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Nghtmare on Elm Street
October 5, 2011 8:25 PM   Subscribe

Landlord changed move in date

This might sound minor, but I'm irritated. I rented a cute house starting Oct 15 and I put down a $1500 deposit over a month ago, which includes one months rent and pet deposit. The lease I signed has a start date of October 15th. The lady that is currently living there called me and said she couldn't move out until the 15th and I told her that my lease started on the 15th and that I had furniture being delivered that day. She said that wouldn't be convenient for her. So, I called my landlady and when she eventually called me back she said they had to give their tenant time to move out. I could move in the next day, the 16th and she told me to reschedule my movers.

I know the whole thing is petty because its just a day. The soon -to-be-former tenant has had more than 30 days notice to move, which SHE GAVE. I have waited over 30 days for this place, and both me and the fomer tenant where there when my move in date, the 15th was agreed upon.

Now I have to reschedule movers, reschedule friends. And I guess I feel like they are giving more consideration to the person moving out than me, the person who willl pay them rent in the future.

Help me feel better about this whole thing, because it's a really irritating way to start out a new agreement.

If I'm being petty, please let me have it. I need to find a different perspective.

thanks much.
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Look at the bright side: the landlady is sticking up for her tenants, which is what you'll be... a day later than expected.

That said, it does seem capricious. I would share your annoyance. See if you can get some sort of reimbursement from your landlady if rescheduling deliveries and movers is costing you money. If it's not, decide whether it's worth it to you to threaten to demand your deposit back. IANAL, but it seems like since she already reneged on your agreement, you'd be within your rights.
posted by supercres at 8:29 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're not being petty, this is a pain in the ass. But its something you don't have control of. Suck it up take a deep breath, reschedule and move on.


Note its not really worth getting pissed at the landlord either. If the tenant is still going to be there on the 15th there's not much he can do. Unfortunately the tenant currently occupying the residence kind of has the upper hand in this kind of thing.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:29 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not that you're being petty - it certainly is frustrating. But this is part of the process of moving.

If you want hair raising, try scheduling a closing on a house with an apartment move out date. In that case, instead of three people, you have like 9 and about 6000 signatures.

So, reschedule what you can, hope she does a good job cleaning, and relax. You'll be in there soon enough.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:32 PM on October 5, 2011


Not petty. This is a pretty serious thing - your landlady just started your commercial relationship on a footing that creates a lot of stress for you.

Have you already signed a lease? The lease should state a start date of your tenancy - if you aren't able to move in on that date, then it's actionable - document all extra fees and the entire moving expense, and the temporary storage fees, night(s) at a hotel, and everything else that you can document that you had to pay for so you can claim that to sue your landlord for.

But do you really want to sue your landlord before you moved into their property?

But seriously, document *everything* even if you don't plan to sue - crappy behaviour could be crappier behaviour in the future, especially if you don't nip it in the bud. Great documentation might save you a LOT of money in the future.
posted by porpoise at 8:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


You are not being petty.

On the other hand, it is impossible for a landlord to force a tenant out without complex proceedings that would not be complete in time for your moving date.

So your best bet is probably to try to recover any loss (i.e. from changing dates with moving company/furniture delivery) from the landlord (and maybe suggest that she can try to get that money out of the tenant).

You should probably also get the landlord to formally (in writing) adjust your tenancy starting date on the lease. Just to avoid any problems with regard to e.g. unpaid bills, damage, etc from previous tenant that might cover the date that you are officially the tenant. And also because if your rent is pro-rated, one day's rent is actually still not nothing, and you shouldn't be having to pay it if you haven't taken possession yet.
posted by lollusc at 9:39 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


While your landlady really is at the mercy of this irresponsible tenant, should have offered sincere apologies. Did she?

Nthing that extra financial penalties will be passed on to landlady - but wait to mention this (if there are any) until post move in.

Here is your REAL PROBLEM...

Leave messes behind. There WILL be broken items. One day is simply not enough time for your landlady to get the house move in ready.

- Take pics before you move anything in. Take pictures of EVERYTHING. Stove, inside the oven, crevices, baseboards, floors, stains, damaged walls. And ceilings.

- Check all appliances for working order. Ditto all pipes (look under cabinets for water damage) test the drains, the shower pressure, leaking faucets, the toilet functioning, etc.

- Get a new seat. Check with your state rental department, this is likely a small expense you can pass on to your landlord.

- Check the outlets. You want the outlets to be flush against the walls, with no scorch marks. MAKE SURE THERE ARE GFCI OUTLETS IN THE KITCHEN AND BATH AND TEST THEM. There GFCI outlets in these rooms, right? That's the law and you want to raise this issue if these types of outlets are not installed. Getting electrocuted is bad.

- Document. Document. Document.

-----

Your landlady doesn't sound very on top of things. Keep an eye on this in the future. Frankly, she should have budgeted at least 3 days between tenants to have cleaning and repairs performed. Because she didn't do this on her own, it tells me you will be inheriting at least some plumbing and other repair issues.

Check with your state regarding replacement and updating of floors, carpeting, and painting. Likely your house is due some of these regular maintenance items, if not all. Familiarize yourself with the rental code in your jurisdiction so you can get these defects cured in a timely fashion.

----

As I write this out - I wonder if you can put off your move in a few extra days? It will be easier to clean, repair, and paint before you take residency. Do an inspection on the 16th first thing, before you move in. Keep an attorney on speed dial just in case it all goes sideways.

Sorry you have to deal with this. Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 9:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Woops!

"Irresponsible tenants leave messes behind."

BTW, any furniture or crap that gets left behind, including in the refrigerator... pics for documentation, and you know who pays to remedy this defects, right?

If you choose to clean on your own, check with your jurisdiction, but you may be able to bill the landlady for your time and effort.
posted by jbenben at 9:54 PM on October 5, 2011


Toilet seat. That was "toilet seat" I was referring to up above.

Sorry for all the other typos, too. Memail if you need me to clarify anything.
posted by jbenben at 10:01 PM on October 5, 2011


They will need a few days to repaint, etc. Ask for a discount and for them to pay fees incurred for any changes to your movers, etc.. If you have to change dates anyway, better a few extra days for them to clean everything up as well.
posted by Vaike at 10:41 PM on October 5, 2011


Things are not going well in this move-in. Document everything, including the time and date of phone calls. Better to put things in writing. Take a million pictures and video if you can.

And I second trying to push back the actual move-in so the landlord has time to fix the stuff that totally needs to be fixed before you bring your stuff there. It stinks, but sleeping in a house with paint and bleach smells and coordinating move-in stuff with repair work stinks worse.
posted by SMPA at 5:32 AM on October 6, 2011


Dear Landlord,

It is my intention to take possession of the house on the agreed-upon move-in date on my lease. If the current tenant lives there on that day or beyond, they are subletting from me. My sublease fee is prorated at 1/30th of one month's rent, per day. Due to the inconvenience this has caused me, I expect the tenant to pay me this fee for any day she occupies the unit inclusive of my October 15th move-up date.

Additionally, if the home is uninhabitable after the current tenant moves out - e.g. dirty, broken items, etc. - I expect to have remitted to me a prorated rent reduction for my first month of tenancy, and in addition, if I must do any work to bring the unit into livable condition, I expect to be reimbursed for those purchases, for which I will provide receipts.

Please contact me if you have any questions about this. I plan to take possession of the house on the date specified on my lease.

Regards,
Renter

***

It sounds like you're in touch with the person who lives there now. Tell her that your lease starts on the 15th, no matter when she moves, and you expect her to pay you rent for the days she occupies the house when it's technically yours. It's not your fault she delayed her move-out, and it has inconvenienced you enormously.
posted by juniperesque at 7:43 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the current tenant lives there on that day or beyond, they are subletting from me.

I really don't think you want to do that. That means the tenant is now your problem (as is collecting the rent, evicting her if necessary) and the landlord can wash her hands of it.

I guess I feel like they are giving more consideration to the person moving out than me, the person who willl pay them rent in the future.

Legally speaking, in many U.S. jurisdictions, if the current tenant refuses to move out until the day after what was agreed, there is probably nothing the landlady can do about it. But she's not doing a very good job of being proactive about having a place for you to live as agreed.
posted by grouse at 7:54 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Document all expenses incurred as a result of the delay in moving in. Present landlord with itemized list of expenses, including copies of receipts, and then deduct total amount from next month's rent.
posted by de void at 8:30 AM on October 6, 2011


then deduct total amount from next month's rent
DO NOT do this without your landlady agreeing to it in writing. In most jurisdictions, tenants cannot withhold rent except in very specific circumstances and a delayed move-in is not likely to be one of them.
posted by soelo at 8:37 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nthing everyone that you're not being petty, this is an issue, etc.

I will just add that, depending on the size of the house and the extent of any damage the previous tenant might have made, the place very well could be in a clean, undamaged state when you move in. One time when a roommate and I moved on a Saturday, while we did manage to finish moving out that day and let the new people move in, our last-minute stuff took a few hours longer than we expected. That day and the days leading up to our move, we spackled and painted, scrubbed the floors and baseboards, all-around left the apartment in pristine condition. Our place was quite small, however, and we were only late by a couple hours, and you're renting a house, so YMMV.

You are definitely not being petty. This does happen, especially when the 1st or 15th falls on a weekend, but your landlord did not handle it well.
posted by fireflies at 8:42 AM on October 6, 2011


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