Nobody Has Your Best Interest But You

:: sigh :: I had published a very eloquent post, which was lost thanks to fault internet connection. So here I go again. I apologize in advance if this post seems to lack enthusiasm.

I had been stalling on notifying my landlord of my intention to move out at the end of this month, despite the sale of the condo and the mortgage having well been under way for awhile. I was feeling guilty for leaving so soon, despite our lease only being until the end of June 2012 and then going month-to-month thereafter. 

I was going to send him a notification on June 30th. Lucky for me, my landlord sent me an email on the 29th. The email told me that despite having verbally agreed that we would go month to month after the lease expired with no rent increase, he was demanding a new lease. He said the rent amount would not increase “as long as [I] agreed to [his] terms” which was that he wanted me to sign until April 2013. 

Until this moment, I had thought of my landlord as an okay guy. Sure, he would take a bit to get someone to come out to look at the failing appliances, but he would get it fixed.  But this single email changed my mind about the guy.  All of a sudden I felt like he had taken advantage of me, getting me to sign during the slow rental months (no one wants to move when it is -10 degrees in the winter) by using the month-to-month as a carrot then requiring me to sign a new lease. Month-to-month was important for me because I knew that I eventually wanted to own a place and that would allow me the flexibility to move. If I wasn’t in the process of purchasing my own place, I would have had to debate between moving and the associated fees (most places require move-in fees) versus staying for additional 10 months. Most likely, I would have had to stay because most other places would require a 1 year lease.

I wrote back and informed him that July would be my last month. I bit my tongue on how I felt like he had misled me when I signed the contract and kept a civil tone throughout the email. Since then, I had to contact him for minor building issue and received no response. He finally wrote back today, making additional demands on issues involving my move out, citing the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance (LTO), making it seem like his requests were all within his landlord rights. Never did he mention the previously sent emails.

Also, he misled me by stating as if his demands were within his rights outlined in the LTO.  I wrote back, agreeing to most of his terms, requesting some additional information (paint color used in case I need to do some touch up), and disagreeing on his request for 24 hr notice to show.  Because it needs to be in “showing ready” condition, that would be difficult for me to meet. I cited the LTO which states 48 hr notice except in case of emergencies (flooding, fire, etc). He actually had the balls replay back and say that I am “not playing nice.”

I feel silly now for having felt so guilty about not staying longer. But this has shown me his true colors, which is that his verbal promises did not mean anything other than carrots to convince me to stay longer. It’s silly to think that people who barely know you have your best interest at heart.

I am so ready to own my own place.

5 responses to “Nobody Has Your Best Interest But You

  1. Oh, I couldn’t agree more with this – and I think this is one of the most important lessons we have to learn right off the bat when entering the real world. Nobody else has your back. Nobody else will put you first. So you better damn well do it.

  2. Hi eemusings I am so happy you stopped by!

    I think it is easy to trust others until they have done us wrong. I am constantly learning that maybe that isn’t such a good idea…

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. Laura @ Move To Portugal

    You shouldn’t feel guilty – it’s just business and you have to look after your best interests.

  4. I guess I am still a bit naive and think that everyone will look after each other and has the best intentions at heart.

    Thanks for stopping by — I love your blog and have been lurking for over a year now! I absolutely love Lisbon and can’t wait to see your financial journey taking you there!

  5. Pingback: Awful Landlords | 30 is the new 21

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