Not Good At All

It’s amazing how quickly excitement and happiness can turn to stress and approach depression.

In December, when we viewed the house we’re moving into, before Christmas, it was in a livable condition.  Two of the three bedrooms and the bathroom were painted a horrible color by the previous tenants.  The landlord wanted to repaint before we moved in.  They had painted over wallpaper in the bathroom so he had to strip the walls to remove the wallpaper.  He said it would be ready for a Jan. 1st move in.  He had one working arm and we offered to do some help.  We went one day and all he had us do was clean the baseboards and a closet.  We were expecting to go back to help while my husband was on holiday stand down.  Hubby ended up getting sick the first week and because the landlord was having surgery Jan. 9th, he told us not to come out because he didn’t want to get sick prior to it.  He was sending us pictures of a bathroom upgrade progress.


Once my husband was better during the second week of his leave, we tried contacting the landlord to come over to do some work.  He didn’t respond for three days.  He had fallen and couldn’t do anymore work.  Again, he sent us photos of the bathroom we thought was ours.  Above was the last one he sent.

We wanted to move while my husband was on leave because I am unable to lift big and heavy objects.  So we rented a moving truck to move our mattress and box spring and other big/heavy items the day before his leave ended.  When we got to the house, this is what we found.



The bathroom he’s been sending us pictures of is not our bathroom!  He’s been doing work on some other bathroom and sending us pictures of the updates!?!?!  The toilet and sink aren’t even hooked up because the walls still need to be primed and painted.  Two of the three bedrooms are still taped up with plastic on the floors, waiting to be painted.  The kitchen is full of all his supplies.

After we unloaded our stuff from the truck and went back to our apartment, I called to cancel the internet switch-over.  We’ll be camping on the floor of our apartment until the house is livable.  I tried calling the landlord too.  He didn’t answer so I sent him an email asking if he’d give us a discount because it was already the second week of January and it was not in livable condition.  We had paid January rent already.  He would not give us a discount.  He would not give us a rent credit for hiring people to get the work done.  It was either we (my husband and I) need to finish up (and we can only do work while the landlord is present) or he will give us our money back and we can find somewhere else to live.  Our lease ends at the end of January and we already moved things over there.  My husband is leaving soon for a month and a half long underway.  I am so distraught over this!  I don’t want to live in that house anymore because I’m so angry with the landlord.  He lives right next door too.  I especially don’t want to deal with him while my husband is gone for so long.  I don’t even know if this crap will be finished before his ship leaves.  We certainly don’t have time to find a new place…or I’d end up having to move all on my own.

We were planning on going out there Saturday and Sunday to do whatever work we could get done.  I emailed the landlord this because he said he was in too much pain and couldn’t get to the phone.  He sent an email back misquoting me, saying we couldn’t just “knock out” everything in one weekend.  That pissed me off.  I never once said we’d “knock out” anything.  I’m really hating this guy.

Eric went back to work this morning and found out he has duty Saturday.  Wonderful.  I guess I have to go out there Saturday by myself.  I don’t know what I can do…I’ve never done any of this crap before.  We’ll still be out there Sunday but we can’t get much done with the way the landlord wants things to be done.  This isn’t going to be completed before my husband goes on his underway, I just know it.

I am easily stressed out and I don’t deal with it very well.  Ever since we saw the current condition of the house I’ve been nothing but stressed and near tears/depression.  I don’t like any of this.  I don’t know what to do.  A part of me just wants to say fuck it and find somewhere else to live.  I don’t deal with stress very well so my instinct is to not deal with it.  Maybe it’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be.  As long as the bathroom gets finished, I suppose it would be livable. The situation wouldn’t be so bad if my husband didn’t have this underway coming up.  The price of the house is $750 for four months, then $800 after that.  Most two bedroom apartments in the area are $850+.  I guess I just have to deal with it.  Won’t be so bad once everything is fixed up.  Le sigh.

So far, 2013 is off to a bad start.  Two deaths in the family and now this housing nightmare.  What’s next 2013?

10 thoughts on “Not Good At All

  1. Kasey, This situation sucks but you might have some legal action. Depending on how many units/houses this guy owns there are certain laws he has to follow. Check out the Landlord Tenant Handbook for VA: If he has more then 10 dwellings these rules apply to him. Page 28 Failure to deliver possession and the following section applies to your situation. In this handbook are also numbers to call to get help. He does not have the right (as far as I can tell) to keep all the rent for the whole month when he did not deliver the property in livable condition. Check it out!

  2. Oh my, Kasey, what an unfortunate time/new year you’ve had! Dena (above) is right; you might need to take legal action against this landlord. Are there any permits taped to the doors/windows approving the work in progress? Regardless, of your answer, the first thing I’d do would be to call the town hall clerk’s office to confirm that the actual address is legitimately owned by “him.”

    Although not a lawyer, I have done a 6-mo volunteer internship program at my Maine-state’s Attorney General’s Office, as a ‘Consumer Mediator’. We have (Maine has) apparently had enough tenant vs. landlord issues/complaints that we have a separate ‘Rights & Responsibilities’ chapter, in ‘our’ Maine Law Guide, allocated for each. It is my understanding that many (perhaps all?) states offer a similar (free) service via their (your state’s) Attorney General’s Office, as well. Over the weekend, I would search my state’s (Virginia? …or have you moved to Michigan?) gov-site for relevant info.

    Knowing you are so stressed, Kasey, I’d be willing to do some research for you, if you’d like …even make a few calls for you Monday morn, if helpful! In the meantime take more-than-a-few BIG deep breaths!!! …hugs 🙂
    (*PS: I think your worpress-clock needs to be time-zone set .)

  3. The Small Claims Court could be the place to go to. This is an outrageous situation. When did you last actually SEE the landlord. He sounds like a Complete Liar. You have all my sympathy.

  4. The last time we saw the landlord is when we were over cleaning the baseboards. I’m not sure we have time to take legal action. I think that would just cause me more stress because then we definitely wouldn’t be able to live next door to the landlord. I’m just going to deal with it not being finished because time is of the essence. If it doesn’t work out then we can move again in six months. I don’t imagine it would be so bad if everything was completed like before he even started doing any work to the place. Thanks for all your thoughts and sympathy!

  5. Oh, and if anyone knows how to set the wordpress clock, I have been trying to figure that out since I started this blog. It switches over to a new day around 7pm ET. Would be nice if it were accurate!

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