tenant trauma

First, thank you, lovelies, for your words of support this week. Pea and I are muddling along, and we are ok. Generally grumpy this past week, but ok.

We’re grumpy for many reasons. The chief one lately is the on-going saga of our landlord attempting to sell our apartment out from under us as quickly as she possibly can.

We found out on March 30th our lease wasn’t being renewed so the unit could be sold, and we house-hunted madly, securing and signing a lease for an apartment in our building 5 days later. Our landlord had warned us to expect an email from her real estate agent to ‘set up a time to see the place’.

We received said email this Monday evening. It outlined a schedule of 1 photo op, 2 agent tours, 4 broker tours, and 5 open houses in the next 12 days. It told us to “put these date and times in our calendar”. It told us to “have the apartment photo-ready for Wednesday afternoon”. We were grumpy. Less than 48 hours notice to have the apartment spick and span (with only weeknights available) and open houses every weekend day of the next two weekends (our last two with any semblance of normalcy pre-move) was not ideal. THIS week was particularly not ideal, as the last thing we wanted to do on Tuesday was clean up. We wanted wine and cuddles.

My instinct was to rush home early and clean, to accommodate them. Pea’s instinct was to push back, and hard. He is wise. Turns out the California courts have generally upheld that agents need to give tenants 10 days notice, and can only schedule 2 open houses a month. We didn’t lay down the law, per se, but we did protest the schedule. We also stated that if they wanted the apartment clean, we would have time to clear surfaces and generally tidy for Wednesday, but we would not have time prior to the weekend to clean it (floors, bathrooms, etc.) and that if that was not acceptable, they could bring in cleaners.

They agreed to waive the open houses on Saturdays (yay!). They agreed to bring in cleaners – this Saturday at 8 am (yay! wait, what?). It’s the only time available because they only decided to do this last night, and only called the cleaning service this morning. I am usually up around then, but not always. Pea does not get up til noon on weekends. We agreed this is not ideal, but it is still better than us deep cleaning our apartment for them, on their manic schedule.

All this time, we have been worried about our landlord. What could have gone wrong, that she needs to move so quickly? What tragedy has struck? Death, divorce, lay off? Turns out she’s found some other property she wants, and needs this one sold for the equity. So my sympathies are now very low.

Our best-case is that an offer is made after the open house this Sunday, as once they are in contract, everything else will stop. Even if that falls through, there’s a good chance we’ll be out of the apartment before it all ramps up again. Otherwise this is our life for the next three weeks, and I am not best pleased.

2 thoughts on “tenant trauma

  1. Turia

    I was thinking about you the other day, because the head of E’s nursery school found out the same week that she had to move, and she’d been renting the same house for over 30 years! Same result- I think the owners decided the house market is so hot it’s time to take advantage of it.

    It drives home the fact that whenever financial bloggers post about whether it better to rent or own, the financial side is not the only one to consider. They often write about the ‘pride of ownership’ but I don’t often see them acknowledging the power of ‘not having your life uprooted with 30 days’ notice’.


  2. Haisla

    Wow, that really sounds so very unfair. I’m glad you held your ground and managed to get a better deal (and a big “yay” for not having to clean the flat yourselves!!). I really hope the open house rumba will be short lived, as I’m sure you two could do with some peace and quiet to recover from what you’ve just been through.. Hugs.xx


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