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Ru ~ dig deeper has written 8 entries about this goal
It’s continuing to be a rough week. The more we’ve looked into what happened, the more frustrating it is. The papers the landlord gave us were illegal – a 2 month notice to end tenancy is issued only for landlord’s use of property (or that of his immediate family), conversion into subsidized housing, or the house being sold and the new owners giving him a document saying we’re to be replaced by family members. None of these things are even remotely valid.
The tenancy branch said we’d have won arbitration in a second, but we had to fight it within 15 days of receiving it, and the time limit has run out. At this point, saying we trusted he was being honest with us (about being required to end a tenancy with the old owner before starting one with the new, and about the new tenants wanting to keep us for the same terms) won’t cut it.
The capper? The new owners came by to collect rent from us yesterday. He apparently told them that was fine, even though our lease with him ends in September and he’s required by law to give us a free month’s rent. The new fellow came in and we all had a long talk – it looks like we’re all being screwed by the old owner, who, in turns out had 3 mortgages on this place and collectors on his ass, and sold to them for $125K less than another offer because they agreed to forfeit their right to have the place inspected, and the realtor assured them they could get rid of us or charge us whatever they wanted (true NOW, but if we’d known about any of this, they’d have been stuck with us at only $30 more, so he lied to them too).
ANYHOW – the new owner is very nice. We told him about some of the problems with the place, the things we’d done to fix it up. He said they were really impressed with how clean and nice it was down here compared to all the other houses they’d seen and were really hoping we could stay. Unfortunately neither of us can afford what the other requires for that to happen (unless we want to stop saving for our own down payment or doing anything other than eating beans).
They’ve offered us at least September at our current rate, which is very fair of them, (because of that damn bogus form, we’re supposed to leave), and if we need a little more time, we could stay on at their proposed rent, which they’ve dropped a bit. The best option open to us will be to move, which between decent places being very hard to find and the actual process of packing and leaving our HOME, is a whole new ball of stress.
It’s just been so exhausting. I’m not sleeping, I’m getting sick, and we’re breaking record temperatures here every day (we broke the hottest day ever 2 days in a row, no end in sight) which doesn’t help. Whenever I find myself complaining about the killer heat/humidity, I just think about Markus out there, working in the sun. My poor honey. Hopefully this wave will break soon.
Hopefully in a few months from now, we’ll be in a better place with less stuff and less noise. If we don’t find something right away, we won’t be out on the street – if we have to bite the bullet for a month or two beyond September, we’ll do it, and the option is a relief. We’re crossing our fingers that something good will come up somewhere. We’re still very sad we missed that other place. We’d still very mad we got totally screwed.
Trying to look at the bright side: fresh start, new place, less clutter, change… I’d just like to fast forward to those things now please.
I’m feeling bitter. 5 minutes after I made a facebook post about our situation and started making a list of what we need, a good friend wrote back about the downstairs suite in the funky old house she’s leaving (nearly word for word the list I’d just written): 2 bedrooms, laundry, cat friendly, decent size kitchen and living room, a yard with a pear tree and blackberry bushes, within walking distance and near another park, no bugs, fair landlady… and for less than we’re paying now, which is totally unheard of.
I spent the last 2 hours really excited about telling Markus and going over this evening when he got home. How thoroughly satisfying would it be to say “hey, new owner people, we’re fantastic tenants and we just found a better place for precisely half of what you want to charge us. We’re moving out tomorrow. Bye bye”. It felt like the universe had given us a high five.
Then the phone rang to say it had been snapped up. Damn. The edge of the bitterknife? If the new owners had told us their plans in the first place, been honest with us about their plans to jack up the rent a month ago when they bought the place, we’d have had the option of moving on this sweet suite in time. I’ll put a positive spin on it though… if we heard about it within 5 minutes of asking our friends for help, maybe something even better will come along in the next month or so. It gave me a ray of excited hope, which is more than I had last night. Sweet.
So we met the new owners: a nice, newlywed couple just back from their honeymoon.
A nice, newlywed couple who want to raise our rent 70-75%
I’m still in shock. I don’t know what we’re going to do.
I’m upset to the point of tears. We’re totally unprepared to find a new place to live, sort through everything we own, start packing, and move, which is obviously what we’re going to have to do. Soon. And right in the middle of this low vacancy/2010 Olympic frenzy too. I spent an hour online, looking within our budget, and there’s nothing. Certainly not anything in our area, which we love. Not even a cardboard box.
We’re supposed to talk again in a few days, and we’re hoping to at least reach some sort of compromise until we can sort out what to do.
Damn. Damn. Damn.
Hopefully all will go well.
I’m feeling anxious and upset; blood pressure creeping skyward, head and stomach rebelling. I have no idea what’s going on. I thought I did, but we’ve been wondering why the new owners haven’t contacted us since they bought the house – it’s been a month.
Today they called. A nice sounding man (though not the one I’d hoped), saying the realtor led him to believe that we might be interested in staying in the suite and would we like to set up a meeting to discuss the required changes. Obviously we’d like that very much – so we’ll try to set something up as soon as possible.
I’ve been trying to figure out what our rights are. Between the end of tenancy paper we signed (our landlord led us to believe we had to end the contract with him to sign a new one with them) and having our damage deposit transferred to the new owners, there’s been some confusion about where we stand.
Today I spoke with a woman at the residential tenancy branch. A woman who talked to me like I was a complete idiot for signing the notice, and wanted to know why the hell hadn’t we called them before signing anything. She was really awful to me and made me feel so much worse. Basically we signed away all our rights. If we hadn’t, our previous agreement would have been transferred to the new owners and honored, but now, if the new owners want to charge us 10 times the rent they can. I thought we were just signing something that stated we’d received papers ending our tenancy with him.
Now I don’t know what to think. I don’t know if this was an actual plan between the old and new owners to get us over a barrel, or if there was just a simple misunderstanding. If we were completely ending the contract, why give the new owners our deposit? I thought accepting a deposit represented a general acceptance of our tenancy as well.
I shouldn’t jump to a worst case scenario, it just makes me feel frantic to be thrown into such uncertainty again, and realize that we have absolutely no rights. I hope the new owners are fair people. I really hope so.
We tried to get the financial ducks lined up to buy the house ourselves, but that’s another story for another goal. We didn’t, and the house sold today. Very fast.
The landlord just came by to have us sign a two month end of tenancy agreement. That’s the bad news. The GOOD news is, he said the house sold to “a young couple in their 20’s” who want to boot the upstairs tenants out, live upstairs themselves, and keep us here.
I hope hope HOPE it’s the young couple in their 20’s with the baby that I mentioned previously. They were incredibly nice, so my fingers are crossed tightly. I have a good feeling about it.
Rent will doubtlessly be going up at the point they take possession (in September?), but hopefully it won’t be too much of an increase. We haven’t had a rent increase in five years, so we’re overdue, but we may be able to work something out as far as making additional improvements to the place to keep it within reason.
We’re relieved for the most part. If we can keep on living here for reasonable rent until we find something of our own (hopefully in the next year or two) it would make things so much easier, and we really could help the new owners fix things up more – we have some nice flooring in the garage we held off on installing when the noise upstairs was becoming unbearable.
I think I’m relieved. If it’s the people I met I’ll be thrilled. Whew? We’ll see. I cannot believe how fast this all went. It’s been incredibly stressful (and we’re not out of the woods yet). Thankfully tomorrow is a holiday, so we’re going to run away to White Rock for the night – take a breather. I’ll update the rest of the week later after I’ve digested things more thoroughly.
As mentioned here, our landlord has suddenly decided to sell the house we live in. Because we can’t seem to grease the wheels quickly enough to buy it ourselves, this leaves us in an extremely anxious position.
We have very decent rent. It was decent when we moved in, and shockingly hasn’t been raised in the five years we’ve been here. This is one of the reasons we’ve been able to manage on one income while I stayed home with Isak. Rental prices have skyrocketed, become scarce, and the same type of place would be both hard to find and much, much more per month. We’ve also put a lot into fixing this place up.
I feel wrung out and helpless. Depending on who buys the house (and when, I think it’ll get snapped up within the week), everything will change, and I don’t know if it’ll be for the better or throw us into chaos.
A nice couple with a baby came by to look, very nice people who’d want to live upstairs and continue to rent our suite (they said they were so happy to see that another family was there already). This kind of situation would be ideal, better even, if there were no more 3am parties upstairs. We could continue to fix up our suite and then when we left (hopefully in the next few years, to buy our own place) they’d have a nicer place to rent for more and everyone’s happy. (cue angel choir)
Then again, people with dollar signs in their eyes could buy and tear it down or pull what has been locally coined a “renoviction”, where they say they’re going to fix up the suite and then jack up the rent 100%. It’s awful, but it’s legal, and this happens to a lot of longtime tenants when a new owner comes along. This would mean we’d have to move, soon, which would be a huge, horrible undertaking in so many different ways.
We have no power over any of this. It feels terrible to have such a big thing as our home out of our hands and completely uncertain. Now we wait.
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