Monday, May 18, 2009

What to do?

Our timeline had been to be making an offer on a house by... right about now.

But, it's looking more and more like it's going to take longer (our biggest hint: we aren't making an offer right now. That's how we know it's going to be sometime in the future.) For one thing, our credit report has some old stuff on it that should have come off because it was paid in full or aged off a long time ago, but even some of the things that were paid in full, the companies/agencies who reported them never reported that they'd been paid. Instead, they changed their names slightly every month to keep the now inaccurate entries constantly current. A credit card that I paid off and closed in 1993 is still on my report. And, because we're going for an FHA loan and credit is tight right now, it all has to come off - all of it - before we can get approved. We're working as fast as we can on getting this done.

Which is just as well, because we've discovered that getting out of our lease is going to be harder than we'd thought. We sent in our letter of intent not to renew our year-to-year lease three months in advance of the anniversary date, as required. Our landlord sent us back a letter informing us that because only B signed the letter, it didn't meet the conditions for not renewing and our lease is now automatically extended to July 31, 2010. If we want to get out of it before then, we have to pay the landlord a $1k non-refundable extra-special-permission bonus and then find someone else to rent the apartment at our own expense.

I've started tracking down other people who are in the same boat with this Fan Apartments as we are - there are at least a dozen I've found already - and one of them told me that Fan Apartments has turned down three applicants for his place already, and he's still on the hook for rent and responsible for finding a new tenant, even though he's already done a walk-through and turned in the keys.

So, long story short, we figure at this point our best bet is to take a breather, be happy that the time pressure is off, work more on getting all the crud off our credit reports and becoming perfect little mortgage-seekers, and then, when we're all ready to go, call the Fire Marshall. Fan Apartments is a repeat offender for chaining and padlocking shut the fire escape on this building. Any port in a storm, right?

Ye gods, I really do loathe this kind of purposeless difficulty. And I still have to call the agency to let them know that our timeline has changed.


  1. Did the contract actually say that you both had to sign the notice to not renew? Sounds like they are just trying to get the $1,000

  2. Whatever state you're in, that's almost undoubtedly illegal (big disclaimer so I don't get in trouble with anyone: I'm not barred in whatever state you live in since I know you don't live in mine, so I can't give you legal advice), but if you send me an email--I think you can get to my email through my blogger profile--I can try to do some background research for you. Also, have you contacted the Better Business Bureau, or the business licensing agency where you live?

  3. Here's the kicker - not only are they trying to lock us in to our lease, but the rent goes up 5% every year.

    I'm trying to find my copy of the contract - we've lived here 6 years and our record keeping hasn't always been great. Their claim is that the lease requires all of the signatories on the lease to sign a cancellation.

    RAK, thanks, I'll see if I can send you an email, maybe at least you can refer me to someone.

    I'm working on the Better Business Bureau and educating myself about tenants' rights (including, oddly enough, that it's apparently illegal to raise the rent during the term of the lease). I'm also organizing a group of tenants who have been rooked by these guys, at least as an information exchange.

  4. Yeah that sounds crazy. I am s landlord and I have never hesrd of that 3 month advance notice much less having both of you sign the letter. Geesh