owned by the same landlord. The wife of the couple was already pregnant by the time which they told the owners of course. Everything was ok until a month before delivery the owners told them that they are renting a flat for two and they will not be allowed to live there when they will be a family of three, so it would be good if they could move out immediately (in the middle of the winter)… No selling intent, no financial reasons… I would say it is just simple dumbness and cruelty.
I am not a fan of this kind of stuff, but in this case what the father did is the simple best reaction what someone can give. As the landlord wanted to sneak away from paying a little amount of income tax they did not sign a contract yet. So the father threatens him that if they can not stay for a couple of months to 1) the baby born and strengthen a little bit, 2) the weather gets better and 3) to find a new place they would report the situation to the tax authorities. So they got a couple of months but still, this is a disgusting situation and a tale of poor ethics to me.
Personally, I would not force anyone to move out in such a situation or give all the help to make the change as smooth as possible cooperating with my tenants.
Happy that your problem solved so quickly and hope everything will be just fine.
For not “stuffing up” the new place just simply keep in mind that you will move shortly (1 year is not a big deal) and add up the costs of hauling all the new (unnecessary) stuff with you. I think this will do the prevention ;)
Ouch!!! It’s not even like a baby takes up that much space?? (Or does damage?) It just sits there wiggling and crying haha…. Such a weird thing to kick someone out for, but man… glad they found a temporary situation at least. I hope it doesn’t get even more toxic though now with the threatening :(
I love your blog, but this post is really bothering me. Seems you’re a bit emotionally wrapped up in this rather than being objective, which is what I normally appreciate about your posts.
First, as someone previously pointed out, you complain about the landlord lying and admit that you did the same thing. Second, you said, “I love me some small living, but with babies I just can’t do it haha” and now are saying,”It’s not even like a baby takes up that much space?? (Or does damage?) It just sits there wiggling and crying haha”.
Well babies eventually grow up into small rambunctious kids, haha…
But sorry you didn’t enjoy the post. A con to always being transparent with your thoughts and emotions means you’re bound to upset people sometimes… I just do my best to help more often than I do hurt :)
The new place sounds great! I’m glad you were able to negotiate the rent down by $100. It’s $1,200/year. Your wife made a great call!
Now if I were the homeowner and if the tenant did month to month, I would probably follow the realtor’s advice. Business is business.
But I will assist the tenant in finding a new place and may help them with the moving fees. But that’s just me. I never make promises with the tenants if it’s not in the contract. I don’t make promises in general.
Bummer! I am glad you were able to find something else and that your son is good at making friends.
I was watching brain games last night, and the situation was 2 strangers and a briefcase full of cash. You can choose split or steal. If both choose split, you share the $, if you choose steal & the other person is split you get the $, and if both are steal, no one gets the money. For me I figure most people could use some extra cash, if I pick split and we both win. If they choose steal, maybe they needed it more than me.
Maybe your (now ex) landlord needs this more in their opinion…..than ya know stressing out a small child, toddler, and pregnant woman. As noted, at least it was before the baby is born, not right after.
Wishing you & your family speedy moving and settling in!
P.s. as part of the rent vs own, a situation at the last place I rented was kind of the straw that definitely tipped the scale. I came home to an eviction notice on my door. Despite my address AND account # on my check, and inept person in the rental office credited my rent to someone else. Eviction for a first time non paymemt?!?!!? A sleepless night stressing about renting a storage unit and whose couch I could maybe crash on and the gal in the apt complex office says, “oh we know you always pay on time.” She fixed it, made sure the sheriff’s office withdrew the official notice etc. March rolls around, I’ve got 2 rents on my bill. To undo the other thing the accounts got linked. It was a lot of stress and effort I am glad to be done with.
What the??? That def. seems severe, wow…. Maybe they’ve had a ton of bad tenants and started implementing a new policy? I didn’t even know that was legal with the first “missed” payment, as I always hear it takes months?
But yeah – shows like that always stress me out because i’d always pick “share” and the other person would know it and then it would just amplify my loss even more if they still chose to steal it haha… I just don’t care enough for the $$$ :)
If the tenants had a long history and were in good or great standing I think I could let them be there for a few months longer. I don’t know the D.C. area but perhaps there is a bubble forming and they wanted to get out of the house before a pop?
My family is pretty good about handling an emergency situation like that. I think we would have sucked it up and went on the hunt for a new place right away while packing non-stop.
Regardless, that sucks but I’m glad you have an awesome new place that is just slightly more.
I’d never do this as a landlord. Even with a month to month lease, I’d give ample notice (90 days plus) if I’m making somebody leave their home when they don’t want to.
I think they’re lucky that you left willingly and did not put up a fight.
Glad you found an upgraded place. The change in school thing is exactly why I wanted to own my place. I would not want to be forced to make that decision.
Our school is walking distance as well. I can’t wait to join the stream of parents walking their kids over one day.
Yeah, they’ve been thanking us profusely since letting them know we’ve found a place so they def. got what they wanted in the end… And since we’re ready to move on we’re not going to harp on it anymore and just get our deposit back and be done with it :)
Very cool you get to walk to your kids school too!! We’ll be doing it along with you next year – woo!
As a 25 year landlord, what they did was pretty lousy and we couldn’t** have done that after saying you could stay until school was out (and baby comes!) We had the same tenant for 23 years and we gave her 6 months notice that we were ending her lease. We knew it would be hard – and we wanted to give her time to find a new place. **BUT we also own an 8 unit apartment complex that we just signed a purchase offer on. The new owners are a government agency and all 8 tenants will have to move if it goes through. They are all on month-to-month leases. We don’t know if it will close in 3 months or 6 months or more. What’s ethical? Do we tell them? It may fall through and they won’t have to move. We’d lose tens of thousands of dollars if people moved out now. So our plan is to wait until all inspections are passed, contingencies are removed – and then try to give them a 2 month notice (our property manager will actually do all of that.) They won’t be happy – but we never promised anyone anything either (like your landlord did.) Glad you’ll have a bigger place – and the walk to school will be GREAT!
Tricky one! But two months notice seems pretty fair to me? Especially for month-to-month renters, so long as it’s within legal limits to do so? I wouldn’t be mad at all if the promises were off the table and it was handled professionally as that’s how it goes with month-to-month rents. It’s really the communication and professional handling of it all that got to me on this one. Our landlords even admitted they “don’t know what they’re doing” as landlords, but it’s not even about that – it’s about being compassionate and working things out as adults.
I hope it comes through okay for you guys though, and gives you plenty of time to notify the others! Maybe just have a back up plan if you hit X weeks away and how you’ll handle it? Would def. suck if it takes double or triple the time to lock everything in :(
Did the landlord even mention the possibility of trying to sell the place while you still inhabited? I know this happened to me in the last place I rented where we had to schedule times the house would be available for walk throughs.
On the ethical side of things I would always try to keep my word and in the event that became impossible (your situation does not meet that criteria) I would try to make the situation as favorable as possible for anyone I am displacing.
Glad it all worked out for you! Enjoy your new place, I’ll bring a casserole over sometime next month.
They mentioned 6 months ago that they wanted to sell it in the Summer, and that’s when they gave us the option to stay until the end of the school year, provided we can be flexible with walk throughs and what not (which we were). Then 3 months later we confirmed again just to be doubley sure before we figure out our own plans with the baby/etc, and they reassured us we can stay until middle of June. Then the last time – literally the same day they told us we needed to leave! – they confirmed it again. It wasn’t until they had a realtor over when the tables turned :(
If you got any of those confirmations in writing you could easily hold them for breach of contract. You most likely can even if it was verbal.
That’s just the Count of Monte Cristo revenge angel. I think you ultimately made the right choice and just ditched the headache. Enjoy your extra leg room!
I moved around a lot as a kid and changing schools in the middle of the school year sucks- pure and simple. The pregnancy matters less to me (and yes I am a woman and have been pregnant) than changing schools for the little one. The biggest long term impact is on his life. I am currently a landlord and I have been a renter. The landlord holds more power and as such is more ethically compelled to attempt to work something out. Just because the house goes on the market doesn’t mean it will sell right away. Where I live school is usually out around Memorial Day, that’s about 3.5 months. Could not the house have been put on the market with the provision that you move at the end of the school year? If you have school aged kids, you are not going to move until they finish their school year. Of course the house could be sold to anyone, not just families with kids, but, EVERYTHING is negotiable. They could have offered you a house-finding service as a goodwill gesture. Sounds like you were able to make it work for you and I’m glad. This should be a reminder to all of us who rent property that there are real people on the other end with real lives and we should not only cognizant of that, but also look for ways to be a good person in all aspects of our lives. Yes, it’s business, but its people who make up the business. Use the Golden Rule and we can sleep at night.
we offered a bunch of suggestions but the only one they wanted to hear was the one with us moving out as soon as possible :) oh well, only a little more time to go until we’re done w/ ’em!
Freudian slip much???
“the fact they were suck dicks about it all”
About 1,300 people caught that this morning, haha… talk about a slip up!
Congratulations on your new find! It sounds lovely and appears to have worked out for the better in the end.
My husband is military so we have been both the renter and the owner. I know this was a stressful situation while you were going through it, but just to play devil’s advocate…..
First, it was a clue that the owners were anticipating selling their home when they didn’t want to renew your contract for a year and wanted to go month to month. As a RENTER that would have alarmed me that something was up. You also mentioned you weren’t sure you wanted to lock into a year as well. As an OWNER, that would have alarmed me as well, thinking these people are going to bail.
A vacant house means loss of money to the owner. It seemed that both parties were thinking of a change in the near future, neither side wanted to commit to anything and leasing month to month is risky for both sides.
The owner knew if he verbally agreed to not sell before June then you would have been angry if he told he to leave in July with a new baby and all. July would lead to August or September before your wife recovered and everyone adjusted to the baby and it is difficult to sell that time of year. So from the owners pov it may have felt that you wanted him to agree to a “contract” (not moving until after the summer or whenever to fit your needs) but without having a contract. Four months to relocate and settle is enough time before the baby. But I understand the stress is hard, been there, having a military move at the end of August and a baby coming in mid-October.
The main thing is it all worked out and you are very blessed.
Yup, both sides didn’t know what they wanted to do when our lease lapsed into month-to-month and there are pros and cons to both – def. not denying that :) Guess it’s just a matter of two sides promising and one side caring more about that promise than the other at the end of the day. But maybe they didn’t trust our promise so they just did what was best for them before having to worry about it? I know we’re good for it, but who knows what they think (even though they should hopefully know by now that we’re good renters…)
You’re right, the man should have kept his word. If he made a promise he should have honored it. Unfortunately we live in a world that you cannot trust someone’s word. Always get a contract even it is is for just 6 months. If he was unwilling to sign a 6 month contract that may have offered insight that he was going to sell sooner.
Anyway I’m glad it worked out. And I truly believe you will be thankful once your settled that you do not have a move hanging over your head.
People think that the benefit to owning is that you save money by not throwing money away. It’s only cheaper if you stay in the same house a long time. Otherwise, it’s more expensive. The only real advantage is that you can’t be kicked out. You pay extra for security.
I’m cautious of making promises to people. I probably would not have promised that you could stay until June. But if I did promise you that, I would have stuck to it. And then been even more cautious of ever promising that again to another renter. Every promise I’m forced to keep makes me more cautious about promising things. As the Bible says, better not to boy than to vow and not pay.
I had a similar, but somewhat reversed situation when I bought my house. The seller picked the closing date. Then they wanted some extra time to move out. They wanted a few extra weeks. The bank said no. They had the closing date down, and they weren’t changing it. If we didn’t do it on the original date, they were cancelling the whole mortgage process, and I could reapply for a mortgage with a different date. So, we went with the original date, and they just had to move out fast. The thing is, they picked the original date. So while they were rushed getting out, it was only because they chose poorly, and were forced to stick with it.
If you really wanted security, you would have gotten a lease. I don’t really fault them too much for this. I know it sucks for you, but for landlords it’s sometimes their only income. They gave you proper notice considering your contract. And why should families and pregnant people get more considerate treatment than singles?
Haha… true on not needing special treatment, but again – it’s not about that, it’s about making promises and then going back on them. Contract or not I guess I just believe people should stick to their word, and if not – at least do your best to make it better for the party you’re affecting.
I guess I’m not one to ask… as a tenant I’ve broken leases before. I’m that guy!
Haha… well I appreciate the honesty! :)
We did the same thing as you in November, sold the big house and downsized to a much smaller rental. The house square footage is fine, but I’d kill for a garage or even a storage shed in the backyard. I really don’t want to move when our 18-month lease is up in about a year, but I don’t see my wife wanting to stay here either.
Are you sure a longer-term lease would have made a difference? I’m pretty sure my lease gives the landlord an out of they sell the place.
Also, moving in the school year is way, way overhyped as an issue for kids. They’ll be fine. My dad was USAF and the military moves on their schedule, not yours. Moving during the school year is actually better as they have the chance to make some friends in school before summer. Moving in summer is worse, as you know nobody in the new neighborhood, and generally, don’t have many ways to meet other kids before school starts.
As a military guy myself I’m right there with you :) I LOVED moving and meeting new friends! But it was the opposite effect for my brother who did not enjoy it as much :( The Summer part didn’t bother me as much since we got to explore a lot before starting schools, but interestingly my wife lived in one spot her whole life so for her everything is crazy right now haha… I’m so used to moving and don’t mind it as much, although I do want to put down roots here in the next few years. That’ll be the biggest change for me yet! :)
As to your question, it really boils down to the fact you cant trust anyone if they have something to gain. It sucks but you really have to figure out a persons incentives (usually monetary) in order to protect yourself.
In your case everything your landlord did was probably legal, even if it was a terrible thing to do to someone. I guess that’s what leases are for, but then again that could have been a losing venture for you also, I get rolling the dice on the month to month. As a human you want to be able to trust someone, but most of the time that doesn’t end well when money (or perceived money) is involved. The landlord is probably right, spring he may have an easier time selling, I doubt he will get more for the place but I’m sure it will sell faster. But then again, everything sells relatively quickly in the DC metro area. When we sold our townhouse it took half of a day on the market. I realize that’s extremely fast but houses usually don’t sit unless the price or something else is off.
Also, I feel the opposite about VA, being a MD resident I hate driving through NOVA pretty much its terrible till you get past quantico… when I’m coming home as soon as I get past Germantown in MoCo is when it starts to get nice. Really when I get out of MoCo to HoCo is when I feel like I can breath again. idk where in MD you live but if its MoCo or PG County I could see why you hate MD.
This is the shitty part about being a landlord. When you run a business you need to think of what’s best for you. If you own a non-real estate business, no big deal. But a landlord…. business decisions impact real people and families. It sucks big time. I had to kick one tenant out and I’m about to kick out his replacement. That’s different though – you weren’t doing drugs or not paying rent. In your case, I’d probably let you stay until June, but I don’t know what the market looks like in DC.
I can’t believe the luck you’re having with tenants over there, so crazy!! I hope the next one is finally good for you! Or are you done with it all and gonna just sell and stick with the more peaceful route? :)
1) Many people are looking in Spring, not exactly wanting to move during the school year
2) As a buyer looking at a house with renters in place and knowing they are leaving in three months means if I buy before then I have their income to help with any leaseback I may need to do because of it.
3) They now have to get the house cleaned, staged and ready to go… with the time it will take for you to move out in the beginning of March, the cleanup, the painting, carpet, flooring and so forth to get the best deal and sell it fast(which is what they want if kicking you out three months early) they wont have it on the market until beginning/mid April.
4) minimum closing on a house with everything in place and perfect (finalizing loan, title checks, home inspection, little final bargaining, etc…) generally 30 – 45 days.
With you in place as renters: two weeks to confirm you will have the place clean enough to stage and show. depending on market 1 – 15 days to get an offer, 30 – 45 days to inspect, bargain and close is six weeks to two plus months for final date of move-in… You did not have to leave and it hurts their sales chances for you to leave because they have to now wait for cleanup instead of having you do it for initial buyer showings. Their bad ethics is going to bite them – yay karma.
I am very interested to see what happens with the place and how fast it may or may not sell, I’ll tell you that! Something tells me it’ll be on the market for a while, but I don’t wish them any ill will despite my ranting above :) From what I can tell they’re in a pretty tight spot financially themselves so I do hope they can wipe their hands of it too. Just wish it would have gone done a bit differently.
We were month-to-month in California for over a year, and it’s the only way we were able to move so quickly once I got my job offer in Minnesota. We were renting in an apartment building so I wasn’t too concerned about being kicked out. They didn’t even increase our rent for that entire time.
There are pros and cons, and risks you take. Sounds like you got unlucky.
On the bright side of things it sounds like it should be a decent quality of life improvement in the new place for marginally more money. Can’t argue with that!
Dang, tuff people to kick a preggo lady out within a month!
I was once put out on a month to month also. When my landlord decided they were getting married and wanted to move back there asap. I was panicking bad. but in the end it made me get into purchasing my first home! So although it was nerve racking, it turned out for the best. Maybe yours will be too! Who knows what all else besides getting to walk your kids to school you will get to do there!
Now as a landlord, I have had to put one person out on a month to month. Way well deserved and I even gave them an extra month, if needed, and I paid their last electric and water bills because I felt bad. She was in 60’s but causing so much of an ordeal it wasn’t even possible to get an evenings peace without her calling. Not one! She even called me when her vacuum wasn’t picking up right. Not to mention the stuff she trashed while there. I mean new floors and light fixtures. So although it was hard to end the month to month, I knew I had to or the house would be ruined.
ps. I Still feel bad to this day just thinking of it. But I couldn’t let it go on. It was driving me insane. And I’m a very quiet, to myself kinda person.
Oh damn, haha…. But the key here is that you HELPED HER and worked with her in the end! That’s the make or break it right there, so good for you for doing so :)
Glad to hear you worked it out. That’s a tough situation for everyone. It’s understandable from the landlord’s point of view. You need to put the house on the market at the best time. We had our condo for sale/rent since November. It sucked to sit on the market in the winter.
Anyway, I would have given ample warnings. That’s not cool at all.
That is awful! I’m so sorry you got kicked out of your place on such short notice, but it was definitely a blessing in disguise. Love that you scaled down your net worth.
The question of whether your landlord was right or wrong is tricky. On one hand, I believe in keeping my word, so I personally wouldn’t have kicked you guys out after repeatedly assuring you I wouldn’t. On the other, though, you were in a month-to-month, so you took a gamble and lost.
Either way, regardless of the ethics of the decision, you seem to be landing in a better place anyway so *sticking my tongue out at your landlord*
Sounds like you managed through this very well.
Mr. F2P and I were wondering why you wouldn’t have signed the X# of months to get you to the end of the school year. Here’s the thing: from the landlord’s perspective you were retaining your flexibility of staying month to month but had an expectation of the right to stay until the end of the school year. They exchanged more certainty (in their view) for the uncertainty of having an asset utilized and offering a return.
In our view: better to lock down how we want something, regardless of verbal exchanges because no one knows what life will throw at us, no matter who we are.
Again, happy to hear the change ended up being a plus for you. Walking to school is SWEET!
Yup – for sure :) Should have gotten it in writing once we knew what we wanted to do 100%, so that’s a lesson learned no doubt. But I’m still going to trust people despite these guys trying to thwart that ;) I just refuse to curb my belief in people despite how they constantly try to prove me wrong, haha…
Congrats on the new house, it sounds like a great place! Somewhere to stay for the next couple of years to decades?
Nope! Another year, and then that’s that :)
I’ve been the mean landlord before and I gave them several months notice. :)
We recently got kicked out of a rental and it was the push we needed to buy. Have you ever tried renting with a German Shepherd? It freakin’ sucks! I am not someone to argue that buying a house is a great investment or any of that shite but it sure is nice to do what we want with the house and fill it with dogs.
Nope, but I can imagine!! Haha… That german shepherd is one lucky dog to be loved that much though, I’ll say that :)
Honestly, it sounds like you’re in a fairly hot neighborhood anyway, and waiting until June wouldn’t have hurt their chances of maximizing their sale anyway.
That being said, I’ve been the landlord with a less-than-stellar tenant, whose lease extended and converted to 30 days, and when we told her we’d be selling the place (thereby giving her the 30 days notice), she didn’t do anything about it until the last week, and then didn’t tell her kids (who thought I had only told her a week before; actually, by local laws I only needed to give 3 days so was already being generous) so of course they thought that I was the ogre. They must have assumed that she paid rent every month and on time? Ha!
In the end, I have decided that it’s best to roll with the punches of what life gives you. Life isn’t fair, and expectations of high integrity have only disappointed me time after time. I will personally uphold my own integrity–and had I been your landlord, I would have not made any promises until after speaking with my realtor anyway. Whenever I get burned, I am reminded why my own integrity is important. I have found that if I “make a promise” and later find out that there is a better option, I will go back to the person that was promised and discuss the matter with them. Oftentimes, a workaround can be made that is beneficial to all–and while you had to finagle your own workaround, it does prove to be beneficial to all in the end. Timing and delivery is everything, though. Poor wifey; you should give her a foot rub and a big vat of ice cream. ;)
You’re welcome to be my landlord anytime :)
So, what you are really saying is that I have 16 months to get my butt to DC if we are going to hang out before you move.
Sorry you got booted. :( Month to month is tricky like that for renters and landlords. I imagine the realtor told them they would get an extra 20k in the spring. So he was like, “I like J$, but I don’t know if I like him 20k.” If I verbally promised, I would stick to a verbal promise. But I also rarely make non contract promises to my renters. :) Although, I did once bribe a tentant to leave early to the tune of over $2000. He was very happy, we were happy. All worked out.. I imagine if they would have offered an extra 5k plus full deposit, everyone would be happier about the situation.
Haha yes – *any* nice gesture would have made a world of a difference here, it doesn’t take much to make me happy!
What a sour situation. I’m glad you’re making lemonade (though not surprised, given your resilient attitude). As a Realtor who understands that real estate is about HOME and sanctuary, I feel your pain. I work in San Francisco, which has a high standard of tenant protection so — for example — a family can’t be evicted during the school year. But regardless of local laws, kindness and compassion should be part of every residential real estate transaction. Sorry your family is having to go through this. Read “Kindness in a Cruel Market” from RealEstateTherapy: http://realestatetherapy.org/kindness-in-a-cruel-market/
Woahhh that’s a real rule?? About not kicking out during school year?? That is awesome! Haha… Although I imagine a big pain in the a$$ for landlords too, wow. Never heard of that one before.
It is totally a real rule. Other fun prohibitions include: 1) you can’t evict anyone from an apartment in a building you own unless you are planning to MOVE IN YOURSELF 2) you can’t evict anyone who is over the age of 60 and has lived in the rental for 10 years or more 3) you have to give two months notice and pay moving expenses based on per person occupying 4) you can only do one “owner move in” eviction per building every 10 years. Etc. etc. etc. Very tenant friendly (although there ARE abuses, of course and the rules are less stringent for single family homes and condos). Only problem is that a 1 bedroom apartment in a good location’ll set you back at least $3k a month!
You are blowing my mind right now – I can’t take it! :)
I assume a tenant can be evicted for not paying the rent???? Otherwise they could move in Sept. & quit paying rent in Oct. & not be evicted until June when school is over??
Only one thing….
Declutter when you make the move and then don’t let that doubling of square footage allow you to let it creep back in.
Hope the move goes well for you my friend.
Yes to that 100%%! Already got rid of 3 large trashbags and condensing… feels so good!! (And because we’ll only be there for a year, there is not much temptation to accumulate a lot more knowing we’ll just be packing up yet again).
Yeah that is the problem with these sorts of contracts. Glad you could find a place quite quickly and it seems to be a better place. It’s immoral, especially considering your situation with your wife being pregnant but you can somewhat understand it from a profit point of view.
I usually just lurk on your blogs, but this time I have a story! ;) Something similar happened to my boyfriend, except he was renting out a house from one of his college friends and his friend’s wife decided they wanted to sell the house earlier than they had told him and tried to boot him out. Mind you, he was a single dad of two young daughters at the time. And they had a lease in place. They just wanted him to tear it up because he was a friend and they wanted to sell in an advantageous market season. And guess what? He stood his ground! He had a lease, two young kids, and no desire to have to find a home unexpectedly and on short notice. That was over 10 years ago, and his friend’s wife still hasn’t forgiven him… but if you ask me, they(she) was making a poor ethical decision in the same kind of frame you’re talking about, and I’m proud of him for standing his ground!
Oh wow!! That’s a whole other situations, jeez… tear up a lease???? Ugh… what a way to ruin a relationship :(
May your yet to be born baby grow up to be their banker.
Paybacks are hell.
“Personally, I know myself well enough that I couldn’t ever screw ANYONE over even if I wanted to regardless of the financial benefits, because I’d just be too riddled with guilt!” – – – – – – Earlier in the article, you admit to doing just that to get a reduced monthly rate on the new place by lying about your net worth.
“As for price, it’ll cost us about $100 more a month now ($2,300 vs $2,200) which is still ridiculous,” – – – – How is it ridiculous for the homeowner to charge going rate when they take on all the risk? You are renting to not have to deal with any of the headaches. They are charging what they can to take that on. – – – – In your twitter reply you mentioned how mind boggling the real estate market is. Same could be said about Amazon stock price. “Man, it is just too expensive to buy a share of Amazon. Can’t it go back to its 2011 price around $100.” Yeah, but the people who bought in 2011 risked the price going down just as the homeowners you are renting from risked the value of the home going down.
“So yeah – that’s where I stand, anyways. But of course I’m probably biased ;)” – – – – 100% agree with you on this take. Most people view from their own position of fortune or not in ALL MATTERS. I try to look at everything from the perspective of where I went wrong. Housing market goes up 20% – that’s my fault for not buying earlier. Stock market goes up 25% – that’s my fault for not buying more.
“On the flip side, how would you have handled it if you were US – the renters – getting the boot? ” – – – – If my wife and I were the renters who chose month-to-month, I would have said, we screwed ourselves over not signing a year lease. Our bad.
Love you J……usually you are spot on…..I think this time you are solely looking from your unfortunate situation versus looking at the missteps and/or situations you guys put yourself in.
Not going anywhere…..love ya man.
You know I always appreciate your honesty :)
I’ll admit it’s pretty ironic with my lowering the assets to go for the discount (although I don’t think that’s really “screwing them over” do you?), but as far as the “ridiculous” comment – that wasn’t meant to be a knock against anyone at all, and especially not against the landlord! If anything it’s a knock towards me for *paying it* despite me not wanting to haha… But I know how the world works and I do my best to play the game :) I think you’re still allowed to have opinions though?
Definitely allowed to vent frustrations and opinions. I mean, I think that’s how all blogs started in the first place I think. :)
Also, I should have included that I can be as biased as the next. I’m definitely not the sinner throwing the stone here. I have my faults and my wife reminds of them often. ;)
Keep doing what you are doing man!
I am a landlord and I give as much notice as possible for any change. I’ve raised the rent on our rental home twice in 5 years by $50 a month and she received the heads up 6 months in advance both times (she’s still paying $100-$150 less per month than all the comps in that area). If we were thinking about selling, I’d let her know so she could start prepping for a move, and then she’d get at least 1-2 months notice that she needs to move out. She’s month-to-month now too (was a 1 year contract back in 2012 but she has cash flow issues enough that I think it’s better for her to have a month-to-month so she’s never breaking a lease – she’s always paid us on time). So, I guess I’m a fluffy landlord. But it works for us and our tenant keeps the rental home super clean and awesome and pays on time. Win-win.
I think I’d love it if you were my landlord and it would be a welcomed change :)
J$, thought I would throw my $.02 into the convo based on my 62 years of spewing CO2 on to this blue rock.
1. Integrity is much more valuable than money, especially to yourself and those dependent on you.
2. The only integrity you control is your own. I’ve found that to be a full time job! This is why we have laws and binding agreements in our relationships with others.
3. You can never truly know the heart of another. You will go crazy trying to understand “how” they did that. Most people act according to what they perceive as being in their best interest, as do you and I. Cut them a bunch of slack and move on down the road.
4. Learn from your experiences and use them wisely as you usually paid a great price for the lesson. I keep thinking of the book The Richest man in Babylon and how Arkad lost his whole first year of savings in a poorly thought out investment. Did you have the opportunity to put a short term lease in place with your landlord that would have solved this issue? Just askin!
5. Cut yourself some slack as well. You can’t change the past, but if like me and you’re still putting out the horrible CO2 with every breath, you’ve been given another day and another chance to do a bit better. Don’t waste much of it worrying about what someone else did or didn’t do.
6. Take a turbo dog for a walk.
Hah! That beer is pretty good – I’m only drinking one a week to relish it more :)
But yes – def. learned a lesson on the “getting it in writing part” for sure.
And not going to let this ruin my faith in humanity too, even if it does drive me mad sometimes…
Hey J Money! First, sorry if my tweet about the typo was bad form. I was in my bed reading the article and thought it would be funny. :)
It sounds like the new place is going to be better overall and, hey, better to move now than with a newborn, right? Maybe a blessing in disguise.
No worries at all – was totally fine! I would have laughed hard too! :)
Ok, I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. (cue the hate mail…haha) I was a landlord for about 10 years. First of all it’s a business. A lot of work goes into that business. And sh** happens at the most inopportune times when you’re a landlord.
For instance, I was in an a trial testifying when during one of my breaks I found out that my unit flooded (bottom floor) big time from the upstairs unit. So after a long day and during trial breaks I’m coordinating workers, etc, dealing with insurance people, contractors, serv-pro and finding my tenants alternate housing while it’s being fixed up. One got so emotionally stressed I let her out of the contract. There were four college girls in this unit. Then I had to get another tenant in there. Ugh..
Another time there was a slab leak in the complex that went from the hallway into my unit. This was around Christmas time. And my wife (now ex) was 9 months pregnant. The tenants were on vacation so I was able to get in there to help work on fixing it. The association had a worker re pour the cement and then I helped lay tile finishing two days before Christmas. The next day my second daughter who was due in January was born the day before Christmas.
I gave breaks to tenants for different situations when the rent was due a couple of times. Do you know what happened? Of course they were late the next month too. I learned really quick. Late fees took care of all the problems. I will take the verbal abuse of the bad landlord instead of my own stress trying to pay the bills and collecting from a tenant.
While I feel for you J$$ how do we know the landlord’s situation? Perhaps he has fiscal problems, or caring for a family member with medical costs, or something else? How much do you know about his personal life?
While I would have given you at least a 60 day notice in this case he didn’t do anything illegal. Landlords are always made out to be the bad guy. Yet, they put up with quite a lot too. If he waits a few months until school is out or your child is born then he is missing the peak of the selling season. Subsequently, if he was to lose say $10,000, or $15,000 or such on his sale would you feel bad? Would you offer to let him keep your deposit for his loss? Of course not, it’s just business. In the end he has to do what’s best for his family. What happened to you sucks. I get it. I really do. It happens countless of times every day though. In the end you will look back at this and say I’m thankful for my new place. As one door closes another one opens.
PS- As a side note $2,300 is lucky to get you a good 2 bedroom apt. out here in southern CA where I live. We Californians would jump on the deal you got! Enjoy your new digs.
Yup, very true – I don’t know their entire situation outside of what they’ve told me (which was that it’s purely financial). However again – it’s not that we’re getting kicked out that’s my main issue here (although it sucks), it’s that we were left out of even having a genuine conversation to work it out. I feel like if you’re going to deliver harsh news, then you should do your best to be open and understanding whether it’s a business deal or not. Maybe that makes me naive, but I’d rather be naive than cold :)
I don’t think it makes you naive J, I think you often try to find the best in people. Sounds like they had already made their mind up though so not sure you would have been able to work it out.
As a landlord I’ve always tried to be fair and look at it from the tenants perspective.
I think you’re right. And exactly why I didn’t fight it to the death either :) Better to move right on and just suck it up!
Funny, the exact same thing happened to me once — the landlord booted us out with very little notice and we ended up finding a better place that actually cost less.
The best part was the new apartment was only 1000 feet away from the old apartment. :)
I was looking at tax attorney websites and read one horror story where someone lost a ton of money because the IRS decided that their rental home was not a rental because they kicked out tenants before selling. Someone else also got denied but they had tenants during the entire selling process. When the attorneys went to court for their clients, the first one still lost because they weren’t selling a current rental house, since they didn’t have tenants and weren;t actively looking for tenants. The second client won their appeal and got the appropriate deductions because they had active tenants until they sold….
So… wonder if your former landlord is “lucky” enough to have the IRS take a closer look at their “rental” home that they are selling.
Oh wow, haha… never heard of that one before!
That honestly seems just wrong to toss out a family based on sales expectations. It is even less ethical because your wife is expecting. Idk, if it is worth the effort to fight it. It sounds like you are going to be moving to a bigger and better home. Good luck.
First off, I can sooo relate to your desire to move back home. I’ve been waiting out Mr. ThreeYear’s career for awhile now and can’t wait til we can cut the cord and move!! I don’t know if we’ll be moving home immediately but eventually, back to the South it is! Woo hoo.
Second, although it was a bit of a pain to have to suddenly move (and move your stuff, which probably cost you some $$$), it was a bit of a pain for me to have to put a new roof on my house this summer, to the tune of $14K. And it’s going to be a bit of a pain to sell said house when the time comes, and sink more money into fixing all the little things that are broken. So yes, renting comes with some downsides, but so does buying a house! :) I cannot wait to rent, honestly!!! Not to have to worry about all the maintenance stuff. I will take it! :) Glad you guys found a new, better place!
Haha I’m excited for you!!! Renting is awesome (most times) – I hope you love it too! :)
Yikes! But glad things worked out. I think you guys are going to love a bigger house with the new addition. Silverlining indeed.
As a landlord, there’s no way I would put out a tenant who was pregnant. No way. That is completely heartless man.
Oh wow – for some reason I didn’t expect that from you! Haha… Love it though. I bet that new baby of your is just growing your heart even more too, as they did for me :) I’m so much mushier these days!!
Yes, this is partly why we own. That and dogs! :)
But as a landlady, I think that even if legal, that was despicable. I couldn’t even finish reading the post before I started to write this part so I’m sure we’re echoing each other here but I do not make promises I don’t intend to keep, so for them to make assurances that you could stay in the house until the school year ended and then go back on it for a bit more money – nope. Not ok. Don’t make that kind of promise without doing your research first. Then be honest and upfront.
I think my response would depend on whether we could find a better place, like you ended up doing. On principle I’d probably fight but I’m older and wiser and know now that that’s not always the right answer. However, I would use that principle to make them pay for my moving costs because I wasn’t expecting to need to move so soon!
Still, I wouldn’t use this as an argument for owning yet, not until a lot of other boxes were checked off. First and foremost, if you WANTED to. ;)
Oh yeah – the old me would have tried to fight it too but not the older me :) I’m smart enough to realize when it’s a losing battle despite my thoughts on it, so even though it pissed us off we hurried up and started to try to make the best of it… (And yes – def. not interested in owning yet still haha…)
Simply can’t judge the howeowner’s decision without knowing their financial and general situation. That’s it.
Perhaps they messed up in knowing the real estate landscape they were headed toward, but if they sell quickly & pay fewer house notes, it’s possible that makes significant difference in their personal life.
Truthfully, as a renter (and former landlord) I would’ve fought it as a renter, while searching for a new place. However, most places are renter friendly, and if you don’t have a place, they will allow some leeway. At least another month, or 45 days.
Yeah, that’s super crappy of your landlord. It’s ESPECIALLY not okay to do to a family and an expectant mom! I would have honored the verbal agreement because it’s the right thing to do. Ugh, people are gross.
Anyhoo, I’m happy to hear it’s working out and that you found a place quickly! I think you’re going to have a blast walking your son to school. :)
That’s the best thing that’s come out of it all :)
I’m not saying it was meant to be or anything but if they had tried to work something out and give you a bit of time you wouldn’t have found the great place you did. If I were the renter in your situation I’d probably be fine with how things went down BUT if I was writing my blog from a hotel because there were no houses in good school districts available to rent I’d be fuming and looking for any kind of legal recourse I could. I’m fickle like that.
Yup, well, that’s pretty much the reality of it here too! We got fortunate in finding this great new place but had we still been looking it would have been a whole different story (and blog post! ;)). Looking for places to rent in the WINTER sucks in itself, but with a pregnant person even more… So just damn happy we found a place – and really, the *only* place – where we’d be comfortable living, at least within our relative budget… There are plenty of $3,000/mo places to rent but NOPE ;)
Yeah, no, that’s entirely messed up. Especially because there are kids and a pregnant woman involved. I’m so glad it worked out the way it did, though! That’s amazing you were able to find a place so quickly.
Will the district let your son finish out the year? Even with the new address?
I would’ve been mad, but what can you do when you’re month to month? (And honestly, month to month can sometimes play to your advantage as a renter in certain situations.) Does DC have laws about how much notice they need to give you?
Oh, for sure – our landlords are all on top of the laws trying to make sure they don’t get in trouble, so we do have some time now to get packed and moved out which is nice… Could have def. been worse had they forced us out (illegally) in a number of days. But that would have been a whole other situation and one we would have fought to the end about which thankfully we don’t have to do! :)
I don’t blame them for doing what is in their best interest but they should not have promised you could stay without having talked to their realtor first. If they had already told you you could stay, they should have honored that, that’s what integrity is. They could still list it in the spring and work out an arrangement with you to allow showings while you live there and then offer 30 days notice if they get offers or have a deal. Nobody closes in less than 30 days anyway. There are only 3 to 4 months left in the school year anyway.
Virginia is awesome! We are in the Shenandoah Valley and my kids and I love it way more than Houston where my husband was raised. I was happy to be back. But I could have sworn you can’t kick a pregnant woman or mother with an infant, even month to month. At least your new place will be much nicer.
Oh yay!! Shenandoah is so pretty!!! I want to come visit when we’re back!! :)
Whoosh! Glad you were able to find a way better place in short notice!
I definitely believe in karma and that you should treat all people as well as you can. Sounds like greed overtook all their senses and caused them to kick out a family on short notice after making so many promises! They could’ve at least given you one month notice.
Hmm…if I were you I’d be watching their listing to see if they sell…just out of curiosity.
Good for you for turning lemons into lemonade! Hopefully this is the start of a much better housing situation. Much luck, and I look forward to reading updates!
OMG!!! That’s terrible! As a landlord myself, I could NEVER do that! My motto is “people over profit, no exceptions”. I like to sleep at night. That is definitely a douche-bag move on their part.
That’s cool that you put a link to the condotel post! :) I have to admit, that I mostly still love the condotel, but sometimes I miss having a slightly larger space. Mainly a balcony and a bedroom to close the door since my husband and I have different sleep habits. A little more open floor space for stretching/yoga/meditation wouldn’t be bad either. But, I like the financial freedom and I walk out the building to beautiful, open park space.
When you move to the new house, you can consider the fact that you don’t need to actually use every closet and every drawer or every inch of floor space. You can keep some areas cleared out and shut. I actually did another massive declutter myself and I now have completely empty drawers in my night stand and all my personal possessions and necessities currently fit into one suitcase and two small backpacks. :)
Oooooh beautiful!!! I love empty spaces!! No way I can get away with it with kids (they always find a way to put *something* in them, despite me constantly removing!) but I’m hoping once they get older and I have more time to instill the love for minimalism in them that things will start going my way, haha…
In the meantime, I just do my best to keep all *my* stuff decluttered and call it a win! Also still very much want to try condotel living once we have an empty nest – sounds so magical every time I think about it. Which is apparently a lot, since it was top of mind when looking for a good post to link to this morning! :)
I feel your pain. We had lived in a house for three years when one night the landlord unexpectedly shows up with a realtor. She informed us that she was getting a divorce and selling the house. We had two weeks to find a new place and move. Luckily, we too found a bigger and better place for only $125 more a month. She also kept our entire security deposit because she didn’t have it to give back to us. We learned our lesson and only used rental companies after that and always had a lease. As rent continued to go up every year, we finally broke down and bought a house.
Woahhhhh not cool on that security deposit! So illegal!! They are so lucky you didn’t go after them on that one, wow… I’m doing good keeping my cool with this situation outside of some bitching here and there, but if they jacked our security deposit I’m afraid things would change real quick :(
Lady Luck was on your side, J Money. So happy that this irritating situation worked out in your favor, despite what happened.
Reminds me of a car salesman who shook my hand and said he would wait for my bank check in order for me to buy the car. Him and his boss ended up calling me to argue with me that I should just get a different car when the check comes as they don’t want to wait….The next day, the check came and I called them to say do NOT shake anyone’s hand with a promise and then go back on it. I’ll never buy from you and BTW, the check came. And I’m not coming back to buy any of your cars.The lesson I learned is that if it’s not in writing, a verbal agreement isn’t enough. Bummer, but true.
Sorry to hear :( I bet the car business is even worse with turnover/flaky people than renting – on both sides of the coin. Hopefully you were able to secure a better car in the end – from somewhere else! ;)
I don’t see the ethical issue you’d like me to. You knew your wife was pregnant or could be soon when you chose to enter a M2M lease. If you wanted different terms, why didn’t you negotiate for them? What does your landlord owe you but appropriate notice in your state?
It sucks to move when you don’t want to, but as a man with significant assets and experience moving and renting, you knew what you were doing. Why should the investor not sell their asset just because it is inconvenient to you? A verbal agreement is worth tbe paper it’s written on. And you admit to lying about your reported assets in the same post, which makes it harder to accept your “But I want to believe in the goodness of people,” vibe. You’re annoyed at being inconvenienced, but that does not make the landlord a bad guy.
If the landlord is reading Financial Samurai, they are likely trying to sell before a potential correction.
Your landlord is not your friend. You had a business arrangement and they handled it like business. According to the contract you signed. You have no idea what is happening in their life and their finances. You don’t care either. Because that does not matter to you. It’s not a bad thing that it doesn’t since you aren’t friends.
Hah – correct, we’re definitely not friends ;) My beef isn’t just about the month-to-month or being kicked out, it’s about the broken promises 3 times over, and then not having a professional or courteous conversation about it. Which any two adults should have regardless of being friends or not. Hell – even a “Sorry” or “Hate to do this to you, but…” would have been better handled if genuine. But hey – shame on me for believing in people…. (which I won’t change).
I would so be the worst landlord because I’d have too much heart, especially after all my terrible experiences as a renter!
Or the most compassionate landlord – which I’d take over $$$$ any day of the week :)
This sucks but the market is hot and I’ve seen this happen to several families with no luck of finding another place. In the NYC market, it’s a struggle to find a place if you have small children. Glad you bounced back quickly and really hope they return your security deposit. One of my experiences, new owners take over, raise the rent by $400 and then gave me 2 weeks to accept or move. Luckily found a place right across the street but trying to get my deposit back was a nightmare. They suggested I take them to small claims court-who has time for that?!. It was $1000 but lesson learned, never expect my deposit back.
Jacked up right there!
International school teaching is kinda similar for me and my colleagues who live and work around the world … by the very nature of being an international school teacher … most of us live in rentals and I did too for the early years … we were constantly living in rentals and kept our items down to several pieces of luggage …. when my coworkers move on … they sell or give away all their junk from Ikea or what have you … and it is yes common for the landlords to kick folks here seeing overseas the rules are more lax? :) … lots of fun … would be good to hear from folks like …. myself who have a homebase overseas … I am F.I. but still do international school teaching … which is busy, but have 3 months of holiday to explore the world …. my friends and co-workers are from or have moved and worked … all over the world. Michael CPO, From the Far Side of the Planet :)
Sounds like a helluva fun time indeed! I’d love to be mobile like that!! Maybe one day after the kids leave the nest and I’m in my 25th year of blogging, haha….
I’m late to the comments so someone may have already said this….
You most likely can keep your son in his current school until the end of the school year. I was able to do this one year and know others who have also done it. Would mean less change for your son right now with so many other changes happening.
There are pros to switching to the new school right now also – he’ll meet kids that he can play with over the summer, any anxiety over changing schools will be for a short period rather than months & months, you’ll be able to start the walks to school right away.
So glad the new place has more of what you want and need.
Can’t believe the landlords didn’t put the house on the market but with a longer closing period to honor their commitment to you.
Definitely! Keeping him in to close out the year, and won’t be xfering to the new school until the following school year. I agree not worth the chaos, especially with just a few months left. Thanks for popping in :)
Just a quick comment. A similar thing happened to me in the apartment I was renting from a close medical school friend-turned really nasty and ended the relationship. (I was in the middle of a difficult fellowship when they decided to sell the apartment-giving me almost no time to find another place in nyc). The sum result is my new apartment was infinitely better, I removed myself from a situation that caused me constant stress in my living space and ultimately, I’m pretty sure that while I might like to have inflicted pain similar to what they put me through, karma does come around…just not on our time frame!
As for your particular situation, I fail to understand why they couldn’t have negotiated a move out for you that would have accommodated the children’s school with the buyer-e.g. a purchase that worked in a June move out for you. C’est la vie. The greed of real estate often clouds good intentions. Good luck on baby dime! And enjoy the extra space!!
Thanks K! Glad you were able to move on to better things too over there :)
It sucks on your end but the lease was month to month and it just business. If I had been the Landlord with good tenants in this situation, I would have waved last month’s rent or paid within reason for the movers. Probably was a large difference in potential selling price point for Spring versus later. Plus, no one knows what is going on in the Landlord’s life. They made need to make hard decisions like this to get the most money they can for something sudden in their life. I just try to presume the best in people.
On a different note, sound like even though it was not a situation your family wanted the new rental is a better layout for all including the cat.