Author Topic: Ethical and Legal Dilemma - to move or not to move?  (Read 3296 times)

Lis

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Ethical and Legal Dilemma - to move or not to move?
« on: July 14, 2014, 03:11:57 PM »
I currently live in a one bedroom apartment in the town that I work in (less than three miles away from work) and pay $1200/mo. Believe it or not, that's a great deal for this area. (My rent is supposed to be $1300 but he knocks off $100 if I pay in cash.) The rent I pay covers everything, from heat and electricity to cable and internet.

$1200 is just under half of my take home pay for the month (after, of course, contributing to my company's 401k). While it's doable and I can certainly afford to keep living here, it's not ideal. I have a little under $12k left on student loans that I'm trying to throw every extra penny towards. Technically, my lease ended on June 15th. I told my landlord I was interested in staying for another year, and he told me he was interested in having me stay and there would be no rent increase. We both said "Yeah, we'll sign something," but we never have.

I'm falling less and less in love with the apartment... my landlords are very loud early in the morning, I frequently run out of hot water for my shower (and I don't shower that long), and the internet keeps cutting in and out. While my 3 mile commute to work is lovely, it's very far away from my friends and boyfriend, and I travel frequently to see them. I found a studio apartment on Craigslist for $900 (says all utilities included) in a more desirable location for me. It would bump up my commute to 11.5 miles one way, but I'd be saving $300 in rent, and the commuting cost increase would certainly not be that much (I'm thinking an extra $100 or so a month, giving me $200 more to put towards my loan).

Here's my dilemma... my landlord and I verbally agreed that I'd be staying another year, but I haven't signed anything yet. While I'm still waiting to hear back from the realtor about this new place (like if it'll accept cats), but if this place works out, I'd be interested in moving. If there's one thing I learned from Judge Judy, it's to always get everything in writing, and to be honest I'm worried that they're preparing to move across the country (their daughter and granddaughter are moving in August). This could all be remedied if I come up with something for us to sign tomorrow when I pay my rent, but I don't feel like that's my responsibility as the tenant.

I feel like I'm stuck... I was interested in moving when my lease was about to expire, but there was nothing out there like this. I know many of you are landlords and can sympathize with him... I'd love to get anyone's thoughts on what they would do in this situation.

okashira

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Re: Ethical and Legal Dilemma - to move or not to move?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 03:26:23 PM »
Eh, if he wasn't to be bothered to have you sign a lease, it should not be that big deal for him for you to move.

MBot

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Re: Ethical and Legal Dilemma - to move or not to move?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 05:12:54 PM »
Here in Ontario, after a yearlong lease ends, tenancy automatically turns into a month-to-month contract and you just have to give notice to move.

Is it similar there? What is the law where you live on what happens when a lease ends?

As a landlord, as long as a tenant gives proper notice time, and they're not breaking a written contract that's generally acceptable on both sides.

Did you say "I'll commit for another year"? And commit to a second lease term? Even so, since your initial year lease is up, most people would see the extra time as a bonus. Although I am steeped in the "month to month after the years up" mindset here
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 05:18:06 PM by MBot »

Three Wolf Moon

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Re: Ethical and Legal Dilemma - to move or not to move?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 05:47:39 PM »
Month to month is the law in at least three of the states I've lived in (OH, TX, PA) - not sure where the OP is at but it does seem a fairly common standard here in the US.

Nords

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Re: Ethical and Legal Dilemma - to move or not to move?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 06:54:04 PM »
Here's my dilemma... my landlord and I verbally agreed that I'd be staying another year, but I haven't signed anything yet. While I'm still waiting to hear back from the realtor about this new place (like if it'll accept cats), but if this place works out, I'd be interested in moving. If there's one thing I learned from Judge Judy, it's to always get everything in writing, and to be honest I'm worried that they're preparing to move across the country (their daughter and granddaughter are moving in August). This could all be remedied if I come up with something for us to sign tomorrow when I pay my rent, but I don't feel like that's my responsibility as the tenant.
Sounds like it's time to write a letter:
"I realize that I've said before that I wanted to stay here another year, but all of the changes in both of our lives are making me reluctant to sign the new lease.  This letter is my 30-day notice that I'll be vacating at the end of next month."

Of course as soon as your landlord reads your notification, you may be subject to cold showers and no bandwidth for the remainder of your tenancy...

Must_Stash

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Re: Ethical and Legal Dilemma - to move or not to move?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 08:04:05 PM »
30 days notice would satisfy me.  You have no ethical or legal obligation past that!  "Sign something" does not make explicit the terms of the agreement and with no lease, your prior lease probably DOES have a provision for month-to-month subsequent to its term.  Check it.  :)

BlueHouse

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Re: Ethical and Legal Dilemma - to move or not to move?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 08:36:33 PM »
I'm a landlord of one unit and like others, agree that anything over the first year is "extra" time.  And I actually have written into the lease that after the first year is up, the agreement just rolls over into month-to-month.  Just give fair notice and your karma will be fine.  The only thing that would upset me about this situation is if the rentals were seasonal or highly dependent on time of year (college towns or beach towns), but even then, that's the risk that landlords take. 
30 days is fine.  more than that would probably just lead to more inconvenience to you.

Lis

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Re: Ethical and Legal Dilemma - to move or not to move?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 07:26:38 AM »
Thanks for your responses everyone!

There's nothing in my lease that says anything happens after it ends. I'm in NY, so I'll look into what happens after a lease ends for the tenant.

Turns out this place I found has doesn't allow cats, so it's not the place for me. All this worrying has been for naught! But I will keep my eyes peeled for similar type places now that I know. Or just sign a damn lease.